The Best Media Streaming Services

Want to watch sports without cable? The top sports streaming services we’ve tested make it easy to catch all the primetime games and general coverage you want.

Live sports coverage is a huge draw for cable subscribers, but you can get the same content, if not more, from a dedicated streaming service. Although some on-demand video streaming services include occasional sports commentary shows, the best options for sports fanatics are the cable-replacement services that offer game streams from local, national, and international networks.

We’ve gathered the best streaming services for sports here. Read on for our top picks, followed by everything you need to know about streaming sports no matter what you’re a fan of.

Hulu

Hulu TV
Best for Mix of Live Sports and On-Demand Shows

Hulu’s Live TV plan includes all the local and national sports channels you need to follow your favorite teams. Add in an expansive library of on-demand content and Hulu’s value becomes apparent.

Why We Picked It

Hulu is an excellent streaming service for sports fans. The service includes all the major broadcast networks and many sports-specific cable channels such as BTN, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, and NBC Sports Network. Unfortunately, it is missing a few league-specific channels, such as MLB Network, NBA TV, and RSNs from AT&T and Sinclair (it has all the NBC Sports RSNs). That said, Hulu is adding NFL Network and NFL RedZone before the start of the next NFL season, and you can pay for the Español add-on ($4.99 per month) to get international sports coverage.about:blank

Who It’s For

Like YouTube TV, Hulu excels as a replacement for cable, with nearly as many news and entertainment channels at your disposal, so it’s great for cord-cutters. Plus, a subscription to Hulu + Live TV includes access to Hulu’s expansive library of on-demand shows and movies.

Peacock

Peacock
Best for Sunday Night Football and Premier League Soccer

Peacock is slowing expanding its sports coverage for subscribers to its Premium tier. The service streams a substantial number of Premier League matches, IndyCar coverage, and WWE content.

Why We Picked It

To watch Peacock’s sports content, you must subscribe to one of its paid tiers. The main draw of Peacock for sports fans is its coverage of Sunday Night Football and Premier League soccer. In addition to hosting IndyCar and WWE content, the service recently debuted a live PGA Tour betting show.about:blank

Who It’s For

Peacock is for viewers who want sports as just one part of their mainstream entertainment. Peacock’s on-demand library is most notably the home of The Office, but you also get older and current NBC shows such as 30 RockCheers, Parks and RecreationSaturday Night LiveWill and GraceLaw & Order: SVUSuperstore, and This Is Us. Peacock-exclusive originals fill out the library.

The service doesn’t have 4K content or DVR features for live sports, but you can stream it on up to three devices simultaneously and use parental controls to filter content. The ability to download shows for offline playback is locked to Premium Plus subscribers. The Peacock app is available on mobile platforms (Android and iOS), media streaming devices (Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), and gaming consoles (Xbox One and Series X|S; PlayStation 4 and 5).

YouTube TV

YouTube TV
Best for National Coverage and DVR Storage

YouTube TV features all the sports coverage you’d expect for a cable-replacement service. Its best-in-class DVR capabilities, reasonable price, and solid performance are further reasons for sports fans (and everyone else) to consider it.

Why We Picked It

YouTube TV offers an excellent selection of live sports channels, including all the broadcast networks, CBS Sports Network, several ESPN Channels, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, Olympic Channel, and Tennis Channel. You can also pay an extra monthly fee for the Fox Soccer Plus ($15 per month), NBA League Pass ($39.99 per month), and Sports Plus ($10.99 per month package that includes NFL RedZone) add-ons. Note that YouTube TV does not offer international channels or the NFL Network, however. It is also missing AT&T and Sinclair RSNs, though it does have NBC Sports RSNs.about:blank

If you are looking for a service with more than just sports, YouTube TV meets that criteria with a good range of news and entertainment channels. Unfortunately, this lineup of 90+ channels does not come cheap; the service’s latest price hike added $15 to the monthly subscription cost.

One smart feature: YouTube TV’s Key Plays section. Select a live or recorded NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, or NHL game on your TV or mobile device. Swipe right to left at the bottom of the screen to see the Stats from the game, recordings of Key Plays, live Scores, or the mobile-only Fantasy football view.

Who It’s For

YouTube TV’s DVR storage is great for keeping up with games on your own time. With YouTube TV, you get unlimited cloud DVR storage, and the service keeps your recordings for up to nine months. YouTube TV allows you to stream on up to three devices simultaneously and supports up to six user accounts. Those extra streams and accounts are particularly convenient for when family members want to watch different programs that are set to air at the same time. The service is also notably one of the few that streams a significant number of its live channels in 1080p/60fps. A new $19.99-per-month 4K Plus add-on enables subscribers to watch live and on-demand content in 4K, stream on an unlimited number of devices on a home network, and watch DVR content offline on mobile devices.

Amazon Prime Video

Prime Video
Best for Thursday Night Football

Apart from Thursday Night Football games, you won’t find much live sports content on Prime Video. However, it does offer several sports-focused add-on channels and shows.

Why We Picked It

Amazon Prime Video qualifies as a sports streaming service mainly for its coverage of Thursday Night Football, WNBA matchups, select Yankees games for New York residents, and the option to add several sports-focused channels to your subscription, such as Paramount+, NBA League Pass, and PGA Tour Live. Amazon also produces the All or Nothing series, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at various professional sports teams.about:blank

Who It’s For

Although it doesn’t cover nearly as many sports as some of its live TV competitors, Amazon Prime’s on-demand library of TV shows and movies (and especially its originals) add significant value. Amazon is for people who want to pay for specialized channels on the platform.

Amazon’s video service works on a web browser, mobile platforms (Android and iOS), media streaming devices (including Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), game consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii), and Smart TVs. With Prime Video, you can stream on up to three devices simultaneously.

fuboTV

FuboTV
Best for Variety of Sports Coverage

FuboTV bundles an impressive collection of sports channels and add-on packages. Notably, fuboTV features 4K broadcasts of select sports events.

Why We Picked It

FuboTV is a great option for any cord-cutting sports fans. For the national sports events, there’s CBS, FOX, Golf Channel, NBA TV, NBC, NFL Network, TBS, and TNT. fuboTV includes AT&T and select Comcast RSNs, but lacks those from Sinclair.

For international sports, fuboTV is likely one of your best options. In addition to channels, such as beIN Sports, Fox Deportes, GOL TV, and TUDN, it offers many add-ons with international sports channels. FuboTV includes ESPN now, too, though it has lost Turner channels, such as TNT.

Who It’s For

FuboTV is a fantastic choice for fans of multiple sports. Also, like other entries in this roundup, fuboTV’s lineup of news and entertainment channels is quite strong; it has lots of channels from Viacom and Discovery. In addition, many TV shows and movies from those networks are available to stream on-demand.

FuboTV’s starting tier includes 250 hours of DVR storage, and fuboTV keeps those recordings for as long as you subscribe. You can pay for the Cloud DVR 1000 add-on ($16.99 per month) to expand your storage limit to 1,000 hours. Other cool features of fuboTV include Lookback, which lets you watch select sports programs from up to 72 hours after they aired, and Startover, which enables you to restart certain live events from the beginning.

FuboTV is available on the web or via dedicated apps for Android, iOS, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Roku devices. You can stream on up to three devices simultaneously with the base plan, but the Unlimited Screens add-on ($9.99 per month) increases that limit to 10 devices on a home network. FuboTV’s live streams are limited to 720p, though it is one of the few services to offer any 4K streaming for live content. Most of its on-demand content can be streamed in 1080p.

Dazn

Dazn
Best for Fight Fans

Dazn reliably serves its boxing and MMA fan base without PPV fees, but it doesn’t have much to offer to mainstream sports fans and general audiences.

Why We Picked It

On the boxing side, Dazn streams fights from promoters such as Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing, GGG Promotions, and World Boxing Super Series. In addition, MMA partners include Bellator, Combate Americas, and KSW. Top Rank Boxing and UFC are notably absent.

Other sports on the service include cricket, darts, fishing, gymnastics, and J1 (Japan’s top soccer division) soccer matches. Dazn also produces some original sports content, including its live, daily MLB commentary show, Change Up, and the weekly, fighter-focused show, Sweet Scientists: Ak & Barak. For viewers outside the US, Dazn offers NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL games.

Who It’s For

Dazn caters mainly to fight fans and is a good value for that audience, since it does not require you to shell out pay-per-view (PPV) fees in addition to the subscription cost to watch premium fights.

Dazn doesn’t offer traditional DVR features, but every fight it streams is available to restart, rewind, and scrub through as soon as it airs. In addition, Dazn users can stream content on up to two devices simultaneously. Live events stream in 720p and about 60 FPS.

DirecTV Stream

DirecTV Stream
Best for Expansive Sports Lineup

AT&T TV Now’s plans include many variants of popular sports networks as well as RSNs, but you’ll have to pay top-dollar for them. It also has some novel playback features that enable sports fans to restart and rewind live games.

Why We Picked It

DirecTV Stream (previously AT&T TV) offers good national sports coverage if you are willing to pay for its higher-priced plans. DirecTV Stream’s Choice plan ($84.99 per month), for instance, includes CBS Sports Network, four ESPN channels, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, NHL Network, Olympic Channel, and SEC Network. In addition, it is notably the only service we tested that offers RSNs from AT&T, Comcast, and Sinclair. However, it is missing several of the NBC RSNs and the NFL Network.

Who It’s For

With its local and national channels, DirecTV Stream helps you track the tricky world of regional sports networks. In terms of DVR features, DirecTV Stream offers 20 hours of DVR storage and keeps recordings for up to 90 days by default, but you can pay an additional $10 per month for unlimited storage space. Most other services let users save more hours of programming and for longer. Sports fans will appreciate DirecTV Stream’s Lookback and Rewind capabilities, allowing you to watch previously aired content (up to 72 hours in the past) and restart live streams from the beginning of the broadcast, respectively. These features are only available for select channels and programs.

With DirecTV Stream, you can stream simultaneously from up to 20 devices on your home network, which is impressive. We also like that the service includes parental control settings. DirecTV Stream is available on media streaming devices, mobile platforms, and the web, but not on the Xbox or PlayStation consoles.

ESPN+

ESPN+
Best for NHL, College Sports, and UFC Coverage

ESPN+ lets you watch select live sports and archived ESPN shows, but it does not include ESPN’s flagship prime-time or network programming.

Why We Picked It

ESPN+ features daily live sports events, including MLB and NHL games, national and international soccer league matches, and various NCAA sports events. Recently, ESPN+ secured a deal with the NHL that will get the streaming service 75 out-of-market NHL games, beginning with the 2021-2022 season and running through the 2027-2028 season. If you want to purchase streaming access to PPV UFC events, ESPN+ is the only way to do so. Unfortunately, this service does not include streams of ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcasts or live NBA coverage.

Who It’s For

ESPN+ does not replace ESPN’s regular channels, but instead offers alternative live sports content for cord-cutters. What ESPN+ does include is access to ESPN’s archives of prestige shows such as 30 for 30 and E:60. Again, though, core ESPN shows, such as Around the HornFirst TakeNFL LiveOutside the LinesPardon the Interruption, and SportsCenter are not available on the service.

You can watch ESPN+ on the web or via the ESPN app on Android and iOS mobile platforms (Android and iOS), as well as on media streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), and gaming devices (PlayStation 4 and 5 and the Xbox One Series S|X). Previously, ESPN+ supported five concurrent streams per account, but that limit has since dropped to three streams.

Paramount+

Paramount+
Best for NFL and PGA Tour Broadcasts

If you subscribe to the ad-free tier of Paramount+, you can stream whatever sports air on local or national CBS stations. That means you can watch live NFL games, NCAA basketball matchups, and PGA Tour events.

Why We Picked It

Paramount+ (the replacement for CBS All Access) lets you stream a live feed of your local CBS channel as part of your subscription, though only if you pay for its $9.99-per-month ad-free tier. That means fans can watch live NFL games in their local market, the NCAA March Madness tournament, and select PGA Tour events. Paramount+ also includes tons of national and international soccer (Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Concacaf, Liga Profesional de Fútbol, National Women’s Soccer League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Europa Conference League).

Who It’s For

A Paramount+ subscription gives viewers access to a substantial library of on-demand streaming content and some original shows, too. Among the on-demand titles offered by the service are All RiseBob Hearts AbisholaCheersCSIClariceCriminal MindsNCISReno 911!The Daily Show with Trevor NoahThe EqualizerThe Good WifeThe Twilight Zone (classic and current), The Unicorn, and Twin Peaks. It also features the latest Star Trek shows, including DiscoveryPicard, and Strange New Worlds.

Paramount+ supports up to three simultaneous streams per account. There’s no DVR feature, but subscribers to the ad-free tier can download on-demand titles for offline viewing. A representative confirmed that the service supports 1080/60fps live streams for owned-and-operated and large stations and 720/30fps for others. That said, select on-demand titles are available in 4K, but only if you pay for the more expensive tier. Paramount+ offers apps for your smartphone (iOS and Android), streaming devices (Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), and game consoles (PS4 and Xbox One).

Sling TV

Sling TV
Best for Add-On Sports Channels

Although Sling TV does not include every local network and it splits some sports channels between plans, sports fans can subscribe to Sling TV’s add-on package for coverage of major national leagues.

Why We Picked It

Sling TV splits its sports coverage across its Orange and Blue plans, with ESPN channels on the former and NFL Network and NBC Sports on the latter. You have to pay for the combined Orange & Blue Package ($50 per month) to get all of its sports channels. Sports fans should also consider adding the Sports Extra add-on ($11 per month) to get beIN Sports, ESPN U, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network. It also offers an NHL Center Ice add-on.

Who It’s For

Sling TV empowers viewers who want to customize their streaming packages, but it falters in terms of its local channel coverage. For example, you do not get CBS affiliates or local ABC channels with Sling TV, but subscribers do get FOX and NBC affiliates in most major markets. In addition, Sling TV includes no RSNs from AT&T or Sinclair, but it has a couple from Comcast.

Sling TV’s Orange plan supports one simultaneous stream, while the Blue plan lets you stream on up to three devices simultaneously. The Sling Orange & Blue plan allows you to stream on up to four devices simultaneously. Sling TV now allows you to record up to 50 hours’ worth of content to DVR storage, but you can pay an extra $5 per month to expand the storage to 200 hours. You can watch Sling TV on your mobile phone (Android and iOS), streaming device, Xbox console (but not PlayStation), and the web.

What Streaming Service Do You Need to Watch Sports?

The first thing to consider when choosing a sports streaming service is which one—or which collection of services—has the channels you need to watch the sports you care about.

NFL fans still have the easiest job. All NFL games air on local broadcast affiliates (CBS, FOX, or NBC), ESPN, or NFL Network, which means you don’t have to deal with regional sports networks (RSNs) to watch every game available to you. However, the games that air on your local broadcast affiliates will almost always feature local teams; if you are a fan of an out-of-market team, the NFL’s Game Pass and DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket are your best options. Other sports programming such as PGA Tour events (CBS, Golf Channel, or NBC) and NASCAR races (FOX, FS1, NBC, or NBC Sports Network) also air on national channels.

Some MLB, NBA, and NHL games air on national channels, too; for example, you can watch NBA games on ABC, TNT, or ESPN. That said, many of the games from these leagues air on RSNs owned by Sinclair (Bally Sports, previously known as FOX Sports), Comcast (NBC Sports), or AT&T (SportsNet). Currently, DirecTV Stream is the only service we’ve reviewed that includes RSNs from each of these owners, though fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV all offer NBC Sports RSNs. Which RSNs you need to watch sports in your market depends on your location. Check out each RSN’s listing page to see which teams they cover.

Baseball, basketball, and hockey fans should respectively check out our roundups of the best MLB streaming services, the best NBA streaming services, and the best NHL streaming services for all the details on streaming these sports without cable. Locast used to be a top option for many sports fans because it offered access to local broadcast channels on the cheap, but that service has suspended operations.

How to Stream League-Specific and International Sports

Many individual sports leagues offer dedicated streaming services. NBA League Pass, NFL Game Pass, NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL.TV, and MLB.TV are the best-known examples. Even poker has its own streaming service with PokerGO. If you only care about watching a specific team or sport, you don’t need to pay for an entire cable replacement service. Many of these services restrict your viewing of games until after they air in their entirety on regular channels or to out-of-market games, however, so most aren’t ideal for sports fans who want to watch their local team’s drama unfold live.

Many of the services we reviewed offer major sports channels for international markets, such as BEIN, ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, and Univision Deportes, but some require you to subscribe to extra packages for more regional and international sports content.

Dazn, on the other hand, is better for users in international markets (such as Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Italy) who want to watch mainstream US sports. However, for US subscribers, it offers a mix of Boxing, MMA, and MLB content.

Which Streaming Service Is Best for Live Sports?

Presumably, most sports fans want to watch both live sports and sports-related programs. However, we restricted this roundup to those services that regularly stream live sports events. After all, there’s no point in cutting the cord if you can’t watch your favorite teams live. Sports commentary and shows about sports certainly add value, but they don’t alone qualify a service as a sports streaming service.

For those reasons, HBO Max does not make the list, despite its historical association with boxing and current high-quality sports shows, such as Real Sports with Bryant GumbelHard Knocks, and Ballers. That could change, however, as the service may stream live NHL games as soon as next year. Starz also does not qualify, as it requires you to pay extra to watch its live streaming MMA content. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, streams Thursday Night Football games during the regular season and select MLB games in the New York region, so it makes the cut.

Just as with cable broadcasts, streaming services are subject to coverage blackouts, so it’s a good idea to find a service with both RSNs and local broadcast affiliates, in case one outbids the other for broadcast rights.

The Best Streaming Service With More Than Sports

While the focus of this roundup is on sports content, these services do not exist in a bubble. Monthly subscription costs can add up, and there’s a good chance that not everyone in your household wants to watch sports exclusively. Many of these options cost upwards of $60 per month, depending on the package you choose, while add-ons can easily push that monthly price even higher.

Therefore, you should consider whether the service offers value for anyone else in your household. Most of the best sports streaming services are also some of the best for general audiences, with good lineups of news and entertainment programming.

That said, some video streaming services, such as ESPN+ and Dazn, primarily focus on sports content. Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, and , which are primarily on-demand services, offer large libraries of shows and movies to stream in addition to their live sports content. Hulu + Live TV also gives users access to a vast library of TV series and films.

You won’t find esports on any of these services, but many game companies broadcast major events for free online. Twitch is your best bet for video game live streaming.

Streaming Sports: DVR, Simultaneous Streams, and Resolution

Sometimes sports coverage, like international sports coverage or Olympics highlights, doesn’t air at a convenient time. If you can’t watch the game for whatever reason, finding a service with good DVR functionality is worthwhile. Many video streaming services offer a specified number of hours you can record (some offer unlimited recording), which you can keep in storage for a set amount of time or until you stop paying for your subscription. However, no service we reviewed currently allows you to take those recordings offline, as some on-demand video streaming services allow.

What if two programs are airing at the same time and neither person wants to watch a recorded version later? If you make sure that the video streaming service you pick supports simultaneous streaming, then this won’t be a problem. Most services in the category support at least two simultaneous streams, but many services offer add-ons that increase that limit for an extra monthly fee.

One disadvantage of streaming services is that the picture quality may not always be as consistent as that of cable. The upper streaming resolution is dependent on the broadcast itself, so you may occasionally find games or channels that are limited to 720p. To get smooth 1080p streaming, you also need to make sure that your internet connection reaches a service’s minimum bandwidth requirement. Hulu + Live TV, Paramount+, and YouTube TV are among the services we tested that support 1080p/60fps streams on select platforms. Streaming at 4K resolution requires even more bandwidth (as well as a compatible screen) and few services even support that resolution. FuboTV and YouTube TV are exception: Both broadcast some live events in 4K, though the latter requires you to pay an extra monthly fee for that capability.

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