Cord-Cutting: Sports

Real talk: It can still be challenging for sports fanatics to cut the cord, but every year there are more options for watching your favorite athletes compete without a pricey cable package.
Updated August 2016

FuboTV

Sling TV provides strong soccer coverage, but Fubo is leading the way when it comes to flexible, user-friendly access to live and on-demand matches.

Pros

  • Monthly subscriptions, so you can opt in and out depending on the calendar
  • Many channels and packages to choose from
  • Cloud-based DVR

Cons

  • Single-device streaming only

MLB.tv

Baseball fanatics can subscribe to MLB.tv to watch or listen to any out-of-market baseball game live online.

Pros

  • Choose a single-team subscription for a yearly rate or a full-league subscription for an annual or monthly rate
  • Premium level lets you watch on any connected or mobile device
  • Much cheaper than the alternative of an add-on to a cable subscription
  • Tremendous mobile capability

Cons

  • No in-market games (i.e. can't watch the Giants in SF)
  • No nationally televised games even if they're not being broadcast in your market

NBA League Pass

An immersive mobile basketball experience with scores, stats, and video clips for the teams you love — and the ones you love to Heat... uh... we mean hate.

Pros

  • Comprehensive full-season package provides access to nearly 1,000 live, out-of-market games
  • Purchase single games or individual-team packages

Cons

  • No in-market games (i.e. can't watch the 76ers in Philadelphia)
  • No nationally-televised games even if they're not being broadcast in your market

NFL Mobile

The NFL partnered with Verizon to build its mobile interface, so subscribers can look forward to live audio coverage and on-demand video of their favorite teams, while everyone else gets league stats, audio and video highlights, news, and enhanced social features.

Pros

  • Premium-level access gives you live streaming video of most NFL games, the NFL Draft, the NFL Network, and NFL RedZone

Cons

  • Non-Verizon Wireless subscribers will get a limited basic experience
  • NFL blackout restrictions dependent on location still apply

NFL Sunday Ticket

DirecTV is slowly opening up access to its NFL streams, mostly to students and people who can't receive the satellite service at their current residence.

Pros

  • Apps are available for Chromecast, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One
  • The “student-friendly” package is a legit bargain
  • Even if you think your house/building can get DirecTV, you may be eligible for the service

Cons

  • Local blackout rules apply
  • Not available for everyone
  • On the expensive side

NHL.TV

The only thing missing from NHL GameCenter is the smell of the ice. Featuring live scores and statistics, video highlights and live game simulation, even the basic experience is one of the best online sports portals out there.

Pros

  • Beyond live broadcasts of out-of-market games, perks include post-game replays and complete replays of classic matchups
  • Pause and rewind live games
  • Watch up to four games at once

Cons

  • Location blackouts apply (i.e. can't watch the Blackhawks in Chicago)

Tennis Channel Everywhere

While ESPN maintains a solid tennis schedule, some major tournaments (like the French Open) are only available on Tennis Channel. Fans can access this high-quality service at a decent price, but there's little flexibility.

Pros

  • Access to live streams and on-demand library
  • Beyond current coverage, there are lifestyle shows, instructional pieces, and classic matches

Cons

  • Limited coverage of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open
  • Only an annual subscription is offered

Watch ESPN

Just what it says: watch (select) ESPN programming online.

Pros

  • Free access to replays of many major sporting events, usually within a few hours
  • Some live access for free
  • News clips and highlights available

Cons

  • Most live events require cable subscription
  • No in-market games
  • Programming is limited