Each day, more sports lovers are going cable-free. Are you ready to join their team? Explore this guide from CenturyLink to find out how you can watch NFL games live and more without cable.
Streaming: a game changer for sports fans
Streaming services have transformed the way we watch our favorite shows and programs. With binge-worthy series and new movies right at our fingertips, we can watch what we want, when we want it. In many ways, this is a dream come true. No longer do we need to stay up late to catch the best shows during primetime. Likewise, we never face the inconvenience of driving to the local video store only to find out the movie we wanted to rent is not on the shelf. So if streaming is a better option than cable, why are many people hesitating to cut the cord? Probably the most common reason you’ll come across is sports, television’s saving grace for the past decade or so.
For a long time, sports have been an integral component of television broadcasting. In 2019 alone, NFL Sunday Night Football was the most watched show in the United States. Watching NFL games live—or any sports games, for that matter—is essential for fans. You want to be there to catch every play, supporting your team through thick and thin.
Cable was the only option to watch sports for some time, but this is no longer the case. Now, you can access a high-quality stream of the game through various service providers.
Benefits of streaming sports
Streaming can improve your sports-viewing experience in several ways. Here are a few benefits of ditching the cord:
- Convenience: Your ultra-comfortable recliner chair is ready for you if you want to watch the game from your living room like usual. However, with online streaming, you can watch that same game from anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re on the train home from work or out with friends sharing some wings, your team can join you, too.
- Accessibility: You can stream sports through apps, websites, or streaming services like YouTube TV or Hulu + Live. Rather than only have a channel or two to catch the game (or sometimes no channels at all in your region), you’ll have a number of viewing options available to you depending on your preference.
- Versatility: Streaming sports is doable with nearly any smart device. Whether you’re viewing on your phone, tablet, or smart TV, watching the game on the device that best suits your needs is easy with online streaming.
- Elevated experience: Cable-free sports offer an enhanced viewing experience. Instant replays and highlight reels are readily available, so that you can relive your favorite moments. In addition, virtual reality and augmented reality offer you new ways to see players and stadiums. As technology advances, so does streaming, bringing the game to life like never before.
Before you pick a streaming service for sports
Though sports are getting more and more coverage on streaming services, there are still some limitations. Most sports fans can watch local teams. But if you’re a Seattle Seahawks fan, you may have some trouble watching your team outside of the Pacific Northwest.
Before you subscribe to a streaming service, it’s a good idea to check your team’s schedule ahead of time. Check to see which networks will be broadcasting their games. Then, you can make the right choices about what streaming service to use to watch sports.
Best apps, websites, and channels to stream sports
There a number of ways you can stream sports without cable. How you stream sports may depend on the sport you’re watching. Below, we’ve broken down streaming by sport and highlighted some of our favorite choices:
There are a lot of unique games put on by the NFL, including Monday, Thursday, and Sunday Night Football. Learn how to catch all the regular season games and weeknight games so you can watch all the NFL games live.
Monday Night Football
Catch Monday Night Football on ESPN. To watch the games, see if ESPN is included in your streaming service. You can find it on Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV.
Thursday Night Football
When it comes to Thursday Night Football, it gets a little complicated. Sometimes the game is on the NFL Network, sometimes its on Fox. Even Amazon is getting into the game and offering NFL sports streaming. Check the schedule to see where it will be during any given week.
To stream the NFL Network, you can use Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
Sunday Night Football
Sunday Night Football is currently hosted by NBC. You can stream all 18 games on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. Many other streaming services, like fuboTV and Sling TV, include NBC as part of their package. Using one of those services, you can watch Sunday Night Football.
Streaming live, out-of-market NFL games
You can catch NFL games outside of your area by watching the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV Now. The service does require a DirecTV subscription, and does not offer any post-season games. That price tag might be a little hefty for some, especially since the service is still expanding and isn’t available in all areas.
Another option is NFL Game Pass, which allows you to stream all the regular season games, as well as NFL RedZone, NFL Originals, NFL Programs and some on-demand games.
Other streaming services to watch NFL games live
- CBS All Access
- NFL Mobile App
Viewing MLB games live is easy without cable. You can watch baseball games live with:
- Hulu + Live TV
- YouTube TV
- Sling TV
Live NBA basketball streaming is possible with a number of online services. These services include:
- Sling TV
- Hulu + Live TV
- NBA League Pass
- NBA Team Pass
Streaming sports and internet speed
Having quick, strong internet connection is necessary when you’re streaming sports. After all, even just a few seconds of buffering could lead to you missing the winning goal or basket. Choose an option such as CenturyLink Fiber Internet for the optimal viewing experience. You can count on CenturyLink Fiber Internet for fast and reliable internet connection, so that no shot or touchdown escapes your notice. Learn more about our fiber internet.
We hope you’re excited to start watching sports cable-free. Visit the CenturyLink blog to learn about streaming and more.
Need a streaming service for sports? Check out the CenturyLink TV Recommendation Tool.