Cut the Cord but Keep Your Baseball
Baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Few things beat the joy of kicking back and watching a game with your friends or family. And as baseball season returns, fans worldwide are tuning in for the action!
The Major League Baseball season is just warming up. Are you ready to watch MLB online?
Despite the plethora of outdoor activities that people can participate in, the allure of sitting in a well air-conditioned house while cheering on your favorite baseball team on television is all one needs to have a great summer. And now, for baseball fans, there are more ways than ever to watch MLB without cable TV.
Today we will be taking a look at the channels that will be bringing you MLB action all summer long as well as the various ways that you can watch baseball both at home or on the go, so you will never miss a game even if you are forced to go to your yearly family reunion.
What Baseball Channels Do You Need?
If you’ve decided to get rid of cable but still want to watch baseball, here are the channels you’ll need to have access to.
FOX: As with sports such as Football, Fox brings you the best MLB games all year long from your local teams. FOX is available via several streaming services, and also over-the-air using a digital antenna.
FOX SPORTS: If the local Fox channels broadcast MLB games, then it should come as no surprise that so too does the Fox Sports Channel (FS1). This channel is available through several popular streaming services, detailed below.
ESPN: ESPN is a name that nearly anyone can recognize in sports as they have been bringing you the best in athletic activities for a very long time. As you may have come to expect, MLB is just one of the many sports that ESPN has to offer. ESPN is available via the streaming services discussed below.
In addition to playing regular-season games, ESPN also broadcasts the Home Run Derby, a Wild Card Game, several spring training games, and other special events in the baseball world.
MLB NETWORK: Does it really come as a surprise that of all the channels that offer MLB games, possibly the best is the MLB Network? This channel, which is available from some streaming services, has games airing nearly every day and is the best channel around for baseball fans.
LOCAL SPORTS NETWORKS: For local teams, the majority of games will air on regional sports networks in your area. These include FOX Sports and NBC Sports regional networks. If you live near your favorite team, you’ll need to have access to your local channel in order to watch most games.
These regional networks are available from some of the streaming services we’ll discuss in this guide.
For more info on upcoming games, check out Sports Media Watch for a detailed schedule.
How to Watch Baseball Without Cable: At a Glance
We’ll get into the nitty gritty of the best ways to watch MLB without cable, but for now, here are our top recommendations:
Hulu with Live TV offers a comprehensive entertainment solution. It covers live streaming of 60+ great channels, plus on-demand coverage of shows, movies & more. For MLB coverage, Hulu offers excellent regional sports channel coverage, so we recommend it for people living near their favorite teams. It also covers nationally broadcast games on ESPN, FS1, FOX, and more. It’s great for keeping up with your local teams while also enjoying news, the latest shows, and more! Click here to try Hulu FREE for 7 days.
MLB.TV offers a good way to keep up with teams that ARE NOT in your area. With MLB.TV, you can watch all out-of-market games live or on-demand. Local teams are blacked out, so if you live in the broadcast range of your favorite team, this service is NOT for you. But if you follow a far-off team, or several teams, this service is perfect. Plans start from $92 for the entire season, or $24.99/month. Keep in mind that this is ONLY for baseball, so it won’t be as versatile as a service like Hulu. Click here to learn more.
Watch Baseball with an Antenna
There’s actually a free option to watch some baseball games. Most sports usually air their games on broadcast networks so sports fans can freely access it using an Over-the-Air antenna.
If you are looking for the most cost efficient way in which to enjoy some MLB games, then OTA HD Antennas are the way to go. These antennas offer you free access to a lot of local channels that are broadcast “over-the-air” in HD, including networks (such as Fox) that air Major League Baseball games.
With FOX, you will be able to catch 12 in-market regular season games, the All-Star Game, a division championship games (which one depends on the year), and the World Series.
The only drawback to the antenna method of viewing is that not all local channels will be available to you depending on your area, and sometimes reception of the OTA channels can be spotty. Yes, antennas do have their limitations, but for millions of people HD programming for free makes it all worth it. And if you are looking for a cost-effective way in which to watch MLB, this is certainly a decent option!
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Stream MLB Games on Hulu Live TV
Popular streaming service Hulu has expanded and now offers a live streaming option, called Hulu with Live TV. It currently offers a great way to watch MLB games without cable, as it offers both local/regional sports networks and key national broadcast channels. This makes Hulu w/Live TV a very good streaming choice for those that are looking to catch MLB games both in and out of market.
- Watch baseball on ESPN, FS1, FOX, FOX Sports regionals, NBC Sports regionals, and more
- Over 60 channels to watch live
- Huge selection of on-demand content
- Watch live baseball without cable
- $45 per month, with no contract required
- Complete entertainment solution with news, sports, shows & more
- There’s a free 7-day trial to start off with
We often recommend Hulu for folks looking for an all in one service. It’s great for MLB and other sports, but it’s also useful for keeping up with the latest news, new and old episodes of your favorite shows, on-demand movies, and more. It’s tough to beat the value of this service.
MLB on FuboTV
Fubo TV is, of all the streaming services, probably the most sports-centric option. This app is made for people who love sports, including MLB, as it includes many of the best sports-related channels that you would get in a normal cable sports package. It offers the most regional sports networks of any streaming service out there with regional FOX Sports, NBC Sports, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, NESN, SNY, and many others. This makes it easy to follow your local MLB team all season long in most markets.
Their lineup als includes national Fox Sports (FS1/FS2), NBC Sports, FOX, and more, just to name a few. The service offers 75+ channels currently, for just $45 a month (and with no contract). However, ESPN is not included.
Check out their free 7-day trial and learn which home team games you will have access too.
If you simply want to learn more, try reading our review of fuboTV.
Watch Baseball With Sling TV
Sling TV offers TBS, ESPN, FOX (select locations), FS1, and regional networks (select areas) for live streaming. Sling costs as little as $25 a month, has no lengthy contracts, and you get access to 30+ channels; in addition to TBS and ESPN streaming without cable.
Sling TV may not give you complete coverage of Major League Baseball, but it goes a LONG way towards filling in the gap. And it’s quite affordable!
MLB on DIRECTV Now
DIRECTV NOW does not require a cable subscription to use. This app is available without the use of a cable box and can be streamed on many modern devices such as tablets, smartphones, and streaming devices.
Channel packages with DirecTV Now are also customizable, allowing you to choose the best channel package available to you for streaming MLB games. Among the selection, you’ll find regional sports networks, FOX, FS1, ESPN, and even MLB Network. Check our DIRECTV NOW review or simply sign up for a Free Trial.
MLB.tv & the MLB App
MLB App: Major League Baseball has its own streaming app available in which users can watch some MLB games, view stats, and watch another interesting MLB-related programming. While this app obviously doesn’t carry any specific channels, it is probably the best app available for those with a passion for baseball and it is available on multiple streaming devices and gaming consoles.
MLB.tv: If you live far away from your favorite teams, MLB.tv lets you watch Baseball online via any of your standard browsers or streaming devices.
For $119 a season you can access every regular season out of market baseball game for the rest of the year. Of course, the downside is that you won’t be able to watch any teams in your area. This blackout applies to away games as well as home games. So if you live in Atlanta and the Braves are in San Francisco, you still won’t be able to watch the game. To figure out what games you would be blacked out from seeing, use MLB’s zip code search tool.
Other Options for Baseball Streaming
We’ve discussed some of the most popular options above, but there are a few others worth mentioning.
PlayStation Vue offers a live streaming package of around 45 channels for $45 a month. It covers FS1, ESPN, FOX, and regional channels. Learn more in our PS Vue review.
YouTube TV offers live streaming from 60+ channels for $40 a month. FS1, ESPN, MLB Network, and regional networks are included. Learn more in our YouTube TV review.
ESPN+ offers limited coverage of baseball. The new service plans to air 1 live game per day during the regular season. It costs just $5 a month. Learn more here.
Cord Cutting Baseball Fanatics Have Options
No longer will you have to be bogged down with expensive cable sports packages to watch all the home runs and strikeouts of the MLB. With any of the options above, you will be able to catch the baseball action from anywhere, anytime, all summer long!
Apart from apple pie and John Phillip Sousa marches, there is nothing more American than baseball. The Great American Pastime aged well in the last century and today it still remains one of the most popular sports in the United States.
Baseball truly is a fantastic sport, and it is a shame that Major League Baseball doesn’t do more to expand access to their games. Between blackouts and cable bills, it’s enough to make someone want to give up on Major League Baseball altogether; but thankfully we don’t have to. Cord-cutters CAN watch Baseball Online!
Watching sports can be tough for the cord cutting sports fan, and no one knows this pain more than baseball fans. Fortunately, it is getting easier to watch MLB without cable, slowly but surely.
So what’s a sports fan to do? You could just suck it up and pay hundreds of dollars every month to the cable company. But before you go down that road, consider the options I have laid out today. It’s not perfect, or super easy, but there are alternatives you should test out.
As we have seen today, there are better options out there than submitting to the great media giants. While some content providers make it difficult, it is still possible to have an alternative to Cable TV, even if you are a sports fan. So what are you waiting for? Take the leap, cut the cord, and KilltheCableBill today!