If you’re a hockey fan, the NHL playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the year. The Stanley Cup playoffs begin in April and will continue on until it wraps up sometime in June. During playoff season eight qualifying matches will occur in both of the league’s conferences. The top three teams per division advance along with two wild cards from both conferences. From there, three rounds of conference play will commence before the Stanley Cup Final. With the best of seven games determining the top team in the league, you can bet that almost anything can happen, and fans won’t want to miss it.
If you don’t have cable, you might be wondering if it’s even possible to watch the NHL Playoffs. Well, it is thanks to live streaming services like Hulu Live and fuboTV. Even though you’re going to need a few channels to do it, everything you need to watch the NHL playoffs online is available without cable. So, whether you’ve cut the cord recently or you’re just thinking about it, keep reading to discover all of the ways you can watch the NHL playoffs without cable.
Channels You Need to Watch NHL Playoffs Without Cable
While the official schedule for the NHL Playoffs live stream hasn’t been released yet as of this writing, you can be sure that you’ll need a few different networks if you want the most playoff coverage. The networks that will air the NHL playoffs include NBCSN, NBC, CNBC, USA, and NHL Network. Some of these channels are easier to find than others. That said, you can stream each of these channels without cable. If you don’t have cable, the streaming services listed below are going to be the only legal way to watch the NHL playoffs online.
Even if you’re unfamiliar to streaming, you should find the details you need here to successfully signup for a service that offers the NHL playoffs online. Keep in mind that if you have a digital antenna you may already be able to watch the NBC live stream. Local channel access through streaming services can be spotty in some areas, but many areas will have NBC access and even if you don’t, most services offer on-demand coverage nationwide. As for the other channels, you’ll find them available through many services, so you can shop around based on factors like price or length of the free trial!
How to Watch NHL Playoffs Without Cable: At a Glance
The hardest part about watching the NHL playoffs without cable is making sure you have access to all of the channels you need. Luckily, there are a few streaming services that provide access to each of the required channels, so you’d be able to watch the NHL playoffs online through one app. Whether you need one service or more than one, the point is, you’ve got several ways to watch NHL playoff coverage without cable. To get you started, here are our top two recommendations. More choices will be listed further down, towards the end of this guide.
Hulu with Live TV offers one package, but it has over 60 channels and Hulu’s on-demand service. Plans start at $45 without a contract. If you want to watch the NHL playoffs, you’ll have access to CNBC, NBCSN, and USA. NBC is also included, but it’s not available live in every area. Still most homes will have live stream access. The only channel missing is NHL Network. You can stream on Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and many other devices. Other features include a cloud-based DVR with over 50-hours of space.
fuboTV (free 7-day trial) is a good choice when it comes to streaming most sports. For $45 a month you’ll get over 80 channels including more than 30 sports channels. This package includes the NBC live stream in many areas. You’ll also have NBCSN and CNBC. Unfortunately, NHL Network is not included. Still, this is a great package for sports fans that love all kinds of sports. In many areas, you’ll have local to international sports coverage. fuboTV will work on most streaming and mobile devices. Save $5 during the first month with introductory pricing.
Using Streaming Services to Watch NHL Playoffs Without Cable
The two legal ways to watch any TV, including the NHL Playoffs live stream is cable or streaming services. Assuming you don’t have cable, a streaming service can provide an alternative. Each service offers one or more plans with a set number of channels. After you sign up you pay your monthly bill and that’s that. In that way, cable and streaming are very similar services.
Now let’s look at some of the ways that they are different.
Contract vs No Contract – Most cable companies require you to agree to a contract. This gives you a set price for the length of the contract. When it’s up, your price usually goes up, too. This creates a system where new subscribers get the lowest available prices and loyal customers get stuck with a rising bill. Streaming services don’t require contracts. Everyone that has the same package, pays the same price.
Extra fees vs One fee – Cable charges you a package price, just like streaming services do. However, you require a cable box or satellite dish to watch TV. As they consider you’re renting your equipment, they charge a fee for it. Not only that, but as the fee is per-box, if you have three connected TVs, that’s three rental fees. Streaming services don’t have fees like this. If you’re package is $40, other than tax, that’s what you’ll pay. The only way your package costs more is if you add upgrades to your package.
Speaking of upgrades, both cable and streaming services allow you to add additional channels usually from movie or sports networks to your package. Streaming services offer an on-demand library that allows you to view previously aired content, but some cable packages allow that, as well. Both types of services offer DVR access, too. However, with cable that usually costs you more money. All streaming services, with the exception of Sling TV, offer a cloud-DVR in their plans. The only way you pay more for having a DVR is if you want more space than they offer.
Otherwise, the process is how it’s always been. Just tune into the channel you want to watch and enjoy the show! You can learn more about streaming devices in our streaming devices guide.
- A variety of packages allow you to choose the channels you want for less money
- The average streaming service is about $40 a month while cable is over $100
- Stream on everything from your TV to your cell phone
- Start with a free trial and if you’re not satisfied cancel at any time
Now onto the available services where you can watch NHL playoffs without cable.
Watch the NHL Playoffs Online using Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is quickly becoming one of the most popular streaming options, and it’s a great way to watch NHL without cable all season long. A lot of this has to do with what the service offers. Hulu Live offers more than 60 channels and Hulu’s on-demand service. This package is $45 per month. It’s a great choice for current Hulu users because they can add live TV and still only have one streaming cost. With Hulu Live, you can stream on most devices. You’ll be able to watch NHL playoffs online on CNBC, NBCSN, and in most homes, on NBC. NHL Network is not included, though. Here are some more highlights:
- 60+ channels and Hulu on-demand in one package
- NBC is available in most areas. CNBC, USA, and NBCSN are also included
- One of your best options if you’re already a Hulu on-demand customer or if you want the most live and on-demand content possible
- $45 a month without contracts
- Hulu Live is free for a week
- Watch on most streaming and mobile devices
If you’re a cord cutter, Hulu Live offers many of the most popular channels, which will make cutting the cord easier. With the addition of Hulu’s on-demand service, you will have as much content as you can handle. Hulu Live works on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, and mobile devices. You can watch some of the NHL playoffs for free during your Hulu Live trial.
Our Hulu with Live TV review has more details.
Get the NHL Playoffs Live Stream via fuboTV
fuboTV is one of your best bets if you want more sports in your streaming package — in fact, it’s one of the best ways to watch sports online. With fuboTV you’ll start with 80+ channels and that includes over 30 sports channels. For NHL playoffs streaming you’ll have CNBC, USA, and NBCSN. Some areas will have NBC. fuboTV’s on-demand library holds most games and programs for at least three days after it airs live. This means if you miss a game you can watch it on-demand. You’ll also have a cloud-DVR, so you can record things before you miss them! You can stream fuboTV on mobile devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and more!
Check out more on fuboTV:
- $45 a month, but the first month is $40
- Additional sports channels are available
- Watch CNBC, USA, NBCSN, and NBC in many areas
- 3-day replay allows you to watch shows up to 3-days after they air in the on-demand library
- A huge mix of sports and non-sports channels
- Stream on iOS/Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, computers, Fire TV, and more
- A cloud-DVR is also included
fuboTV is best for sports fans. It’s hard to find a streaming service with as much sports content than you’ll find here. They even offer international coverage. You’ll be able to stream from just about anywhere as long as you have a compatible streaming device. Best of all, there’s a free 7-day trial so you can try the service without risking anything.
Our fuboTV review is filled with additional details.
Stream the NHL Playoffs without Cable on Sling TV
Sling TV is the cheapest option on this list. It’s also usually the cheapest option where sports streaming is concerned. For $25 per month you can get Sling Blue, which offers NBC (live in many areas), NBCSN, and USA. From there you can add-on the sports bundle for $5, which includes NHL Network. So, for $30 you can get most of what you need for NHL playoffs live streaming. You will be able to stream on most devices. Like other services an on-demand library is included. A cloud-DVR is available, as well. However, that requires an upgrade fee of $5. Here is more on Sling TV:
- Sling TV Blue is available for $25 a month
- Watch over 40 channels with Sling Blue
- Channels include AMC, USA, NBCSN, Bravo, Syfy, TNT, and more
- NBC is available live in many areas
- Add NHL Network and numerous other sports channels for $5
- Stream Sling TV free for a week
- Each plan includes an on-demand library
- Streaming is possible on mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, and more
Sling TV is often going to be the best choice if you’re on a budget. Despite not spending a lot of this package, you’ll still get access to some local channels, sports channels, and plenty of popular cable networks. The package may seem smaller, but with lower prices and plenty of add-on options, you’ll have the freedom to create your own package. And with no contracts, you can change or cancel your package when you want.
You can learn more in our Sling TV review.
Watch the NHL Playoffs Online without Cable via DIRECTV NOW
DIRECTV NOW is another option for NHL playoffs streaming. Like many of the other services listed here, you’ll have access to four of the five necessary channels. NBC and other local channels are available in some areas or nationwide on-demand access is also available. Packages start with 40+ channels for $50. This is the only basic streaming plan that offers HBO at no additional charge. Larger packages are also available. Here’s more on DIRECTV NOW:
- Plans from $50 per month with 40+ channels
- HBO is included
- CNBC, NBCSN, and USA are included. NBC is available live in many areas
- An on-demand library is included
- Cloud-DVR access is available, but limited
- Watch on Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, mobile devices, and more
DIRECTV NOW is not a bad service, but it is pricier than the other options here. While they do offer HBO, you can add it to many of the other services that are available. So, you should base your decision on the rest of the included channels. Other than a higher price tag, this package is remarkably similar in features to other packages. Don’t forget, you even get a free trial to help you determine if DIRECTV NOW is the right service for you.
You can find out more with our DIRECTV NOW review.
Watch the NHL Playoffs without Cable on YouTube TV
YouTube TV presents another option. For $40 per month, you get 50+ channels including a mix of local, sports, and nationwide cable networks. This includes channels like NBCSN, USA, and others. NHL Network is not included, though that’s a channel that’s missing from most services. Every package also includes a cloud-DVR with unlimited space and an on-demand library. You can make user profiles for the whole family, if you want. Streaming is easy and you can do it on most devices, with the exception of Amazon Fire TV devices. Here are some more details on YouTube TV:
- $40 per month for 50+ channels
- Local channels including NBC are in most areas
- Watch AMC, ESPN, USA, NBCSN, CNBC, and many others
- Unlimited space is offered with the cloud-DVR
- Make user profiles for the family
- Works on Roku, mobile devices, Apple TV, computers, and Chromecast
YouTube TV is fairly priced and allows many of the channels you need to watch NHL Network without cable. You can stream on most devices, with the exception of Amazon Fire TV devices, which are unavailable. Like other services, you’ll have a free weeklong trial to test things out for yourself.
Our YouTube TV review has more info.
Watch the NHL Playoffs Live Stream without Cable on PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue is another really good option for NHL fans. You’ll be able to stream the NHL playoffs for $50 per month. PS Vue offers four plans, and three of them offer many of the channels you’ll need. CNBC, USA, and NBCSN are available nationwide. Many areas will also receive NBC. A nationwide on-demand library is also included in your package. A DVR is available and will hold recordings for up to 28-days. More PS Vue details:
- Choose from 4 plans
- 50+ channels to start
- No contracts
- Plans from $45 per month – the $50 plan is recommended for NHL playoff streaming
- Many areas get some local channel content
- Watch TNT, USA, ESPN, FX, and other networks
- An on-demand library is available
- A cloud-DVR holds recordings for 28-days
- Stream on five devices simultaneously
- Watch on PS3/PS4, iOS and Android, Apple TV, Roku, and more
PlayStation Vue is a good choice for families and anyone that wants a well-rounded streaming service. You can stream on most devices and you have multiple packages to choose from, so you should be able to find what you want. PS Vue includes a cloud-DVR and an on-demand library in every package. You’ll even have a 5-day trial before your monthly costs kick in. Give it a try and if you find it’s not for you, just cancel!
Those are all the channels that will allow you to watch the NHL playoffs online and the services where you can stream them. While not all areas will have NBC coverage, the other channels are available nationwide. It’s entirely possible to find one service that will allow you to stream the entire NHL playoffs without cable.
Finding a streaming service should be an easy process. With free trials, you’ll have a chance to watch some of the NHL playoffs for free. This will give you a feel for different services and allow you to choose the one that works best in your situation.
Still need some help learning how to watch the NHL playoffs online? We’re here to do what we can! If your question is service specific, feel free to check out options for cable alternatives.