For over forty years, cable has been the juggernaut for television entertainment. With hundreds of thousands of channels to choose from, many have enjoyed all that cable has had to offer with one of them being the chance to see live sporting events.
Though as the times have changed and the price of cable subscriptions are increasing, many people have begun to make the switch.
According to the Leichtman Research Group, the cost of an average cable bill in 2016 was just over $100 a month. And for the sports networks, many are starting to feel the heat.
Just with ESPN alone, close to 3 million people cancelled their subscriptions to the network. So with several options to sign up for watching sports without the cord has never been easier, but here are few options you can explore:
It should first be noted that the four major sports (MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL) all have their own version of an online streaming service.
Major League Baseball’s service is called MLB.TV and through their streaming service, you can watch every out of market game on demand.
During the 2017 season, the yearly (season) rate was $113 with the available option of a monthly price of $25 a month. If you wanted to just follow one team, there was also a rate you can sign up that cost close to $88 a month. Though like other sports streaming services, MLB.TV still subjects “blackout” rules, which means you won’t be able to watch your local team’s games live.
Like the MLB, the National Basketball Association’s streaming service is called NBA League Pass that also follows the “blackout” rules. Though through the streaming service, all non-local market games are available live or on demand.
As of this article, prices can range in three plans. The first is a plan that includes no commercials and costs $250/year or $40/month. Another plan is live broadcasts with commercials for $200/year or $29/month, and if you want a one team package, it’s $120/year or $18/month.
For hockey fans, NHL TV is a great option. Like both the NBA and MLB, NHL’s streaming service allows you to watch every out-of-market, regular season game live and on demand for close to $140/year or $25/month. You can also purchase a single team option plan that costs $112 a year.
When it comes to the NFL, Sunday day games air on FOX and CBS, while Sunday Night Football airs on NBC. Monday Night Football will require you to have ESPN and when it comes to Thursday night games, CBS, NBC and NFL Network all broadcast the games through the season.
You can also sign up for NFL Redzone, which is available every Sunday during the season and broadcasts games in which teams are about to score. Basically, it allows you to watch live games as well as seeing every scoring play from every game.
Another option is also the NFL Game Pass. For about $100 a season and $50 as of Dec. 5, 2017, you can watch all the games after they air as well as NFL content such as A Football Life and previous seasons of Hard Knocks.
These are the options available depending on a certain sport, but if you're a fan of watching local games, you can still get a subscription-based online service. Smaller and more price-friendly options can include services like Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV and fuboTV.
So if you want to watch your Kings, Giants and Warrior games, services like Hulu Live TV and fuboTV carry NBC Bay Area and NBC California in their packages. Prices can range anywhere from $20 to $50 a month, but provide a smaller channel selection than cable which would include all five major sports channels.
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