Cutting the cord is many a sports fan's worst nightmare, as I've re-learned researching where the many professional sports teams can be streamed online. Sure, the NFL is rather simple, but when you go past that, to the NBA, MLB and MLS, your eyes start spinning. Cable isn't great, but this confusion isn't better.
But, because we at Tom's Guide are dedicated to decoding the chaos of cord-cutting, I pushed through and found the ways that you can follow your favorite pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer teams in the US. Below, I've compiled which of the best cable TV alternatives stream the national and regional sports networks that die-hard fans need to see each and every game.
This round-up just got updated for the new year when FuboTV is gaining the Bally Sports networks. Oh, and both YouTube TV and Fubo will have 4K Super Bowl 2023 live streams
Where to live stream NFL Football
Watching NFL live streams is easier than any other kind, the games are easy to find, and easier to watch on one of the best streaming devices. You want Fox for NFC games on Sunday afternoon, CBS for AFC games that same day, NBC for Sunday Night Football, ESPN for Monday Night Football and the NFL Network for most Thursday Night Football games (some, though, air on Fox or Amazon Prime). The Super Bowl in 2022 will be on NBC, so that's going to be easy for all to get.
Of course, the games you get on those channels will vary by region, as there are multiple 1 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET games in each conference across the country.
Here's a refresher to break down who's in which conference:
AFC teams (CBS): Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans
NFC teams (Fox): Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Football Team
Best streaming services for NFL: And for all of that, you'll likely want fuboTV, which we rate as of the best streaming services. It has all of the above channels, while Sling TV has everything but CBS. So, basically, households that follow primarily NFC teams could get away with Sling, where the $55 per month Orange + Blue package (for getting ESPN, NBC and Fox) is $15 less than the $70 fubo package.
Fubo.TV (opens in new tab): The best streaming service for getting 2021 NFL live streams, Fubo has all of the right network channels and the two cable channels you don't want to go without. It's got a 7-day free trial (opens in new tab) so you don't need to pay up front.
If you don't need all of the NFL games, Sling TV (opens in new tab) provides a middle ground. The $50 per month Sling Orange + Blue package has Fox, NBC and ESPN.
You have more options, though, as YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV also offer all those channels. Both are also $65 per month. DirecTV Stream (fka AT&T TV), which we don't recommend, has everything but NFL Network.
What about NFL RedZone? Want to see every touchdown? fuboTV, Sling and Youtube TV all offer NFL RedZone in their $11 per month sports channels add-on packages. Hulu's RedZone package is $9.99, but includes fewer other channels.
Where to live stream NBA basketball games
Leaving the NFL for the other pro sports leagues, we hit the confusing world of regional sports networks. Many, if not most, are only available in DirecTV Stream's $85 per month Choice package. That's much pricier than the other streaming services mentioned above, but that's the price you pay.
Also, of course, it must be noted that regional sports networks are called "regional" for a reason. They're not available nationwide, but in the regions of that those teams "represent." For example, the folks in Boston won't be able to watch Celtics vs Nets games on YES Network with DirecTV Stream, and so on and so forth.
Best streaming services for NBA: While your team's RSN may dictate the right service for you, NBA live streams are also on national channels, such as NBA League Pass, ESPN (Sling Orange and all other services), and ABC, which is everywhere but Sling, though some ABC games are on ESPN3 (which is on Sling Orange). RSNs aren't necessary once you get to the playoffs, as well as the NBA play-in tournament live streams.
TNT (which is everywhere but fuboTV) also hosts many games, including playoffs action), while NBA TV is on YouTube TV, the $85 per month DirecTV Stream package and available in the $11 per month sports add-on packages on fubo and Sling.
So, while many regional sports networks are available on fubo, know that it doesn't have TNT, which is a problem for nationally televised games and playoffs.
|Basketball team||Local channel||Streaming service|
|Atlanta Hawks||Bally Sports Southeast||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Boston Celtics||NBC Sports Boston||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Brooklyn Nets||YES Network||DirecTV Stream|
|Charlotte Hornets||Bally Sports Carolinas||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Chicago Bulls||NBC Sports Chicago||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Bally Sports Ohio||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Dallas Mavericks||Bally Sports Southwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Denver Nuggets||Altitude||DirecTV Stream|
|Detroit Pistons||Bally Sports Detroit||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Golden State Warriors||NBC Sports Bay Area||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Houston Rockets||AT&T SportNet Southwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Indiana Pacers||Bally Sports Indiana||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Bally Sports SoCal||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Spectrum SportsNet||DirecTV Stream|
|Memphis Grizzlies||Bally Sports Southeast||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Miami Heat||Bally Sports Sun||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Bally Sports Wisconsin||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Bally Sports North||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New Orleans Pelicans||Bally Sports New Orleans||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New York Knicks||MSG||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||Bally Sports Oklahoma||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Orlando Magic||Fox Sports Sun||DirecTV Stream|
|Philadelphia 76ers||NBC Sports Philadelphia||fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Phoenix Suns||Bally Sports Arizona||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Portland Trail Blazers||Root Sports Northwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Sacramento Kings||NBC Sports California||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|San Antonio Spurs||Bally Sports Southwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Utah Jazz||AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Washington Wizards||NBC Sports Washington||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
Where to live stream MLB baseball games
Just like with basketball, the story of MLB live streams revolves around local RSNs. But if your team's channel is available on multiple providers, we have some other notes for national games.
Best streaming services for MLB: Nationally broadcast games are on FOX (Sling Blue and available everywhere else), FS1 (same), ESPN and ESPN2 (Sling Orange and everywhere else) and TBS (everywhere but fubo). This would make Sling, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and DirecTV Stream good options, depending on your team's channel.
Games are also on MLB Network, available with fubo and Sling with their $11 per month Sports add-ons, YouTube TV and the $85 and up DirecTV Stream packages.
The $70 per month Hulu with Live TV (opens in new tab) package has a surprising number of regional sports channels, though your mileage may vary, depending on the team you're looking to follow.
|Team||Header Cell - Column 1||Header Cell - Column 2|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Bally Sports Arizona||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Atlanta Braves||Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Baltimore Orioles||MASN||DirecTV Stream|
|Boston Red Sox||NESN||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Chicago Cubs||Marquee Sports Network||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Chicago White Sox||NBC Sports Chicago||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Cincinnati Reds||Bally Sports Ohio||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Cleveland Guardians||Bally Sports Ohio||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Colorado Rockies||AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Detroit Tigers||Bally Sports Detroit||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Houston Astros||AT&T SportsNet Southwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Kansas City Royals||Bally Sports Kansas City||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Los Angeles Angels||Bally Sports West||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Spectrum SportsNet LA||DirecTV Stream|
|Miami Marlins||Bally Sports Florida||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Bally Sports Wisconsin||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Minnesota Twins||Bally Sports North||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New York Mets||SportsNet NY||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|New York Yankees||YES Network||DirecTV Stream|
|Oakland Athletics||NBC Sports California||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Philadelphia Phillies||NBC Sports Philadelphia||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|San Diego Padres||Bally Sports San Diego||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|San Francisco Giants||NBC Sports Bay Area||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Seattle Mariners||Root Sports Northwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Bally Sports Midwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Bally Sports Florida||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Texas Rangers||Bally Sports Southwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Sportsnet||Sportsnet|
|Washington Nationals||MASN||DirecTV Stream|
Where to live stream NHL hockey games
The big story about NHL games, outside of the below regional sports channels, is ESPN Plus, as 75 exclusive, ESPN-produced regular-season games will air on ESPN's streaming service. On top of that, more than 1,000 out-of-market games will be on ESPN Plus (but those are subject to regional blackout rules).
Best streaming services for NHL: While DirecTV Stream and fubo dominate the RSNs, Sling, due to its price, looks like a front-runner for national games. You may have your choice of service if you have ESPN Plus. ESPN (available with Sling Blue and all other cord-cutting services) is going to have 18 exclusive regular season games, while ABC (available everywhere but Sling) will have 10 regular season games that are also available with ESPN Plus.
|Arizona Coyotes||Bally Sports Arizona||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Boston Bruins||NESN||fubo and DirecTV Stream|
|Buffalo Sabres||MSG||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Bally Sports South||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Chicago Blackhawks||NBC Sports Chicago||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Colorado Avalanche||Altitude||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||Bally Sports Ohio||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Dallas Stars||Bally Sports Southwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Detroit Red Wings||Bally Sports Detroit||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Florida Panthers||Bally Sports Florida||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Los Angeles Kings||Bally Sports West||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Montréal Canadiens||TSN, SportsNet||TSN, SportsNet|
|Minnesota Wild||Bally Sports North||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Nashville Predators||Bally Sports Tennessee||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New Jersey Devils||MSG||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New York Islanders||MSG||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New York Rangers||MSG||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Philadelphia Flyers||NBC Sports Philadelphia||fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|San Jose Sharks||NBC Sports California||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Seattle Kraken||Root Sports Northwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|St. Louis Blues||Bally Sports Midwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Bally Sports Sun||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Sportsnet Ontario, TSN||Sportsnet Ontario, TSN|
|Vegas Golden Knights||AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Washington Capitals||NBC Sports Washington||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
Where to live stream MLS soccer games
In addition to MLS Live on ESPN Plus (as well as Twitter and FoxSports.com) MLS games are broadcast on a really-wide range of networks, with the local channels listed below and many others for national games.
Best streaming services for NHL: As you'll see from the below list, nationally-televised games are all over the place. The best pick here looks like fubo.
- ABC: DirecTV Stream, fubo
- ESPN Deportes: Hulu + Español add-on, Sling + Best of Spanish TV
- ESPN3: fubo, Sling Orange, YouTube TV
- Fox Deportes: fubo
- FS1: DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, Sling Blue, YouTube TV
- TUDN: DirecTV Stream, fubo
- UniMás: DirecTV Stream, fubo, YouTube TV
- Univision: DirecTV Stream, fubo, YouTube TV
|Atlanta United||Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Charlotte FC||WSOC-TV||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Chicago Fire FC||chicagofirefc.com||n/a|
|Colorado Rapids||Altitude, ColoradoRapids.com/Live||DirecTV Stream (for Altitude)|
|Columbus Crew||Bally Sports Ohio||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|D.C. United||NBC Sports Washington||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Houston Dynamo FC||HoustonDynamoFC.com/||n/a|
|Sporting Kansas City||Bally Sports KC, Bally Sports Midwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|LA Galaxy||Spectrum SportsNet||DirecTV Stream|
|Los Angeles Football Club||Bally Sports SoCal||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Inter Miami CF||Inter Miami App||n/a|
|Minnesota United||Bally Sports North||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New England Revolution||CBS Boston (WBZ)||fubo|
|New York Red Bulls||MSG||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|New York City FC||YES||DirecTV Stream|
|Orlando City||LionNation TV||n/a|
|Portland Timbers||Root Sports Northwest||DirecTV Stream, fubo|
|Real Salt Lake||KSLSports.com||n/a|
|San Jose Earthquakes||NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Bay Area||DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Seattle Sounders FC||KZJO||fubo|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||TSN||TSN|
Where to live stream other sports
What if you're looking to go beyond those? Premier League live streams are found Peacock and on USA and NBC Sports, which are on Sling Blue and all of the other services.
And then there are the Champions League live streams, which live on Paramount Plus, with some games on three other channels:
- CBS: DirecTV Stream, fubo, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV
- TUDN: DirecTV Stream, fubo
- UniMás: DirecTV Stream, fubo, YouTube TV
F1 races are on ESPN, which is on Sling Orange and all the other services.
UFC fights are available on ESPN Plus.