Sports fans have seen a giant live sports-shaped hole in their TV programming. Coronavirus' impact on TV is so strong that ESPN has resorted to broadcasting old Wrestlemanias on Sunday nights. But fans looking for a fix now have a new option.
The NFL and NBA are reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak — which shuttered the NBA as well as other sports in the U.S. — by making their streaming services available for alluring price of free. But before you scoff, realize that paused sports seasons doesn't mean you can't watch some epic games.
The NFL season just ended in February, but football fans looking for a retro fix can now get NFL Game Pass free, with trials ending on May 31. We hope things have changed by then, but there's no telling. Sign up at NFL Game Pass (opens in new tab).
We wouldn't be surprised to see New England Patriots fans rewatching Tom Brady's many Super Bowl wins, thinking about how good it all once was. Personally, I'm more interested in watching the once-great Eli Manning stop two of Brady's wins in th big game.
The suspension of the 2019-2020 NBA season was one of the first big signs that coronavirus would change everything around us, but right now you can travel back in time to a point in time where the only social distancing was how much space the refs gave LeBron James. The NBA and Turner Sports are partnering to provide a little less than a month of free League Pass.
Once you sign up for NBA League Pass (opens in new tab), you'll be able to relive old playoff games and runs, as well as the most jaw-dropping games in sports, like the night Reggie Miller torched MSG with threes and drove Spike Lee up a wall.
With all of these games available, it's not hard to see the next move. Figure out Zoom vs Google Hangouts for yourself and get your fellow sports fanatics together so you can all watch these games simultaneously. It's no Netflix Party, but I wouldn't be surprised if the NFL or NBA finds a way to do group watchings.
Major League Baseball isn't opening up its services, but it is offering games for free on YouTube. At 7 p.m. Eastern tonight (March 31), fans can re-live Roy Halladay's postseason no-hitter with a rebroadcast of Game 1 of the 2010 NLD (opens in new tab). The MLB has a full playlist of classic content, titled #MLBAtHome (opens in new tab) — which includes decisive World Series games, the 2019 Home Run Derby and other opening day games.
The National Hockey League, which has also been put on ice, is reliving its paused season in the Watch This! (opens in new tab) playlist that has the top 10 plays of the season "thus far" for multiple teams, as well as Retro Recaps, a series of 8- to 17-minute clip shows of classic games.
Speaking of free action, those who aren't put off by ESPN re-airing old pro wrestling shows might be curious enough to start a trial subscription to the WWE Network (opens in new tab), which is airing this year's Wrestlemania across both Saturday and Sunday night.