Sports Streaming Sites - premium and live sports streaming sites and live tv streaming
I want to be able to watch live sports games, but I don’t have cable … What do I do?
Let’s face facts: cable television is dying. At least if we are talking about traditional cable TV, that is. Who still uses a cable box or a satellite dish to watch content anymore? We are firmly rooted at this point in the streaming age. Most of us (save for maybe some of our parents) view everything we watch on streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc. … you know the usual suspects.
Once streaming services picked up momentum, there was no stopping them. For good reason! People don’t just prefer streaming content because it is new, fresh, modern, or trendy. There are very real, very tangible reasons that simply make streaming an objectively superior way to watch TV and movies. Most notably, these services finally figured out a way to put the viewer in control.
Ever since the television was invented and made available for mass consumption, viewers were entirely at the whims of television networks. Whatever we wanted to watch had to be selected from a predetermined list of shows that were slotted to air on a predetermined schedule. The viewer did not have any say as to when their favorite sitcom would be on. Instead, we had to plan our lives around the preset schedules created by cable networks. There was no agency whatsoever.
To a certain degree, of course, one could say that streaming services are similar in that each one offers a predetermined list of shows. Sure, this is undebatable. However, it is worth noting the fact that this list of shows is usually much longer, much more diverse, and constantly growing. Plus, there is no arguing with the fact that, at the very least, streaming services make it possible to watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it. That is the key, that is the revolutionary aspect, I think – well, one of them anyway – of streaming.
There is, however, one distinct downside to the streaming revolution. For someone like me who likes to bet on sports, this is actually a pretty significant bummer. That is, of course, the fact that most streaming services do not allow users to watch live TV like sporting events. This is partially because of the technology required (and the associated expense), but it is also partially because of the fact that professional sports leagues are pretty stingy when it comes to giving out the broadcast rights to their games.
So, as a fan of online sportsbooks, what are you to do? Normally, I would just suggest a thrifty solution. Typically, in the pre-COVID age, I would just say, ‘oh, it’s no problem at all, just go to the pub or a friend’s house and watch the game there.’ But this is not always an option nowadays. And if it is, it is probably not going to be the most enjoyable experience. Luckily, though, there are plenty of options available for sports bettors who want to watch live sports but don’t want to commit to an expensive and unnecessary monthly cable bill (on top of all of their streaming fees). Modern problems call for modern solutions!
If you have a little bit of wiggle room in your monthly budget and you want to watch live sports, there are plenty of premium live streaming services out there to make this happen. Simply log into your service of choice (either on your computer, mobile device, or smart TV) and make sure that you don’t miss a second of the action.
Every play that you miss is a potentially lost bet. Streaming services are not only a great choice for entertainment, but for improving your online sports betting game as well. They enable you to take advantage of your sportsbooks’ in-play betting feature, too, which is a whole different kind of ballgame. Maybe it goes without saying … but watching the game as it happens is the best way to track your bets, strategically make changes and tweaks if need be, and maximize your earnings. Real time is the only time that matters when it comes to sports betting online.
Why would I need a sports streaming service if my online sportsbook already offers live streaming?
It is true that some sportsbooks have a live streaming function that allows you to watch the game right beside your bet slip. This, of course, is the epitome of convenience – to be able to click back and forth between the game you are betting on, your betting options, and your bet slip? It don’t get much better than that, my friend.
However, take a serious look at your sportsbooks’ streaming capabilities. Does it let you stream games in HD? Is it reliable? Does it have lightning fast buffer speeds? Do you find that you often miss a play because the live video is lagging, or the video becomes grainy and pixelated from time to time?
Of course, some betting sites are much better about offering top-notch live streaming than others, but it is definitely worth noting that live streaming (or streaming in general) is not the central focus of these sites. Sports betting is. Therefore, it stands to reason that a site that specializes only in providing streaming services will outperform a betting site when it comes to streaming sports 9 out of 10 times.
Plus, more often than not, live streaming on an online sportsbook requires a bet to be placed in order to access the live stream. Sometimes these requirements are inconsequentially low ($1 or something), but is anything really inconsequential when it comes to your money? Every dollar counts!
Next, if your online sportsbook does, indeed, offer live streaming, take a look at the site’s coverage. How many sports are you able to stream? How consistently? How many games within each category do you have access to? Are these offerings truly enough for your betting needs? If so, that’s great, you have found the perfect sports betting site for you. Most likely, though, no single sportsbook is going to be able to provide live streaming of every game you want to bet on.
To be fair, no single sports streaming service is going to have every single game. Some come closer than others, but that’s not the point. Finding a great app for streaming live sports is not about finding a cure-all. It is about finding yet another tool to use, bringing you one step closer to being able to make the most strategic sports bets possible.
You will likely have to pair your sports streaming site with a sportsbook that has great live sports coverage, a free live sports streaming site, and maybe an HD antenna in order to watch all the live games on which you want to bet.
Do any of these live sports streaming services let me watch games on my mobile device?
The year is 2020 … as far as I’m concerned, if a site (especially a live sports streaming service) does not let you stream live games from your phone or tablet, it doesn’t belong anywhere near this list. I see it as utterly unacceptable for any kind of site, streaming or otherwise, to not have an excellent mobile offering in this day and age.
We do everything on our phones. We bank, we chat with friends and family, we work, and we bet on sports. There is no way that I would ever advocate for a live sports streaming site that did not have mobile capabilities. Remember, most of these services will cost you … you wouldn’t pay for a service that let you stream live sports if you couldn’t do so on the go, right? It’s almost absurd to think about!
Some of these live sports streaming sites do a better job at lending themselves to mobile streaming than others. This is always the case. Some of these services, for instance, have well-designed and highly intuitive mobile app, whereas others simply have mobile-friendly websites. Still, though, none of these sites will leave you without the ability to stream live sports while away from your computer or TV.
Are these live sports streaming services affordable, or will they cost me as much as traditional cable would anyway?
The price tags associated with these live TV streaming services will vary quite a bit. Not only will you find different monthly costs from one service to the next, but many of them will also have several different plans available for you to choose from, resulting in even more staggered pricing. At the end of the day, though, what you pay is really going to be a reflection of what you hope to get out of your live TV streaming service.
Hulu, for instance, offers a live TV add-on. If you are already a Hulu user, this may be worth considering – they have a fairly good spread of live sports coverage and local networks. However, this option is going to run you around the same price as basic cable per month (depending on where you live, it might be cheaper, but not by too much).
That being said, it is worth noting that for around $50 a month, you get plenty of live TV channels (way more than you would get for the same price with a traditional cable provider), as well as access to the entire on-demand Hulu streaming library. So, at the end of the day, I think that Hulu is a much more cost-effective way to watch live sports games than cable TV.
There are cheaper options, too, but they tend to come with fewer live games. In the world of streaming (unless you choose to use free live sports sites … and even then, to a certain degree), you tend to get what you pay for. However, if you find that you primarily bet on only one sport, it might be worth considering a league-specific streaming service. Most of the major professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, etc.) have some version of this.
Oftentimes, these options will be a much cheaper alternative to, say, Hulu TV or YouTube TV while also offering almost full coverage of the sport in question. For a cheaper price, too, some of these live sports streaming services will offer an even cheaper price if you sign up for a plan that only follows a specific team. If you are a one-sport kind of bettor, I highly recommend looking into this option.
What is the best live sports streaming site?
I wish I could say. Honestly, it all depends on so many factors. What kinds of sports you tend to bet on, how much money you can spare per month, what kinds of devices you watch most of your live sports games on … the list goes on and on. As is often the case when it comes to picking sports betting sites, what it really boils down to is not a matter of which site is the best, but which site is the best for you.
That being said, are there some sites on this list of live sports streaming services that, in some ways, outperform others? Absolutely. I will never deny that. That’s why I rate each site here on a scale of 1 to 5. Some sites are more accessible, some have more coverage, others have great coverage for the price. It is all relative to what you are looking for. The best way to figure out which is the best live sports streaming site here is to go through and read my reviews. You should have no trouble finding the perfect way to watch live sports by the end of the day.