The best sports streaming services in 2021 for watching live games without cable

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Whether you want to watch the latest football games, soccer matches, or UFC fights, there's a streaming service for your needs. That said, it's important to keep in mind which sports and networks matter most to you when selecting an app.

Some platforms are great for watching specific events, while other options give members access to a wider range of channels with many different sports.

With various budgets in mind, we selected the best streaming services you can sign up for to watch live sports across a variety of devices.

Here are the best streaming services for sports:

Sling TV
Sling TV logo

Sling TV is one of the most affordable services with live sports networks, but it's missing ABC and CBS.

Sling TV is a live TV streaming service with two main plans: Sling Blue and Sling Orange. The channel selection differs between them, though some networks are shared by both.

If you want to watch live sports on NBC or Fox networks, Sling Blue is your best option. Local channel availability can vary by location, so be sure to check Sling's website first to see if these channels are offered in your market. Sling Blue also includes access to the NFL Network.

Meanwhile, Sling Orange ditches NBC, Fox, and NFL Network, but adds ESPN, ESPN 2, and ESPN 3 instead. To get the best of both worlds, we recommend combining both plans for $50 a month.

If you want even more channels, Sling TV offers a Sports Extra add-on for an additional $11/month. Again, the channel selection differs depending on whether you have the Blue or Orange plan, but stations like NBA Network, NHL Network, and MLB Network are included with both options.

Even with the extra add-on fee, Sling ends up being one of the most affordable ways to stream cable channels with live sports. On the downside, it's missing support for local CBS and ABC stations.

For more information about Sling TV, check out our full list of Sling channels and packages.

TV (small) YouTube TV
YouTube TV logo

YouTube TV's base plan includes sports channels that other services charge extra for.

YouTube TV's base plan starts at $65 a month and includes access to multiple channels that broadcast live sports, such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN. In addition, YouTube TV is one of the only services that includes channels like MLB Network and NBA TV as part of its standard plan.

Subscribers who want even more channels should check out the Sports Plus add-on that costs $11/month. This bundle has a one-week free trial and includes access to NFL RedZone, Fox College Sports, Fox Soccer Plus, and more. For the best video quality, you can also add the 4K Plus add-on for $10/month. This option lets you stream select content on ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports in 4K.

Insider's review of YouTube TV considered the platform's live sports options to be the best part of the subscription. In addition, we found the process of recording live games to be very straightforward.

TV (small) FuboTV
logo fubo contained
Fubo TV is sports streaming service that provides live coverage of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and international soccer, plus sports-related news, television, and movies.

Fubo TV features a big selection of sports channels, but it doesn't carry Turner networks like TNT and TBS.

FuboTV is another fantastic streaming service for watching live sports. The exact number of stations you get varies by location, but the Starter plan costs $65 a month for over 100 channels. This package includes access to ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, and more.

It even includes access to college sports channels like Big Ten Network and SEC without the need for an add-on. If you crave more networks, you can get even more channels with the Elite plan. For a total of $80 a month, this option adds over 40 channels to the lineup, including MLB Network, NBA TV, and ESPN U. 

For an extra $11 a month you can also add the Sports Plus package. Some of the channels are already included if you opt for the Elite plan, but the main attraction is NFL RedZone.

The Latino Quarterly plan is a good choice for Spanish-speaking sports fans. This plan costs $99 every three months and has access to live TV channels like beIN Sports, Fox Deportes, and ESPN Deportes.

Check out our full breakdown of FuboTV plans and a la carte packages.

TV (Starter Plan) (small) Hulu + Live TV
Hulu logo

Hulu + Live TV has popular live sports in addition to Hulu's entire on-demand library of movies and shows.

If you want a single subscription that includes access to live sports and a huge catalog of on-demand entertainment, Hulu + Live TV is your best choice. Live TV plans start at $65/month and include essential broadcast channels for watching sports, like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. With over 75 channels, including ESPN, NFL Network, and SEC Network, you can always find something exciting to stream on Hulu + Live TV.

Hulu + Live TV does not have as many add-on options as YouTube TV, but their Sports add-on includes NFL RedZone and only costs $10/month. Also, Spanish speakers can watch channels like ESPN Deportes and FOX Deportes for an additional $5/month with the Español add-on.

Though Hulu + Live TV offers many of the same sports channels as YouTube TV, there are a few exceptions. If you want to watch NBA TV, MLB Network, or MLB Game of the Week, then YouTube TV is a better choice.

Hulu + Live TV stands out from other sports streaming services by giving members access to thousands of hours of on-demand entertainment. Whether you're planning a movie night or need a new series to binge-watch, the expansive Hulu catalog is a worthwhile supplement to the live TV channels.

For more information about plans, prices, and channels, check out our full breakdown of Hulu.

+ Live TV (small) Paramount Plus
Paramount + logo

Paramount Plus is a budget-friendly streaming option for people who just want to watch CBS sports.

Members of Paramount Plus Premium get access to local CBS streaming so they can watch any games broadcast on that channel. In most markets, football fans can watch numerous regular and postseason NFL games, in addition to SEC games. 

Even though Paramount Plus does not include access to NBA basketball games, the 2021 NCAA March Madness tournament was aired on the streaming service. Future iterations of the college basketball tournament may be available on Paramount Plus as well.

Other notable sporting events that stream on Paramount Plus include the PGA Tour, PGA Championship, UEFA club matches, and National Women's Soccer League matches.

Paramount Plus has two basic plans: the ad-supported Essential plan for $5 a month and the ad-free Premium plan for $10 a month. Only members who subscribe to the Premium plan get access to their local CBS station. That said, NFL games being broadcast in your market are also included with the cheaper Essential plan.

For more information, check out our full breakdown of Paramount Plus.

Essential Monthly Plan (ad-supported) (small)Premium Monthly Plan (ad-free) (small) ESPN+
ESPN+ logo

ESPN+ is a perfect fit for fans of soccer, baseball, UFC, and sports documentaries.

ESPN+ does not offer access to the live ESPN channel, but members do get access to select live sports and exclusive events. Most notably, the service streams select NHL, MLB, and college football games. 

Fans of Major League Soccer should also consider ESPN+. Every out-of-market match is available to stream live on the service. 

ESPN+ is also the best way to watch UFC. Subscribers get access to every UFC Fight Night event, and members can pay $70 per event for exclusive access to UFC pay-per-view matches.

In addition to certain live sports, ESPN+ members get access to docuseries like "30 for 30," original programming, and replays of classic football games. On the downside, the service does not feature any live NFL or NBA games.

While ESPN+ does not offer a free trial, the streaming service is included as part of the Disney Bundle. If you want more entertainment to watch, this bundle includes ESPN+, Disney Plus, and ad-supported Hulu for $14/month. 

For more information, check out our full breakdown of ESPN+.

Monthly Subscription Service (small) Peacock Premium
Peacock Premium

Peacock Premium is an affordable way to watch Sunday Night Football and WWE events.

In contrast to streaming services like Sling TV and YouTube TV, Peacock does not offer any live networks that you'd get with cable. Instead, Peacock has its own selection of live sports. This service is a good fit for viewers who want to save money and only care about watching certain sporting events.

Peacock Premium members have access to live events like NFL Sunday Night Football and the Premier League. In addition, Peacock is also the streaming home to WWE. Members get access to all WWE PPV events as part of a Premium subscription.

Peacock Premium no longer offers a free trial, but members can save money by signing up for an annual plan. For a yearly subscription, Peacock Premium costs $50 and Peacock Premium Plus costs $100. This is 20% less than the monthly subscription rates.

If you want more information, we broke down everything you need to know about Peacock.

Premium (Monthly Plan) (small) DAZN
DAZN logo

DAZN is a perfect fit for fans of boxing, but it doesn't offer other sports.

If you want to watch the latest boxing fights, DAZN is a good choice. DAZN has exclusive, live fight nights and an archive of past events featuring fighters like Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Trying to pass the time between fight nights? The DAZN catalog has behind-the-scenes documentaries that follow boxers as they prepare for their next big matchup. DAZN also conveniently groups its on-demand content by fighter. Whether your favorite is Canelo Alvarez or Ryan Garcia, you can easily find the video you want to watch.

DAZN might expand their lineup of live sports in the future, but right now the service is uniquely focused on boxing fight nights and excels in that category.

Subscription (small) Sports channel availability by service
Soccer fans watching TV together.

Live sports are broadcast across many different cable networks and it can be tricky to figure out which services carry the station you want to watch.

To make things easier, we rounded up some key sports channels, below, along with details on where you can stream them.

ChannelSling TVYouTube TVHulu + Live TVFubo TV
ABCX
CBSX
NBC
Fox
Fox Sports
NBC Sports
ESPN
TNTX
TBSX
NFL Network
NBA TV✓*X✓*
NHL Network✓*XX✓*
MLB Network✓*X✓*

*Channel requires an upgraded plan or add-on package.

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