Best Sports Streaming Service for 2023 Best Sports Streaming Service for 2023
Updated Dec. 11, 2023 7:33 p.m. PT Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks.... Best Sports Streaming Service for 2023

Updated Dec. 11, 2023 7:33 p.m. PT

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

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Sarah Lord Writer

Sarah Lord covers TVs and home entertainment. Prior to joining CNET, Sarah served as the tech and electronic reviews fellow at Insider, where she wrote about everything from smart watches and wearables to tablets and e-readers. She began her career by writing laptop reviews as an intern and subsequent freelancer at Tom’s Hardware. She is also a professional actor with many credits in theater, film and television.

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Sq. Feet of Lab Space

$85 at DirecTV Stream


Carries ESPN, ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC, TBS, TNT, FS1 and, in the Choice package, most RSNs and league channels

DirecTV Stream

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$11 at ESPN Plus

ESPN streaming service

Full out-of-market package for NHL, global soccer, UFC pay-per-view events, select MLB baseball games, tennis, golf


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$75 at FuboTV


Carries ESPN, FS1, FS2, 35 RSNs and most local networks and league channels


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$77 at Hulu


Carries ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, FS1, FS2, TBS, TNT, NFL Network, 4 RSNs and comes with an ESPN Plus subscription

Hulu Plus Live TV

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$73 at YouTube TV

Youtube TV

Carries ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, FS1, FS2, TBS, TNT, 4 RSNs and most league channels

YouTube TV

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$40 at Sling TV

Sling TV on Roku Ultra 4K 2021

Carries ESPN, TBS, FS1 and some national networks

Sling TV

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$6 at Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus Logo

Carries AFC NFL games, UEFA Champions league, NWSL soccer

Paramount Plus

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$6 at Peacock


Sunday Night Football, the Olympics, Premier League soccer, WWE, Indy Car, golf

Peacock Premium

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There are more ways watch all kinds of content than ever. This includes a variety of options to watch the sports you love and root for your favorite teams right from the comfort of your home. You no longer need a cable or satellite TV subscription; numerous live TV streaming services feature the biggest games from all around the sports world.

Choosing the best streaming service for sports can be a harrowing process, though. Looking around for the option that fits your preferences and region can still be frustrating — especially when you take into consideration that not every service carries your regional sports network. To give you a better idea of your sports coverage options, we’ve brought together the best sports streaming services below.

Case in point: Boston-area hockey fans looking for the Bruins or Major League Baseball fans hoping to catch the Red Sox need NESN to view the majority of their games. That’s even if they subscribe to a sport-specific, league-sponsored package like MLB TV, which doesn’t cover in-market games. 

Streaming services generally don’t carry these regional sports networks, or RSNs, but DirecTV Stream and FuboTV are the exceptions. They’re the only two services that offer the Bally Sports (formerly Fox Sports) channels from Sinclair. FuboTV lets you watch your RSNs on its $75 Pro tier. Meanwhile, you’ll have to spring for Direct TV Stream’s $100-a-month plan to access its full RSN offerings. 

That said, Bally Sports recently missed a large interest payment to its creditors and could potentially file for bankruptcy protection in the near future. It remains to be seen how this will affect viewers, but the NHL released a statement via X (formerly Twitter) on Feb. 16 saying that the league was monitoring the situation closely. “We will be prepared to address whatever circumstances dictate to provide our fans with access to our games,” it said. Multiple MLB, NHL and NBA teams have regional coverage deals with Bally Sports.

Read more: How to Find the Best Streaming Service for You

Luckily, the NHL and NBA are heading toward their playoffs, where games tend to shift from the regional channels to those that reach a national audience and tend to be included in most TV packages. NBA fans will also need access to NBA TV — which generally costs extra — in order to catch every first-round playoff game. Also, some sports, like Formula 1 racing, feature all of their contests on one national network, such as ESPN. 

Depending on location, diehard sports fans might ultimately save more money by getting a cable subscription, as your RSNs come bundled with ESPN, TBS, TNT and other local channels. This could especially make sense if the package is bundled with the home internet you’ll likely be getting anyway.

If you’re a determined cord-cutter or know that you need only one or a few channels to get your sports fix, here are the best streaming services for you.

Read more: Best Streaming Devices for 2023

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DirecTV Stream is expensive. It’s the priciest of the five major live TV streaming services, but it’s also the one with the most RSNs and offers the most for sports fanatics. Its cheapest, $85-a-month Plus package includes the major networks as well as ESPN, TNT, FS1 and TBS. You’ll need to move up to the Choice plan to get any available RSN and many league channels such as the Big Ten network and NBA TV. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels and RSNs are available in your area.

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ESPN’s stand-alone streaming service is great for casual sports fans and is a must-have accessory for hockey zealots. It costs $11 a month or $110 a year and shows all out-of-market NHL games. It’s also included as part of the $15-a-month Disney bundle, as well as in the Hulu Plus Live TV package.

ESPN Plus is heavily invested in global soccer, hosting LaLiga games from Spain and Germany’s Bundesliga. It’s also the home of some English soccer: the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the Community Shield, along with the EFL Championship — which is the league below the Premier League. The company used to carry all out-of-market MLS games, but lost the package to Apple after the completion of the 2022 season. 

ESPN Plus doesn’t show any live NBA basketball or NFL football games, but it does offer coverage of Wimbledon and the US Open. During the MLB baseball season, the service carries select out-of-market Major League baseball games as well as unlocking the MLB Archives of classic games. It also offers some NCAA football and basketball, as well as the Little League World Series for fans looking to watch up-and-coming athletes. Some UFC matches are included as part of the subscription, with pay-per-view matches usually requiring an extra fee.

The service is also home to exclusive shows, such as Peyton’s Places starring Peyton Manning, and the vast 30 for 30 library. As an added inducement, the subscription removes the paywall on the ESPN website, giving you access to all online articles and reporting.

There’s something here for most sports aficionados and it’s almost a necessity for hard-core hockey and UFC fans.

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FuboTV costs $75 per month and offers 35 RSNs. It includes ESPN, but not TBS and TNT — which might be a problem for some sports fans. It also has most of your local networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, along with FS1, FS2, BeIn Sports, the Big 10 and the Golf channel. 

You’ll have to pay an extra $8 a month for the Fubo Extra Package or pay for the $85-a-month Elite streaming tier that includes Fubo Extra for the NHL, NBA, MLB, SEC, PAC 12 and Tennis channels. Check out which local networks and RSNs FuboTV offers here.

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Hulu Plus Live TV offers an interesting middle ground for sports fans. On the one hand, the service lacks the ability to get many league-owned channels, but on the other, it comes automatically bundled with an ESPN Plus subscription. 

Hulu Plus Live TV costs $77 a month and carries four RSNs along with all the major networks plus ESPN, TBS, TNT, FS1 and FS2. It does come with the NFL network, but even the Sports add-on lacks the MLB, NHL, NBA or Tennis channels. The biggest appeal of the add-on is the inclusion of NFL Red Zone. Otherwise, it doesn’t bring much value to the package. 

The inclusion of the Disney bundle might make Hulu Plus Live TV more appealing than some of the other services on this list. Not only do you get full access to the sports on ESPN Plus, but you also get Disney Plus as well. Perhaps Hulu Plus Live TV could be a good compromise for sports fans who are also Disney lovers or who share a house with those who are. 

Click the “View all channels in your area” link at the bottom of Hulu Plus Live TV’s to see which local networks and RSNs are available where you live. You can snag the first three months at a discounted rate right now.

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Editors’ choice

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YouTube TV costs $65 a month, though it’s currently $10 off for the first three months, and offers four RSNs, along with FS1, FS2, ESPN, TBS, TNT and all of the major national networks. The standard package includes just about every league channel with the exception of the NHL Network. There is an additional Sports Plus package, but it doesn’t offer much other than BeIn and NFL Red Zone, so you might be able to skip it. Plug in your ZIP code on YouTube TV’s welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available in your area.

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The Sling TV packages don’t have a ton to offer any but the most casual fan. Sling Blue currently lacks a single RSN, but you can use it to watch some national broadcasts. Sling TV’s Orange plan includes ESPN, while the Blue plan has FS1 and the NFL network. While both plans offer TBS, none of them gives you access to ABC, which could be a problem for many fans. The Sports Extra add-on, which costs $11 a month for either the Blue or Orange plan or $15 for the combined Orange and Blue plan, offers the NBA, NHL and MLB channels, along with the PAC 12, BeIn and Tennis channel, among others. The individual plans cost $40 a month each, and the combined Orange and Blue plan costs $55 a month. And right now, you can get your first month for half off. You can see which local channels you get here.

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Paramount Plus, formerly CBS All Access, gives its $6-a-month Essential subscribers access to AFC football games during the NFL season, along with some UEFA Champions League soccer, as well as most matches from the NWSL women’s soccer league. 

Users are able to access the AFC games in their local market, which might be a good option for anyone looking to grab CBS without spending a ton of money. You could also just get an over-the-air antenna and get all your local channels for free.

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Peacock, owned by NBC, offers some live sports to go along with its on-demand entertainment. The $6-a-month Premium tier gives users access to English Premier League soccer, the Olympics, Sunday Night Football, select WWE events, Indy Car races and some PGA golf tournaments. The service also airs a few other less popular sports, such as rugby, figure skating, cycling and track and field. Access to Sunday Night Football is great during the season, but for most of the year the platform is best suited for soccer and wrestling fans.

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Don’t some on-demand streaming services show live sports too?

Yes. Hulu and Amazon Prime all air live sports once in a while, but their sports offerings are currently fairly limited. 

Hulu has started streaming select NHL hockey games on its regular service, but it tends to save most of its sports streaming for its Hulu Plus Live TV package.

Amazon Prime Video has partnered with the NFL to exclusively stream Thursday Night Football this season. This means that anyone who wants to watch their team play on Thursday night will need to be an Amazon Prime member. This could be important for fans while the season is in action, but the platform doesn’t offer too much else during the rest of the year. Prime airs a few WNBA games over the summer, but that’s about it.

While these services do air some sports offerings, they focus mainly on on-demand entertainment. This might change in the future, but right now they don’t offer too much specifically for sports fans.

Is there a lag or delay when streaming sports live compared with cable?

There is. The streaming delay is often as long as 40 seconds, compared with around 5 seconds for cable and satellite.

This might be particularly worrisome for those with Twitter, group chats and phone push notifications, where a delay of this length can lead to spoilers of big plays. It could also potentially make it difficult for sports bettors to get in on the action. If you plan on betting, it might be a good idea to watch your game via cable or satellite.

Turning off your phone’s notifications and staying away from Twitter will let you stream your games without spoilers. Sure, your friends might try to call and text to brag about the score, but you can always choose to ignore them while you watch.

Can I cancel my subscriptions when the season is over?

Yes. All of these services are free of contracts and you can cancel at any time. Some offer free trials or special introductory discount memberships, which you will only get to use once. If you cancel and return at a later date, you will most likely have to pay full price. That said, you might not need a particular service year-round, which might make temporary cancellation an appealing way to save a few bucks.

How do I access these services on my devices?

All of the services on this list have apps that you can download. You will need a smart TV or a streaming device to watch the content on your TV. Just search for the name of the service on your smart TV or device, download the app on your TV and enter your sign-in information, and you should be ready to stream.

You can also download the apps of these services on your phone, iPad or Android device for streaming around the house or on the go.

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