Nothing kicks off the spring and summer months like the return of America’s favorite pastime. For countless years, millions of fans have attended Major League Baseball (MLB) games in droves. However, catching a game at home may still be many fans’ preference. That said, many of us have cut the cable cord to save money, especially with the prevalence of convenient, diverse streaming platforms.
Theoretically, this might make getting your baseball fix a tad difficult. After all, the steep MLB.TV Premium price tag kind of defeats the whole “cutting costs” idea. So, what’s a baseball fan to do?
Don’t fret — you’re not quite out of options yet. If you don’t want to pay as much for something like MLB.TV or FuboTV, there are a few other safe, easy methods that allow you to stream professional baseball. What’s our first suggestion? Contact your cellular service provider; some of these companies will offer special — or, better yet, free — options for streaming live content.
If that’s not an option, then we’ve got all your other bases covered below. So, get ready to take yourself out to the ol’ ballgame without leaving your couch — or paying for cable.
Without a doubt, MLB.TV is the best option for streaming Major League Baseball games in high definition — but it also costs quite a bit. Still, there are some great pros, especially for diehard fans or viewers who follow multiple teams.
The app is available on most smart TVs, in addition to Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and 5, iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV, Google’s Chromecast, and more. Needless to say, it’s convenient, and you can watch games from almost anywhere.
Moreover, MLB.TV has multiple subscription options. If you’d prefer to cut down on costs, you can pay monthly for access to the whole league’s games — or, if you rather pay less, a specific team’s games. For baseball’s biggest fans, the Premium option allows subscribers to watch every MLB game for the whole season, and no team affiliation is necessary.
But the best part has to be the platform’s additional features — features that will make one question why they continued watching baseball through a cable provider for so long. In addition to in-game highlights and updated statistics, a picture-in-picture window allows fans to choose specific highlights throughout to view the game. On a desktop computer or laptop, “mosaic view” allows subscribers to view up to four simultaneous games.
Other advanced, worthwhile options include live DVR controls, game archives, clickable line scores, a pitch tracker, and audio broadcasts. Fantasy baseball players can also customize a fantasy tracker to keep up-to-date with their team. If you’re opting for a less pricey option, MLB.TV also offers free daily games, which feature various MLB franchises. And, of course, don’t forget to look out for free trials of MLB.TV, which are offered to Amazon Prime subscribers.
Hulu TV & ESPN+ — and/or the Disney+ Bundle
Some baseball fans may already have some streaming options without quite realizing they do. The Disney+ bundle, which also includes Hulu and ESPN+, is one such method. If you’re ready to pay for live TV on a streaming service, Hulu + Live TV offers a regional sports network for a few Major League Baseball teams. The streaming service also includes access to viewers’ local Fox networks and ESPN and FS1 for nationally televised games.
Currently, ESPN+ can be bundled with Disney+ and ad-supported Hulu for $13.99 per month. If commercials are a “no go” for you, you can also opt into the no-ads version of this bundle, which comes in at $19.99 per month. Finally, if you want to access Hulu + Live TV, you can bundle all three services for $72.99 per month. This is a great way to save on your subscription costs, but it’s important to note that while this is a convenient way to pay for three services, you’ll still need to access each of these individual platforms on their own apps and/or sites.
In addition to select live baseball games, users have access to thousands of popular titles from most major networks, plus all that original content. Hulu is available on most smart TVs and streaming devices, including Roku, Fire TV devices, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, and iOS and Android devices. Again, don’t forget to be on the lookout for free trials.
Direct TV Stream
Outside of MLB.TV, Direct TV Stream (previously AT&T TV) carries the regional sports network for almost every Major League Baseball franchise. In addition, Direct TV Stream offers the local Fox channel, a primary destination for nationally televised baseball games. Other nationally televised games occasionally appear on ESPN, the MLB Network, and FS1, giving customers multiple chances to watch a live baseball game without paying any extra money.
Direct TV Stream is available on Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV. You can also download it on most Android and iOS devices. And, like MLB.TV, you can tune into games on your Chrome or Safari browsers with your laptop or desktop computers.
Sling TV & YouTube TV
Two other streaming services typically offer free trials with the same viewing options as Hulu and ESPN: YouTube TV and Sling TV. One might think user-created content is the only entertainment on YouTube, but that would be a case of severely underestimating the viewing options available through this long-standing platform.
YouTube has really stepped up its live TV game thanks to the $65 per month live service, which now hosts over 85+ top channels, from major sports, news, and entertainment options, as well as a selection of local channels. YouTube TV also offers unlimited DVR space, six accounts per household, and up to three simultaneous streams.
Both Sling TV, Dish Network’s app-based TV service that lets you stream live television and on-demand content, and YouTube TV offer viewers plenty of live streaming options. Sports-wise, subscribers have access to local Fox networks, FS1, and ESPN. However, if you’re ready to pay a nominal fee, the Sling Orange + Blue plan allows you full access to Fox and Fox Sports (among other popular networks) for $45 per month.
When it comes to watching nationally televised MLB games, the least expensive option may also be one of the most tried-and-true: a long-range antenna. An HDTV antenna picks up signals within a range of around 180 miles, thus allowing you to view games broadcasted on Fox and other networks, including CBS, ABC, NBC, and The CW.
However, the HDTV antenna won’t pick up channels like TBS or ESPN. Still, with a little bit of surfing, and a list of the year’s nationally televised games on hand, you can enjoy America’s favorite pastime from the comfort of your couch — some of the time. That being said, this option is geared more toward the casual baseball fan who wants to watch games on occasion without paying for any subscription fees or keeping track of free trial offers.