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How to watch sports and cut the cable

How to watch sports and cut the cable
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Are you part of the cord cutting revolution yet? Let's face it, with the number of streaming services out there, it's difficult to justify the hefty monthly bills from cable and satellite providers.

Services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon even have original programming on top of everything else you can stream. These services offer a less expensive alternative to cable and you can save hundreds of dollars a year.

But there's one type of programming that remains to be the last stronghold of cable TV providers - live sports programming. Many cable TV holdovers don't mind paying the premium as long as they can view all their favorite sports games live.

However, there are ways you can still cut the cord while keeping the same passion for sports that you'll always have.

Here's a look at your cord cutting options for fans of the major sports leagues in the U.S.

Psst! Check out the best ways to get free local TV and networks.

MLB

Major League Baseball's watch-all-you-can streaming service is called MLB.TV. For about $113 a year (discounted to $49.99 as of this article), you can watch every non-local market game live or on demand via its mobile and streaming device apps including desktops, gaming consoles, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and Chromecast.

Similar to other sports streaming services, MLB.TV is still subject to "blackout" rules, meaning you can't watch your local team live. You can still watch your local team's games on a delayed basis, though.

MLB.TV is also available for $25 a month or you can opt for a streaming plan for one out-of-market team for $87.49 per year (currently discounted to $40).

Streaming services like Sling TV offer the Fox and NBC regional sports networks, great for watching local MLB games. These channels are included in Sling TV's $25 Blue Package. PlayStation Vue has the MLB Network channel included in its $45 "Core Package."

Of course, a great complement to MLB.TV is an over-the-air antenna. If you want to catch live nationally televised games that are blacked out in MLB.TV, a TV antenna is your best bet.

NFL

First off, all your local NFL teams' games are available over-the-air for free. Sunday Night Football and five Thursday Night Football games will air on NBC while CBS will air five other Thursday Night Football games for free. Sunday day games will be aired on CBS and FOX.

For these broadcasts, again, all you'll need is an over-the-air-TV antenna and good reception of the four major networks (CBS, FOX, NBC and ABC).

That's more than enough free over-the-air HD NFL games that should satisfy most fans, all without a cable subscription.

If you're a hardcore fan who wants more games and coverage, to complement your over-the-air TV antenna, you'll definitely need ESPN and the NFL Network for Monday Night Football and the rest of Thursday Night Football games. Cable cord-cutters can still get these services via cable TV streaming services such as Sling TV or PlayStation Vue.

The cheapest way to get ESPN is via Sling TV's Orange Package ($20) while NFL Network is available through their Blue Package ($25). To get both Orange and Blue Package channels, get Sling TV's "All Channels" package for $40.

PlayStation Vue has both ESPN and NFL Network channels in its $45 "Core Package." Better yet, PlayStation Vue also has a selection of live local market channels in select areas.

For Verizon subscribers, NFL games are available via the wireless provider's NFL Mobile service. This service lets you watch Monday, Thursday and Sunday Night Football games via the mobile app. It also gives subscribers 24/7 live access to the NFL Network.

A newly announced option that will stream all 256 NFL regular season games, all preseason games, playoffs and Super Bowl for the 2017-2018 season is the $99 NFL Game Pass. Unfortunately, if you're in the U.S., games will be delayed.

NBA

Similar to the other major sports leagues' dedicated streaming services, all non-local market regular season NBA games can be viewed live through NBA League Pass. Again, "blackout" rules apply so you can't watch your local NBA teams' games live.

NBA League Pass will be available this fall when the season starts and it typically costs $169 for one year with a cheaper $120 single team option. Single games can also be purchased for $6.99.

Keep in mind that select NBA games, including the NBA Finals, are also aired nationally on ABC for free. That's great for casual fans but if you're more than a casual NBA aficionado, you will need access to ESPN and TNT. ESPN and TNT are part of Sling TV's $20 Orange Package. PlayStation Vue has ESPN, TNT and NBA TV in its $45 a month Core Package.

NHL

Out-of-market NHL games can be streamed through the league's NHL GameCenter Live. Again, "blackout" rules apply but local team games will be viewable 48 hours after the game. This service typically costs about $100 a year and is available through mobile apps and streaming devices like the Apple TV and the Roku.

For other streaming TV services, hockey fans will surely appreciate Sling TV's $25 Blue Package. It has the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), which broadcasts almost all of the nationally broadcasted NHL games, and the regional Fox Sports channels. For an extra $5, you can add in Sling TV's Sports Package, which includes NHL TV.

NBCSN is included in PlayStation Vue's $45 a month Core Package but unfortunately, the NHL Network is not available on the service yet.

And as I mentioned earlier, getting an over-the-air HDTV is the best first step for getting free sports programming! Check out this powerful outdoor antenna we offer in Kim's Shop.

Outdoor HDTV Antenna with Multidirectional Range

The HDTV attic-outdoor antenna offers a completely new take on a traditionally mounted system.

With its sleek, minimalistic design, the multi-directional antenna can bring high-quality programming to your TV without having to deal with a bulky, unsightly antenna that is difficult to install. Reduce clutter, save money, and get high-quality HDTV with the amplified outdoor antenna.

The antenna is a powerful, amplified solution that was developed from research for the United States military. While it may seem similar to other basic and amplified HDTV systems, the attic-outdoor antenna is even better because of its multi-directional feature; it does not have to be constantly readjusted for optimal signal strength.

This advanced system provides uncompressed HD broadcast to multiple televisions in a home with a range of 60 miles! You no longer have to settle for a large, bulky or more expensive rooftop-mounted antenna.

Click here to purchase the Outdoor HDTV Antenna with Multi-directional Range from Kim's Shop.

Indoor HD antenna options

Vichannel

This indoor HD antenna from Vichannel is light as paper, which allows you to place it anywhere. Hide it behind a picture, bookshelf or a television.

 

It boasts fast and easy installation and provides a 60 mile range with amplified power. This antenna also comes with a high gain and low noise signal booster. It's on sale for under $26 on Amazon with free shipping. Click here to purchase from Amazon.

Coolmade

This Coolmade indoor HDTV antenna with detachable amplifier is perfect for cord cutters.

This antenna has a 50-plus miles range. It comes with a 9.8 foot cable, giving you the flexibility to place it in the optimal location with the best signal reception. It's on sale for $21.99 on Amazon. Click here to purchase from Amazon.

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