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How to Watch Live Sports 2021

Get the latest updates on what streaming services and channels carry your favorite sports from around the world.

Best for football and hockey

Price: $64.99–$134.99/mo.

Football channels: CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, and NFL SUNDAY TICKET

NHL channels: ABC, ESPN, TNT, NHL Network, and NHL Center Ice

Best for basketball

Price: $35.00–$50.00/mo.

Basketball channels: ESPN, TBS, TNT, truTV, NBA TV, and NBA League Pass

Conference channels: ACCN, BTN, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network

Best for baseball

Price: $49.99–$84.99/mo.

MLB channels: FOX, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, MLB Network, and MLB Extra Innings

Features: RSNs and free Peacock Premium w/ X1 DVR

Best for soccer

Price: $64.99–$79.99/mo.

Soccer channels: NBC, FOX, ESPN, beIN Sports, Univision, fubo Sports Network, and GolTV

Features: 250–1,000 hr. DVR, 3–10 simultaneous streams

Best for the Olympics

Price: $44.99–$94.99/mo. for 12 mos.

Olympic channels: NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel

Features: No contracts and multiple DVR options

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

No matter what time of the year it is, live sports are constantly taking place. Following the height of the pandemic, many leagues are returning to their full regular season schedules. That means there are a lot more games available to watch this year.

We’ve outlined the best sports channels, streaming services, and more, so you can see what’s currently in action and when your favorite leagues will return. Keep scrolling to get the complete game plan.

How to watch football live

Best for football
Price:
$64.99–$134.99/mo.
Football channels:
CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, and NFL SUNDAY TICKET
Conference channels:
ACCN, BTN, and SEC Network

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Football is upon us, and bowl season is just around the corner. DIRECTV has the best channel lineups for football fanatics, whether you’re into the NFL, college football, or both.

The CHOICE package is $69.99 a month and has more than 185 channels, including all the channels you need to watch live NFL games. Plus, all DIRECTV packages starting with CHOICE include college conference channels and the current season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET for free.

How to watch the NFL live

There’s still a lot of NFL action to take place in the build-up to Super Bowl LVI. But don’t worry if you’re late for the party.

As the most visible major sports league in the US, you can watch NFL games across several different channels. There are also alternate services like NFL Game Pass that you can subscribe to if you want even more pigskin coverage.

Be sure to check out our How to Watch NFL Games guide, where we tackle this subject in more detail. We even have guides for watching Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, and the Super Bowl.

How to watch college football live

The 2021 college football season is alive and kicking. There are a lot of big matchups still to take place before we head into the 2021–2022 NCAA football bowl game schedule. That said, you’ll want to stock up on the main college football and college conference channels before December comes around faster than Christian Leary.

We break it all down for you in our How to Watch College Football guide. Also, check back later for our page dedicated to 10 Memorable College Bowl Game Heroes.

How to watch basketball live

Best for basketball
Price:
$35.00–$50.00/mo.
Basketball channels:
ESPN, TBS, TNT, truTV, NBA TV, and NBA League Pass
Conference channels:
ACCN, BTN, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Temperatures outside are decreasing, which means basketball action on TV is increasing. Pro and college basketball is here, so make sure you’re set with the appropriate channels to watch your favorite b-ball teams.

Sling TV offers the best value for pro and college basketball fans. You can get every national NBA channel and several college basketball channels with their Orange plan for $35 a month and their Sports Extra add-on for an additional $11 a month. You can even add NBA League Pass to your subscription for $28.99 a month. While you’ll need a digital antenna to get local channels, Sling TV has a free offer for that.

How to watch the NBA live

The 2021–2022 NBA season is now underway. With the league returning to a full 82-game schedule, there’s plenty of basketball action taking place from now through April.

We break down the best ways to watch the NBA’s 75th anniversary season in our How to Watch the NBA guide.

How to watch college basketball live

Men’s and women’s college basketball begin in November before culminating with the NCAA Tournament in March. In fact, the 2022 tournament will be the first time the women’s edition features the “March Madness” branding.

Read up on the types of channels you’ll need to watch college basketball, including regional sports networks (RSNs) and conference channels, by checking out our comprehensive guide.

How to watch baseball live

Best for baseball
Price:
$49.99–$84.99/mo.
MLB channels:
FOX, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, MLB Network, and MLB Extra Innings
Features:
RSNs and free Peacock Premium w/ X1 DVR

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

While baseball is over for the season, you may want to evaluate your TV options before the next season is underway.

We recommend Xfinity because it has every primary MLB channel. Plus, you can get Peacock Premium for free with the purchase of an X1 DVR. That means you can stream baseball flicks like Field of Dreams and A Mile in His Shoes as you await the return of America’s pastime.

How to watch MLB live

The final pitch of the 2021 MLB season came on November 2 when the Atlanta Braves defeated the Houston Astros in the World Series. Once the league returns next spring, most MLB games will be on FOX, ESPN, TBS, and MLB Network. You can also look into MLB Extra Innings if you’re interested in more out-of-market MLB action.

Be prepared for the 2022 MLB season and check out our How to Watch MLB Games guide.

How to watch the KBO League live

Following a unique 2020 season that saw Korean baseball on the networks of ESPN, the KBO League did not return to those same channels in 2021. Without a US broadcaster, stateside fans can only watch live KBO League games on Naver Sports using a VPN.

How to watch soccer live

Best for soccer
Price:
$64.99–$79.99/mo.
Soccer channels:
NBC, FOX, ESPN, beIN Sports, Univision, fubo Sports Network, and GolTV
Features:
250–1,000 hr. DVR, 3–10 simultaneous streams

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The beautiful game is a year-long affair. From domestic leagues to international competitions, soccer stops for no one.

fuboTV is our top recommended TV provider for soccer coverage because it carries the most channels necessary to stay up-to-date with the world’s most popular sport. Check out our complete guide on how to watch soccer for a more in-depth look at the best TV providers and streaming services for soccer fans.

Or keep scrolling for a closer look at how to watch some of the most famous soccer leagues in the world.

How to watch the Premier League live

The 2021–2022 Premier League season is well underway, with a tightly contested battle taking place between the top three teams: Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City.

If you’re looking to catch the current Premier League season, you’ll need the networks of NBCUniversal (NBC, NBCSN, and USA Network) and the streaming service Peacock Premium. Most cable and satellite TV providers carry those NBC channels, but you’ll also need Peacock Premium to ensure you have access to every game. The service costs $4.99 a month with ads and $9.99 a month without ads.

How to watch the UEFA Champions League live

The UEFA Champions League is alive and kicking (sorry, European Super League). Now more than ever, you can easily watch all Champions League fixtures in one location: Paramount+.

With plans starting at $4.99 a month, Paramount+ not only is the most convenient viewing option, but it’s also the cheapest. You’ll even get access to all UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League matches. But if you want to graze more TV provider options, visit our comprehensive How to Watch the Champions League guide.

How to watch MLS live

Major League Soccer (MLS) will wrap up its 2021 season with the MLS Cup on December 11, 2021. If you’re looking to watch the playoffs, you’ll need a TV plan with core English- and Spanish-language sports channels.

Check out our Top 10 MLS Cup Moments list to get hyped for the upcoming playoff finale.

2021 MLS Playoffs channels:

Date
December 4, 2021
December 5, 2021
December 11, 2021
Time Game Channels
6:30 p.m. ET Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake FS1, FOX Deportes
3:00 p.m. ET Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC ABC, ESPN Deportes
3:00 p.m. ET 2022 MLS Cup Final ABC, UniMás

How to watch the Bundesliga live

Starting with the 2020–2021 season, the Bundesliga found a new home on ESPN+. Over 300 matches from the top domestic German soccer league will air on ESPN+ each season, with select games also airing on ABC and ESPN’s linear channels.

How to watch the NWSL live

The most recent National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season reached its climactic conclusion this past November. During what was a turbulent 2021 season, the Washington Spirit claimed their first championship title and the league set new viewership records.

In 2022, the NWSL will continue its media partnership with CBS Sports. NWSL games will air on CBS, CBS Sports Network, and Paramount+, with some games streaming on the league’s Twitch channel.

How to watch the NHL live

Best for hockey
Price:
$64.99–$134.99/mo.
NHL channels:
ABC, ESPN, TNT, NHL Network, and NHL Center Ice
RSNs:
NBC, NESN, MSG, Bally Sports, Altitude Sports, ROOT SPORTS, and AT&T SportsNet

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

How to watch hockey has changed with the 2021–2022 season. The NHL has slid the puck over to a new lineup of broadcasters, with national coverage now on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+, and TNT. For more details on this, you’ll wanna check out our complete guide to watching the NHL.

When it comes to TV providers, DIRECTV is our top pick for the NHL, not just in the satellite category but in general. It offers every NHL channel and regional sports network (RSN) required to watch in-market NHL games.

For exclusive and out-of-market hockey matches, you’ll want to sign up for ESPN+. It’s only $6.99 a month, and you’ll get access to several other sporting events, including college hockey and the Ice Hockey World Championships.

How to watch the Olympics live

Best for the Olympics
Price:
$44.99–$94.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Olympic channels:
NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel
Features:
No contracts and multiple DVR options

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The 2022 Winter Olympics will commence on February 4, 2022 in Beijing. Like in years past, the networks of NBCUniversal will feature live and on-demand coverage of the Beijing Winter Games.

This means channels like NBC, USA Network, and CNBC will be major players when it comes to how to watch the Olympic Games. Peacock and NBCSports.com will show additional content to account for the number of events taking place.

Our primary TV provider pick for Olympic coverage is Spectrum. Their TV Silver plan offers every Olympic channel as well as several premium channels for when your favorite Olympic event is not on. For a deep dive into Olympics coverage, our How to Watch the Winter Olympics page will be live soon.

Check TV providers in your area.

TV providers and their offerings vary depending on location. Enter your zip code to see which providers have the best sports channel lineups in your area.

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How to watch more sports live

Of course, several other sporting events deserve your attention. From sand traps to spinning heel kicks, we’ve got you covered with how to watch more of your favorite sports competitions.

How to watch the PGA live

You can currently watch the PGA Tour on CBS, NBC, and Golf Channel. While a simple over-the-air (OTA) HD antenna will get you CBS and NBC, most cable and satellite TV providers have packages that include all the necessary channels for watching golf.

For a better understanding of what networks are airing current PGA Tour events, you’ll want to keep tabs on the PGA Tour’s weekly schedule.

You can also stream additional PGA coverage through PGA Tour Live, the league’s subscription video service. You can subscribe to PGA Tour Live through Amazon Prime Video or NBC Sports Gold. However, both services will end PGA Tour Live subscriptions on December 31, 2021, as the service migrates exclusively to ESPN+.

How to watch cricket live

Like soccer, cricket is an immensely popular sport outside of the states. Between domestic and international action, there’s a lot to follow when it comes to the bat-and-ball sport. Luckily, you can access the most popular cricket leagues all in one streaming service with Willow TV, which is also available as a channel through TV providers like Sling TV, DISH, and Spectrum.

ESPN+ also hosts more than 230 cricket matches a year, including English- and Hindi-language coverage of the Indian Premier League and the ICC World Cup.

How to watch NASCAR live

NASCAR events air across NBC, NBC Sports Network, FOX, FS1, and FS2. Check out NASCAR’s weekly schedule for a complete list of which channels air the current week’s NASCAR events.

fuboTV’s Starter plan ($64.99 a month) will get you all the primary NASCAR channels, plus ESPN and MOTOR TREND. That means you’ll not only have access to NASCAR races but other motorsports events like Formula One and automobile-oriented series like Chasing Classic Cars.

How to watch pro wrestling live

Professional wrestling is the real deal, especially when it comes to the kind of revenue the top leagues draw in. Because of that, there is no shortage of hulking individuals going at each other on live TV.

For instance, pro wrestling giant WWE continues to slam forth with Raw (Mondays on USA Network), NXT (Tuesdays on USA Network), and SmackDown (Fridays on FOX), as well as PPV events available through Peacock Premium (starting at $4.99 a month).

Upstart wrestling outfit All Elite Wrestling has been holding down Wednesdays with AEW Dynamite live on TNT, while IMPACT Wrestling (AXS TV) is also active weekly on AXS TV.

How to watch UFC and Bellator MMA live

UFC and other mixed martial arts (MMA) leagues always seem to be taking place. Our expert guide, How to Watch UFC and Bellator, breaks down all the main viewing options. Though, ESPN+ is always an excellent place to start when it comes to MMA.

How to watch pro esports live

Esports has been taking the world by storm for quite some time now. It’s a billion-dollar industry showing no signs of slowing down, featuring events centered around games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike.

One of our favorite leagues to follow is the Call of Duty League. While its 2021 season concluded in August, you can subscribe to the league’s YouTube channel for updates on the fast-approaching 2022 season. And if you want to watch something immediately, you can also find tons of live esports matches on YouTube Gaming and Twitch.

Watch live sports for free

Antenna TV

An over-the-air (OTA) HD antenna is an excellent option for the casual sports viewer. It’s a one-time purchase that usually costs between $20 and $60 (for a good one, at least).

With a digital antenna, you’ll get access to local stations like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Throughout the year, those networks broadcast a lot of nationally televised sports. Sometimes they even air local sports, depending on who operates the channels in your area.

No matter what, an antenna will give you access to many different leagues, including NFL, NBA, PGA, and Premier League action.

Free streaming services

Unfortunately, to stream most major league sports live, you’re gonna have to pay for a subscription to something like YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV. (For more on that, check out our Best Live TV Streaming Services article.) But there are many free live TV streaming services that offer sports coverage, including replays, studio shows, and documentaries.

One of our favorite free services for sports is Pluto TV. It has more than a dozen sports and gaming channels, such as CBS Sports HQ, FOX Sports, and beIN Sports Xtra. It also has channels dedicated to certain leagues, like the NFL, MLB, and MLS, where you’ll get weekly recaps, full match replays, and classic league highlights.

If you like Pluto TV, we also recommend checking out Tubi, The Roku Channel, and Xumo. Like Pluto TV, these live TV streaming services are free and offer similar channel lineups (though Pluto TV doesn’t have fubo Sports Network, Pac-12 Insider, and Real Madrid TV). Because these free services can be redundant, we recommend testing each one before choosing the web or app interface that fits your preference.

Finally, if you’re really just in the mood for something live, you’ll want to bookmark Eleven Sports. The site offers mainly soccer and futsal coverage, including live and on-demand matches from mostly foreign and lower division leagues. Overall, it’s definitely a good source if you like scouting unique leagues.

Live sports streaming on Reddit

Sure, you can technically stream live sports for free on Reddit. But we don’t recommend it, especially if you’re a rabid sports fan.

Because Reddit streams are pirated, you’ll have to endure everything from your stream dropping during clutch moments to spammy pop-ups.