How to Watch MLB Games in 2022

America’s pastime is back, and we spent 50 hours researching and ranking the best TV services for watching Major League Baseball games in 2022.

Editor's choice

Price: $74.99–$149.99/mo.

MLB channels: FOX, FS1, TBS, ESPN, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, and MLB EXTRA INNINGS

DVR storage: 200 hrs. included

Contract: 2 yrs.

Best value

Price: $35.00–$50.00/mo.

MLB channels: FOX (in select markets), FS1, TBS, ESPN, MLB Network, and MLB Network Strike Zone

DVR storage: 50 hrs. included

Free trial: N/A

Best MLB streaming app

Price: $119.99–$139.99/yr.

MLB content: Every out-of-market MLB game live and on-demand

Features: On-demand documentaries, classic games, and original series

Free trial: 7 days (monthly package)

Cheapest

Price: $20.00–$60.00 (one-time purchase)

MLB channels: FOX

Features: All local broadcast channels

Contract: N/A

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Major League Baseball is finally back, and nationally televised games will air on FOX, FS1, TBS, ESPN, and MLB Network. But you’ll also need access to your regional sports network (RSN) in order to catch your local team.

We recommend DIRECTV’s CHOICE™ plan ($79.99 a month) as the best overall TV package for watching the 2022 MLB season. It gives you every major MLB channel with a wide selection of RSNs, plus you can grab MLB EXTRA INNINGS® as an add-on for out-of-market game access. You’ll get stuck with a two-year contract that features a price increase after 12 months, but this is the best route for true-blue hardball fans.

Now, let’s first take a closer look at the channels you’ll need to watch MLB this season.

CableTV.com Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

What channel is MLB on?

There are five channels you’ll need for watching nationally televised MLB games. These same channels will also broadcast the entire MLB Postseason.

  • FOX
  • FS1
  • TBS
  • ESPN
  • MLB Network

Another MLB channel to keep on your radar is MLB Network Strike Zone. The complementary channel is typically found in higher-tier TV plans and broadcasts only on Tuesday and Friday nights. Because those are the nights when several games are going on at once, the purpose of the channel is to hone in on any major moment from across the league just as it unfolds in real-time.

The great thing about MLB Network Strike Zone is that it’s unaffected by regional broadcasting restrictions. But you can avoid local blackouts completely by including your regional sports network in your TV plan.

MLB slides into Apple TV+ and Peacock

Apple TV+ is now home to Friday Night Baseball—showing two exclusive MLB games every Friday night of the regular season. The streaming service also hosts a weeknight highlight show called MLB Big Inning and a 24/7 in-app channel dedicated to MLB coverage.

Peacock also has exclusive MLB games through its MLB Sunday Leadoff programming. During the 2022 season, Peacock Premium subscribers will get 18 live games—plus select classic games, documentaries, and league highlights.

MLB on regional sports networks

When MLB games are not exclusively airing on national channels or streaming on Apple TV+ and Peacock, they’re televised by regional sports networks (RSNs). Every team has a dedicated RSN that broadcasts to a specific territory defined by the MLB.

You can enter your zip code into DIRECTV’s local RSN lookup tool to see which RSNs are available in your area, and which teams are covered by those RSNs. It’s a good tool to use and you don’t need to be a DIRECTV customer to use it.

If you live within the territory of your favorite team, you’ll need access to that team’s RSN in order to watch a majority of their regular-season games. If you live outside of the territory of your favorite team, you’ll need an out-of-market TV option like MLB EXTRA INNINGS (for cable and satellite users) or MLB.TV (for streaming users).

Pro tip: It can be difficult knowing where to watch MLB games, and which channels are carrying which baseball games. We recommend checking MLB’s official schedule for up-to-date broadcast listings throughout the season.

Fortunately, major events like the MLB All-Star Game and the World Series are highly accessible. We’ve outlined important MLB events and their corresponding channels in the table below.

MLB key events and channels

Event Date Channels
All-Star Futures Game July 16, 2022 Peacock
2022 MLB Home Run Derby July 18, 2022 ESPN, ESPN2
2022 MLB All-Star Game July 19, 2022 FOX
MLB at Field of Dreams Game August 11, 2022 FOX
MLB Little League Classic August 21, 2022 ESPN
2022 MLB Playoffs October 2022 FOX, FS1, TBS, ESPN, MLB Network
2022 World Series October/November 2022 FOX

Best ways to watch MLB games

  • Editor’s choice: DIRECTV—CHOICE ($79.99/mo.)* w/ MLB EXTRA INNINGS ($21.66/mo. for six months)**
  • Best value: Sling TV—Orange & Blue w/ Sports Extra ($65.00/mo.)
  • Best MLB streaming app: MLB.TV—All Teams ($139.99/yr.)
  • Cheapest: OTA antenna ($20.00–$60.00 one-time purchase)

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Editor’s choice: DIRECTV

DIRECTV
Price:
$74.99–$149.99/mo.*
MLB channels:
FOX, FS1, TBS, ESPN, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, and MLB EXTRA INNINGS
Features:
200 hr. DVR included; wide RSN availability

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

*For 12 months plus taxes and fees w/24 mo agmt. AutoPay & Paperless bill req’d. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo is extra & tax applies. Prices higher in 2nd year.

Pros

  • Every MLB game
  • 200 HD storage hrs. w/ included DVR
  • 1 season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET included

Cons

  • 2-yr. contract
  • Price increase after 12 mos.
  • Bulky satellite dish

DIRECTV’s CHOICE plan ($79.99 a month)* with MLB EXTRA INNINGS ($21.66 a month extra for up to six months)** is the best TV plan for diehard baseball fans because you’ll have every MLB game at your fingertips: all 30 teams playing 162 games per season. We’ll break down how.

With the CHOICE plan, you’ll get every national MLB channel and most likely your local RSN too. (We say most likely because NBC Sports Philadelphia is still not available on DIRECTV—sorry, Phillies fans.) By adding MLB EXTRA INNINGS to your plan, you’ll get every out-of-market game. Together, you’ll have complete MLB coverage.

The MLB EXTRA INNINGS package also comes with MLB Network Strike Zone and MLB Game Mix Channel, so you can stay up on all the action when multiple games are happening at once. MLB.TV and the MLB At Bat app are also included with your MLB EXTRA INNINGS subscription.

For all that, combining CHOICE with MLB EXTRA INNINGS for $101.65 a month during the MLB regular season can be a bit overwhelming, especially because DIRECTV locks you into a two-year contract. And the CHOICE plan price increases to around $122.00 a month after the first 12 months.

But still, with the number of games you’ll have access to, the price is justifiable. Even after the first 12 months, and with MLB EXTRA INNINGS added on, you’ll be paying close to $150.00 a month for 2,430 MLB games. And that’s not including the postseason.

View DIRECTV plans

Baseball on DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV’s streaming alternative DIRECTV STREAM has its own CHOICE package ($89.99 a month) that gives you every national MLB channel and the same RSN offerings.

Unfortunately, DIRECTV STREAM plans are expensive and MLB EXTRA INNINGS isn’t offered as an add-on. If you want out-of-market MLB games, you’ll need a standalone subscription to MLB.TV.

Best value: Sling TV

Sling TV
Price:
$35.00–$50.00/mo.
MLB channels:
FOX (in select markets), FS1, TBS, ESPN, MLB Network, and MLB Network Strike Zone
Features:
50 hr. Cloud DVR; 30+ add-on channels and packages

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

Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Pros

  • Low price
  • No contract
  • Customizable packages

Cons

  • Limited local channels and regional sports networks
  • DVR that costs extra

Sling TV offers the best value for casual MLB fans. Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll be able to watch every nationally televised MLB game for a lower monthly cost than DIRECTV.

There are no RSNs and no out-of-market game add-ons, but Sling TV offers customizable plans with no contracts. If you want a basic slice of the MLB season, or just want to tune in to the MLB Postseason, you can sign up for the Sling TV plan of your choosing and cancel once the season is over.

Corey Patterson of the Chicago Cubs fist bumps teammates while heading back to the dugout during MLB Network’s airing of Classic MLB Baseball on Sling TV.
Sling TV’s media player overlays MLB Network as seen here on a computer browser.

If you want every national MLB channel, you’ll want to go with Sling TV’s Orange & Blue plan ($50.00 a month) with the Sports Extra add-on ($15.00 a month). This will get you FOX (in select markets), FS1, TBS, ESPN, MLB Network, and MLB Network Strike Zone. You’ll pay $65.00 a month total, which is cheaper than DIRECTV’s CHOICE plan ($79.99 a month), and you won’t be locked into a two-year contract where the price doubles after 12 months.

View Sling TV plans

Best streaming app: MLB.TV

MLB.TV
Price:
$119.99–$139.99/yr.
MLB content:
Every out-of-market MLB game live and on demand
Features:
On-demand documentaries, classic games, and original series

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

Pros

  • Home and away team broadcast feeds
  • Access to every MLB game replay
  • Live in-game stats overlay

Cons

  • High price for casual fans
  • No live in-market or nationally televised games

Out of all the different standalone MLB streaming options, MLB.TV’s All Teams plan ($139.99 a year) is the best simply because it gives you the most MLB games. It’s an out-of-market streaming service, so you won’t be able to watch your local team play live. But their games become available on MLB.TV only 90 minutes after they end.

MLB.TV is primarily worth the price if you live outside of your favorite team’s broadcast region or if you want to stay up-to-date with the league as a whole.

Baseball player Anthony Alford takes practice swings during the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day, with MLB.TV stats bordering the video.
MLB.TV features live, in-depth stats alongside the game you’re watching as seen here on a computer browser.

MLB.TV includes some solid features like DVR controls for live games, home and away TV and radio broadcast feeds, and hundreds of on-demand highlights, classic games, and documentaries. You also get MLB Audio included with your subscription, which gives you audio access to every game regardless of blackouts.

You can sign up for MLB.TV directly on the MLB website or through certain third-party streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and ESPN+.

View MLB.TV plans

Cheapest: Over-the-air (OTA) HD TV antenna

OTA Antenna
Recommended antenna:
Mohu Leaf Plus ($59.99–one-time purchase)
MLB channels:
FOX
Features:
All local broadcast channels

CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links. Amazon.com Price; $59.99 (as of 05/19/22 9:00 a.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.

Pros

  • Low, one-time price
  • Local coverage

Cons

  • No out-of-market coverage
  • No DVR

A one-time purchase of a good quality over-the-air (OTA) digital antenna costs only between $20 and $60. With it, you’ll get access to every MLB game that airs on your local FOX affiliate network. That includes key events such as the MLB All-Star Game, MLB at the Field of Dreams, select games within the MLB Postseason, and the entire World Series.

We label this viewing option as the cheapest because, after the initial purchase of the antenna, you’ll be able to watch MLB on FOX for several seasons to come—no subscription required. It’s definitely a home run for baseball fans on a budget, though you’ll only get around 35 MLB games during the regular season.

The Mohu Leaf Plus ($59.99 on Amazon)† is one of our favorite antennas because it has a 60-mile range and 4K capabilities. The latter is important if you already have a 4K TV because FOX started dabbling in 4K HDR broadcasts during the 2021 MLB season.

How to watch Spring Training games

Not every Spring Training game is televised, but most of your local team’s preseason games should air on your RSN. MLB Network also airs Spring Training games, though these are subject to local blackouts.

Typically, some Spring Training games also air on ESPN’s networks, including select games streaming exclusively on ESPN+. MLB.TV also gets in on the Spring Training action, but you’re best off checking your favorite team’s official website and Spring Training schedule for complete broadcasting details.

How to watch MLB games for free

The easiest way to get free access to MLB games is by purchasing an over-the-air (OTA) digital antenna. Sure, you have to pay for the antenna itself. But once you do so, your wallet can return to the dugout.

With the antenna connected to your TV, you’ll get every MLB game from your local FOX station. It’s not a lot of games in the grand scheme of things, but you’ll get free ball games each week—including some of the MLB Playoffs and all of the World Series.

We recommend the Mohu Leaf Plus ($59.99 on Amazon)† because of its long-range capabilities and multi-directional design.

Another option is to create a free MLB.com account for streaming access to the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day. During most days of the regular season, one game is available to watch for free online. Even better, YouTube also shows a free game each week of the regular season. To see which games are available to watch for free, check out MLB’s live game schedule.

Final take

DIRECTV’s CHOICE plan ($79.99 a month)* with MLB EXTRA INNINGS ($21.66 a month for six months)** is our top recommendation for MLB fans. Together, the CHOICE plan and MLB EXTRA INNINGS add-on ensure that you’ll get every MLB game across the entire 2022 season without having to worry about blackouts.

In the long run, Sling TV is a cheaper option with customizable plans that allow you to choose as many of the five national MLB channels as you want. We recommend this only for casual MLB fans because you won’t get any regional sports networks. But there’s no commitment, and you can easily change your plan at any time.

MLB.TV also exists for fans who want out-of-market access during the MLB regular season. It’s perfect for anyone who already has the national channels, and anyone who roots for a non-local team.

How to watch MLB games FAQ

Can I watch blackout MLB games in my area?

The simplest way around a local MLB blackout is to purchase a TV plan that includes your regional sports network (RSN). Any non-nationally televised game featuring your local team will air on the RSN.

Another more complicated blackout workaround is to use an internet VPN (virtual private network) that masks your IP address and makes it look like you’re watching from a different area. This method is limited to live TV streaming and online viewing, however, and MLB actively blocks certain VPNs.

How can I watch MLB games for free?

Most of the MLB season happens on pay-cable channels, but you can watch some weekend and playoff games for free on FOX broadcast stations. You’d be out the cost of a digital antenna to do it, but that’s just a one-time purchase compared to a monthly subscription.

The MLB.TV Free Game of the Day also airs most days during the MLB regular season. You can view the game on MLB.com or through the MLB app by creating a free MLB.com account. Blackout rules still apply.

What channel is MLB TV?

MLB.TV is not a TV channel. It’s a streaming subscription that allows you to stream out-of-market MLB games throughout the regular season. The league’s dedicated TV sports channel is called MLB Network, which is available through most major TV providers.

Can I watch MLB games on Amazon Prime Video?

Yes, you can stream live MLB games on Amazon Prime Video through MLB.TV in Prime Video Channels. As with other Prime Video Channels, like Paramount+ and EPIX, it requires a separate paid subscription in addition to a Prime Video membership. But non-MLB.TV subscribers can still stream the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day through Prime Video.

Methodology

Our experts spent over 50 hours comparing TV providers and their plans to determine which provided the most coverage (by channels, in-market access, and out-of-market access) of the 2022 MLB season. We also compared each provider’s pricing and long-term commitment options for ease of use.

To learn more about our methods, check out our How We Rank page.

Disclaimer

*For 12 months plus taxes and fees. w/ 24-mo. agmt. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies.

**Blackout rules and other conditions apply.

Amazon.com price as of 05/19/22 9:00 a.m. MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

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