Scoring the Best TV Providers for Soccer Fans
According to a recent Gallup poll, 7% of Americans consider soccer to be their favorite sport, putting it right behind baseball at 9%. Soccer is also one of the most popular sports among kids, so it may be only a matter of time before “the beautiful game” cracks into the top three most popular sports in the US.
It’s clear that soccer is getting more and more popular. What’s less clear is how to catch all the matches and get the best coverage and commentary. Don’t worry—you’ve come to the right place. We’ll break down which providers offer the key soccer channels.
Which providers have the most soccer channels?
Many channels that come standard in cable TV packages, like ESPN, NBC, and Telemundo, offer basic soccer coverage. But if you want detailed analysis, highlights, and other goodies, you’ll probably want to look at dedicated sports packages.
Look for cable TV providers that offer both FOX Soccer Plus and MLS Direct Kick. FOX Soccer Plus offers coverage of a wider variety of international leagues and matches, including UEFA Europa League, UEFA Champions League, and the German Bundesliga. MLS Direct Kick offers access to out-of-market games for fans whose favorite team is in another city.
We’ve compared offerings from all the major TV providers to see which has the most comprehensive coverage of both domestic and international soccer pitches. Check out the table below to narrow down your choices, then enter your zip code to see which packages are available in your area.
|Cox offers both a Sports Pak and a Latino Pak.|
|DISH offers a Multi-Sport Pack.|
|DIRECTV offers soccer coverage with the DIRECTV SPORTS PACK.|
|Optimum offers a Sports Pak.|
|RCN offers a Premier Sports Package.|
|Spectrum offers a variety of sports packages.|
|Xfinity offers a Sports Entertainment Package.|
- NBC/Telemundo: From 2012–2014, NBC had a contract with MLS to televise 40 matches per season. NBC edged out Fox Sports, who had previously held the agreement with the MLS. In 2015, the MLS went back to Fox Sports. That doesn’t mean NBC is out of the loop, though. NBC is now the sole broadcaster of Premier League matches and the championship UEFA Europa League in the US. If you’re a fan of soccer, you’ll definitely want NBC on your favorite channels list. Telemundo, NBC’s Spanish-language channel, also offers a lot of soccer coverage, including the FIFA World Cup.
Major League Soccer
- ESPN: This channel offers 31 MLS games during the 2018 soccer season. Unfortunately, ESPN doesn’t offer Premier League broadcasts, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for comprehensive coverage.
- Fox Sports: Fox is the official network partner of the MLS, making it a must-have channel for soccer fans in the US. (Note that we’re just talking about regular Fox here, not FOX Soccer Plus, which is a premium channel.) As with ESPN, Fox Sports doesn’t include Premier League matches. You can also check out Fox Deportes if you prefer to get your Fox soccer coverage in Spanish.
- beIN Sports: beIN Sports, a major international sports network, broadcasts MLS soccer matches in Asia and South America. The network’s current agreement runs through the 2018 season, and we haven’t seen word if beIN Sports will renew for future seasons. However, if you’re an MLS fan and you travel in these areas, you’re sure to appreciate the coverage.
- GolTV: GolTV is a unique channel because it broadcasts in both English and Spanish simultaneously. Viewers can choose which language they prefer by changing the settings on their set-top box. GolTV broadcasts a variety of international soccer leagues, such as the Portuguese Primeira Liga. It doesn’t carry MLS or Premier League, unfortunately, but if you want a complete picture of international soccer, it might be worth a look.
Can I stream soccer matches?
Sling TV offers many of these channels—including NBC, Fox Sports, and ESPN—allowing you to stream soccer coverage to your devices. Sling offers additional packages, like Sling Orange and Sling Blue, that feature beIN Sports and Univision Deportes for additional coverage.
Most TV providers also offer apps for streaming live and recorded TV on mobile devices. Check out our comprehensive guide to streaming apps to learn more.
While we won’t go so far as to say soccer will overtake American football, it’s without a doubt becoming more mainstream. Just enter your zip code below to find a TV provider that’ll help you stay on top of your favorite clubs all season long.