How to Watch the NHL Without Cable
Can’t wait for the 2023–2024 NHL season? Here’s how to watch the NHL without a cable TV plan.
Fall is here, which means one thing for NHL fans: it’s time to get ready for the 2023–2024 NHL season, which kicks off October 10. But we’ve got you covered if you still need to get your viewing options in order.
These days, you won’t need to head to the sports bar or spring for a cable plan if you want to catch every NHL game this season. Whether you’re an Arizona Coyotes or Winnipeg Jets fan, here’s what you need to know about watching the NHL without a cable TV plan.
1. Subscribe to a live TV streaming service
There’s a reason why cord-cutters love live TV streaming services—you can get full TV coverage without running wires into your house or paying expensive equipment fees.
If you’re a diehard NHL fan and want to watch as many games as possible, we’d recommend subscribing to DIRECTV STREAM. The DIRECTV streaming service carries every NHL broadcast channel (except for ESPN+) and includes stellar regional sports network (RSN) coverage. You’ll want a streaming service with RSN coverage if you want to watch local or midweek NHL games.
But if you’re mainly interested in national NHL games, you can save a few bucks with competing services like fuboTV or Sling TV. RSN coverage varies by service, but you’ll typically be able to get major NHL channels like TNT, ESPN, and NHL Network. Check out our Best Streaming Services for Sports guide for more ways to live stream NHL games.
2. Get ESPN+ for out-of-market games
If you can’t miss a Canucks game or regularly travel during NHL season, you’ll want to spring for an ESPN+ subscription.
ESPN+ is the NHL’s home for streaming out-of-market games—you’ll get live access to every out-of-market NHL game and 50 ESPN+ exclusive live games. Plus, you can watch every NHL game on-demand after it airs. And if that wasn’t enough, ESPN+ also has loads of exclusive NHL shows and documentaries in its content library.
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3. Watch free NHL games by getting an antenna or a free trial
Most NHL games will be on TV channels like TNT and ESPN, but if you’re mainly interested in the biggest matchups (which will be broadcast on ABC), you can watch them for free with an over-the-air (OTA) antenna.
OTA antennas hook up to your TV and allow you to watch local station broadcasts like ABC and NBC for free. For the 2023–2024 NHL season, ABC will get 15 regular-season matchups and the Stanley Cup Finals alongside TNT.
If you’re traveling and need a makeshift way to catch an NHL game, many streaming services are watchable on your phone or laptop and offer free trials. Check out our free streaming TV trials guide and Best OTA Antennas guide to learn more about the best ways to watch NHL games for free.