With more people than ever ditching cable television and cutting the cord, the necessity for live streaming sports is becoming increasingly important. Fortunately, supply is meeting that demand in the form of over-the-top streaming services, which allow you to watch a handful of channels live for a monthly fee.
Sling TV was the first to tap into this particular cord-cutter market, but it has since been joined by the likes of DirecTV Now and Fubo TV, among others. All have different pros and cons, from the pricing options to variety of channels offered.
But what’s best for streaming major league baseball?
Ultimately, the answer to that question comes down to what team and channel you want to watch most. While teams will play the majority of their games on regional sports networks, hundreds of games throughout the year will also be televised on ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox, Fox Sports 1, MLB Network and TBS (postseason).
With that in mind, let’s break down your best options for streaming MLB:
Cheapest Option for Regional Sports Networks: Sling TV
Of the 30 MLB teams, 19 play the large majority of their games on regional sports networks that are available via most over-the-top streaming services:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Fox Sports Arizona
Atlanta Braves: Fox Sports South
Chicago Cubs: CSN Chicago (Note that some of the Cubs games are broadcast on WGN, WLS or WPWR, which aren’t available on Sling TV)
Chicago White Sox: CSN Chicago (Note that some of the White Sox games are broadcast on WGN-TV and WPWR-TV, which aren’t available on Sling TV)
Cincinnati Reds: Fox Sports Cincinnati or Fox Sports Ohio
Cleveland Indians: SportsTime Ohio
Detroit Tigers: Fox Sports Detroit
Kansas City Royals: Fox Sports Midwest
Los Angeles Angels: Fox Sports West and Fox Sports Prime Ticket
Miami Marlins: Fox Sports Florida (Fox Sports Sun is also available in the Miami market)
Milwaukee Brewers: Fox Sports North
Minnesota Twins: Fox Sports North
New York Yankees: YES Network
Oakland Athletics: NBC Sports – California (NBC Sports – Bay Area is also available in the Oakland market)
St. Louis Cardinals: Fox Sports Midwest
San Diego Padres: Fox Sports San Diego (Fox Sports Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West are also available in the San Diego market)
San Francisco Giants: NBC Sports – Bay Area (NBC Sports – California is also available in the San Francisco market)
Tampa Bay Rays: Fox Sports Sun (Fox Sports Florida is also available in the Tampa Bay market)
Texas Rangers: Fox Sports Southwest
Teams whose local games aren’t available via over-the-top streaming services: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals
The cheapest way to get your market’s regional sports network is Sling TV’s “Blue” package, which costs $25 per month. If you live in any of the above markets, you will be able to watch the corresponding regional network, but if you’re not sure, you can click here to search what regional channels are available where you live.
Here’s a complete rundown of what you get with Sling Blue:
Baseball Channels Included: Your market’s regional network (according to list above), Fox (live in certain markets. You can click here to see if it’s available in your area), Fox Sports 1, TBS (postseason games)
Total Channels Included: 40-plus, depending on local channels available. You can find the complete channel list right here
Price: $25 per month
Extras: Watch on three different devices at once (with Sling Orange, it’s one device. With Sling Orange+Blue, it’s four different devices); 50 hours of cloud DVR is $5 per month extra (DVR is not yet functional with ESPN or Fox channels)
Free Trial: 7 days
How to Sign Up & Watch:
2. Click on “Watch Now 7 Days Free” and then create an account
3. Select the channel package you want. “Sling Blue” is outlined above, while you would need to do the “Sling Orange + Blue” bundle if you want to add ESPN and ESPN 2, which will broadcast multiple national MLB games per week
4. Enter your payment information. The “Sling Blue” package costs $25 per month, and the “Sling Orange + Blue” bundle is $40 per month. If you cancel your subscription within seven days of signing up, you will not be charged
5. Download the Sling app on your computer or mobile device and begin watching TV. If you’re interested in watching Sling TV on a mobile or streaming device, you can do so via their app, which is free to download. You can click here for a full list of compatible devices
The Complete Package: DirecTV Now
If you want as much baseball as you can handle, DirecTV Now is the way to go. With the company’s “Just Right” package, you not only get everything you can get with Sling TV (regional sports networks, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox, Fox Sports 1), but you’ll get the MLB Network, which is set to broadcast 86 nationally televised games in June alone and hundreds throughout the season.
You’ll have to pay slightly more ($50 per month), but this is the ideal package for the die-hard baseball fan.
Here’s a complete rundown of DirecTV Now’s “Just Right” bundle:
Baseball Channels Included: Your market’s regional sports network (You can click here to search available RSN channels in your area), MLB Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox (live in certain markets. You can click here to search available local channels in your area), Fox Sports 1
Total Channels Included: 80-plus, depending on local channels available. You can find the complete channel list right here
Price: $50 per month
Extras: Watch on two different devices at the same time; No DVR
Free Trial: 7 days
How to Sign Up & Watch:
2. Click on “Start your free trial now” and then create an account
3. Select the channel package you want. The “Live a Little” bundle will include ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox, Fox Sports 1 and TBS, while the “Just Right” bundle adds your regional sports network and MLB Network to that
4. Enter your payment information. The “Live a Little” package costs $35 per month, and the “Just Right” package is $50 per month. If you cancel your subscription within seven days of signing up, you will not be charged
5. Return to the DirecTV Now website to start watching on your desktop. You can also watch via the DirecTV Now, which is available via a handful of different mobile or streaming devices. You can click here for the complete list of compatible devices
A New Option: Fubo TV
If you’re looking to test out a new product and you’re not concerned about the lack of ESPN or TBS, Fubo TV is an interesting option. The service includes all the same regional networks as outlined above, as well as Fox and Fox Sports 1, so you’ll have access to a ton of MLB games. Also worth noting: Fubo is a fledgling product that’s still growing its arsenal of channels, so it’s possible the service will add ESPN before the end of the season.
Though it’s more expensive than Sling’s “Blue” package, Fubo TV is only $35 per month, has a DVR feature at no extra cost and offers a mostly sports-based channel lineup. It includes NBA TV, Golf Channel, Big Ten Network, Fox Soccer Plus and all 10 of the beIN Sports networks. Moreover, if you’re at a computer, you’ll also have the opportunity to watch TV right in your Internet browser without having to download a desktop app. And lastly, the service allows you to sign in using your Facebook or Google account — a nice perk that not all services offer.
Here’s the rundown of Fubo TV’s bundle:
Baseball Channels Included: Your team’s regional network (you can find a coverage map here), Fox (live in certain markets. You can click here to see if it’s available in your area), Fox Sports 1
Total Channels Included: 58 (You can find the complete channel list here)
Price: $34.99 per month
Extras: Watch on two different devices at once; three DVR spots for free
Free Trial: 7 days
How to Sign Up & Watch:
1. Click here to sign up and launch your free trial. You’ll need to enter your credit card information when signing up, but if you cancel your subscription before the trial ends, you won’t be charged.
2. If you’re on a computer, you can start watching TV right away in your Internet browser without having to download a desktop app. If you’re on a mobile device, download the Fubo app.
Watching Out of Market Games: MLB.TV
If you want to watch games that aren’t on national television and are out of your market, you can do so via MLB.TV. The service has three pricing options: An MLB-wide yearly subscription for $112.99; an MLB-wide monthly subscription for $24.99; and a team-specific yearly subscription for $87.49.
In addition to being able to watch on your computer, you can watch through the MLB At-Bat app.
The app is also available on Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, XBox One, XBox 360, PlayStation3, PlayStation 4, and a handful of other connected devices. Click here for a full rundown of devices that carry the app.