For a major league sports fan (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.), few experiences come close to the excitement of attending a live sporting event especially if your favourite team/player wins a crucial game or match. However the cost of admission to a major league game is often high (ticket + parking + food + drink + team gear + memorabilia & don’t forget your 50/50 tickets).
Also, not all cities have the luxury of housing major league sports team(s) or their minor league affiliation. (e.g. NHL’s minor league affiliate=AHL). If your city doesn’t have a professional sports team you like or you are unwilling to shell out big bucks to attend a live game, your next best bet is to view the game on TV. Unfortunately, major sports leagues earn money by signing contracts with TV networks. And this means in order to view live games from these TV networks; you often need to subscribe to a TV package.
According to wired.com, 43 percent of TV subscribers can’t cut their cords because it unthinkable to give up watching live sports. If you are one of these TV subscribers, don’t worry, our goal is to show you how to watch live sports for less so you can save money. We have listed the best money-saving options to minimize your TV cost while continuing to enjoy live sports below.
1. Get OTA HD TV channels that feature live sports
This is not an online viewing option but not including OTA signal in this article will make it less…..complete. We highly recommend trying Over-The-Air (OTA) HD TV Channels by using a TV antenna. If you are fortunate enough to capture CBC and City TV channels in your area, you can watch live sports in HD. For instance, NHL hockey games such as Hockey Night in Canada, NHL Winter Classic, NHL All-Star Game, Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final are all featured by CBC Sports.
In addition, CBC airs game from live sporting events such as The Olympics and Pan Am Games, so there is plenty of live sports to watch if the times are right. If you decide to cut your cable TV package after reading the rest of the article (especially if you are simply paying for a cable TV package to keep your sports channels), OTA TV signal will become a good source of local news, weather and a host of other shows.
If you are not able to get CBC OTA signal, you can watch live sports streams from CBC’s Sports website. Since not all games are aired on television (for instance, during the Olympics and Pan Am Games), online streaming actually gives you a much wider game selection. Other sports featured by CBC include curling, tennis, skiing, swimming, etc…all can be streamed for free. Click here for CBC links. Find out if you can get CBC or City OTA signals from your place using our OTA TV Channel List in Canada.
2. Watch live sports from bookmaker websites
Another legal and 100% free way to watch live sports is to sign up with a bookmaker website (an online sports betting website). These websites want you to bet on the games so they allow you to watch live games for free. Just like how casinos give its patrons free money to hook them in, these bookmaker websites do the same thing to encourage you to bet on their games. Some websites will give you free credit upon signing up with their service. If you can ignore this enticing offer and just focus on getting free live sports then you have found a great avenue to satisfy your live sports craving.
There are a couple of drawbacks though. One drawback is these sports betting sites usually feature games from Europe so they don’t feature major leagues games from North American. However, you are in luck if you enjoy horse racing, soccer, volleyball, cricket and tennis. The other issue is some games/races can not be streamed if they are hosted in your own country. Overall, these are minor nitpicks considering you have access to a lot of free live sports. Remember, the intent is for you to get free live sports, not betting and lose your shirt. Below is a list of a couple of popular bookmaker site*:
*make sure you can stream the bookmaker’s live sport games in your region before signing up. Also, avoid sites that require you to bet first before viewing the streams.
3. Major league sport live game subscription
If live sports from bookmaker websites aren’t your cut of tea, then you can consider subscribing to a major league sport’s live game streaming service. This options requires money. But once subscribed, you can stream live games to your mobile devices and on a PC anywhere (note: not all sports can be subscribed for online viewing). For instance, if you are a hockey fan, you can consider subscribing to NHL’s GameCenter Live. The subscription lets you watch games from overall the league.
However, there is one major caveat: in-market regional blackouts. What are regional blackouts? It means if a local team is playing and the game is televised in the home market, the stream/feed is unavailable for viewing. This won’t bother those who simply like the sport but not so much for die hard fans of their local sports teams. Therefore, the subscription makes the most sense if your favourite team is not in the city you live in. Below is a list of live games streaming service offered by different major league sports in North America:
– NHL: GameCenter Live
– NFL: Game Pass
– MLB: MLB.tv
– NBA: NBA League Pass TV
If you plan to subscribe to all of the above streaming services, you should try our next tip below which should cost a lot less.
4. How a Slingbox can cut your live sports viewing cost in 1/2!
So you are a sports buff and would dream of watching sports in your sleep? Or maybe you value watching sports over your partner if you have one (hopefully this isn’t the case)? The best solution is to find a cheap TV package and include ALL the sports channels you love. Do your homework and narrow down to which local cable TV company offers the best deal that suits your sports craving. Then, persuade another sports buff from your family, classmate from school or co-worker from your work place to split the cost with you. This is all accomplished with a streaming device called the Slingbox (or any equivalent product). Once setup properly, you don’t even need to leave your couch and can enjoy watching live sports for ½ of its cost! Click here for how to set up a Slingbox to watch live sports for less!
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