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How to watch baseball without cable for the 2019 MLB season



  Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

AL MVP Mookie Betts by Boston Red Sox takes the field to begin another season.


Billie Weiss / Boston Red Sox / Getty Images

Spring is here, the days are sunnies and Major League Baseball is back.

2019 The MLB season begins earlier than ever: Thursday, March 28. From the Yankees and Orioles to the Reds and Pirates, all 30 major league teams play on the opening day, start the six-month marathon of 162 matches that is the regular season.

Previously, you needed a cable or satellite subscription (or season ticket) to watch your favorite team day and day out. This year, however, baseball fans that are cable grids can also stream the action live or record them to their cloud DVRs, in the spring, summer and fall.

So where do you start? It depends on which team you follow and where you live.

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Live TV streaming service vs. MLB.TV

There are two important ways to stream MLB games without cable or satellite TV subscription:

  • Subscribe to a live TV streaming service such as Sling TV Blue, Fubo TV or YouTube TV (starting at $ 25 per month)
  • Subscribe to MLB.TV ($ 25 / month or $ 119 / year)

Depending on where you live, one of the great can live -tv streaming services carry the channel that has your favorite team. These channels, called Regional Sports Networks (RSN), deliver almost all regular seasonal games live.

The disadvantages? Not every such service carries any RSN, and some teams are not available on any live TV service. There's also the price: only Sling TV Blue costs $ 25, while the rest is $ 40 and up.

The second option is MLB.TV, a separate service that carries every game played by each team living. It's good for hardcore fans in general.

The big catch with MLB.TV is the local blackout restriction: You can't watch your local team's game live. Instead, they will be available about 90 minutes after the game ends. For example, if you are a Yankees fan in the New York area, you can't start watching the Yankees game up to an hour and a half after the playoff. Other teams games are not black out, so it makes MLB.TV ideal for fans who want to follow one or more of the 28 or 29 teams based in other cities, even if they are out in the market.

Live TV streaming: Best for home team fans

Due to MLB.TV's blackout restriction, a live TV streaming service is the best way to follow your local team.

Many services carry the regional sports network (RSN) which has exclusive rights to each regular seasonal game. And most carry major national networks – ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS – who regularly match TV from different teams around the league.

Here's how RSNs look at each service.

RSN availability by team and streaming service

Team Regional Sports Network (RSN) Name Sling Blue ($ 25) YouTube TV ($ 40) Fubo TV ($ 45) Hulu with Live TV ($ 45) PS Vue ($ 45) DirecTV now ($ 50)
Arizona Diamondbacks Fox Sports Arizona No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Atlanta Braves Fox Sports South Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Baltimore Orioles MASN No No No No No No
Boston Red Sox NESN No Yes Yes No Yes No
Chicago Cubs NBC Sports Chicago Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Chicago White Sox NBC Sports Chicago Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cincinnati Reds Fox Sports Ohio Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cleveland Indians SportsTime Ohio Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Colorado Rockies AT & T SportsNet Rocky Mountain No No No No No No
Detroit Tigers Fox Sports Detroit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Houston Astros AT & T SportsNet Southwest No No Yes No No No
Kansas City Royals Fox Sports Kansas City No Yes Yes No No No
Los Angeles Angels Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Los Angeles Dodgers Spectrum SportsNet LA No No No No No No
Miami Marlins Fox Sports Florida Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Milwaukee Brewers Fox Sports Wisconsin No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Minnesota Twins Fox Sports North Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New York Mets SNY No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
New York Yankees YES Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oakland Athletics NBC Sport California Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Philadelphia Phillies NBC Sport Philadelphia No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Pittsburgh Pirates AT & T SportsNet Pittsburgh No No No No No No
San Diego Padres Fox Sports San Diego Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
San Francisco Giants NBC Sports Bay Area Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Seattle Mariners Root Sports Northwest No No No No No No
St. Louis Cardinals Fox Sports Midwest Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tampa Bay Rays Fox Sports Sun Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Texas Rangers Fox Sports Southwest Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Toronto Blue Jays Sportsnet No No No No No No
Washington Citizens MASN No No No No No No

Some important takeaways:

  • None of the services carry the RSN for the Baltimore Orioles, the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Seattle Mariners, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Washington Nationals. To look at these teams, you need cable, satellite, MLB.TV or other solution.
  • The above RSNs are usually only available to local subscribers. See the service details (below) to find out that you live in a place where you can get a certain RSN.
  • Sling TVs RSNs are only available to customers with Sling Blue who lack ESPN. Sling Orange customers receive no RSN numbers (or Fox or FS1), but can watch national games on ESPN.
  • The only service with the Houston Astros game is Fubo TV. Unfortunately, it lacks ESPN.
  • YouTube TV is the only service that carries the MLB Network in its basic package. The others charge more or do not carry it at all.

Disclosures: CNET may receive a share of the revenue from the sale of the products on this page.

YouTube TV ($ 40)

YouTube TV costs $ 40 per month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1, MLB Network and TBS. It is the cheapest option if you want all the networks that carry national baseball broadcasts. Connect your zip code to their welcome page to see which local networks and RSN are available in your area.


Watch YouTube TV

Sling TV ($ 25 or $ 40)

Sling TV's Orange Plan contains ESPN and ESPN2, and the Blue Plan includes Fox and FS1. Both plans offer TBS but do not offer MLB Network either. You can combine the Orange and Blue plans together to increase your baseball viewing options. The individual plans usually cost $ 25 a month each but are currently discounted at $ 15 a month for the first three months. Similarly, the included Orange & Blue plan usually costs $ 40 per month, but you can get it for three months for $ 25 a month. See which local channels and RSN are in your area here.


Watch Sling TV
FuboTV costs $ 45 per month and includes Fox, FS1 and TBS but not ESPN, ESPN2 or MLB Network. Check out the charts on this Fubo PDF to see which RSNs are offered with local MLB coverage.


Look at FuboTV

Hulu with Live TV ($ 45)

Hulu with Live TV costs $ 45 per month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1 and TBS but not MLB Network. Click on the link "Show all channels in your area" on their welcome page to see which local networks and RSN are located where you live.


Watch Hulu with Live TV

PlayStation Vue ($ 45)

PlayStation Vues $ 45 access plan includes ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1 and TBS. The $ 50 monthly monthly plan adds the MLB Network. See which local channels and RSN you come here.


Watch PlayStation Vue

DirecTV Now ($ 50)

DirecTV Now, the cheapest, plus $ 50 monthly package is ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1 and TBS. However, neither the Plus nor the $ 70 per month Max package contains the MLB network. You can use its channel search tool to see which local channels and RSN are in your area.


Look at DirecTV now

All live TV streaming services above offer free testing, let you cancel at any time and require a solid Internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive guide .

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<h2>  MLB.TV subscription: Best for out-of-market games </h2>
<p>  Major League Baseball's official streaming service is great for following your favorite team if you live outside their market. But because of the 90-minute blackout described above, it is less useful for following the home team. </p>
<p>  Here's MLB.TV's 2019 pricing: </p>
<ul>
<li>  Pay $ 119 per year to watch all out-of-the-game live or on-demand games, and in-market (home) with a 90-minute delay from the end of the game. If you think your team might not be worth watching, the trading deadline came, you could pay $ 25 a month, allowing you to cancel if your team falls out of the pennant race.  </li>
<li>  Pay $ 92 a year to watch a single, out-of-market team. If you are interested in just watching your favorite team game (and not living on their TV market), this plan can save you some money. However, you sacrifice the opportunity to switch over to a potential no-hitter going elsewhere or any other exciting match or moment that does not involve your team. </li>
</ul>
<p>  Both MLB.TV plans also contain streams of home and radio programs. The radio broadcasts are not subject to the blackout rules, so you can listen to home games live. </p>
<p><span class= Look at MLB.TV

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MLBs At Bat app is a great way to watch games on your phone or tablet.


Photo by Sarah Tew / CNET

MLB At Bat add-on

MLB That Bat app is great on phones and even better on tablets. If you purchased an MLB.TV subscription (as described above) you can log in to your account and watch games live on the app. There are cheaper subscription options for use with the mobile app, but it is very limited in what it lets you look at.

You can purchase an At Bat subscription via the MLB At Bat app. It costs $ 20 a year (or $ 3 per month) and lets you listen to home or line radio broadcasts (baseball is the only sport I can listen to on the radio) and watch a game per day during the season. You cannot choose which game you want to watch. You are stuck with MLB.TV free games of the day.

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