Spring is here, the days are sunnier and 2019 Major League Baseball season is well underway. And it's already on the way for more home courses than any season so far, led by Cody Bellinger from Dodgers and Christian Yelich from Brewers, each with 14 plays in April.
From the Yankees and the Red Sox to the Braves and Cubs, the big league teams get into the long term. They play ball every day for six months. It is a marathon of 162 games that are unique in professional sports, with their own unique rhythms when the weather warms, gains and losses accumulate and challenges rise and fall in the stands.
Previously, you needed a cable or satellite subscription (or season ticket) to capture your favorite team day and day out. This year, however, baseball fans that arecan 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.
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 ($ 25 per month)
- Subscribe to MLB.TV ($ 25 per month or $ 119 per year)
Depending on where you live, one of the greatcarry the channel that has your favorite team. These channels, known as regional sports networks, 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 is 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're a Yankees fan in the New York area, you can't start looking at the Yankees game up to one and a half and after the last one. Other teams games are not black out, making 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 RSN which has exclusive rights to each regular seasonal game. And most carry– 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 ($ 50)||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|
|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|
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 or 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 individual 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. Sling Orange customers receive no RSNs. See below for the details of national networks carried by each.
- 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 either take out more or do not carry it at all.
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Sling TV ($ 25 or $ 40)
Only Sling Blue has RSN, but both have a host of national baseball networks. Sling TV's Orange plan contains ESPN and ESPN2, and the Blue plan contains Fox and FS1. Both plans offer TBS. The MLB network is available as part of the Sports Extra supplement, which costs $ 5 per month for Sling Orange customers or $ 10 per month for Sling Blue customers.
You can combine Orange and Blue plans together to increase your baseball show options. The individual plans usually cost $ 25 a month each but are currently discounted at $ 15 per month for the first three months. Similarly, the included Orange & Blue plan usually costs $ 40 a month, but you can get it for three months for $ 25 a month. See which local channels and RSN are in your area here.
Look at Sling TV
FuboTV ($ 45)
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 it offers with local MLB coverage.
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)
The PlayStation Vue $ 45 access plan includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1 and TBS. The $ 50 monthly monthly plan adds the MLB Network. Look at which local channels and RSN you come here.
Watch PlayStation Vue
YouTube TV ($ 50)
YouTube TV costs $ 50 per month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS. Connect your zip code on their welcome page to see which local networks and RSN are in your area.
Watch YouTube TV
DirecTV Now ($ 50)
DirecTV Now cheapest, $ 50 per month Plus package includes 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?.
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 is a cheaper subscription option that can only be used with the mobile app, but it is limited to 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.
Originally published March 27.
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