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For the 2019 MLB season, you can watch 23 of the 30 teams through a skinny bundle streaming service, so you may just be able to follow your team all the way to the playoffs without an expensive cable subscription. With more games streaming live this year than ever, make sure you’ve got the best service to catch them all.
Cordcutters have more options than ever to stream baseball games. The best coverage is on Sling TV, YouTube TV, and fuboTV. If none of those work, it’s an easy fix. Sign up for the league’s official streaming service, and you’ll have access to every game except the ones under blackout. If it’s easier to choose a service based on your favorite team, you’ll have the best luck seeing games on one of these streaming services.
|Sling TV Blue
Sling TV is an affordable service that also gives you access to live TV. Sling Blue is the best bet if you’re following a local team because MLB.TV has a local blackout on games in your market.
Sling offers two main channel packages: Blue and Orange. The Blue package is $25 per month and includes Fox, FS1, various Fox and NBC regional sports networks, and TBS. Subscribers of this package can add the MLB Network as a Sports Extra for $10 a month. The Orange package includes ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and viewers can add MLB Network for $5 per month.
If you want them all, you’ll need to select both Sling Orange + Blue option for $40 a month and add MLB Network. You may still be subject to local blackouts, and some channels are only available in select markets. So, before you subscribe, check to see if Fox, Fox Regional Sports Networks and NBC Sports regional content are available.
Expect full access to the games of 23 teams on fuboTV for $54.99 per month. The small streaming service carries Fox, FS1 and TBS and all of the NBC and Fox regional sports networks, but not ESPN, ESPN2 or MLB Network.
For the diehard fans who like to see every detail, fuboTV is the first streaming service to provide an ultra-high-definition 4K stream for MLB games. It’s also the only service with Houston Astros games, so fans may find themselves as subscribers.
YouTube TV includes more than 50 channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS for $50 per month. It’s the only streaming service that carries MLB Network for no extra charge in its base package. See which regional sports networks are available in your area before hitting the subscribe button, as it varies by area.
The league has an official streaming service that carries every regular season out-of-market game. Viewers can watch up to four games at once online, on TV or your handheld devices. It’s the most comprehensive coverage of baseball you’ll get anywhere – and it comes at a price. At $25 per month or $119 per year, MLB.TV subscriptions aren’t cheap.
Fans of the Dodgers, Mariners, Rockies, Orioles, Pirates, Nationals, and the Blue Jays have no other choice than to subscribe if they want full coverage. No other streaming service carries the Regional Sports Networks for these teams. If you’re on a limited data plan, beware. MLB.TV streams up to 60 fps HD, which could use as much as 7 GB for a single game.
Unfortunately, MLB.TV won’t play games broadcast nationally, post-season games, and enforces local blackouts. If you want to watch your hometown ball club, you can watch the replay of the game 90 minutes after it concludes. There is a way around these annoying blackouts that doesn’t leave your computer vulnerable to malware.
ExpressVPN is software that allows you to "mask" your home internet's IP address, so your connection appears as if it is outside the blackout area. ExpressVPN is reliable, easy to use, and my favorite service to get around regional blackouts.
If you’re already a subscriber, you’ve got a good chance of watching games on Hulu + Live TV or DirecTV Now.
Hulu + Live TV includes more than 60 live and on-demand channels—including ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, and TBS plus regional sports networks in select areas, but not MLB Network. You get all the games you can watch as well as Hulu’s entire streaming library for $45/month.
Subscribers of DirecTV Now can watch any nationally televised games as well as any shown on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, and TBS in the base level $50 a month package. To get MLB Network, DirecTV Now viewers will have to subscribe to the highest tier package for $110 per month. Viewers may still be subject to local blackouts, and some channels are only available in select markets. So, before subscribing, check to see what regional sports networks are covered in your area.
With other sports, my first recommendation would be to see what you can pick up over-the-air with an antenna. Unfortunately, MLB relies on regional sports networks to carry so many games that Fox local broadcast stations only carry one or two games a weekend. The odds that the televised game is your favorite team are pretty slim. On the other hand, you’ve got everything you need to watch the All-Star Game!
MLB.TV is a reasonably priced over-the-top service to watch six months of games. SlingTV is the best bet if you are ready to cut the cord and want to watch a variety of teams. If you already subscribe to YouTube TV or fuboTV, you’ve got a front-row seat to a majority of the teams.
Unless you’re a fan of a few certain teams, you’ve got more than one option to catch MLB games this season. The best choice depends on which team you follow and where you live.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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