Are you looking to watch baseball by streaming MLB or college baseball games instead of paying for cable each month?
Good news! It’s entirely possible to accomplish this without paying the cable or satellite company a dime.
In this article, I’ll walk you through all the ways that you can cut the cord and remain as big a baseball fan as ever.
Table of Contents
- MLB: National vs. Regional Broadcasts
- MLB.TV: Stream Most Out-of-Market Regular Season Games
- How To Watch Your Local MLB Team Without Cable
- How To Stream the World Series
- College Baseball: Watch the College World Series and Regular Season
MLB: National vs. Regional Broadcasts
If you’re a Major League Baseball fan, you probably know there are a couple of different ways to watch the league’s games.
MLB airs games on channels such as ESPN, FS1, FOX, TBS and MLB Network that are considered “national broadcasts.” If you want to watch these games without cable or satellite, you’ll need a live TV streaming service that offers these channels as a part of the subscription. YouTube TV offers all of these channels as part of its basic package for $64.99.
If your favorite team isn’t playing in a game that airs nationwide, you’re likely going to find it on a regional sports network (RSN). These channels can be a little trickier to find on live TV streaming services, but I’ll walk you through them later in this article.
MLB.TV: Stream Most Out-of-Market Regular Season Games
If you don’t live in the local market for your favorite MLB team, your best path to streaming the league without cable is probably MLB.TV.
This service allows you to stream non-nationally televised and out-of-market MLB games for either a monthly or season-long subscription fee. The season-long subscription price is $130.
Before you sign up for the service, MLB.TV will have you enter your ZIP code into its blackout evaluator to show you all the games that you won’t be eligible to stream.
Here’s a sample of that process:
As noted in the text from that sample, someone living in my ZIP code would be prohibited from streaming the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves or watching any national broadcasts of their games on channels like ESPN and FOX.
That does leave the telecasts of 28 out-of-market teams for me to stream freely. So if I were a New York Yankees fan living where I live, I could stream almost their entire season with an MLB.TV subscription.
It’s worth noting that you will eventually get access to blacked-out games. You can watch the on-demand replay of your local team approximately 90 minutes after the original broadcast airs.
How To Watch Your Local MLB Team Without Cable
You will need access to the regional sports network that airs your favorite team in order to stream their games without paying for cable or satellite.
The availability of these channels on live TV streaming services varies from market to market. Unfortunately, you may find yourself limited to just one or two streaming services that carry the channel for your local team.
I have compiled a handy guide to help understand which RSN you’ll need in order to watch baseball games for your local team. I’ve also included streaming services that offer those channels (information current as of the date of this writing).
|MLB Team||Regional Sports Network||Live TV Streaming Options|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Bally Sports Arizona||AT&T TV|
|Atlanta Braves||Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast||AT&T TV|
|Baltimore Orioles||Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN)||AT&T TV|
|Boston Red Sox||New England Sports Network (NESN)||AT&T TV, fuboTV|
|Chicago Cubs||Marquee Sports Network||AT&T TV, fuboTV|
|Chicago White Sox||NBC Sports Chicago||AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Cincinnati Reds||Bally Sports Ohio||AT&T TV|
|Cleveland Indians||Bally Sports Great Lakes||AT&T TV|
|Colorado Rockies||AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain||AT&T TV|
|Detroit Tigers||Bally Sports Detroit||AT&T TV|
|Houston Astros||AT&T SportsNet Southwest||AT&T TV, fuboTV|
|Kansas City Royals||Bally Sports Kansas City||AT&T TV|
|Los Angeles Angels||Bally Sports West||AT&T TV|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Spectrum SportsNet LA||AT&T TV|
|Miami Marlins||Bally Sports Florida||AT&T TV|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Bally Sports Wisconsin||AT&T TV|
|Minnesota Twins||Bally Sports North||AT&T TV|
|New York Mets||SportsNet New York (SNY)||AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV|
|New York Yankees||YES Network||AT&T TV|
|Oakland Athletics||NBC Sports California||AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Philadelphia Phillies||NBC Sports Philadelphia||AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh||AT&T TV, fuboTV|
|San Diego Padres||Bally Sports San Diego||AT&T TV|
|San Francisco Giants||NBC Sports Bay Area||AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV|
|Seattle Mariners||Root Sports Northwest||AT&T TV|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Bally Sports Midwest||AT&T TV|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Bally Sports Sun||AT&T TV|
|Texas Rangers||Bally Sports Southwest||AT&T TV|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Sportsnet (Canada)||-Canadian TV-|
|Washington Nationals||Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN)||AT&T TV|
As you can see in the chart above, many cord cutters are limited to just one or two streaming services that offer their team’s regional sports network (namely AT&T Live).
Most of these regional sports networks have apps and websites you can use to stream your local teams. However, access to the live streams of these channels usually requires login credentials from an approved cable or live TV streaming service.
If you’re looking for a potential blackout workaround to access broadcasts from your local team via MLB.TV, we discussed the ethical gray area of using a VPN to hide your IP address from the service here.
How To Stream the World Series
The 2021 Major League Baseball World Series will be broadcast on FOX.
You may be able to access these games by using an indoor antenna to get the signal from your local FOX affiliate. We have some tips on how to watch local channels without cable here.
In addition to FOX, portions of the MLB playoffs will air on ESPN, FS1, TBS and MLB Network. YouTube TV offers all of these channels as a part of its base package for $64.99 per month.
College Baseball: Watch the College World Series and Regular Season
If you’re a casual college baseball fan, there are two easy-to-define viewing periods for this sport.
There’s the regular season, which typically consists of approximately 50 games per team, played in both conference and non-conference settings. These games usually air on regional or league-sponsored outlets with the very best of them getting national coverage on channels like ESPN.
Then there’s the College World Series. This is the eight-team tournament that takes place in Omaha, Nebraska, each June. (The final round of the NCAA baseball tournament starts as a 64-team competition and pares the teams down to eight.)
Let’s walk through how to stream both portions of the college baseball season without cable.
How To Stream the College World Series
The NCAA men’s College World Series is one of the most anticipated amateur baseball events of the year. It takes place over a two-week period in June and is a nationally broadcast event.
Watching all of the action unfold as a streamer is pretty straightforward. ESPN owns the broadcast rights for the College World Series, so streaming the event will require access to its family of channels.
The live broadcast of each game will be on either ESPN or ESPN2. You can also stream through the ESPN app or website with a valid login credential.
Sling TV Orange is the cheapest live TV streaming subscription that includes both ESPN and ESPN2. It costs $35 per month.
It’s possible that some broadcasts could be moved to ESPNU or ESPNews if there are programming conflicts. Access to these channels will cost an additional $11 per month with Sling TV Orange, but they are included along with ESPN and ESPN2 as a part of YouTube TV’s $64.99 base package.
How To Stream the College Baseball Regular Season
College baseball games can be found in a variety of places including national and regional sports channels and even through some non-traditional streaming options.
But college baseball isn’t nearly as popular as its football and basketball counterparts, so finding the live stream of your favorite team may prove to be a challenge.
|National Sports Channels:||ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, FS2 and CBS Sports Network|
|Conference-Specific Channels:||SEC Network, ACC Network, Big Ten Network and PAC-12 Network|
|Regional Sports Networks:||Many of the networks listed above with the MLB teams also offer college baseball.|
|Non-Traditional Pay Streaming:||ESPN+, ESPN3, SEC Network+, Big Ten Network+, school websites|
|Free Streaming Options:||Stadium, Pluto TV, Facebook Live, YouTube|
If you’re looking for games in one of the “Power 5” conferences, you’re likely to find the live streams on the conference-affiliated networks.
Other broadcasts for these games may be found on ESPN+, which is a digital-only subscription ($5.99 per month) that streams content not provided by the traditional ESPN channels.
Free services including Facebook Live, YouTube, Pluto TV and Stadium also have agreements to stream college baseball games.
And for some of the smaller college baseball programs, you may actually find that the best way to live stream the games is by paying for a subscription directly through the school’s website.
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