I have a secret.
I live in Maryland but I love my New York teams (I'm that weird Mets, Jets, Knicks combo). I'm not a die-hard fan in that I rearrange my schedule because I must watch every game (good luck — that's 260 games combined), but I like catching a game when I can. (though these Jets games are getting harder and harder to watch year after year… this past year was a little better than expected but still brutal and this upcoming one… we shall see!)
Since I'm out of market, I don't get a lot of the games on TV.
I could buy each of the professional sports packages – NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB.TV, and NBA League Pass – but that'd be absurd. I'm not spending thousands to watch sports.
Most of the time, I don't even watch. I'm not really missing much.
If you're in a similar situation and want to catch a few games for free, here's how to do it with online streams.
Before You Watch – Protect Yourself!
Before I show you where — remember that these are unauthorized streams.
You're about a foot into the darker, less than savory, parts of the web. Install an ad blocker and update your antivirus software, you will be inundated with ads and popups. My favorite antivirus is free – AVG – and I use AdBlock Pro on Google Chrome and I still get popups.
This is a legal gray area. There often unauthorized streams. If you want to go legit, you could look at this list of 10 sites that pay you money and start doing some of those to help pay for the sports packages. They run into the hundreds of dollars a year.
How to Find Live Sports Streams
For a while, people used to go to the sites themselves. They had weird names, were hosted on international servers, and they would get taken down every so often. They were reliable until they weren't, so I never sought to dig any deeper.
Then I realized that there is a community of people who must know of where the streams are.
There is – it's Reddit.
For any sport you can think of, there is a subreddit for it:
- r/ncaaBBallStreams – College basketball
- r/CFBStreams – College football
- r/nflstreams – National Football League
- r/MLBStreams – Major League Baseball
- r/NHLStreams – National Hockey League
- r/nbastreams – National Basketball Association
- r/MMAstreams – Mixed martial arts streams
I think you get the idea. The list is practically endless.
Lastly, and this is unrelated, one of the fun things about watching these streams is that you often get satellite feeds and they include the conversations the broadcasters have when they aren't broadcasting to the world.
I once listened to Al Trautwig, a long time commentator during Knicks games, have this mundane conversation about whether or not to do the next reporting shot sitting or standing. I don't know why I enjoyed hearing it but it was better than another ad!
How to Watch the World Cup Matches
The relevant sub-reddit for the World Cup will be the Soccerstreams reddit – r/soccerstreams/ – and it does a good job of listing the active games.
If you don't mind dealing with a trial, Hulu is going to be your best option for streaming every single game online. They have them all and they have a free trial so you can watch them during the trial and cancel before paying. You get the World Cup on FOX and FS1 plus 50+ other Live & on-demand channels.
How to Watch March Madness Games
Want more reliable streaming options without the pop-ups, spam, and viruses? It won't be free, but it's pretty cheap.
DirecTV NOW is running a promotion where you can get their service for 3 months for just $10 with the promotion code YESNOW3. We did a review of DirecTV NOW and their base package includes TNT, TBS, TruTV, and CBS – all the channels you'd need to watch the NCAA Men's Basketball March Madness tournament. The tournament lasts just a few weeks so you'll have extra months to enjoy the programming.
$10 to watch the games? You can't beat that deal.
The service will renew at full price, which is $35 per month, after the first three months unless you cancel.