Summer is here, bringing outdoor barbecues and having a cold one under the sun. As the days get longer, trips to the pool, or cycling round the parks becomes more frequent. There is an urge to take in the daylight hours while we can, and add up those steps and miles on our activity-tracking apps.
You may work up a sweat outdoors doing a variety of activities, depending on your degree of accessibility. Have a bout of neighborhood basketball, or soccer in the park. Maybe a tennis match with other enthusiasts at the community club.
That’s all perfectly idyllic for the would-be athlete in our midst. But some of us would unapologetically prefer to sit on our couch with a cold one than bake under the glare of the sun. Especially when there are professional athletes duking it out for our entertainment.
For those less inclined to spend time organizing friends and family to gather for a cookout, streaming services are a blessing in this hot weather. The season is just chock-full of sporting events which extend year-round. Both professional and varsity leagues have showcase matches lined up for the calendar. It’s a boon for a sports fan!
So, let’s talk about having the most fun indoors with our favorite teams. It’s a festival of physical endurance, athleticism, and tactical skill, and we’re here for it.
Over the years, there has been huge advancement in live sports coverage. Technologically speaking, fans are enjoying a feast of high-definition, 4K, crystal-clear action right on their screens. Replays, highlights, slow-mos, and more features make TV-viewing much more enriching than attending a sporting event.
To really enjoy football, basketball, or motor racing in high-definition, you need a smart TV capable of rendering footage in the quality it is intended to be seen in. OLED TVs that support 4K output over a mid-range internet connection is just about the basic setup you need to watch live sports.
Speaking of internet connections, this is a key factor that makes or breaks your enjoyment of a game. Imagine, the last few minutes of a soccer match, where your rivals are dangerously close to scoring an equalizer… and your connection starts buffering.
All the HD technology in the world won’t compensate for missing out on a suspenseful end to a highlight match. That’s why streaming any live game requires a reliable, high-speed internet connection with the bandwidth to support streaming large amounts of data.
Once you have settled on a smart TV that renders live footage in high-quality over your internet connection, you’re set. All you need now is a comfy couch and a steady supply of snacks to see you over the next baseball game or football nailbiter.
Streaming Services for Live Sports
With major professional leagues running concurrent events throughout the season, choosing one streaming service is a nightmare. The big cable networks of NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX have rights to NCAA championships, the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball and title games in NHL, Golf and MLS leagues. So which one does you get?
For U.S fans, there are many OTT services offering streaming bundles across leagues. For example, cross-league combat sports have a home in the streaming service DAZN where all MMA and boxing events are shown except for UFC.
For a wider selection of American and International sports, it is better to go for a large-scale broadcaster like ESPN+ or DirecTV Stream. Between themselves, these two services cover almost all major and minor league events, including college basketball, rowing, and lacrosse.
Aside from these major sporting leagues, there are international events in Racing, Soccer, Tennis, Athletics, and Cricket that cannot be missed. For Americans fans though, the complex web of broadcasting rights proves an obstacle in seeing the games you want right at home.
But there’s a solution to that as well. There are specialty sports streaming services, like Sky Sports, Star Sports, and Kayo Sports in USA that allow American fans to enjoy the riches of pro league tournaments from such as AFL, Premier League, La Liga, F1 International circuits, etc.
It’s the perennial question of sports fans not only in the U.S but around the world – what is the best (read cheapest) way of watching live sports at home? There are several options available depending on your region, type of sport, and viewing habits.
For dedicated sports fans, it is always better to purchase a subscription to a bundle streaming service that will cover most professional sports. For example, SlingTV offers blue or orange packages marketed for viewers who like a combination of U.S and international pro events.
For the unfairly maligned fair-weather fans, it is better to follow the Pay Per View model. However, PPV events are more popular in combat sports, and become relatively expensive if you want to stream multiple matches in other sports.
A middle ground is to subscribe to a streaming service for the duration of a tournament such as for the FIFA World Cup. Once the tourney is over, you can promptly unsubscribe from the service with a ‘see you next time’ wave. But for this strategy, you need to stay vigilant about cancellation or risk losing on subscription fees to services you will never watch.
Of course, for some, the old school is still what works best. However, we would not recommend cable subscriptions to fans because cable companies like Xfinity or Spectrum charge more per month for the same content that sports streaming services like SlingTV provide for cheaper.
The streaming wars have provided sports fans with the spoils of high-quality live sports at reasonable prices. The trick is to know beforehand which service is broadcasting your favorite sport. Sometimes, your subscription package excludes major events or tacks on extra fees to watch marquee events. This is the time to look about for a better deal for your fandom in such circumstances.