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How to Consider Baseball Without Cables for the 2019 MLB Season



  Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

AL MVP Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox takes the field and begins another season.


Billie White / Boston Red Sox / Getty Images

Spring is here, the days are sunnier and Major League Baseball is back.

The 2019 MLB season begins earlier than ever: Thursday, March 28. From the Yankees and Orioles to the Reds and Pirates, all 30 Major League The teams play on the opening day and start the six-month marathon of 162 games, the regular season.

In the past, you needed a cable or satellite subscription (or season ticket) to play your favorite team daily and on a daily basis. This year, however, baseball fans who happen to be Cable TV Cable Cutter can also stream the action live or record in the cloud DVRs in the spring, summer and fall.

So where do you start? It depends on which team you follow and where you live.

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Live TV streaming service against MLB.TV

There are two 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 (from $ 25 per month)
  • Subscribe to MLB.TV ($ 25 / month or $ 119 / year)

Depending on where you live one could the main live TV streaming services Carry the channel with your favorite team. These channels, known as Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), deliver almost all regular season games live.

The dark sides? Not every such service carries each RSN, and some teams are not available in any live TV service. There is also the price: only Sling TV Blue costs $ 25, while the rest is $ 40 or more.

The other option is MLB.TV, a separate service where each game is played live by each team. It's great for hardcore fans in general.

The big catch on MLB.TV is the local blackout restriction: you can not track the matches of your local team live. Instead, they are available about 90 minutes after the game ends. For example, if you're a fan of Yankees in the New York area, you will not be able to see the Yankees game for one and a half hours after after the final. Other teams' games are not played live, which makes MLB.TV ideal for fans looking to watch one or more of the 28 or 29 teams based in other cities, also known as out-of-market teams.

Live TV streaming: Most suitable for fans of the home team

Due to MLB.TV's blocking restriction, a live TV streaming service is the best choice if you want to follow your local team.

Many services have the Regional Sports Network (RSN), which has exclusive rights to every regular game of the season. And most of them carry the large national networks – ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS – which broadcast regular matchups from various league teams.

So the RSNs stack up at each service.

RSN Availability by Team and Streaming Service

Team Name of the Regional Sports Network (RSN) Sling Blue ($ 25) YouTube TV ($ 40) 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
Baltimore Orioles MASN No No No No No No
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 Sports California Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Philadelphia Phillies NBC Sports 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
Washington Nationals MASN No No No No No No

Some Key Takeaways:

  • None of the services carries the RSNs for the Baltimore Orioles, the Colorado Rockies, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Seattle Mariners, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Washington Nationals. To see these teams, you will need cable, satellite, MLB.TV or another workaround.
  • The Sling TV RSNs are only available to Sling Blue customers who lack ESPN. Sling Orange customers will not receive RSNs (or Fox or FS1), but will be able to watch national games on ESPN.
  • The only service with Houston Astros games is Fubo TV. Unfortunately, ESPN is missing.
  • YouTube TV is the only service that includes MLB Network in its base package. The others either ask for more or do not wear it.

Disclosure: CNET may receive some of the proceeds from the sale of the products featured on this site.

YouTube TV ($ 40)

YouTube TV costs $ 40 a month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, MLB Network, and TBS. This is the cheapest option if you want to use all the networks that broadcast national baseball broadcasts. Enter your postcode on the welcome page to see which local area networks and RSNs are available in your area.


See on YouTube TV

Sling TV ($ 25 or $ 40)

Sling TV's Orange Plan includes ESPN and ESPN2, and the Blue Plan includes Fox and FS1. Both plans offer TBS, but also no MLB network. You can combine the Orange and Blue plans to increase the display options for baseball. Sections generally cost US $ 25 per month, but are currently discounted to US $ 15 in the first three months. Similarly, the bundled Orange & Blue plan usually costs $ 40 a month, but you can get it for three months for $ 25 a month. Find out which local channels and RSNs are available in your area.


See Sling TV

FuboTV (45 USD)

FuboTV costs $ 45 per month and includes Fox, FS1 and TBS, but not ESPN, ESPN2 or MLB Network. Check out the charts in this Fubo PDF document to find out which RSNs are offered with local MLB coverage.


See at FuboTV

Hulu with Live TV ($ 45)

Hulu with live TV costs $ 45 a month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1 and TBS, but no MLB network. On the welcome page, click the "See all the channels in your area" link to see which local area networks and RSNs are available at your location.


See Hulu with live TV

PlayStation Vue ($ 45)

PlayStation Vue's $ 45 access plan includes ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1, and TBS. The $ 50 monthly Core Plan adds the MLB network. Find out which local channels and RSNs you receive.


See PlayStation Vue

DirecTV Now ($ 50)

DirecTV Now is the cheapest $ 50 per month plus pack that includes ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1, and TBS. However, neither the Plus package nor the $ 70-monthly Max package includes the MLB network. You can use the channel search utility to see which local channels and RSNs are available in your area.


See at DirecTV Now

All live TV streaming services listed above offer free trial versions, can be canceled at any time and require a fixed internet connection. Are you looking for more information? Take a look at our massive guide .

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MLB

MLB.TV Subscription: The Best For Off-Market Games

The official streaming service from Major League Baseball is ideal if you want to follow your favorite team when you live outside its market. However, due to the 90-minute blackout described above, this is less useful for tracking the home team.

Here are the MLB.TV pricing options for 2019:

  • You pay $ 119 a year to track every out-of-market game live or on-demand and the in-market team (home) with a 90-minute delay from the end of the game. If you feel that your team is not worthwhile after the trading deadline, you can pay $ 25 a month, which gives you the opportunity to call the team if your team is out of the pennant race.
  • Pay $ 92 a year to see a single, non-marketed team. If you're interested in watching only your favorite team (and not live on its TV market), you can save a few euros with this plan. However, you are sacrificing the ability to switch to a potential no-hitter at another location or in another exciting matchup or moment when your team does not matter.

Both MLB.TV plans also include home and away broadcast streams. The radio broadcasts are not subject to the blackout rule, so you can listen to home matches live.

See MLB.TV

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The At Bat app by MLB is a great way to watch games on your phone or tablet.


Photo by Sarah Tew / CNET

MLB At Bat Add-On

The MLB At Bat app is great for cell phones and even better for tablets. If you have purchased an MLB.TV subscription (as described above), you can sign in to your account and watch live games in the app. There is a cheaper subscription option that can only be used with the mobile app, but it is very limited what you can see.

You can buy an At Bat subscription through the MLB At Bat app. It costs $ 20 a year (or $ 3 a month) and allows you to listen to radio broadcasts at home or on the move (baseball is the only sport I can hear on the radio) and one game a day during the day Season to see. You can not choose which game you want to see. You are firmly attached to the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day.

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