NASCAR offers some of the most thrilling action in sports, but there’s nothing thrilling about paying for the nose for cable TV. Fortunately, it’s possible to watch NASCAR without cable – meaning that you can get more bang for your buck and enjoy non-stop live NASCAR action without any pitfalls (or pit stops). Here’s how to watch NASCAR without cable.
How to Watch NASCAR Online and Over the Air Without Cable
This year, NASCAR broadcasts will air on a number of different channels. NBC and Fox have the rights to every race, but they’ll be spreading the wealth across their channels: you can expect big events to air on NBC and Fox themselves, but plenty of other can’t-miss races will air on channels like NBCSN and FS1.
So what does this mean for those hoping to watch NASCAR without cable? Well, it means that you have a few different options for watching key NASCAR races without paying big bucks. It also means that you’ll have to focus on one particular type of solution is you’re determined to not miss a single race.
You can watch NASCAR without cable for free with over-the-air TV, which we’ll get to in a second, but that will only help you get the races on Fox and NBC. For races on “network television” – the ones on FS1 and NBCSN and the other channels that you may think you need cable to watch – you’ll need something called a “live TV streaming service.”
The first several options we’ll list here are live TV streaming services, so rather than repeat ourselves a bunch, let’s explain up-front what they are. Live TV streaming services use internet streaming (just like the technology Netflix uses) for live network television. In essence, they just offer a version of cable that lives online. But with no infrastructure costs (and no regional monopolies), plus a tendency to slim down bulky cable bundles into nothing-but-the-good-stuff “skinny bundles,” these services end up being far cheaper than their old-school counterparts.
Not every live TV streaming service makes a great way to watch NASCAR without cable, but a bunch of them do. We’ve listed all of those below, along with free over-the-air TV, which we’ll discuss in more depth in just a bit. Read on!
DIRECTV NOW offers a selection of different bundles. For starters, there’s the $35 per month “Live a Little” bundle. From there, you can climb the ladder and pay more for more channels. NBC, Fox, FS1, and NBCSN are all available through Live a Little, but you’ll have to pay a bit more if you want channels like FS2. One thing to note here is that NBC and Fox availability will vary by region. That’s the case with all of the skinny bundles we’ll list here, unfortunately. The fact is that the major networks (which include NBC and Fox, as well as the NASCAR-less ABC and CBS) have affiliates all across the country that make their own deals with these streaming services, so live feeds are available in some regions but not in others. FS1 and NBCSN will be available all over, though, and lucky markets will have all four of these key NASCAR networks (Fox, FS1, NBC, and NBCSN) all in the Live a Little package, making it easy to watch NASCAR without cable for just $35 a month. You can see what your coverage looks like by signing up for the free trial via the link below.
fuboTV is a live TV streaming service built with sports fans in mind. For NASCAR fans, at least, it lives up to its ambitions: fuboTV’s main bundle, the $39.99 per month fubo Premier, includes FS1 and NBCSN in all markets, plus Fox and NBC in select markets. One note about that price: if you live in one of the New York-area markets served by the MSG family of networks, your cost will bump up to $44.99 per month. You can read our review of fuboTV here, or you can try it out for yourself by clicking on the link below and signing up for the week-long free trial.
Hulu with Live TV is, as the name suggests, Hulu’s take on the live TV streaming service. You may have already heard of Hulu thanks to its popular video on-demand service. Its live TV service lives up to Hulu’s existing reputation. Hulu with Live TV includes Fox and NBC (in select markets) as well as FS1 and NBCSN in its lone base package, which costs $39.99 per month. You can see what we though of Hulu with Live TV by reading our review here, or you can just sign up for the service’s free trial and start watching NASCAR without cable right now for free. The free trial is a week long.
PlayStation Vue may sound more like a way to play a NASCAR video game than a way to watch NASCAR without cable, but don’t let the branding fool you. PlayStation Vue happens to be owned by Sony, the same company that makes PlayStation video game consoles, but this service works just as well on a wide range of streaming devices. And PlayStation Vue’s skinniest bundle – the $39.99 per month “Access” – includes Fox and NBC (in select markets), plus FS1 and NBCSN. That makes PlayStation Vue a great way to watch NASCAR without cable.
With Sling TV, subscribers build their own custom skinny bundle. You start with one (or both) of Sling TV’s two base packages, “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue.” From there, you can add genre-specific extras like “Sports Extra” or “Hollywood Extra,” which include small groups of channels and allow you to tailor your skinny bundle so that it delivers you your ideal selection of channels – without forcing you to pay for channels you don’t want. For NASCAR fans, building the perfect bundle is easy: just start with Sling Blue ($25 per month), which includes FS1 and NBCSN, as well as (in select markets) Fox and NBC. Sling TV is a highly customizable and highly affordable way to watch NASCAR without cable.
Free Over-the-Air TV
NBC was here before cable was, and it built a network of broadcast towers before connecting a TV to a long cable was even a thing. Fox came along later, but it has a robust network of local affiliate channels with their own broadcast towers, too. This means that it’s possible – just as it was in the old days – to pick up these channels for free with an antenna, no cable required.
This method won’t work with FS1 and NBCSN, so you’ll get only the big races that are bumped up to the flagship networks. But you can’t beat the price: after you buy an antenna, you’ll be able to watch NASCAR without cable for free. You’ll just need to find out how far away your local Fox and NBC stations are, buy an antenna with the appropriate range, plug it into your TV, and scan for channels (you do that last bit in your TV’s menus, using your TV remote to navigate). For more on free over-the-air TV, click the link below or search through Cordcutting.com’s extensive back-catalog of posts on antennas and free over-the-air TV.
Can I Watch NASCAR on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?
NASCAR races are big events, and they deserve to be viewed on your big screen. So, naturally, you’ll probably want to use a smart TV or streaming device that runs one of the major streaming platforms: Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast. Well, good news: DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV all offer apps that work on or with Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast devices. As for Android TV – the platform used by some Sony smart TVs and the Nvidia Shield, among other devices – it’s supported by fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV.
Each of these services also works on your mobile devices (iOS or Android) and computer. Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV both work on Xbox One video game consoles, while PlayStation Vue works on – you guessed it – the PlayStation 4.
As for free over-the-air TV, that’s easy to get on the big screen: just plug an antenna into your TV and scan for channels. If you want to get more high-tech with it, though, you can turn your over-the-air content into streaming content by using an over-the-air DVR and the appropriate app on your streaming device; or by using a Plex server, USB TV tuner, and the Plex app on your streaming device.
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