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The most thrilling time of the baseball year has arrived! It's the MLB playoffs, which started this week and run through the World Series in late October/early November. This year's edition promises to be as exciting as ever, so you're not going to want to miss a thing. But don't worry: You won't have to go crawling back to the cable giants just because the baseball playoffs are on. Here's everything you need to know about how to watch the MLB playoffs without cable.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream the MLB playoffs:
What channels are the MLB playoffs on?
As we'll see in just a moment, the best way to watch the MLB playoffs without cable is typically to sign up for a streaming service that will offer the networks we know and love from cable — albeit without that very un-loveable high cable price! But channel selection can vary from service to service, so we need to be careful. We want to make sure that we're able to stream all of the channels that carry live MLB playoff action. So which channels are those? Let's run down the list.
Now that we know what networks will be showing us the awesome MLB playoff action, we need to find a way to get those networks without cable. The best way to do that is to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. Often called “skinny bundles” because of their slimmed-down channel selections (and their slimmed-down price tags), live TV streaming services are like better versions of cable or satellite subscriptions. They stream online on all kinds of devices, offer great channels without the bloat, and don't share cable's obsession with long-term contracts.
We'll talk about some of our favorite skinny bundles below, and we'll also discuss free over-the-air TV. You won't see MLB.TV on our list, because that subscription streaming service only serves up regular-season games. However, those of you with pay TV subscriptions and the MLB.TV app should note that MLB.TV typically allows streamers to log in with their pay TV credentials in order to unlock live streams of the playoff games. Since that's not necessarily a true “cord cutting” option, we're leaving it off of our list.
Let's go ahead and get to the list, shall we? Here's how to watch the MLB playoffs without cable.
Stream the MLB playoffs for free with Hulu
Hulu has long been a favorite of on-demand streamers. These days, the service is also an excellent choice for live TV. Hulu + Live TV offers a lot of great channels, including the ones that baseball fans care about most at this time of year: Fox, FS1, and TBS. You can test out Hulu + Live TV by clicking our link and signing up for a free trial.
Stream the MLB playoffs for free with fuboTV
fuboTV likes to bill itself as the best live TV streaming service for sports fans. That may or may not be so, but fuboTV is certainly a great option for watching the MLB playoffs without cable. fuboTV's channel selection includes Fox, FS1, and TBS. Click our link to get started with fuboTV.
Stream the MLB playoffs with Sling TV
Sling TV is a skinny bundle designed to cater to your preferences. With Sling TV, you design your own bundle: Using base bundles and add-on bundles called “Extras,” you can customize your channel selection to ensure that you get everything you want without having to pay for any filler. Sling TV's channel offerings include FS1 and TBS. Note that, as of this writing, Sling TV does not offer Fox. However, you could always pair Sling TV with an over-the-air antenna to create an MLB playoffs solution on the cheap.
AT&T TV Now is, as the name suggests, the live TV streaming service from AT&T. Previously known as DirecTV Now, this live TV streaming service is a great option for streaming the MLB playoffs live. You'll be able to get Fox, FS1, and TBS through this service.
YouTube TV is Google's entry into the skinny bundle derby, and it's a worthy one. YouTube TV pairs a great and user-friendly app with a nice channel selection that includes Fox, FS1, and TBS.
FOX has the rights to the World Series, which means that the biggest games of the postseason will air on the company's flagship network. That, in turn, means that cord cutters can get the big games for free over the air. In most areas, you'll be able to pick up FOX (as well as the other major networks) for free over the air with an antenna. Not sure what antenna is right for you? Just check out our helpful guide.
Okay, so you won't be able to watch the postseason on MLB.TV – MLB.TV requires a pay TV login to view postseason matchups. But your MLB.TV subscription includes a subscription to MLB Audio, which keeps right on truckin' throughout the postseason. That means that you can hear your local radio announcers call each game (none of that impartial stuff – and no Joe Buck!) through the MLB At Bat app. You can also grab an MLB Audio subscription on its own. If you aren't dead set on getting the local radio broadcasts, you could listen to ESPN Radio's national radio coverage instead. Those broadcasts are available for free on ESPN Radio's website and app. You could also, of course, just use a regular radio! Your local ESPN Radio affiliate station will no doubt be broadcasting the game. Baseball is a game that is uniquely suited to radio; if you have never tried listening instead of watching, you should really do so!
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