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Baseball is BACK, baby! After a long, cruel winter full of awful things like snow and football, our national pasttime is returning triumphantly to the ballparks of North America — and to television, too. But what is a cord cutter to do when the games are on cable? Can you watch baseball without cable? We're so glad you asked. Sit back and relax, because we're here to show you how to watch MLB games without cable.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream MLB:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$69.99 – $139.99 65+ None

See Offer

$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

See Offer

$64.99 – $33.00 220+ 7 days

See Offer

$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

See Offer

What Channel Is the MLB Game On?

There are some very cost-effective ways for cord-cutters to enjoy live TV broadcasts without cable. Several of the options that we'll lay out below involve finding live TV networks without having to pay big cable bills. But which networks should we find? Here are the channels we'll be on the hunt for.

Local, Regular-Season MLB Games

  • Regional Sports Networks (RSNs): First and foremost among MLB broadcasters are the regional sports networks, or “RSNs.” These channels are the ones that air only in a select area and cover all of the regular-season games played by your local MLB team (and, most likely, your local NBA or NHL teams as well). You know the type: “Bally Sports” channels, NESN, SNY, and so on. These channels will vary by region as well as by streaming or TV provider, but we’ll do our best to cover them in-depth below.

National Broadcasts, the MLB Playoffs, and the World Series

Your local RSN will have your nearest team’s games whenever they’re not on national TV. But when your team is on the biggest stage, you’ll need one of these other networks.

  • FOX: This over-the-air network is home to the World Series, among other big-time games.
  • FS1: Not all of the MLB goodness fits on FOX’s flagship network. Expect to see some games bumped to FS1, a network station.
  • TBS: This network offers nationally televised baseball and is a must-have for the playoffs.
  • ESPN: The channel airs nationally televised baseball games throughout the season and includes TV events such as the popular “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast.
  • MLB Network: Major League Baseball’s own channel is a great source for MLB news, analysis, and highlights — and it has some live games available, too.

Not all of our MLB-without-cable solutions will involve live television networks per se, but many will, so it's a good thing that you know what you’re dealing with.

How to Watch MLB Online Without Cable

You have a few different ways to watch MLB games without cable.

For starters, you can subscribe to a live TV streaming service. Sometimes called “skinny bundles” for their pared-down channel selections and more affordable prices, these streaming options are beating cable at their own game — and many include livestreams of RSNs around the country, as well as livestreams of FOX, ESPN, and other must-have networks for baseball fans.

Another option is MLB.TV, which combines all the feeds of RSNs around the country into a smorgasbord of all things baseball. There’s one catch, though: Your own local RSN will have its games blacked out. Between that and the lack of national broadcasts, MLB.TV ends up being a better fit for out-of-market fans.

Finally, there’s free over-the-air TV, which won’t get you every game but will snag you a live feed of the games on over-the-air channels like FOX.

Let’s dive into the complete list!

Stream MLB for free with DIRECTV Stream

Try It

DIRECTV Stream is the live TV streaming service from telecom giant AT&T, and its channel selection is nearly as giant as its parent company. Among the selection are plenty of regional sports networks, so you’re likely to be covered for local baseball no matter where you live. DIRECTV Stream also delivers livestreams of every channel you need for live baseball, including FOX, TBS, and ESPN — just make sure to buy the Choice, Ultimate, or Premier plans to get access.

Stream MLB for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu’s selection of RSNs has taken a hit recently, so it’s not quite the must-have service for MLB fans that it once was. But Hulu still has RSN coverage in select markets, and it offers livestreams of networks like FOX, TBS, and ESPN, so you’ll still get those nationally broadcast games.

Stream MLB for free with fuboTV

Free Trial

fuboTV has some appetizing extras built in for sports fans, including a convenient menu that helps ensure you never miss a game. Like several other live TV streaming services, fuboTV is missing the Bally Sports networks right now, but it does have the NBC Sports family of RSNs. fuboTV offers livestreams of FOX and ESPN, but it’s missing TBS.

Stream MLB with Sling TV

Try It

Sling TV is best used to catch the national broadcasts on FOX, ESPN, and TBS. The RSN coverage on this service isn’t too impressive as of this writing, so you’ll want to look elsewhere if you’re trying to catch every game your local team plays. If you’re only looking for “Sunday Night Baseball” and other national broadcasts, though, the network is a good option.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is another strong option for NBC Sports RSNs and national networks like FOX, ESPN, and TBS. However, like other live TV streaming services, YouTube TV is missing the Bally Sports networks as of this writing. Your mileage will vary depending on which RSN you’re trying to track down.

Free over-the-air TV

Free over-the-air TV is a great option for streaming the big games on FOX — including the World Series. To watch the World Series without cable, just grab yourself a TV antenna, hook it up to your TV, and scan for channels. If you’re in range of your local FOX affiliate, you’ll get the live feed for free.

MLB.TV

Major League Baseball’s own streaming service is a great option for streaming a whole lot of baseball. MLB.TV has some big limitations, though, so be careful. MLB.TV’s blackouts are pretty serious: As a rule, you can expect anything available on TV in your area to be blacked out. That means that any broadcast on your own local RSN will be missing from MLB.TV, as will all national broadcasts. With that said, MLB.TV also includes a free subscription to MLB Audio, the radio equivalent to MLB.TV's video offerings, and MLB Audio has no blackouts. In other words, MLB.TV will give you a video livestream of every regular-season game that’s not on TV in your market, plus an audio livestream of every game including postseason games, national broadcasts, and in-market matchups.

If the blackouts bother you, you could consider circumventing the rules. We don’t necessarily endorse that, but we’ll talk a bit more about what we mean by it in a moment.

Can I Watch MLB on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

If you subscribe to one of the services we recommended above, you’ll find that it’s easy to watch your team’s games on your favorite streaming devices. Each of the services we recommend has great platform support, meaning there should be an app available for quality streaming platforms like Roku and Fire TV.

Roku Fire TV Apple TV Android TV Chromecast iOS Android Web/
browser
DirectTV Stream
Hulu + Live TV
fuboTV
Sling TV
Youtube TV

MLB.TV has great platform support as well — it’s easy to watch on your mobile device (iOS or Android) or computer (Mac or PC via the in-browser option), and it also works wonderfully with Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast devices.

Beating Blackouts With a VPN

We adore MLB.TV, but it definitely has some shortcomings. MLB’s blackout rules are really upsetting fans, and we can see why — for most of us, the “in-market” teams that are blacked out on MLB.TV are the very teams we want to see most! After all, it’s “root, root, root for the home team,” not “root, root, root for the out-of-market team!”

There is a way to beat MLB.TV’s blackouts, but you should know that MLB.TV does not endorse it — and, in fact, it’s almost certainly against the end user agreement and could theoretically get you booted from the service. However, it’s not currently known for enforcing the rule, so read on and decide for yourself.

What some intrepid baseball fans do is this: they subscribe to a great VPN service and use their VPN app to change their IP address before logging into the MLB.TV app. The right (out-of-market) IP address can unlock streams that aren’t available in your location. Consider that one more option in your “How to Watch MLB Online” toolbox.

12 thoughts on “How to Watch MLB Without Cable

  1. Brian says:

    There is also satellite radio, which really just rebroadcasts the local radio coverage. However it can be had for a pretty good price and you get other programming as well as NHL hockey.

  2. Nick says:

    This post has an error in MLB.TV pricing. Single team is $89.99 per year, not per month.

    1. Cordcutting.com says:

      Thanks for pointing out, Nick! Fixed now.

  3. Ninamary says:

    I love baseball. I grew up in the Boston area but now live out of the local NESN market. MLB.TV has allowed me to not onky watch my beloved Red Sox, but the Cubs. Although MLB.TV worked well on my LG UF7600 TV in 2016 and 2017, it has failed to work at the beginning of the season (opening day!).

    It took about three weeks to resolve the issue. MLB.TV had me on the phone several times during this time. On opening day, I spent three hours on the telephone with MLB.TV customer support. I had to do shut off the television and turn it back on; shut off the Wi-Fi and turn it back on; chanhe DNS several times; delete and reinstall the MLB.TV app several times, etc. Nothing worked!

    I emailed MLB.TV about the problem and a rep called me back within a week. She explained that LG devices were not working with MLB.TV this season (2018) due to a communication error. It was explained to me as “an LG problem.” The streaming service was finally working. I asked for a credit and was told MLBT.V does not credit customer accounts for such technical issues.

    On July 12, 2018, MLB.TV updated its software again and I am now shut out of all baseball. Again. Several phone calls to MLB.TV result in frustration. Nothing can be done. It’s my LG television set, not MLB.TV. Again, no credit to the customer’s account.

    Has anyone else experienced this issue? I just want the streaming service to work.

    1. Karen says:

      Hi Ninamary, I am a die-hard Cubs fan and I have had the same problems trying to watch from my vacation home in the White Mountains of AZ. We have a LG TV also. We were able to stream on the MLB.TV app using the Amazon Fire Stick with no trouble at all in 2017. It has never worked in 2018. I worked around the issue by connecting my laptop to the TV with an HDMI cable. However, this is not ideal. I have found other forums where the users complained about Fire Stick, but I haven’t heard anything about the LG TV being a problem. I don’t really understand how that could be. It is very frustrating.

  4. Jim says:

    I am a DISH customer and cannot watch FOX Sports North and the Minnesota Twins because of a contract dispute that’s been going on since mid-season last year. Trying to figure out an alternative method to watch games?

    1. Juli says:

      I am also looking, to watch St. Louis Cardinals on Fox Sports Midwest, because Dish no longer has this channel…
      Anyone???

      1. Tim says:

        No help from me… but GO CARDS!!!

  5. Michele says:

    If you have Amazon Prime MLB TV has 2 options; 1) all team pass $24.99/month or 2) ONE team pass $49.99/year

  6. RITA KINDLEY says:

    Does any of these services carry Fox Sport South and Southeast?

  7. Andy says:

    I wish someone would come out with a website where I could go and click on what teams I am interested in. Brewers, Cubs, Whitesox, click click click. Then what networks I have access Fox, TBS, Youtube game of the week. Click, click, click. Now show me a monthly calendar of what is available, what time and who are they playing. I love baseball but realistically only have time to watch a few games a month and as a cord cutter it is like looking for a needle in a haystack to find what games are out there for free.

  8. RSNs Suck says:

    Hulu, Fubo and Sling have all dropped the (former) Fox RSNs that are now owned by Sinclair.

    You have 3 options now: DirecTV, ATT.tv and MLB.tv. And DirecTV has probably already dropped them as well. There’s always piracy sites as well, but those are loaded with malware.

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