Baseball is BACK, baby! After a long, cruel winter full of awful things like snow and football, our national pastime is returning triumphantly to the ballparks of North America — and to our televisions. But what are cord-cutters to do when their favorite home team’s games are broadcast on cable? Well, we're so glad you asked. Follow our guide below, and you’ll be set to catch the whole MLB season without a cable hookup.
What Channels Show MLB Games?
There are several cost-effective ways for cord-cutters to enjoy live TV broadcasts without cable, including digital livestream counterparts for traditional cable channels that typically broadcast MLB games. Here is the rundown of the channels you’ll need when looking for MLB games:
For Local, Regular-Season MLB Games
- Regional Sports Networks (RSNs): First and foremost among MLB broadcasters are the regional sports networks (RSNs). These channels only cover a select region and carry all 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: NESN, SNY, Bally Sports, and other similar channels. Which channel carries your team will vary by region as well as by streaming or TV provider, but if you know your local station you’ll be able to see its availability in the lists below.
For National Broadcasts, the MLB Playoffs, and the World Series
Your RSN will have the local team’s games whenever they’re not on national TV. But to watch your team is on the biggest stage, such as the World Series, 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.
How to Watch MLB Online Without Cable
You have a few different ways to watch MLB games without cable.
The first approach is to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. These streaming options provide live broadcasts of popular cable channels for a fraction of the price of a typical cable hook-up. Many service packages include RSNs around the country, as well as FOX, ESPN, and other must-have networks for baseball fans.
Another option is MLB.TV, which combines the feeds of RSNs around the country into a buffet of all things baseball. There’s a catch, however, MLB.TV blacks out your local RSN games, and so between that and a lack of national broadcasts, MLB.TV ends up being a better fit for out-of-market fans.
Finally, you can watch on free over-the-air TV, which won’t get you every game but will snag you a live feed of the games on local broadcast channels like FOX.
Below is our list of the best ways to watch MLB without cable:
Hulu + Live TV’s selection of RSNs has been cut back over time, so it’s not quite the must-have service for MLB fans that it once was. But Hulu + Live TV still has RSN coverage in select markets and offers livestreams of networks like FOX, TBS, and ESPN, so you’ll still get nationally broadcast games. You can see the details of the service in our Hulu + Live TV review.
Built for sports fans, fuboTV has some appetizing features, including a specialized 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. The fuboTV streaming service also offers livestreams of FOX and ESPN, but it’s missing TBS. If you’re a cost-conscious sports fan fuboTV might be just the ticket. Read our hands-on fuboTV review for all the details.
For baseball, 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, but if you’re only looking for “Sunday Night Baseball” and other national broadcasts at a fair price, the network is a good option. We show you everything Sling TV has to offer in our SlingTV review.
YouTube TV carries the NBC Sports RSNs and national networks like FOX, ESPN, and TBS. A reliable choice to stream the big games, but depending on which RSN you’re trying to track down, your mileage will vary.
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, and scan for channels. If you’re within the range of your local FOX affiliate, you’ll get the live game for free.
Major League Baseball’s own streaming service is a great option for watching a whole lot of baseball; however, it has some specific limitations. As a rule, you can expect anything broadcast on TV in your area to be blacked out. That means MLB.TV blocks live feeds your local RSN games (although they can be watched as an archive 90 minutes after the game's conclusion.) Postseason national broadcasts are also never available on MLB.TV.
That said, MLB.TV includes a free subscription to MLB Audio, the radio equivalent to MLB.TV's video offerings, and MLB Audio has no blackouts. To summarize the whole package, 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.
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 their app is available on almost every streaming device available.
|Roku||Fire TV||Apple TV||Android TV||Chromecast||iOS||Android||Web/
|Hulu + Live TV||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
While not in the table above, 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.
Beat MLB 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.
13 thoughts on “How to Watch MLB Without Cable in 2023”
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.
This post has an error in MLB.TV pricing. Single team is $89.99 per year, not per month.
Thanks for pointing out, Nick! Fixed now.
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.
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.
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?
I am also looking, to watch St. Louis Cardinals on Fox Sports Midwest, because Dish no longer has this channel…
No help from me… but GO CARDS!!!
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
Does any of these services carry Fox Sport South and Southeast?
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.
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.
MLB TV definitely the option to go with