NASCAR offers some of the most thrilling action in sports, but there's nothing thrilling about paying through 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 live NASCAR action without any pitfalls (or pit stops). Here's how to watch NASCAR without cable.
What channel is NASCAR on?
As we'll see momentarily, the best way to watch NASCAR without cable is to use a live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle,” to access livestreaming television channels. But to know which services we’ll need, we first have to know which channels we need. And in order to know that, we have to know which channels air NASCAR races!
- FOX: This major network has been home to some of NASCAR's biggest races since 2001. FOX is an over-the-air channel in many areas.
- FS1, FS2, and FOX Business: FOX has the rights to more NASCAR than can fit on its flagship channel. That's why FOX pushes some NASCAR broadcasts to its sister networks, most notably the sports-focused networks FS1 and FS2.
- NBC: NASCAR's other major-network partner is NBC. Some of the year's biggest races will hit the airwaves on this channel, which can be picked up for free with an antenna in many areas.
- NBCSN and CNBC: Some NASCAR events are broadcast on NBCSN, which is NBC's sports-focused network. But not all of the NASCAR events fit on even that network, so NBC bumps some broadcasts to CNBC.
Now that we know which channels we're looking for, we just need to figure out how to watch those channels without cable.
How to watch NASCAR online and over the air
As we just mentioned, NASCAR races air on a number of different channels. NBC and FOX have the rights to every race, but you can also expect them to air on NBC and FOX themselves. In addition, NBCSN and FS1 will also be streaming some races you absolutely can't miss.
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 if you're determined not to miss a single race.
You can watch NASCAR without cable for free with over-the-air TV, which we'll get to in a moment, but that will only help you get the races on FOX and NBC. For races not 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 a live TV streaming service.
Live TV streaming services use internet streaming (the same technology Netflix uses) for live network television. In essence, they offer a version of cable that lives online. But there are no infrastructure costs (and no regional monopolies).
Not every live TV streaming service allows you 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. Read on!
In addition to the popular on-demand streaming service, Hulu + Live TV includes access to a selection of live network television channels. Among the channels offered are FOX, NBC, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, and CNBC. You can read our Hulu + Live TV review to learn more.
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 channel selection includes FS1, FS2, NBCSN, and (in select markets, as is typical for major networks) livestreams of FOX and NBC as well. You can read our review of fuboTV to learn more.
Another option is Sling TV. This streaming service allows 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 and Hollywood Extra, which include small groups of channels and allow you to tailor your skinny bundle so that it delivers your ideal selection of channels — without forcing you to pay for channels you don't want. That makes it easy for NASCAR fans to build a bundle that includes FS1, FS2, NBCSN, and CNBC. The catch? As of this writing, Sling TV offers NBC and FOX affiliates, but only in a handful of markets. If you live in one of those markets, you can watch the NBC and FOX races on Sling TV.
Google's version of the live TV streaming service is another strong option for fans of NASCAR. If you sign up for YouTube TV's subscription plan, you'll have access to the livestreams of FOX, NBC, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, and CNBC.
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 you are from the nearest FOX and NBC broadcasting towers, buy an antenna with the appropriate range, connect it to your TV, and scan for channels (you do that last bit in your TV's menus, using your TV remote to navigate).
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. Well, good news! We’ve got a chart below that details which platforms work with which services.
|Roku||Fire TV||Apple TV||Android TV||Chromecast||iOS||Android||Web browser|
|Hulu + Live TV||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
More to Watch for NASCAR Fans
Fans love NASCAR in large part because of just how ridiculously fast the cars speed around the track. When drivers are going almost 200 mph, a situation that looks fine one second can turn into “the big one” before viewers realize what’s happened.
Now, hockey moves fast, but it doesn’t move quite that fast, luckily. But it’s still tremendously fun to watch, and it often takes a slow-motion replay or two to figure out exactly how that winger got the puck past the goalie. If you haven’t yet experienced the joy of NHL hockey, now’s a great time to do so. Our guide to watching NHL games without cable can get you started.