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I know that I am not the only finance minded person that worries about keeping costs low, but also catching their favorite teams game each week. My sport is college football and my team is Nebraska. I don't miss a game and as a cord cutter it was important for me to find ways to catch the game at home.
I did a lot of research and found some economical ways to cut the cord and still catch my favorite team.
Invest in an Antenna
For just under two years, we have used an antenna to catch any games that are on the network channels. We purchased a 50-mile radius indoor antenna and we get CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and other local channels. Those four network channels are free and in HD from a little indoor antenna.
You will be amazed with the picture clarity! We purchased ours through Amazon and set up was simple. For anyone looking to cut the cable cord, investing in an antenna is a must. We have used both the Amazon Basics and 1byone antennas shown below.
Pay for Streaming Services
Of course, an antenna won't get you all of the sports that you want. Thus, we made the decision to purchase a streaming service. Since moving into our home, we have had a streaming service off and on. Below is a list of streaming services that you can use to catch your favorite teams.
Sling TV offers three channel packages orange ($20), blue ($25) or orange + blue ($40). The sports enthusiast will want the orange + blue package and the $10 sports package. This package includes the following sports channels.
- Regular Orange + Blue: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, NFL Network, FS1 and FS2
- Sports Add-ons: SEC Network, ESPNU, ESPN News, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, Pac-12 Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, GOLF Channel and Outside TV
Playstation Vue offers four different channel packages ranging from $40 to $75. The best option for sports fans would be the $45 option, called the Core Package. PS Vue offers up to 5 live streams at the same time. Below is a list of sports channels included in the $45 Core package.
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, BTN, Fox Sports Regional, FS1, FS2, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and SEC Network
FuboTV specializes in lives streaming of sports and offers three packages for the die hard sports fans. Listed below is the premiere package, to check out the Latino or Portuguese package follow the following link.
- FuboTV Premiere: $49.99/month
- Channels include: Fox Sports, FOX, NBCSN, FS1, FS2, NBATV, bEIN Sports, BTN, and NBC GOLF
YouTube TV offers a channel package for $35 a month. This package is shareable with up to 6 family members, but only 3 live streams are allowed at a time. Below is a list of channels included in this package.
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, BTN, SEC Network, and ESPN News
DirectTV NOW offers four channel packages ranging from $35 a month to $70 a month. The best option for the sports enthusiast is the $50 option. Below is a list of sports channels offered in the $50 package.
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, SEC Network, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and MLB Network
What Streaming Service Do We Use?
In the past, I have written two articles about Sling TV (Article 1 and 2). I was a huge fan of Sling and used them all last season. But recently, we have switched from Sling to PlayStation Vue. There were a couple reasons that caused my switch and they are listed below:
- Sling only allows up to 1 stream of ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU at a time, whereas, Playstation Vue allows up 5 streams at the same time. During football season, I like to set up 2 TVs and watch 2 games at a time. This was challenging with the 1 stream restriction last season.
- Sling does not offer the Big Ten Network and Playstation Vue does offer the Big Ten Network. With my beloved Cornhuskers being in the Big Ten, Playstation Vue is a better option, because it has all the possible channels that the Huskers could be seen (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNNews, ESPNU, BTN, FS1, FS2 and FOX).
- Sling does not carry TLC. I know that TLC is not sports related, but my wife is a fan of the shows on TLC and last year she wasn't able to watch any of her shows.
Playstation Vue was right for us, because of the channel offerings. Different service options might be better for you. Somebody in PAC-12 country would probably benefit from Sling, because they offer the PAC-12 Network. It even looks like YouTube TV would be a great option for us, because they carry the same sports channels a PS Vue for a cheaper price. However, they get booted out of consideration, because they don't carry TLC and I can't stream YouTube TV through my Roku.
How does Streaming Work?
All of these services can be streamed easily on your computer or phone, but most people are concerned with streaming it to your TV. You could connect an HDMI cable to you computer every time you want to stream your favorite football team, but that would get pretty tiresome.
When we first decided to stream our TV, we purchased a Smart TV and planned on using that for the streaming services. One problem, you couldn't stream Sling thru our Smart TV. Therefore, you will need to get a streaming box that can stream all of your stations. Below is a list of streaming devices that you can use to stream live TV.
- Apple TV (Sling, PS Vue, Direct TV Now, and FuboTV)
- Chromecast (Sling, PS Vue, YouTube TV, Direct TV Now, and FuboTV)
- Roku (Sling, PS Vue, and FuboTV)
- Amazon Fire TV (Sling, PS Vue, Direct TV Now, and FuboTV)
- Playstation 4 (PS Vue Only)
- Playstation 3 (PS Vue Only)
- XBox One (Sling Only)
- Android TV (YouTube TV, PS Vue, and Sling)
- Apple Air Play (YouTube TV)
What Do We Use?
We are a Roku family. I have used Amazon Fire TV (at a relatives), but I didn't like the way that the remote worked. I am a huge fan of everything that Roku offers and I highly recommend them. I have never tried any of the other streaming options, so my recommendation may be a little biased, but Roku works great for our families needs.
What do you use for your cord cutting? What would you recommend?