Watching Games Online with WatchESPN and Others

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Watching sports online is an evolving world. Older options like Aereo are no long in the game, but solutions like WatchESPN and others have grown in recent years to offer better options than ever before. If you’re looking for an online portal to your top games, check out the latest opportunities.

Provider Packages For Watching Sports Online

Provider packages are offered directly from your Cable TV or Satellite TV provider. Essentially, they expand on their traditional services by offering mobile streaming options with their sports channels. Download the provider app on your table or phone, and you can stream games to these devices via any wireless connections. DirecTV, Verizon, Comcast and others may offer such abilities based on your location.

These provider options vary in cost – you may have to pay a few hundred dollars for a full season, or an extra monthly charge for year-round deals. Limitations also apply. You may only be able to stream Sunday day games, for example, or only games on certain networks. Study these options carefully before making up your mind.

Sports League Apps

Most American sports leagues have some kind of app you can download to access extra content on your mobile devices, typically for free. However, the key phrase is “extra content.” Many apps are great at giving you extra interviews, analysis and play-by-play info, but not so great at actually letting you stream live games — or any games at all. This is typically tied closely to network contracts, which discourage mobile streaming whenever possible.

As a result, some league apps are disappointing. The NFL Network and NFL Now apps are great for streaming extras and supplementary details, but not for streaming the games themselves. MLB.TV Premium, on the other hand, will stream most games except for those in your local area – the NBA app offers similar capabilities, but with a few more restrictions. Prices vary considerably, often between $100 and $200 for a season pass for the best streamers.

Sports Network Apps

Sometimes networks will offer their own sports apps that let you stream games. ESPN offers apps that you can stream certain games from if you pay for its premium services, and includes many free games (including international sports) in its useful WatchESPN service. CBS Sports Networks offers a similar capability. The same is true of other networks, so peruse which networks are showing the top games in your preferred sport and season. Keep in mind that these types of network offerings may change according to the particular sport of the event. Networks are more likely to offer unique mobile access for big events like championship games.

College Sports Sites

This is a newer but promising option for those looking to watch college games on mobile devices. College games tend to be underrepresented as far as streaming goes, but they are also more within the purview of schools, which gives them extra options. Look at the Ohio State-Navy, which recently allowed customers to pay a $10 monthly fee to watch its game streamed through the appropriate website as an alternative to CBS Sports Network.

This is a recent development and it varies based on what rights the college holds for its games, so don’t expect every major college to offer streaming options. However, the trend is encouraging, and it could lead to more options in the future.

Aggregation Sites

This is a more infamous option for watching sports games. A number of aggregator sites exist that let you stream live games or watch recorded games online, including on mobile devices. These sites include All-sportlive.net, Feed2all.eu, and Sportlemon.tv, but there are major caveats. First, these are not the most legitimate websites around, so try to avoid downloads when possible and accept that you’ll have to wade through ads to actually start watching games. Second, these sites are international, which means they may be blocked and they focus primarily on non-American leagues, so watching something like an NHL or NFL game is usually out of the question.

Scraping the Barrel

If you really want to watch your game live and still cannot find any other option, do not hesitate to visit a network site like WatchESPN and check their options. They may not give you video footage of the game, but there are plenty of other live options. Live Tweet streams, audio commentary, updated field grids and other tools give you a full experience even if you cannot actually watch a game directly.

Photo Credit: Rajiv Patel

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