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Have you canceled cable? Still want to watch your favorite MLS teams like the Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy, Chicago Fire, and Atlanta United go head-to-head to pursue the Major League Soccer championship?
If you’re wondering how to watch MLS without cable, you’re in the right place. Like most sports, the broadcasting rights for MLS games are a bit complex, but we’ll break it all down for you in this quick guide. Take a look, and you’re sure to find the right service to watch MLS.
What Channels do I Need to Watch MLS Soccer?
If you’re interested in watching MLS soccer with English commentary, you’ll need the following channels:
FOX Sports 1 (FS1)
If you’re interested in Spanish-language coverage, you’ll need:
In addition, Chicago Fire SC games are exclusive to ESPN+, the standalone streaming service from ESPN, and Los Angeles FC games are exclusive to YouTube TV.
Now that you know what channels you’ll need to watch MLS soccer, we can get into your top options to watch MLS without cable.
fuboTV lacks ESPN, so it’s not ideal if you’re looking for English-language coverage of the MLS. However, if you’re interested in Spanish-language coverage, as well as coverage of other top soccer leagues like The Premier League, La Liga, and Bundesliga, it’s definitely the best way to watch MLS without cable.
Channels and pricing
fuboTV has two basic channel packages for English-speakers: the $45/month “fubo” plan and the $50/month “fubo Premier” plan. Additionally, there is the $18/month fubo Latino plan.
The basic fubo plan comes with FOX in most areas of the country, as well as FS1. However, fuboTV does not have ESPN or ESPN2 so, as mentioned, it’s not ideal if you’re looking for English MLS coverage.
However, the fubo and fubo Premier plan come with Univision, and you can get FOX Deportes with a $8/month Latino Plus add-on package.
And, should you opt for the fubo Latino plan, you’ll get UDN, Univision, Unimas, and FOX Deportes. The only Spanish-language MLS channel you’ll be missing is ESPN Deportes, and you’ll pay only $18/month for this package, so it’s a great deal if you speak Spanish.
fuboTV has pretty standard features, but they can both be upgraded if you want, which is a nice benefit. The DVR, for example, only comes with 30 hours of storage. This DVR can be upgraded to a ridiculous 500 hours of storage for a $10/month fee.
You can also watch on 2 devices at once, which is pretty standard for an internet TV service. However, you have the option to upgrade this, too, with a $6/month “Family Share” add-on, which is nice if you have a bigger family.
Device support for fuboTV is also pretty great. You can watch on your laptop, on iOS and Android devices on the go, and on Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV while you’re at home.
If you’d like to try fuboTV for yourself, you can get a free, weeklong trial on their website.
Sling TV is the oldest internet TV service on the market, and still attracts millions of cord-cutters due to its low prices, good channel packages, and “a la carte” channel add-ons. It’s a great way to watch MLS without cable on a budget.
Channels and pricing
Sling TV has three basic packages. Sling Orange and Sling Blue cost $25 each and have slightly different channels, and you can combine both for $40 with Sling Orange + Blue.
* You get one stream with Sling Orange and up to 3 simultaneous streams with Sling Blue.
To get all of the channels you need to watch MLS without cable, you’ll need to get Sling Orange + Blue, as ESPN and ESPN2 are exclusive to Sling Orange, while FOX and FS1 are exclusive to Sling Blue.
So, for $40/month, you can get all of the channels you need to watch MLS without cable, as well as a large variety of other sports, news, entertainment, and lifestyle channels.
Sling TV, unlike every other option on this list, does not provide users with a free cloud DVR. You’ll have to pay an extra $5/monthly fee to get access to 50 hours of cloud storage.
In addition, Sling’s simultaneous streaming policy can be confusing. Here’s how it works: Sling Orange-exclusive channels, like ESPN, can only be streamed on a single device. Sling Blue-exclusive channels, like FS1, can be streamed on up to 3 devices at a time. Channels shared between both packages, like CNN, can be streamed on 4 devices at once (3 streams from Sling Blue, 1 from Sling Orange).
Device support is a bit easier to understand, though. You can stream Sling on pretty much any device, from iOS and Android to web browsers, the Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and even some LG/Samsung Smart TVs. Xbox One and Oculus Rift are also supported.
If you’d like to try Sling TV and see if it’s right for you, you can get a free 7-day trial on their website, and see if you like the service.
Hulu With Live TV first launched back in 2017 and has quickly become a top choice for cord-cutters who want to watch MLS without cable. Here’s what you need to know about this streaming service.
Channels and pricing
Hulu With Live TV has only one channel package to choose from. You’ll pay $40/month to subscribe, and your subscription comes with a free Hulu on-demand subscription, which is an $8 value.
For your money, you’ll also get a lineup of 50+ channels, including FOX in most areas, as well as ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1. Additional sports channels include ESPN3, FS2, NBCSN, and a number of others. You’ll have every channel you need to watch MLS without cable.
Hulu With Live TV has pretty good features for the price, and they can be upgraded for an additional fee. You can stream on 2 devices at once, by default, but you can pay $15/month for an Unlimited Screens package, allowing you to stream on as many devices as you want at home, and on up to 3 outside of your home WiFi network.
The service also comes with a free 50-hour cloud DVR. You can quadruple your storage to 200 hours for a $15/month fee with the Enhanced DVR package. If you combine Unlimited Screens and Enhanced DVR, you’ll pay just $20/month for both.
As far as device support goes, Hulu is nearly unbeatable. You can watch on your iOS or Android device, or your web browser, as well as on Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One consoles, the Nintendo Switch, and select Samsung and LG smart TV models.
YouTube TV, introduced by Google in 2017, offers some of the best features in the entire internet TV industry, as well as a stellar channel package. Additionally, it has exclusive rights to Los Angeles FC games.
Channels and pricing
Like Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV offers only one channel package for $40/month. For your money, you’ll get all of the channels you need to watch MLS without cable, including ESPN, ESPN2, local FOX affiliates where available, and FS1.
You’ll also get exclusive coverage of Los Angeles FC games, so YouTube TV is definitely the best option if you’re a fan of that team.
Beyond this, you get a total of around 70+ channels, covering most popular sports, entertainment, and news networks.
YouTube TV may have a good package of channels, but it really distinguishes itself from the competition when it comes to features.
Let’s start with simultaneous streams. YouTube TV offers you 3 streams by default, which is better than most other internet TV services out there.
But the real game-changer is the DVR. YouTube TV provides you with a 9-month unlimited cloud DVR. You can save as many shows as you want for up to 9 months, with no other restrictions. In addition, you can create up to 6 different user accounts, and each user gets their own DVR, where they can record as much content as they’d like.
Device support is also quite good. YouTube TV launched with support only for Chromecast, the Chrome web browser, and iOS and Android. However, the service now also supports Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, and a number of smart TVs from Sharp, LG, Hisense, Vizio, and Samsung. There’s still no support for Amazon Fire TV, though, which may be disappointing for some.
PlayStation Vue has had a difficult time attracting subscribers but is a fantastic option if you have a larger family or household, and need family-friendly features, and a large selection of channel packages.
Channels and pricing
PlayStation Vue gives you a total of four channel packages to choose from:
Access – 45+ channels, $45/month
Core – 60+ channels, $50/month
Elite – 80+ channels, $60/month
Ultra – All Elite channels plus HBO/Showtime, $80/month
With the $45/month Access package, you’ll get FOX, if it’s available in your area, as well as ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1, so you’ll have everything you need to watch MLS without cable. You can get even more sports, entertainment, and news channels with the Core or Elite packages if desired.
PlayStation Vue has great features, particularly for larger families who tend to watch a lot of TV. Let’s start with the simultaneous streaming policy, which is one of the best in the business. You can watch PlayStation Vue on up to 5 devices at once, which is more than any other service, besides Hulu With Live TV + the Unlimited Screens package.
You can also make up to 10 user accounts to share with your whole family. Each user will get their own 28-day unlimited DVR and will be able to save as much content as they’d like for up to 28 days.
Platform support for Vue is also very good. Don’t let the name fool you; you don’t need a PlayStation to watch PlayStation Vue, although the both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 are supported. You can also watch on your web browser, on iOS and Android, and on Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Apple TV.
DirecTV Now offers a good package of channels at a reasonable price, and is a decent option for watching MLS without cable but lags behind some other internet TV services when it comes to features.
Channels and pricing
DirecTV Now offers four different, distinct cable packages, like PlayStation Vue. They are as follows:
Live A Little – 65+ channels, $40/month
Just Right – 85+ channels, $55/month
Go Big – 105+ channels, $65/month
Gotta Have It – 125+ channels, $75/month
If you’re on a budget, we have good news. The cheapest $40/month Live A Little package includes both ESPN and ESPN2, as well as your local FOX affiliate, if available, and FS1. That means you’ll have every channel you’ll need to catch MLS games.
DirecTV Now doesn’t have the best features. Until the middle of 2018, the service didn’t offer a cloud DVR at all. Now, all users get a free cloud DVR, but it’s the most restrictive on the market, offering only 20 hours of storage with a 30-day recording expiration date.
The situation is better when it comes to simultaneous streams. You can stream on 2 devices at once, and add another stream for a $5/month fee.
Device support for DirecTV Now is also pretty good, with support for iOS and Android, web browsers, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV. There is no support for gaming consoles, though.
ESPN+ is ESPN’s attempt to get into the standalone streaming service game. It costs $4.99 per month, with no long-term commitments, and if you’re looking for out-of-market MLS games, it’s probably one of the best services for you.
This is because ESPN+ has exclusive rights to MLS LIVE, which was the old subscription service that the MLS provided for those who wanted to watch out-of-market games. According to ESPN+, subscribers can watch hundreds of out-of-market MLS games, replays, and original shows and films on the service, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re a big MLS fan.