Have you been wondering how to watch sports without cable? I just shared with the ladies how I saved more than $200 per month by cutting the cord and streaming sports instead.
Blythe Brumleve, Lauren Brooks, and Donna Murphy host ‘Helmets and Heels’ live every Tuesday night from 7-9pm. As the first football radio show in the country to be hosted by women, the hosts discuss NFL, college football, Jacksonville Jaguars and the biggest sports stories from the weekend.
SPORTS WITHOUT CABLE: EQUIPMENT YOU’LL NEED
Use this to get all your local channels in HD for FREE! There are several ranges from as low as 10 miles to 100 miles. I purchased the 50 mile HD Antenna for a one time cost of around $30. If you live in a more rural area, upgrade to a longer distance antenna or pair it with an outdoor version for maximum range.
Remember, this is a one time cost to get local channels for free in HD so if you feel the need, spruce for a better quality antenna that doesn’t require constant searching for a good feed.
PlayStation Vue was my first foray into on-demand streaming packages. It works a lot like your standard cable packages only it’s an app available on most smart TV’s, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, etc…You download the app, and all of your channels like ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, etc…are found within the app.
I chose PlayStation Vue over other platforms in 2016 because of the price (around $35/month), no equipment necessary and the built-in DVR functionality.
YouTube TV + Chromecast
Similar to PlayStation Vue, this is a paid plan offering similar channels. I haven’t tried it but considering Google is the brains behind it, I’m sure it’s top-notch. If you’re using the YouTube app, you can easily mirror your phone or laptop to any TV in the house to broadcast directly from YouTube via Chromecast.
Chromecast is a tiny device that plugs into your TV’s HD port and has a one time cost of around $35 – $69.
I prefer using Chromecast plus the YouTube app on my phone because if I’m watching TV in the living room and want to switch to another room, it’s as easy as using your phone as the remote to pause, switch TV’s and pick up right where you left off.
YouTube TV will cost you about the same as PlayStation Vue and include a DVR feature for around $35 per month.
Since I’m a Jacksonville Jaguars season ticket holder, I’m allowed free access to the NFL’s RedZone channel and NFL Gamepass. In the past, only DIRECTV subscribers had access to the RedZone channel so this is another example of using your resources to cut costs.
If you’re not a season ticket holder, you won’t need a DIRECTV package to get RedZone. Simply pay for the few months of football season (around $70) and get all the NFL scoring action of the season. Best part? You don’t need one of their ugly satellites strapped to your property.
Amazon Prime + Fire TV Stick
Along with cutting the cord, I’m an avid Amazon shopper and made the switch to digital movies—which is a perfect fit with Amazon’s Fire TV Stick that includes Prime Video.
Starting in 2017, Amazon will also stream Thursday night NFL games to all Prime members. And since Thursday night games were the most difficult thing to stream in 2016, this is a massive improvement to ensure you don’t miss any NFL action.
Because I prefer testing several devices, I purchased both Chromecast and Fire Stick at the same time. In retrospect, I should have purchased one Chromecast device per TV because Amazon has a video app on most smart TV’s; making the Fire Stick somewhat worthless. It seems this is also the case for Chromecast as YouTube is available on most smart TVs and the same logic applies.
My advice is to pick one side and outfit all the household TV’s with the same brand so you can easily switch from room to room. The only reason I would pick Chromecast over Fire Stick is that I watch a lot of YouTube videos and it’s much easier to switch in and out of an app on my phone vs. using the Fire Stick browser.
2017 FOOTBALL SEASON PLANS
This football season, this is how I will consume my football content:
- YouTube TV- For out of market college football games and Monday Night Football.
- Amazon Prime- For Thursday Night Football
- HD Antenna- Area games such as the Jacksonville Jaguars and whatever college football games are on local channels.
*You can also find a lot of streams online available for free. But since I don’t want to get sued, Google how to get Kodi software on your Amazon Fire Stick. Or you can also use Google Chrome web browser to mirror a stream link to any Chromecast enabled device. Another alternative is to simply search Twitter for [game name + stream] from a Chrome desktop/laptop browser and then Chromecast it to your TV of choice.