It seems almost everyone is streaming videos wherever they are thanks to mobile phones technology. For those who love watching sports, there’s nothing like finding a stream to watch a game when your favourite team is playing, or the stakes are high. Streaming sports continues to grow, either directly from the pro leagues themselves, or from services offering a variety of sports to watch.
While movies and shows largely moved away from “appointment TV”, meaning you would need to tune in at a specific day and time, live sports stick to schedules. Traditional cable TV and network broadcasters retain a lot of the rights to air the games, but that’s also changing. If you’re looking to stay on top of a certain league or team, you have options.
It’s not just the services, but also the devices presenting various ways to stream a game. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available, where you can find it, and how you can watch it.
NHL Live moves to Sportsnet Now Premium
Starting with the 2022-23 season, NHL Live no longer works in Canada. That’s because the Sportsnet Now app integrates all of NHL Live into its own streaming platform. To be clear, you need to subscribe to the Premium package to gain access, as the Standard package does not include it.
Nothing will change as far as what you can watch. All out-of-market games will be available like they were with Live. If you’re a fan of out an out-of-market team, you won’t have to worry about blackouts, which favour local broadcasters. That’s why if you’re a fan of the Vancouver Canucks and you live in B.C., you will be blacked out most of the time. Same if you’re a fan of the Montreal Canadiens and stream from Quebec. This is exactly how it was for Live, and that remains here. Sportsnet will take select games it is broadcasting on one of its cable channels and offer them to stream on the app, even if a local team is playing. Since the service integrates into Sportsnet Now, the interface is different, and I’ve personally found it a little confusing and less structured. I expect that to change as the season carries on, but we’ll have to see.
The good news is in paying the monthly or annual price to subscribe, you not only get NHL Live, but also NBA (with half the Raptors’ season), MLB (with many Blue Jays games), Bundesliga, FIBA, FA Cup, rugby, the WNBA, and more. It also includes the WWE Network, if you’re into wrestling.
Sportsnet Now has wide compatibility with streaming devices. The only omissions I can see are Roku products and smart TV interfaces. If you have a gaming console, the PlayStation 4/5 and Xbox One and Series X/S all work.
NBA League Pass
This is a great service if you’re a fan of an out-of-market team. That way, you’re not getting hit with blackouts or regional restrictions, plus you get the playoffs and NBA Finals. There are plenty of shows with analysis, classic games from the past, and funny programs like Shaqtin’ a Fool. While there is a lot of content to watch, including a ton of games, Raptors fan should probably sit it out. Here are the reasons why, directly from NBA League Pass:
“Nationally broadcast games on TSN, Sportsnet and NBA TV Canada, as well as all Toronto Raptors games, are not available to watch LIVE on NBA League Pass. An archive of this game will be available after the broadcast for NBA League Pass subscribers. Please consult your local TV broadcaster schedules for where to find live broadcasts in your area.”
Note that there are two tiers, with the Premium account letting you stream from two devices simultaneously. If you only want to follow one team, you can pay for a Team Pass instead at a lower cost. There is wide device compatibility, so you’ll be able to tune in pretty easily, regardless of what you choose.
NFL Game Pass on DAZN
DAZN has exclusive streaming rights for the NFL in Canada. Basically, the entire Game Pass service lies within DAZN’s programming. That means you get every single regular season game, plus playoffs and the Super Bowl. NFL Redzone is in there, letting you quickly see plays where a team may potentially score. Plus, additional content gives you insights into certain players or teams. Whether you have a favourite team or just like watching NFL football, you won’t find this kind of coverage on any other streaming platform.
Subscribing to DAZN also gets you a pretty mix of other sports and events to stream. For soccer, you get UEFA Champions League (men’s and women’s), UEFA Europa League, UEFA Nations League, Europa Conference League, Major League Soccer, EFL Championship, UEFA Youth League and the Belgian Pro League.
The MLB Network is in there, where you can watch the all-baseball channel whenever you want. It sometimes includes live games. Basketball includes the Australian NBL, plus FIBA tournaments. LIV Golf is available to watch live, as are several WTA tennis tournaments. You can also get boxing, MMA, pool, snooker, darts, cricket, motorsport, extreme sports, triathlon and indoor football.
DAZN is widely available on a lot of different streaming devices, including certain smart TVs and game consoles. Check to make sure you have the right gear to stream DAZN’s content.
Yet again, if you’re a fan of an out-of-market team, MLB.TV is probably your best bet. It will let you stream games from pretty much every other team, though blackouts apply. Toronto Blue Jays games are available via Sportsnet Now. Same goes for the playoffs and World Series. Note that these are wholly separate from the MLB Network access DAZN and Fubo TV offer. Here is a breakdown referring to the blackouts and restrictions.
“All live games streamed on any MLB.TV product and available through MLB.com At Bat are subject to local, regional or national blackouts. If a game is blacked out in an area or available exclusively via Facebook as described below, it is not available for live game viewing through MLB.TV. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber within an area subject to blackout, the applicable game will be available as an archived game approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game.”
MLB.TV is widely available from all major streaming devices, including game consoles.
If you want more soccer, this is your place. Fubo TV has the English Premier League, France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, Italy’s Serie A, along with the Turkish Süper Lig, plus all games Benfica plays in Portugal’s Primeira Liga. You also get Coppa Italia, Italy’s annual tournament for club teams, Conmebol Libertadores and Sudamericana, both annual tournaments for South American club teams. When in action, the Canadian Premier League is part of the mix, too. Much of that soccer content comes from channels like Bein Sports and Bein Sports Canada.
Channels form the basis for Fubo TV, which is why there are a number of them available, several of which have nothing to do with sports. Fubo TV is widely compatible with various streaming devices, though two key omissions are PlayStation game consoles and LG smart TVs.
TSN has apps you can use to stream its five regional channels, basically letting you watch its cable channels from any of the compatible streaming devices. Subscribe, and that means you can access any of the leagues TSN has broadcast rights to, like Spain’s La Liga, for instance. TSN also shares the rights to half the Raptors regular season schedule, as well as a sizeable chunk of hockey games from all seven of the Canadian NHL teams.
With the 2022 World Cup in Qatar coming up, TSN will also be covering the tournament with live matches. You get to see PGA Tour golf events and ATP tennis events, including the grand slams. From auto racing to wrestling and curling, TSN has its hooks into a range of sports and events.
More to consider
I mentioned streaming devices throughout this article, and I want to clarify everything I’m talking about. We have mobile devices, made up of iOS and Android phones and tablets. There are also streaming set top boxes or input devices, like Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, and Amazon Fire TV. Smart TVs fall under the brands who have them, though it depends on what platform they run on. For instance, LG and Samsung run on their own, whereas Sony, TCL and others either use Roku or Android TV.
With game consoles, you have the Xbox and PlayStation to stream with, but not so much Nintendo’s consoles. Desktop and laptop computers will work because web browsers act as the primary viewing option. In some cases, services may have their own apps, which is especially true for Chromebooks.
You can check out the latest gear available at Best Buy to stream your favourite sports content now.