How to Watch Sports Without Cable
Looking to get rid of cable TV but are afraid you might not be able to watch your favorite sports channels and matches anymore?
Don’t worry – here’s how to watch sports without cable with ease, and how to overcome any obstacles you might encounter.
Why Is Watching Sports Without Cable Better?
One of the main reasons most TV watchers want to get rid of cable is because it helps them save money. Since the average cable bill sits at around $100/month or more, getting rid of it means saving up to at least $1,200/year.
And while sports streaming and high-speed Internet would cost you up to $1,000/year, you’d still get to save $200/year – and that’s only presuming you pay $100/month for cable. If you pay $120 like many other people, for example, you’d get to save up to $500/year once you factor in the Internet and streaming costs.
Other reasons why you might want to watch sports without cable include:
- The convenience of being able to watch sporting events on pretty much any device you want as long as you have an Internet connection.
- Not having to go through hundreds of channels you probably never watch to get to your favorite ones (and not paying for said channels too).
- Not having to deal with lengthy, annoying commercials that pop up right in the middle of a match.
- The fact that you’re not tied to annual contracts since streaming services let you pay monthly fees. So if you’d be interested in just watching the FIFA World Cup, you’d be able to just pay for the months the event takes place in instead of having to pay for the whole year.
- Not having to deal with spotty service during heavy rains or strong winds since there is no equipment attached to the outside of your house (like a satellite dish, for example). If you get an outdoor HD antenna and no streaming, though, this could still be a problem.
How to Get Sports Channels Without Cable
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t very difficult to watch live sports without cable. Though, you first need to read the current contract you have with your cable provider very closely to make sure you can safely terminate the service without incurring any unnecessary charges – like having to pay for the next month because you ended the service too soon or too late in the current month.
You should also look for a decent Internet service – especially if you’re interested in online streaming. Ideally, you should have an online speed of at least 10 Mbps (we recommend more, though) per user in your home. If you already have an Internet service but the speeds aren’t that good, check what upgrade options the provider offers.
Next, you have to settle on a streaming media player – a device that allows you to enjoy streaming services on your TV. Here are some options you could consider:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- Smart TV
As for streaming platforms, here’s a list of options that offer decent sports content you could look into:
- Sling TV
- DirecTV Now
- PlayStation Vue
- Hulu Live TV
- YouTube TV
- NBC Sports
Keep in mind that US streaming services aren’t the only options – you might also have streaming services in your own country (like NOW TV in the UK, for instance).
Oh yeah, you can also try getting an HD/TV antenna since it lets you watch live sports based on your location. This type of viewing is known as Over the Air broadcasts, so no cable is needed. Plus, the antenna can be placed indoors, and you get to watch content (including sports) from major channels for free as long as they’re available in your location.
Bandwidth Throttling, Blackouts, and Geo-Blocks – 3 Issues That Can Get in the Way
What Is Bandwidth Throttling?
Bandwidth throttling is when your ISP intentionally slows down your online speeds when they notice you are using “too much data.” That can happen if you watch and stream sports online very often, though it’s not always likely to occur.
Why Is Bandwidth Throttling Enforced?
Some ISPs do this in an attempt to relieve network congestion and to improve their services – at least that’s what they claim. In reality, bandwidth throttling is also done for profit – either to “convince” users to pay for excessive data usage, or to get them to buy a pricier subscription or data plan.
What Are Blackouts?
“Blackout” is a term referring to a television or radio program not being aired in a certain media market. So, sports programming might not be broadcasted on local networks and/or on cable and satellite TV.
Basically, a sports blackout means that a streaming or broadcasting company might not be able to show a sporting event in the area where said event is taking place, is being broadcasted locally, or where national networks have exclusive distribution rights.
For example, if you have a DirecTV subscription, and a national broadcaster like FOX has the national rights to broadcast a certain match, you might not be able to watch said match through DirecTV if you live in the home team’s area. You would instead have to watch the event on FOX’s local channel(s).
Here’s another example related to local distribution rights: If you have a DirecTV subscription, and a local off-air broadcast channel or cable system has the rights to broadcast a specific match in the region you live in, you won’t be able to watch said match through your DirecTV subscription. Of course, if the local network is carried by DirecTV, you get to enjoy the content if your DirecTV subscription includes the network.
Lastly, keep in mind that blackouts can affect you even if you only have a cable subscription. If sports leagues say your local network can’t air a certain match, you won’t be able to see it on your TV.
Why Are Blackouts Enforced?
Blackouts are a way to make sure the television right holders in the competing teams’ home markets are protected by the law. It’s pretty much related to copyright and licensing regulations.
It’s worth noting that game availability and blackouts are controlled by leagues, networks, and associations that have purchased the rights to broadcast a certain game. Quite often, blackouts are the result of contractual agreements between the content owners (a sports league, for example) and the programming distributors (a satellite TV channel or a streaming service).
So, streaming services (like DirecTV, for instance) don’t enforce blackouts voluntarily – they need to do it to comply with the restrictions mandated by the organizations mentioned above.
Also, those organizations have different rules that dictate when a televised event is blacked out. Those rules are normally part of the contracts they sign with TV distributors. Most of the time, a blackout takes place when a sports league or association doesn’t allow a match to be televised locally if the event didn’t sell out all its tickets.
What are Geo-Blocks?
They are a way for broadcasting companies and streaming websites to restrict access to their content based on what geographical area you are trying to access said content from.
For example, if you try and watch sports on FuboTV from the UK, you won’t be able to do it because the service is only available in the US and US territories. And you wouldn’t be able to access FuboTV even if you are a US citizen who is away on vacation abroad or an expat.
Why Are Geo-Blocks Enforced?
Geo-restrictions are generally used because of copyright and network regulations. Most of the time, broadcasting companies only have licensing rights to stream certain content (like sports matches) in a single country (like the US, for instance).
How to Bypass Bandwidth Throttling, Blackouts, and Geo-Restrictions
Both geo-blocks and blackouts are based on your location. Obviously, the only way to deal with them is to hide your geo-location when you’re watching your favorite teams online. Luckily, that’s easier said than done if you use either a Smart DNS or a VPN.
We should mention that, according to the FCC, you could try to deal with a sports blackout by either contacting the relevant sports team or registering your preferences with the relevant broadcast channel or non-broadcast system. However, doing that means having to wait after replies and hoping that a broadcast channel or non-broadcast system would take your view into account when they renew their distribution agreements with sports leagues.
That’s not always likely to happen. It’s definitely easier to just use a VPN or Smart DNS instead.
As for bandwidth throttling, the only way to overcome it is to hide what you do when you’re online – basically mask your Internet traffic. In this case, only a VPN can help.
How to Watch Live Sports Without Cable With a Smart DNS
You just use an app or set up the service manually on your device. Then, the Smart DNS will replace the standard DNS address your ISP provides you with, as it contains data that can be linked to your geo-location.
In case you’re not sure what a DNS address is, it stands for Domain Name System, and it’s responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses.
Besides that, the service will also intercept your connection to a website, and replace any info found in the request that points to your real location with data that points to a different, “acceptable” location.
And since a Smart DNS doesn’t use any encryption, you’ll get to enjoy online sport events with your original ISP speeds. However, that also means you won’t be able to bypass bandwidth throttling, though that’s only a concern if you’re looking to binge sports on a regular basis.
How to Watch Sports Without Cable With a VPN
Basically, you use a VPN app or set up the service manually on your device or router, connect to a VPN server, and your IP is instantly switched with the server’s own IP address. Don’t forget – your IP actually contains info which can reveal your geographical location when you’re connecting to a website.
So, if you want to access FuboTV from outside the US, you just need to connect to a VPN server in the US.
The only drawback you should keep in mind is that – sometimes – you might experience slow online speeds. Why? Because VPNs generally use strong encryption protocols to secure your online connections and data.
Of course, if you use a VPN provider that gives you full control over your connections, and lets you switch between VPN protocols, that might not be a problem at all since you can just use a VPN protocol with weaker encryption.
Also, since a VPN encrypts your Internet traffic, it can prevent your ISP from throttling your bandwidth since they won’t know you’re watching “too much” sports when you’re online.
Enjoy Sports Without Cable With SmartyDNS With Ease!
Whether you want to watch all sorts of sports events while you’re outside the US, or you just need help dealing with annoying blackouts, we can help you out.
Our Smart DNS service can offer you unrestricted access to your favorite content, it comes with unlimited bandwidth, and it features attractive pricing as well.
“What Sports Content Can I Watch?”
SmartyDNS can unblock over 35 sports-related websites for you – all with just a few clicks!
How to Watch Sports Without Cable With SmartyDNS
Enjoy Sports Without Cable on Tons of Devices
Sometimes just watching your favorite team on the TV isn’t enough – maybe you need to take a bathroom or smoke break, and want to keep up with the match on your mobile device(s).
Cross-platform compatibility is a must nowadays, and we understand that, which is exactly why we made sure our service works on numerous devices:
NOW TV Box
We Offer a VPN Service Too
If you want to hide your IP, secure your connections, and combat bandwidth throttling at the same time, our VPN service is just what you need!
It features unlimited bandwidth, lets you switch between 5 VPN protocols (we recommend using PPTP if you want the fastest speeds), and it has full DNS leak protection and a no-log policy.
Not only that, but you also get to enjoy our many user-friendly VPN apps. That, and you can follow our useful tutorials to set up our VPN service on your router to make sure all your devices (including your TV) connect to the web through a VPN.
And if you ever get tired of US-only sports content and want more variety, you can always connect to our other high-speed servers from countries like:
- The UK
- The Netherlands
Not Fully Convinced? Try Our Service for Free First!
If you want to see what SmartyDNS can do for your sports watching experience before making any commitments, feel free to try out our free 3-day trial first. No credit card details are necessary, and you get to enjoy all the features.
And you’ll also be happy to know that even once you choose a subscription plan, you’ll still be covered by our 30-day money-back guarantee if our services don’t work as advertised.