The NHL hockey season just kicked off earlier this October. If you’re part of the growing number of people who have said goodbye to their expensive cable subscription, you may be wondering how you can watch NHL hockey without signing another cable contract. Fear not! Watching NHL hockey without cable is easier than ever. We’ve put together a guide to 100% legal streaming and on-demand services where you can catch all your favorite hockey teams at a fraction of the cost of cable.
Watch NHL Hockey Live on Sling TV
Sling TV is far and away the best online streaming service for watching sports, and that includes NHL hockey. Sling TV streams live television channels directly on your streaming compatible devices and TVs. A basic plan starts at $20 per month for 25 popular television channels, making it a far more affordable option than most cable packages. And unlike cable, there are no contracts to sign. Simply subscribe and pay month to month, and cancel the service any time you wish. You can also try a free seven day trial to see if Sling TV is the right streaming service for you.
Sling TV offers the NBC Sports Network, where the vast majority of NHL games will air, on their Blue plan, which costs only $5 more per month and includes another 40 channels. An additional $10 per month will give you access to the NHL Network and other great sports channels as part of the Sling TV Sports Extra package. An additional 75 games will be shown on the NHL Network this season, as well analysis and NHL news anytime you want. Additionally, depending on your location you may also have access to regional FOX network stations that allow you to follow your local team.
ESPN is also available for streaming through Sling TV. As NHL fans probably already know, the World Cup of Hockey will be broadcast on ESPN this year. That means Sling TV subscribers will be able to watch the World Cup live.
Stream Live and On Demand with PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue is Sony’s alternative to cable TV and is a similar live-television streaming service to Sling TV. Like Sling TV, there are no long term contracts with Vue, payments are made month to month, and you can cancel at any time. PlayStation Vue lets you live-stream NHL games and other news on channels like NBC Sports Network, as well as on NBC and FOX in certain markets.
While PlayStation Vue gives you access to a similar amount of NHL games and content, it does have some drawbacks compared to Sling TV. For one, it’s more expensive. Vue’s basic plan starts at $29.99 per month, although in some regions that can jump to $39.99 per month. You do, however, get twice as many television channels with the Vue basic plan as with Sling TV’s, which may make the higher price tag worth it to some subscribers. PlayStation Vue is compatible with fewer devices than Sling TV, although Sony is making efforts to increase availability and will be releasing PC and Mac compatible versions of its service soon.
Watch Out of Market Games Via NHL.TV
NHL fans can also watch live hockey games using the NHL.TV online streaming service, available for use on many devices. The one caveat here is that you can only live-stream “out-of-market” games. That means your local broadcasting area is blocked during live games, so if you like to follow your local team consider this drawback carefully. You will still be able watch your local teams on-demand about a day after they air. But if you’re rooting for a team outside your region, NHL.TV will let you follow your favorite team play in all out-of-market games as they air on TV all season long.
NHL.TV has some other great features for NHL fans, as well. You’ll get access to on-demand replays for all games, in- and- out-of-market, about 48 hours after they air, as well as access to a huge library of past NHL games with milestone markers that let you jump immediately to game highlights. A DVR feature also lets you pause and rewind live games. Another fantastic feature is the Mosaic view, which lets you watch up to four games simultaneously on a single screen.
Last year, a subscription to NHL.TV would have set you back $159 for a year’s worth of access, but this year the price has dropped to a more reasonable annual fee of $139.96, which is the best value. Or you can pay a $24.99 month-to-month fee that lets you cancel your subscription at any time before your next billing period. You also have the option of following a single team for an annual price of $111.96. Just keep in mind that local and national blackouts and restrictions still apply, so you may miss up to 30 games in a season with the single team option.
Watch Live NHL in HD with an Antenna
Yes, they still make antennas, and yes, you can use them to watch live NHL games in high definition. The antennas of today are sleek, sophisticated, and high tech. While an antenna won’t give you access to the same wide coverage of games like the above streaming options, it’s by far the most affordable way to watch live hockey. A great antenna will let you catch live NHL games on network broadcasting channels like ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS without the need for cable. Aside from the initial cost of purchase, there are no annual or monthly fees with an antenna. Antennas can also be paired with DVRs so you can record, pause, and rewind live games. For the best quality, high definition viewing experience, try the highly rated Amazon Basics HDTV antenna, which works with your Amazon Fire TV.
Don’t let breaking free from your expensive cable contract limit your ability to follow your favorite NHL teams all season long. You can still catch NHL hockey games throughout the season and postseason live or on-demand and with high definition quality with the streaming services listed above, all without the price and hassle of a cable subscription. With all the live-streaming and on-demand viewing services available today, you’re sure to find the service that fits your needs.