How to Watch MLB Games

These are the best ways to catch every regular and postseason MLB game no matter who you root for

Best value
Sling
Sling
4 out of 5 stars
4
Prices
$40-$55
Watch nationally aired MLB games on ABC, FOX, ESPN, FS1, TBS, and MLB Network
Best for die-hard MLB fans
Directv
DIRECTV
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Price Range
$69.99-$159.99
Get access to nearly every MLB game with local channels and regional sports networks
Best for out-of-market games
MLB TV LOGO
MLB TV
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Prices
$19.99-$69.99
Access to most regular season games for out-of-market viewers
Best for out-of-market games
gesobyte amplified antenna
TV antenna
3 out of 5 stars
3
Price
Free
Watch games for free on local FOX and ABC affiliates
Easton Smith
Jan 31, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read

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There are thousands of regular season Major League Baseball games played every year. Add in the preseason and postseason games, commentary, and past series, and there’s a nearly endless stream of baseball content to consume. How can you get it all?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-stop-shop for MLB games. You can catch some of them on your local Regional Sports Network (RSN), but others will require special subscriptions or cable channels.

We’ll break down all of the best ways to watch MLB games here so that you don’t strike out when you’re trying to catch your favorite team.



What channels and streamers is MLB on?

Baseball has long been America’s national pastime. But instead of everyone gathering around the AM radio to listen to the play-by-play, we each have to find our own way to watch in a maze of different TV channels and streaming services. Here’s a quick breakdown of all the different individual places that air MLB games.

MLB TV channels

You can find most nationally televised MLB games on the following networks: ESPN, FOX, FS1, TBS, and the MLB Network.

Each channel has its own selection of games. For example, FOX and FS1 have a contract to show at least two or three games every Saturday during the regular season. FOX also has the exclusive rights for broadcasting the World Series, the All-Star Game, and the Field of Dreams game until 2028.

MLB regional sports networks

Not all MLB games are nationally broadcast. If you want to catch every game from your local team, you’ll need to use your Regional Sports Network. These networks are different in each region and carry all of the non-nationally televised games from specific teams.

There’s a long list of regional sports networks that includes broadcasters like Bally Sports, Marquee Sports Network, New England Sports Network, and YES Network. You can figure out what your regional sports network is by using DIRECTV’s nifty zip code tool. You don’t need to be a DIRECTV customer to use it.

MLB streaming services

There are several streaming services that air MLB games. Specifically, Apple TV+ and Peacock have exclusive rights to air MLB games through the season.

Apple TV+ will air two games every Friday night of the regular season while Peacock will broadcast 19 games throughout the season on Sundays. Both channels offer other MLB related content, too, like commentary and documentaries.

What about Spring Training games?
Light Bulb

Finding a reliable way to watch your team’s Spring Training games is not so simple. Some of these games may be aired on your regional sports network, while others may only be available on specialty channels like the MLB Network, MLB.TV, or ESPN.

Sling TV: Best value

There are several streaming services out there that are great alternatives to cable TV for those who want to cut the cord. While fuboTV is a great option for most sports lovers, we think that Sling TV offers the best MLB content for baseball fans.

With Sling’s Orange + Blue plan, you can get every nationally aired MLB game (besides those aired on Apple TV+ and Peacock). Here’s what you need to know.

pro
Pros
pro Great price for tons of content
pro All national MLB channels
pro Plenty of other content
con
Cons
con No RSN channels
con No out-of-market games

MLB channels on Sling TV

Between its various plans, Sling TV offers all of the networks you need to watch every nationally televised regular season and postseason MLB game. You can get FOX, TBS, FS1, ESPN, MLB Network, and MLB Strike Zone.

Unfortunately, one thing you won’t get with any of Sling’s plans is a regional sports network. To get that, you’ll need another service—a cable plan like DIRECTV is your best bet.

Sling TV price and plans

Sling TV offers two distinct channel line-ups. When it comes to MLB content, it’s split between the two. Sling Orange gives you channels like FOX, ABC, and FS1, while Sling Blue gives you ESPN.

Sling TV deals
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
Sling Orange$40/mo.*32
Sling Blue$40/mo.*40
Sling Orange + Sling Blue Services$55/mo.*46
* Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The best deal for MLB fans is to get Orange + Blue and add the Sports Extra package ($11 a month) to get MLB Network and MLB Network Strike Zone. Not only will you get a stadium-load of MLB content, but you’ll also get tons of other great channels, like AMC, the Disney Channel, and the Food Network.

DIRECTV: Best for die-hard MLB Fans

Getting a cable subscription may not be as cheap or easy as signing up for a streaming service, but DIRECTV is by far the best option for die-hard fans who want to catch all of their favorite teams' games (or 99% of them, at least). It’s also a great way to unlock tons of other great content.

pro
Pros
pro Almost every MLB game available
pro Tons of additional MLB commentary and content
pro Lots of other channels to enjoy
pro Satellite and streaming options
con
Cons
con Two-year contract
con Pricey

MLB channels on DIRECTV

With a DIRECTV subscription, you can not only get access to all of the channels that air games nationally (like FOX and TBS), but you’ll also get access to your local regional sports network. This means you can watch every game, including preseason games.

If you’re willing to pay an extra $150 a year, then you can also add on the MLB EXTRA INNINGS package. This package gives you up to 80 games a week! It includes all out-of-market games (even if they are blacked out through the RSN) and an MLB.TV subscription.

DIRECTV plans and prices

Getting all of this MLB content isn’t cheap. Not only will you pay a premium for the baseline plan you choose, but you’ll also have to pay a regional sports fee of up to $13.99 a month.

DIRECTV deals
Plan
Price
Satellite TV channel count
Internet TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT $69.99/mo.75+90+
CHOICE™ $84.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees105+125+
ULTIMATE $114.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees140+160+
PREMIER™ $159.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees150+185+
w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. is extra and applies.
w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. and Regional Sports Fee up to $13.99/mo. are extra & apply.

With DIRECTV's satellite plans, your price will be locked in for two years. You won’t be able to take advantage of new deals that arise, and you might see a hefty fee if you need to cancel. 

With DIRECTV's internet plans, you don't have to sign a two-year contract and get more channels. Needless to say, we recommend DIRECTV via Internet plans.

MLB.TV: Best for out-of-network games

MLB.TV is the best stand-alone streaming service for those who want a lot of MLB content. It’s especially great for those who want to catch games that aren’t being aired by their regional sports network.

pro
Pros
pro Affordable price
pro Hundreds of games from every MLB team
pro Pre- and post-game shows
con
Cons
con Local blackouts

MLB content on MLB.TV

MLB.TV lets you watch almost every preseason and regular season game from any team. It also offers some great pre-game and post-game shows, and features like MLB Big Inning.

The big catch with this service is the local blackouts. You cannot watch your local team play live in most cases because they are exclusively broadcast by regional sports networks.

Let's say you want to catch a regular season Red Sox game. If you live outside of Boston (and other nearby areas), you can watch it live on MLB.TV. But if you live in Boston, then NESN (New England Sports Network) has exclusive rights to air the game, and you’ll have to wait till 90 minutes after the game to watch it on MLB.TV.

MLB.TV plans and prices

There are two price tiers for MLB.TV. You can choose to get content for just a single team, which costs $20 a month or $60 a season, or you can get content for all teams for just $5 more each month or $10 more a season.

MLB.TV deals
Plan
Price
Details
MLB TV All Teams Monthly$24.99/mo.^
MLB TV Single Team Monthly$19.99/mo.
MLB TV All Teams Yearly$69.99/season^
MLB TV Single Team Yearly$59.99/season^
^ Blackout and other restrictions apply and are subject to change.

We all know that there’s only one MLB team that matters (I won’t say which one it is, but I bet you can guess), but still, $25 isn’t much to pay to get access to hundreds of games from other teams.

TV antenna: Best free way to watch

Remember the olden days, when telephones had wires, modems made weird noises, and TVs had big bunny ears on top? Well, turns out, you can still use an antenna on your TV to catch a baseball game.

Of course, the antenna is now a digital one that you’ll have to purchase, and you won’t be able to catch every game from every team. But the actual service is free, so who’s complaining?

pro
Pros
pro Totally free (once installed)
pro Access to many nationally aired games
pro Unlocks other local channels
con
Cons
con No RSNs
con No on-demand streaming

MLB content available with antenna

You’ll get access to several local channels that air MLB games with an over-the-air antenna attached to your TV. Your local FOX and ABC affiliates should air at least one national MLB game a week and some (if not all) playoff and World Series games.

How to install an antenna

You can easily buy and install an indoor HD TV antenna. These antennas connect to your TV and live somewhere near a window, where they pick up local TV stations that are on the airwaves.

You can get more than just MLB games with a digital antenna. You can also get NBA games, local news, and reruns of your favorite network shows, like The Simpsons.

Recap: What’s the best way to watch MLB games

That wraps up our review of the best ways to watch MLB games. Here’s a quick recap to help you make your final decision before the ninth inning.

  • Sling: Best Value. You can stream tons of games from every MLB team for a reasonable price with Sling.
  • DIRECTV: Best for Serious Fans. If you’re a die hard fan who’s willing to pay a premium to get every game (plus a lot of neat extra MLB content), there’s no beating DIRECTV.
  • TV: Best for Out-of-Market games. MLB.TV gives you access to all of your favorite team’s regular season games (though there may be local blackouts).
  • TV antenna: Best Free Option. Hook up an HD antenna to your TV and you can get access to several live MLB games each week through your local FOX and ABC affiliates.

FAQ

Still have some lingering questions about watching your favorite MLB team live? That’s exactly why we’ve got this neat FAQ section.

No, it’s not. Amazon Prime subscribers can get a subscription to MLB.TV for $25 a month, which will give them access to most regular season games from their favorite teams.

The easiest way for most people to catch free MLB games is with an HD antenna. You can watch nationally televised games on your local Fox and ABC affiliates.

You can also sign up for an MLB.TV account and watch a free “Game of the Day'' through the app, even without a subscription.

No. To watch MLB games on Hulu you’ll need a Hulu + Live TV subscription.

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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