The two biggest misconceptions about streaming soccer are, one, many of the games aren’t available via streaming, and, two, you can’t watch the games on television.
Both of these are untrue. First, there’s more soccer available via legal streaming now than ever before. Practically every soccer league worth its salt is available on a variety of soccer streaming services (we continue to update the master list of where you can find the leagues and competitions).
Secondly, any of the games you watch on streaming can be viewed on your television set by taking a couple of extra steps. To walk you through the options, watch the how-to video we created.
Oftentimes, the quality of the legal stream is comparable to cable/satellite. Or, in some cases, it’s even better.
The rankings of the top 10 streaming services for watching soccer are based on my experiences with all 10. I’ve been a cord cutter for almost two years, and have been legally streaming soccer games for 13 years since 2006 (in the days of Setanta Broadband, Setanta-i and — later — FOXSoccer.tv).
Here are the top 10 streaming services for watching soccer:
Disclaimer: Everyone has a different opinion, so some of these legal streaming services may rank higher or lower depending on what leagues you like to watch.
At $4.99/month, ESPN+ is the most affordable streaming service for sports fans. At that price point, it’s hard to pass up on the opportunity.
With ESPN+, you can watch the following leagues and competitions: Serie A, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, League One, League Two, FA Cup, League Cup, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, Eredivisie, Danish Superliga, Chinese Super League, Indian Super League, Australian A-League, Sweden’s Allsvenskan, MLS out-of-market games and USL. On top of that, you get the ESPN FC news and analysis show — the best daily soccer show in the United States — as well as a ton of coverage from other sports.
ESPN+ ranks number one in my opinion based on the cost-effective price, the reliability and quality of streams, as well as the wealth of leagues and competitions that are available to soccer fans.
Out of all of the streaming services available, fuboTV has the widest selection of soccer leagues and competitions. The only glaring omission is ESPN. But other than that, it has everything from NBCSN. NBC, FS1, FS2, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX, beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Español, beIN SPORTS Connect, TNT, TyC Sports, Universo, Univision, Univision Deportes Network, UniMas, Galavision, Chelsea TV and more than 70 other channels.
Technologically speaking, fuboTV is a leader in the space as it continues to provide ease of use through its DVR functionality, sleek design, availability on all of the leading apps as well as broadcasting select games in 4K.
The other major benefit of fuboTV is that it has more local stations than other streaming services, so you can access your local FOX, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision channels and more.
As far as the leagues and competitions they broadcast, they include: Premier League, LaLiga, Liga MX, World Cup, Women’s World Cup, MLS, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Primeira Liga, Ligue Un, NWSL, Bundesliga, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Argentina Superliga, Turkish Super Lig, Swiss Super League, UEFA Nations League, Euro 2020 qualifiers, Ascenso MX, African Champions League and Africa Cup of Nations.
fuboTV is not for everyone, but it offers a variety of different packages to choose from that cater to most consumers.
3. Sling TV
Owned and operated by DISH, Sling TV is an ideal replacement for cable or satellite. The streaming service offers a long list of channels that start at $25/month with your choice of Sling Orange or Sling Blue. For soccer fans, the big difference is that Sling Orange has the ESPN channels, while Sling Blue has the FOX channels. But you can subscribe to both Sling Orange + Sling Blue for $40/month.
From there, you can pick and choose additional services and options to add such as DVR or other packages that include other channels.
While the user interface isn’t the greatest, Sling TV is a reliable streaming service that is worth checking out for cord cutters. They’ve been in the streaming business since 2012, so they know how to maintain a reliable platform with high-quality streams.
4. PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue has been through a rollercoaster ride as a streaming service as an early innovator in bringing so many channels to consumers despite a lack of marketing and a confusing name (you don’t need a PlayStation in order to stream anything on the service).
Service has been good, but changes to channel lineups have been frustrating. That includes the removal of beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español, which means that major leagues such as LaLiga, Ligue 1, Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana aren’t on PS Vue.
Fanatiz specializes in streaming many of the soccer leagues from Latin America.
Fanatiz streams the Argentinian, Chilean, Mexican and Peruvian leagues globally. And in the case of the US specifically, they stream the Argentinian Superliga, the Chilean first division league and Chilean Cup.
After the free trial, they charge a monthly subscription of $9.99. All of the commentaries are in Spanish, and the streaming is high quality.
6. DIRECTV NOW
Even though DIRECTV NOW has one of the most unique and beautifully-designed programming guides, the streaming service is in decline after losing a large number of subscribers.
The streaming service, which is completely separate from DIRECTV, has a myriad of streaming packages to choose from, many of which include soccer-related channels. However, DIRECTV NOW does not carry beIN SPORTS or beIN SPORTS en Español.
7. B/R Live
B/R Live (aka Bleacher Report Live) has had a turbulent time since it’s launch in 2018. Reliability and functionality have been poor, but it’s early days yet for this fledgling streaming service.
For soccer fans, B/R Live offers all of the Champions League and Europa League games. Plus there’s the Scottish Premiership and other niche leagues available. One added benefit of B/R Live is that they offer a pay-per-game option for matches, which can help you keep costs down if you don’t watch a lot of soccer.
No free trial is available to B/R Live.
8. NBC Sports Gold
We’re not fans of NBC’s decision to charge soccer fans to watch 34% of the Premier League games, but despite not offering a month-to-month option, the $50 charge per season isn’t so bad when you consider it’s the lump sum of paying $5 per month from August through May when the Premier League teams are in action.
In addition to the 34% of Premier League games not available on TV, NBC Sports Gold’s Premier League Pass also features some additional Premier League news programs that are exclusive to the streaming service.
For die-hard fans of the Premier League, NBC Sports Gold is a must-have.
From time to time, NBC Sports Gold offers a sneak preview of the streaming service. Learn more about NBC Sports Gold.
9. YouTube TV
Given that YouTube TV doesn’t have beIN SPORTS, YouTube TV is not everyone’s cup of tea. But the streaming service is a cost-effective replacement for cable television.
Another concern about YouTubeTV is how committed their parent company, Google, is about the service. In recent years, we’ve seen Google launch several products, only to shut them down later (Google Reader, Google+, Google Buzz, Google Wave, Google Talk, etc).
One more negative about YouTube TV is that it’s not available on the Amazon Fire Stick.
What YouTube TV does have going for them is a great app for mobile phones as well as exclusive local rights to LAFC games if you live in the Los Angeles market.
YouTube TV offers a 14-day trial to the service. After that, it starts at $40/month.
10. FOX Soccer Match Pass
The most overpriced soccer streaming service for what you get in return is FOX Soccer Match Pass. For $20/month, you gain access to the Bundesliga and select MLS/USA games.
If you’re a fan of the Bundesliga, this is the streaming service for you because you get every single game.
FOX Soccer Match Pass offers a free 7-day trial.
Honorable mention: DAZN
Pronounced “Da Zone,” DAZN is one of the most exciting new debutants to the world of streaming. As of press time, they only have the rights to the J-League, AFC Asian Cup, AFC Champions League and Chilean league, but the streaming service has big plans for the United States as they plan on acquiring more rights very soon.