DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV Best Sports Streaming

Streaming can be an affordable way for people to cut the cord on cable TV and still get most or all of their favorite channels. But what about sports fans? There are some people who think that streaming isn’t sports-friendly, but this is a huge misconception. When it comes to sports viewing options, DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV have the biggest selection of dedicated sports channels. Coincidentally, DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV are the two most popular streaming service providers it terms of subscriber numbers.

Watching live games is every sports fan’s dream, and DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV have plenty of channels for that. Whether it’s a professional sports or college teams, you’ll see most games, races, and matches with either of these streaming services. In addition to games, hardcore sports fans want a variety of programming from the world of their favorite sports. This includes interviews, profile pieces, and in-depth coverage, both in and out of season. For all of this and more, a sports fan needs a variety of specialty channels dedicated to providing this type of coverage. DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV offer the biggest selection of this type of programming of all the streaming service providers.

Here’s a look at the sports-centric programming that DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV have to offer:

Channels Sling DIRECTV NOW
Bein X
Big Ten X
CBS Sports X
ESPN Goal Line X X
Golf Channel X X
MLB Network X
NBC Sports X X
NFL Network/Redzone X X*
NHL Network X X
Pac -12 Networks X
SEC Network X X
Stadium X
Tennis Channel X
Credit: CordCuttersNews

*ESPN Goal Line is only aviliable in the WatchESPN app for some services.
*DIRECTV NOW does not offer the NFL Redzone channel.
**Stadium also streams for free online.

What’s Missing on DIRECTV NOW Sports

So, you’ve got to see all the sports programming DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV has. You’ve also seen what each of these streaming services doesn’t have in the way of sports programming. Going alphabetically, let’s take a look at DIRECTV NOW first. Here are the three sports channels that this streaming service is missing:

  1. beIN Sports: This is a soccer-oriented channel operated by beIN Media Group. Now that the World Cup is over, this specialty channel would only be of value to the most fanatical soccer fans. Everyone else probably doesn’t care.
  2. Pac-12 Network: This channel, once called Pac-10 and Big 11, is for college football fans on the west coast and southwestern U.S. If this is you, and you’re someone who absolutely has to see every single Pac-12 football game, you’ll miss it on DIRECTV NOW.
  3. Stadium: As definitions go, Stadium is a TV and internet sports network operated by Silver Chalice and the Sinclair Broadcast Group. If you’re a fan of this programming, you have the option of streaming it for free online.

What Sling TV Sports is Missing

While DIRECTV NOW is missing three sports-related channels, Sling TV doesn’t have four. Whether these are important channels or not is up to each individual sports fan. Are these sports-centric channel important to you:

  1. Big Ten Network: This channel is dedicated to covering college sports in the Big Ten Conference. It offers live and recorded events, news, analysis, and many related programs. If you’re a huge fan of the many college teams in this conference, it’s unavailability on Sling TV could be a problem.
  2. CBS Sports: This channel offers NFL, Southeastern Conference (SEC) football, NCAA basketball, and PGA golf programming. As sports programming goes, this is kind of a big deal, but you won’t find it on Sling TV.
  3. MLB Network: As its name implies, this channel offers most or all home and away games of each Major League Baseball team. It also provides a wide variety of MLB-related programming.
  4. Tennis Channel: Owned by the Sinclair Television Group, this channel is devoted to tennis and other racquet sports such as badminton and racquetball.

Does sports matter to you?

Are missing sports channels really a huge deal? They probably are if the specific channel that’s missing is the one you absolutely have to have. Other than that, it’s something to be expected in the streaming world. Look, no one streaming service provider has every single channel that’s available … at least not yet. What DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV do have is a huge selection of national channels and local TV affiliates. When it comes to choosing a streaming service, most people pick the one that offers the most of their must-have channels. Then again, there are those who will purchase another streaming service just for one channel. If this sounds familiar, we’re not here to judge. We just hope you enjoy the streaming service(s) you’re paying for.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.