Q. I cut the cord a few years ago, but I am a sports fan and it seems like it’s become impossible to watch the games I want to. Whether it’s YouTube TV or Hulu or Sling, they all are dropping sports channels. I don’t want to go back to cable or satellite, but is there anyway to watch my games? — Ted, Studio City, California.
Ted, your lament is shared by millions of sports fans who have cut the cord, or were planning to. YouTube, Hulu Live, Sling TV and FuboTV do not carry the Sinclair-owned 21 Fox regional sports channels due to carriage disputes. You also won’t find other regional sports channels in their lineups, such as SportsNet LA, Altitude, MASN or Marquee Sports Network.
The live streaming services have decided, at least for now, that it doesn’t make economic sense to carry them. The carriage fees are relatively high by industry standards, but the interest is relatively small among subscribers. (Not everyone is a die-hard sports fan, Ted.) The streamers try to keep their monthly subscription fees lower than cable and satellite, but they would have more difficulty doing that if they added the sports channels.
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This is why AT&T TV, which just merged its service with its sister streamer, AT&T TV Now, is the last hope for cord-cutters who want to watch their home teams. AT&T TV, which can be viewed over an AT&T set-top, or an app, has every regional sports channel you can think of.
Altitude (Nuggets, Avalanche), MASN (Orioles and Nationals), AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh (Pirates, Penguins ) Root Sports Northwest (Mariners), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Rockies), SportsNet LA (Dodgers), the 21 Sinclair regionals, AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Astros), NESN (Red Sox), Yes Network (Yankees), NBC Sports regionals, and the Marquee Sports Network (Cubs).
They are all there on AT&T TV.
You can’t find many cable or satellite TV services that carry so many regional sports channels.
But it will cost you. AT&T TV’s plans that include regional sports channels start at $84.99 a month, which is roughly $20 more per month than Hulu Live, YouTube TV and FuboTV. Obviously, AT&T is paying the price to carry the regionals and passing it along to sports fans.
But the good news is that there’s no regional sports fee. Plus, AT&T TV did away with its two-year contract requirement. If you want to cancel the service at anytime, you won’t have to pay a termination penalty.
Bottom line: AT&T TV is still cheaper, and with less strings attached, than most cable and satellite TV services. But the fact that you have to pay $85 a month to continue enjoying sports after you ‘cut the cord’ speaks volumes about the difficult economics of pay TV. Until regional sports channels start offering their services a la carte (which Sinclair hints it will do), cord-cutting sports fans won’t get much of a break.
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Hello Phillip, I recently made the switch to AT&T TV it’s a little pricey but it’s worth it if you’re a big sports fan especially for the regional sports I switched over from YouTube TV but it’s worth it you do get free one year of HBO max plus they also gave NBA league pass for free for this year as well
hows the picture quality of AT&T? BTW the out of state tv stations need to let us pay them to watch their sports channels,I live in so cal and would glady pay $10.00 a month to get NBC sports boston here in california to watch all their programing incuding all the celtics games and pre and post games shows.
Hello, the pictures quality is great I have no issue with the picture quality full 1080P the sound is great as well, the only issue i have is the TV guide is not customizable like Youtube TV, but when i comes to sports Youtube TV is limited like Fubo TV and Hulu with Live TV, especially if you live in So Cal, but as for you question you would have to look at the packages that AT&T has to offer, i have the no contract one so i can cancel anytime
I have ATT TV and let me say that my biggest disappointment is using it for sports.
First, the DVR is as basic as it comes with no ability to add time to the end of a recording without locating and also recording the show that follows. This is frustrating because it defeats the search capability for games. You have to go find it in the guide anyway and then you have to remember what that next show was later on to see the last few minutes of your game. This is a problem DVRs solved over a decade ago so I’m baffled at the issue with ATT.
Second, the app starts playing the last channel you were n as soon as you go into it. If you started recording a game and are going to begin watching it an hour later, you had better hope it’s not on the l last channel you watched. Otherwise you’ll see the score before you have the ability to get to your recordings.
Lastly, I once paused a game, walked away for an hour and came back to find out had unpaused itself.
I have to say for regular tv, the app approach it pretty cool. For sports though, it sucks. I’m actually considering dropping out for the reasons above.
Not a big fan of ATT per se, after what they did to DirectTv which I had enjoyed since 1998. Cancelled a year ago rather than enter into a contract (which bind consumers even when they drop stations) and due to much higher costs. But since then both YouTube TV and then Hulu Live (which I switched to when they started baseball games and I couldn’t see my team on YouTube TV), and now Hulu has cancelled regionals too. If this does not change, given the fact that they no longer require contracts, I may have to switch back.
There are some apps that you can use to watch sports. Or certain web sites.