TV Answer Man, I saw an ad that said DIRECTV Stream had the most local baseball games. Is that true? Could I watch my team, the Cardinals? — Molly, St. Louis.
Molly, DIRECTV Stream is now running a campaign which says it’s the “home of the most local MLB games.” The slogan is accompanied by a promotion which enables you to get $10 off the first three months of service for each DIRECTV Stream plan. (The promotion will run through the end of April.) That would take you into July, the MLB season’s mid-point, before you would have to pay full price.
That sounds like a deal for baseball fans, but does DIRECTV Stream actually have the most local games?
If you notice the campaign’s fine print, it says the ‘most local’ claim is based on a comparison to other streaming services. That’s an important distinction because DIRECTV, the satellite service, has the same number of regional sports networks (RSNs) that DIRECTV Stream does.
But if you compare DIRECTV Stream to its live streaming rivals, such as YouTube TV, Hulu Live, Sling TV and FuboTV, it’s true that it has more local baseball games. In fact, DIRECTV Stream, which can streamed over an AT&T set-top, or a separate app found on devices such as Roku, has every regional sports channel you can think of. Here’s a list:
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), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Astros), NESN (Red Sox), Yes Network (Yankees), NBC Sports regionals, Marquee Sports Network (Cubs) and the 21 Bally Sports regionals, which includes Bally Sports Midwest, the TV home of your St. Louis Cardinals.
(Each RSN live game can only be seen in-market. For example, a St. Louis resident could use DIRECTV Stream to watch the Cardinals via Bally Sports Midwest, but not the Dodgers on SportsNet LA.)
No other live streamer even comes close.
But there is one catch. (There’s always a catch, right?)
DIRECTV Stream only includes regional sports channels in its Choice plan and above. Choice starts at $89.99 a month ($79.99 for the first three months in the current promotion). That’s $20 more than the base price of YouTube TV, Hulu Live and FuboTV and $55 more than Sling TV’s base plan. You will get more local MLB games with DIRECTV Stream, but you will pay for it.
The good news, though, is that DIRECTV Stream does not charge a regional sports fee as some streamers and cable and satellite operators do.
Molly, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann