By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I am a big baseball fan but I dropped cable a few months ago and I want to know how I can watch all the playoff games without having to get cable or a pay TV subscription again. Can you help? — Roger, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Roger, there was a time when you could not watch any, much less all, of the MLB playoff games without a pay TV subscription. But thanks to streaming and other new TV technologies, it can now be done, although not without some maneuvering. The networks that will carry the games are: ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, TBS, Fox and FS1, Here’s a link to the MLB playoff TV schedule — and here’s what you should do to catch each game.
1. Get the three-week free trial from YouTube TV.
YouTube TV, which carries the six networks broadcasting MLB playoff games, is now offering a three-week free trial. The trial is available to new customers, but if you have never tried YouTube TV before, you’re eligible. The three weeks will take you from today, the opening of the four Wild Card series, to October 24, the scheduled date for the final (if necessary) game seven of the National League Championship Series. With the YouTube TV free trial, you won’t need anything else until the World Series. Just be sure to cancel prior to the end of the three weeks or you will be charged starting on October 25.
2. Get Fubo’s free trial, Max and an antenna.
If you are not eligible for the YouTube TV free trial, you will need a service that has ESPN and ABC this week for the Wild Card games, and Fox and TBS for the division series and championship series games. Fubo is now offering a seven-day free trial and it carries ESPN and ABC. As for TBS, you could get the Max streaming service for $9.99 a month. Max this week will start offering the TBS live sports broadcasts (and other live Turner network sports) for free as part of its plan. And as for Fox, you could get an antenna; you’ll see every Fox game unless it decides to put a few on FS1. If the network does put a game or two on FS1, and you’ve already used the Fubo free trial, DIRECTV Stream has a five-day free trial. This also could be used if a few games are added to MLB Network.
3. Use the antenna
The World Series will be on Fox, which can be watched with an antenna for free in most markets.
And that’s it. We’ve outlined how you can watch every MLB playoff game without getting a pay TV subscription — and without spending anything other than $20 or so on an antenna and perhaps a $9.99 monthly Max sub. And if you get the three-week YouTube TV free trial, you’ll just need the antenna.
Roger, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann