How to get NESN without cable
PlayStation Vue has just added New England Sports Network (NESN) to its roster of sports channels for the Northeast.
For many, many months, New England sports fans have been asking whether NESN would ever be offered on PlayStation Vue.
Now you can get NESN without cable, and I will show you how.
Let’s face it, we’ve tried every way possible to watch the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games without paying through the nose.
We’ve tried workarounds, deals with shifty roommates and neighbors. Showing up at your weird, bachelor uncle’s house got kind of unseemly after a while. There’s been an unspoken acknowledgement that you don’t really like each other. And he only offers lukewarm, mysteriously cloudy bottles Michelob Light when you come over to watch a game.
Going to a bar to watch all the Sox games played out of Fenway Park can be even more expensive than your cable bill. Yet we’ve all gone back to the same old song. You can land some kind of so-called deal with your cable company, and eventually your rates spike. The deal is over.
Now you can take all those not-so-great options off the board with PlayStation Vue. And if you play your cards right, you can ditch cable and save several hundred dollars a year.
PlayStation Vue is a live streaming TV service that runs month to month with no contract.
What’s on NESN?
NESN is the exclusive broadcaster of all home games for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins, which are not televised by a national network. But NESN has come a long way in its program offerings since it first opened up shop in March 1984. These days, you can watch minor league baseball games, regional college sports, various talk shows and delayed broadcasts of Premiere League soccer games.
You can also hop on NESN’s snappy web site to read WWE news. You know you want to read the latest on Ric Flair announcing his presidential run.
Can I get NESN on Sling TV?
No. But even if you could, you might not want to get NESN on Sling TV because of the limitations it has with recording and on-demand features. With PlayStation Vue, you can record Red Sox games (or anything else you want) with their unlimited Cloud-DVR feature. If you use an Amazon Fire TV, you can also tap into on-demand features that come with your PlayStation Vue subscription.
Can I get the NFL Network on PlayStation Vue?
Yes. NFL Network launched in August. You can get NFL Network on Vue’s Core and Elite channel plans. NFL games are also on NBC, FOX, CBS and ESPN. You can also sign up to NFL RedZone as an add-on for $39.99. But you should really re-examine your options of a decent TV antenna to watch football for free. Check out our guide on How to Choose the Best TV Antenna & DVR.
What sports channels are on PlayStation Vue?
Sports channels can vary from region to region. The Core and Elite channel bundle have the most sports channels. Big Ten Network, CSN New England, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPN U are all in the mix. Fox College Sports (Atlantic, Central and Pacific) is included. FS1, FS2, PGA Tour Golf, NBC Sports Network, NFL Network, One World Sports, and SEC Network are all on there too. You can also authenticate many apps with a PS Vue subscription. Check out this sweet list that has been tested by users.
What is PlayStation Vue, anyway?
If you’re over the age of 35, you get a pass on not knowing about PlayStation Vue. I love the service, but the name is somewhat of a marketing fubar. PlayStation Vue is a live streaming TV service that gives you all the cool cable channels you love while kicking garbage like home shopping channels to the curb. Like I said earlier, there are no contracts.
Costs run from $40 to $54 per month depending on whether you decide to add on channels like HBO and Showtime. Right now, I’m getting NESN on the 100+ channel bundle for $55 per month. I suspect you could get it on the 70-channel bundle known as “Core”.
What do I need for PlayStation Vue?
I prefer to use an Amazon Fire TV for PlayStation Vue because I can connect it with an Ethernet connection. You can read this review about why Amazon Fire TV is the superior choice for streaming PlayStation Vue.
You can also stream PlayStation Vue on any Roku device, Chromecast, iOS and Android device. Cord Cutting 2017: the definitive guide can give you some more tips about what to choose.
Here’s a quick primer for anyone who is serious about replacing their cable with PlayStation Vue. You want to first get the lowest price possible for your Internet. Read this quick post about the secret rates kept by cable companies that are never advertised.
How else can I watch NESN without cable?
A short time ago, PlayStation Vue was your only alternative to get NESN without cable. That’s no longer the case. Now you can subscribe to either YouTube TV, or fuboTV to watch the Red Sox and Bruins when the teams play at home.
fuboTV started out as the place to go if you wanted to watch live soccer matches. But now, the service is broadening its channel lineup, carrying NFL games on CBS, NBC, FOX and NFL Network.
fuboTV is beta testing a new software and also offering channels like Viceland and A&E to appeal to a general audience.
Good luck, and leave some stories below about how you ditched cable, but kept your favorite sports channel to inspire fellow sports fans.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble