Want to live stream NESN at home or on your iPhone? Here’s how…
There are two dependable ways to live stream NESN without cable.
For years, if you wanted to watch the Boston Red Sox play at home, or the Boston Bruins at the Garden, you were at the mercy of Comcast.
Maybe if you lived a little further north of Beantown, it was Charter or Spectrum that was tolling you hardcore every month with outrageous monthly bills that seemed to go up without notice.
Well, that’s over.
Now you can live stream NESN to your television or iPhone, and pay a lot less than what Comcast, Spectrum or any other cable company is charging. Live streaming TV has been around since 2015. And finally a few of these live streaming services carry New England Sports Network.
- fuboTV has NESN, NESN plus, 90+ channels including regional sports networks like NBC Sports Boston and NBCSN, and locals like WBZ, FOX 25, NECN and NBC. The channel lineup has a sports-heavy mix, think Fox Sports 1 and PAC-12, with entertainment channels like A&E and National Geographic. fuboTV has a free 7-day trial, and costs $54.99 per month. ($10 off for first month.)
- YouTube TV has just NESN as part of a 65+ channel lineup for $49.99 per month. There are locals like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Channels include FS1, FS2, ESPN and MLB TV alongside AMC, TNT and CNN. YouTube TV has a free 7-day trial.
I have used both of these services, and they’re pretty solid.
Which one is the best for you?
This guide sets out to answer all the questions you might have about channel lineups, live streaming on a Roku and features like Cloud DVR. By the time you finish reading this, you should have a decent rundown of everything you need to know, so you can finally kick Comcast to the curb and get NESN without cable.
What do I need to live stream NESN?
With live streaming TV, you’re basically getting a pay-TV subscription that’s being fed to you through an Internet connection instead of a cable cord.
If you own a streaming device like a Roku, you already have what you need to live stream a Red Sox game, or any other channel like A&E. The same is true if you’re looking to stream NESN on Apple TV, Fire TV, Fire Stick, NVIDIA Shield TV, Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones or PC.
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Just read my guide about how to get Internet without cable, and you’ll learn how to get either at an introductory rate, or lower price than what’s being offered to you.
fuboTV: live stream NESN without cable
fuboTV is a sports-first platform that has been growing at a fast clip this past year. NESN and NESN Plus are among the latest regional sports networks included in the entry-level channel bundle.
If you’re a New Englander, you can expect to see WBZ (CBS), FOX 25, My 38, NECN, NBC Boston, NBC Sports Boston and NBCSN in your channel lineup. NBC Sports Boston has a number of Boston Celtics games throughout the season. fuboTV also has TNT, TBS and other key networks for the rest of the NBA season.
The entry-level fubo bundle gives you 90+ channels for $54.99 per month. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial if you’re a new customer. And you’ll get $10 off your first month if you keep the service beyond the free trial. fuboTV has been a key streaming service for soccer fans wanting beIN Sports, but it’s now expanding to offer a wide gamut of entertainment channels.
A&E, History, FX, FXM, FXX, National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD, Travel Channel and HGTV are part of the channel lineup. Sports channels include FS1, FS2, PAC-12, Big Ten Network, NBA TV and NFL Network.
fuboTV recently added AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV and WE TV at no extra cost. Subscribers will soon get access to two subscription-based platforms, Sundance Now and horror-themed Shudder, as part of a subscription.
fuboTV also has widespread support for activating apps on your streaming device. So you can activate the AMC app to catch up on an episode of “Better Call Saul”, or FXNOW for its vast menu of on-demand movies.
There’s no ESPN, but you’ll be able to watch NFL games on CBS, NFL Network, FOX and NBC. So you’re only missing Monday night games. A fubo bundle comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR. There’s a “lookback” feature, which shows games that played within the last 72 hours. If you’re considering a free trial, you can try it out for a week and include Showtime for free. If you keep the subscription, then Showtime is $10.99 per month.
There are streaming apps for fuboTV on just about any streaming device, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and NVIDIA Shield TV. The best app for fuboTV right now is on Roku, where you can find on-demand movies and an easy-to-use channel guide. Here’s a video that I made showing you how it looks.
The fuboTV mobile app has been getting updates as well, and I can live stream NESN without any issues even when I turn off my WiFi and use my data. In other words, live streaming NESN when you’re away from home isn’t a problem. (Just watch out for your data plan!)
fuboTV costs $54.99 per month and offers a lot of channels for the price. You can try out fuboTV free for 7-days without any obligation. You can just cancel online.
YouTube TV: Get a NESN live stream
YouTube TV is a solid choice for live streaming some Red Sox games on NESN. AMC, ESPN, NBC and USA are part of the 65+ channel lineup, which costs $49.99 per month.
YouTube currently works with Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV via AirPlay, and Android mobile devices. There’s no restriction on what channel you live stream while using your mobile device. You can also sign in to network apps on your streaming device.
I reviewed YouTube TV earlier in the year, and came away impressed with the channel offerings and crisp picture. Subscribers get unlimited Cloud DVR and 6 accounts per household, so you can customize your menu for each family member. YouTube TV offers a free 7-day trial.
Is NESN on PlayStation Vue?
PlayStation Vue no longer carries NESN or NESN National. An apparent contract dispute ended the service, and the break-up was ugly. Sony ended up pulling the service just hours before the Boston Bruins played the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. Ouch!
NESN and Sony PlayStation Vue had been negotiating for months.
But Sony doesn’t seem interested in maintaining the relationship. NESN has since launched keepnesn.com, a site encouraging PlayStation Vue customers to contact Sony. So for now, you’re better off trying out fuboTV or YouTube TV.
What if I want NESN outside of New England?
If you live outside of New England, you’re best shot at watching Red Sox games is by subscribing to MLB Extra Innings or MLB.TV. NESN National is offered on AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS. But according to NESN, you’re not going to get Red Sox games outside the home coverage area of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut (excluding Fairfield County).
Can I live stream NESN on Sling TV?
No. Right now, there are no plans underway to add a NESN live stream to Sling TV. That could change. NESN has struck streaming rights deals with some of the newer players like YouTube TV and fuboTV, which attract a younger audience.
Back in May, Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO, spoke about the NESNGo app in terms that make you think that live streaming is definitely part of the network’s long term strategic plan. “For years, NESN has wanted to extend live streaming access to our viewers, so we couldn’t be more excited to launch NESNgo this season,” McGrail said. “This is a significant milestone in NESN history.”
Can I use the NESNGo app?
You can use your sign-in credentials with YouTube TV to access the NESNGo app and NESNGo.com. fuboTV said it plans on offering the same in the near future.
But if you’re using your fuboTV mobile app or the YouTube TV app, then I might take a pass on NESNGo. I tried out the NESNgo app and website back when it launched, and I kept on having problems staying signed in. Things might have changed, and I truly hope this app and the site improves.
The better move for watching NESN live from your smartphone or on the web would be to just watch it directly from fuboTV or YouTube TV. The mobile apps and web browser viewing is solid for both platforms.
What’s the best way to live stream NESN without cable?
I think the better deal right now is with fuboTV because you’re getting NESN, NESN Plus and more local channels including CBS, FOX, My38, NECN, NBCSN and NBC Sports Boston.
You’ll get 90+ channels, 30 hours of Cloud DVR and the ability to sign in to apps on your streaming device. fuboTV has a unique “lookback” feature to catch up on games, and on-demand movies and shows.
You won’t have any restrictions with watching fuboTV on your iPhone or Android smartphone, so you can keep watching NESN while you’re outside your home. fuboTV has a free 7-day trial without any obligation. New customers get $10 off the first month after the free trial. You can check out fubo’s channel lineup before starting a free trial.
I also really like YouTube TV a lot for its crisp picture, ability to stream on mobile and price at $50 per month. Try out YouTube TV free for 7 days if you want to see what a NESN live stream looks like.
What’s your favorite way to live stream NESN for Red Sox and Bruins games? Let fellow readers know in the comments below.
* This article was originally published Dec. 14, 2017, and has been updated to reflect new prices and channel lineups.