How to Watch Live Sports on Roku and Roku TV

A Roku or Roku TV can be the gateway to some of the best sports streaming services available to fans breaking away from cable TV.

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A Roku or Roku TV can be the gateway to some of the best sports streaming services available to fans breaking away from cable TV. 

After you buy a Roku, it is common for people to feel a little lost. There are an avalanche of apps within the Roku Channel Store covering sports. 

What’s the best way to watch your local, or favorite team? 

I’m giving you a summary of best sports streaming services for Roku devices and Roku TVs based on my experience as a paying subscriber. Here is a brief summary of my findings to answer some of your questions. 

Table of Contents

How can I watch live NFL games on Roku?

There are about a half dozen live TV streaming services that carry key channels for NFL games. 

You can watch ESPN, NFL Network, CBS Sports Network and local ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC channels live without cable TV.

DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo (formerly fuboTV), Hulu Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV have coverage of both local broadcast and cable TV channels.

Each of these live TV streaming services have pros and cons. Some may require a sports-add channel package for specific channels such as NFL RedZone. 

Let’s cover a few more common questions. 

How to watch local sports on Roku

YouTube TV has a number of sports networks such as ESPN. (photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)

Local sports on Roku, such as in-market NFL, NBA and MLB games are available on some, but not all, live TV streaming services. 

Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV STREAM and fuboTV have nationwide coverage of local broadcast channels. Sling TV carries local NBC and FOX stations in a small number of markets across the U.S. 

NFL on Roku

For NFL fans, YouTube TV, fuboTV, DIRECTV STREAM and Hulu Live TV have comprehensive coverage in their entry-level channel bundles. 

MLB on Roku

MLB fans will need regional sports networks to watch local in-market games. Regional Bally Sports channels are available on Fubo, DIRECTV STREAM and the Bally Sports+ streaming service. 

MLB.TV offers coverage of out-of-market games. Apple TV+ offers free coverage of Sunday morning MLB games that are part of the national broadcast schedule.

NBA on Roku

NBA fans can use Sling TV as an inexpensive way to get TNT and ESPN. But if you need local, in-market games on Bally Sports, then you will need a Fubo subscription, or a DIRECTV STREAM subscription with the Choice plan. YES Network is on DIRECTV STREAM.

NBA TV and NBA League Pass gives you access to live out-of-market games.

ROOT Sports Northwest is on DIRECTV STREAM and Fubo.

How do I watch live CBS sports on Roku?

If you don’t need a full complement of cable TV channels, Paramount Plus is an affordable alternative for watching NFL games and college football that broadcasts on CBS.

The Essential plan gives you access to Sunday NFL games that air on local CBS stations. 

UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League are also available to Essential plan subscribers. 

You can watch “SEC on CBS” by subscribing to the Paramount Plus with Showtime plan.

Can I watch NBC sports on Roku?

You can watch a variety of live sports on NBC using Roku. In addition to a live TV streaming service, Peacock TV offers an inexpensive way to watch sports that are broadcast on NBC.

Peacock streams live NFL Sunday Night Football, Golf, NASCAR, INDYCAR, Premier League soccer and WWE events.

You have to subscribe to the Premium plan.

How to get free live sports on Roku

There is no legally free option on Roku devices and Roku TVs that matches the comprehensive coverage of cable TV channels. But you can get a free trial of a live TV streaming service to watch live sports. 

You can watch sports highlights for free on a number of steaming apps such as CBS Sports HQ. 

Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.