Thanks to the power of the internet, you don’t have to settle for a huge cable bill to be able to watch all the MLB postseason you want. There are several options available, and each has benefits and drawbacks but by being a bit clever you can watch postseason baseball on the cheap. Let’s take a look.
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Who wants to read about all the various options when you’re only going to choose one? Read further for more details, but here is the four-step process
- Sign up for Sling TV (Orange) for a free trial on or before October 3. This will get you the AL Wild Card Game on ESPN. (FREE)
- Switch to Sling TV (Blue). Once the 10/3 AL WC game is over, you won’t need ESPN anymore. Switching to Sling TV Blue will get you the other networks you need for the rest of the MLB postseason: FS1, TBS, and Fox. ($25)
- In some areas, Fox is not included in the Sling TV package. Get a digital antenna for the broadcast.
- Cancel Sling. You should be at just under one month.
Total cost (approximate):
- $25 if Fox is included in the Sling package in your area
- $35 if Fox is not included and you get a cheap antenna
- $55 if Fox is not included and you get a better antenna
- $50 if you sign up for two months and get the free Roku
WAYS TO WATCH THE POSTSEASON
Pay-Per-Month Streaming Services
You can always watch pretty much all the postseason games with most cable subscriptions, but who wants to pay for that anymore? Cord cutting is the way of the future. There are a few popular and inexpensive ways to watch the MLB postseason without cable, like Hulu Live TV ($40/month), Playstation Vue ($40/month), Direct TV Now ($35/month), and Sling TV ($25/month for the “Blue” service). We’ll talk about Sling since it is the cheapest, and it’s also the one we actually use. (Plus you can get a free Roku streaming stick when you first sign up for Sling, which is a pretty cool bonus. This will turn any screen with an HDMI port into a “smart” TV.)
How it works: With a PC, a smart TV, or a TV connected to a streaming device (like the aforementioned Roku stick and plenty of other options) you can use the internet to “stream” television with one of the services mentioned above. Using one of these streaming services gives you more channels than broadcast TV, but less of the fluff and cords (and cost!) than ‘traditional’ cable.
You can also use your MLB.tv subscription. You won’t be able to watch the games live, but you can use us here at Baseball Rewatch for spoiler-free game recommendations and watch 90 minutes after the conclusion of the live game. All you need to do is have a bit of patience and stay away from social media! If you buy late in the season, it’s only about $4 and you can dip back into old games all throughout the offseason. This pairs especially well with our back posts, which tell you – without any spoilers or scores revealed – which games are the most exciting from each day of the season.
This is a stupid service, and I have no idea why it’s even a thing. It’s live “companion” coverage from the TBS broadcasts only. This means you only get alternate camera angles along with the talking head commentary. If you want to choose a camera angle and sit and watch kinda-sorta like you’re at the game, this is the option for you. Five bucks, ALCS only. It should be called ALCSAlternateFeed.TV.
Next, to choose the right services we need to know what networks and channels are broadcasting the games. Each series within the postseason can have a different broadcaster, so we need to know which channels those are so we can find the low-cost viewing options. All details below are for 2017.
ESPN will show the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday, October 3. ESPN is available on Hulu Live TV ($40/month), Playstation Vue ($40/month), Direct TV Now ($35/month), and Sling TV (Orange, $20/month).
Fox Sports One, aka FS1, is the home for the ALDS (October 5-11) and ALCS (October 13-21). The ALCS will also be broadcast on the traditional Fox channel. FS1 is available on Hulu Live TV ($40/month), Playstation Vue ($40/month), Direct TV Now ($35/month), and Sling TV (Blue, $25/month).
Fox will show the ALCS and the World Series. You can pick up a decent digital TV antenna, or go with this nearly-equally-excellent thinline antenna. Fox is available over the air and in some areas with the aforementioned streaming services.
The Major League Baseball Network is the home for Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS (also showing on FS1). This means that if you get FS1, you won’t need MLBN.
The NLDS and NLCS can be watched on the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS). TBS is available on Hulu Live TV ($40/month), Playstation Vue ($40/month), Direct TV Now ($35/month), and Sling TV (Both Orange, $20/month, and Blue, $25/month).
So you can see that you have several options to affordably cobble together the stations you need in order to watch the MLB postseason on the cheap. Using the internet and a wise selection of the streaming service that suits your needs, you can watch all through October for about $25-50. As we mentioned at the beginning, Sling TV is the cheapest option, but you may consider one of the other services if there are other shows or events you would like to watch once the World Series concludes.