The wide world of sports has been mostly postponed for 2020 thanks to the coronavirus. As we all try to flatten the curve with social distancing, some of the most popular U.S. sports leagues are streaming both new and old games for free.
The National Football League season won’t start for a while, but there are already concerns as to whether it will start on time. To comfort fans in isolation, the NFL is providing free access to its NFL Game Pass streaming service until May 31, 2020.
Head to the NFL Game Pass website and sign up without a credit card. You can then stream ad-free games for every season dating back to the launch of the web service in 2008. The NFL Draft will still proceed as planned April 23-25, although the event won’t be attended by the draftees or their families.
One of the first major U.S. sports to cancel its season was the National Basketball Association. Games are usually broadcast live on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. However, with no live games airing, the NBA League Pass streaming service is providing free previews for all fans. This isn’t a free trial of the service, though; it offers free access to some (but not all) of the content.
Check out the NBA League Pass website to watch with or without an account. You can also access this free content through the Android or iPhone/iPad apps. Catch up on some of the best games from the beginning of this season or seasons past, from Bill Russell to Kobe Bryant. The NBA YouTube channel also has an ever-growing library of new and old content.
The American Pastime is also postponed for now, and like the NBA, it’s providing fans with a free preview of content from Major League Baseball’s streaming service. There are ads, but you won’t need an account to check out the previews.
To get going, head over to the MLB.tv website and just start watching. There’s also an MLB Vault on YouTube, featuring a huge range of classic games and video clips. For those who missed Opening Day 2020 (because it never happened), you can watch a 10-minute recap of the opening of the baseball season as simulated in MLB The Show 20, brought to you by the league itself.
Hockey was paused right before the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which were set to begin in early April. The National Hockey League recently announced it would increase coverage and content across social media in spite of the delays. Additionally, the league created a new website offering free access through April 30, 2020, to content like classic games, documentaries, press conferences, and more.
You can head to the NHL Pause Binge website and start watching right away. You can also catch the action on the NHL’s Android or iPhone/iPad apps. Unlike the NBA, the NHL has decided to postpone its draft and combine events, as well as its season.
With a season that kicked off just last month, pro soccer in America has been postponed. Major League Soccer announced that games are suspended through May 9, 2020. The league isn’t providing any special access for fans.
Fortunately, though, MLS already provides condensed versions of all games via its Android and iPhone/iPad apps. Pluto TV also has a free MLS channel if you need more to fill the time until the season begins again.
PGA (and More Via NBC Sports)
Professional golf is a relatively isolated sport to begin with, so the PGA Tour has only been delayed until April 9. However, from now until May 17, 2020, its PGA Tour Live streaming service will be free. You can binge the massive archive and stream new documentaries.
Just go to its page on NBC Sports and click “Watch Now.” You can also find similar access on the site for other sports, including everything from cycling and IndyCar, to rugby and snowboarding.
Click the icons at the top of the website to get free access to any of these sports, or click the arrows on either side to scroll through the list. You can also access content through the NBC Sports app on Android or iPhone/Pad.
Most racing leagues, like Formula 1, NASCAR, and IndyCar, are also postponing events. Most of these delays will only last a matter of weeks. While there haven’t been any real events yet, most of the community is going digital for upcoming races.
Formula 1 has postponed or canceled races through June. Each of these will be replaced by a new series of events. In late March, F1 announced the Esports Virtual Grand Prix, in which F1 drivers will compete in F1 2019 for PC. Remember these are pro drivers, not pro gamers.
From March 28 through May 2, IndyCar has partnered with iRacing, one of the most popular racing simulation games, for virtual race events that are entirely simulated. You can catch these live on Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET on the IndyCar website. Streamable videos are also posted after the event. No champion will be crowned, but the winner will make a special donation to partner charities.
The next NASCAR race isn’t until May 9, 2020, but that league will also be partnering with iRacing for virtual events. The races will be entirely automated, but they’ll also feature both current and former drivers, including the legendary Dale Earnhardt. You can watch these races on-demand on the Fox Sports NASCAR website.
Don’t Forget About OTA TV
Most households don’t use TV antennae anymore. However, over-the-air (OTA) television is still very much a thing, and you can get free access to HDTV channels with a digital antenna. Then, whenever a local network reruns past events or starts airing live games again, you can catch them in HD.
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