Why is streaming sports online so hard?


Covering streaming television has been an absolute blast.

It’s clearly the future of entertainment consumption for the next decade or so, with most television networks offering digital streaming across devices or perhaps partnering with existing streaming services to distribute content. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the new Sling TV have thrived as of late (related, What is Sling TV?).

But one of the hardest things about being a cord cutter has been limited access to streaming sports online. While the NBA and MLB all having made great strides, the NFL has been dragging its feet, guarded by expensive television contracts.

Streaming the NBA online is getting easier recently though, and 2016-2017 is shaping up to be an interesting development for games, as the NBA has a lot of games that are on networks covered by streaming packages. The below guide offers ways to stream each individual NBA team:

How to Stream NBA Games Online (by Team):

ATLANTICToronto Raptors
Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks
CENTRALCleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers
Detroit Pistons
SOUTHEASTAtlanta Hawks
Washington Wizards
Miami Heat
Charlotte Hornets
Orlando Magic
PACIFICPortland Trail Blazers
Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets
Minnesota Timberwolves
SOUTHWESTGolden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Phoenix Suns
Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers
NORTHWESTHouston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs
Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks
New Orleans Pelicans

So why is the NFL so far behind its counterparts?

The NFL has some of the most expensive and valuable television time, as mentioned above, and these networks are holding onto live sports with a death grip, knowing that it remains one of the main strongholds of cable subscriptions and broadcast advertising revenue.

ESPN has been losing subscribers by the millions, and NFL ratings have been down heavily in the past few weeks. But digital streaming of live sports continues to increase, as there is massive demand for a more modern method of consumption. We’re all on the go now, and watching games on mobile devices like our phones and tablets needs to be an option. Streaming ESPN online isn’t impossible

The MLB offers expensive packages that give specific access to your favorite team, which is a great option for a lot of people, and we do expect the price on these things to come down. The key is having the packages at least available.

The leagues that adopt the fastest to modern technology are the ones that are going to benefit the most, and there is no doubt that some are well ahead of others.

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