We all do our best to not let it get to us, but let’s face it: sometimes we need to escape. Sports have always been an effective coping mechanism, giving us just the right boost of serotonin — among a wide spectrum of indescribable feelings — to keep us on-track in our day-to-day lives.
While this still holds true, the way we consume live sporting events has changed with time. In another life, you could scroll though the channels on your basic television package and watch just about any game you pleased.
Look around now, and you’ll find that good ol’ capitalism has flooded us with streaming services, causing headaches for many fans looking for the best options with the lowest prices. This is our reality now, so we must manage. From Indiana Athletics to the German Bundesliga, here are some streaming networks sure to have broadcasts of your favorite leagues and teams:
Big Ten Network Plus
This extension of Big Ten Network was a godsend for both students and reporters looking for coverage of their university’s teams outside of football and men’s basketball, both of which are usually on national television. From men’s and women’s soccer to volleyball and field hockey, BTN+ is a consistent option for Hoosier sports fans who can’t make it out to every game, especially road contests.
The downside for students though, is their university status doesn’t bypass paying for this service. There have been efforts to strike a deal with the company, but nothing covering all member schools’ students has come to fruition yet.
All subscribers, therefore, have three options to choose from: a Conference Pass, School Pass and Sport Pass.
The Conference Pass gives subscribers the most extensive access, with coverage of all sports from all 14 Big Ten universities. A monthly pass comes in at $14.95 a month, with a $119.95 fee for the full-year deal.
With the School Pass, you can stream all the sports for an individual university. Under this option, monthly passes are $9.95/month, while a yearly subscription costs $79.95.
The Sport Pass gets more complicated though. This pass allows access to specific sports across all the Big Ten universities, but only has a yearly subscription option with varying prices depending on the sport – the lowest coming in at $39.99 and the highest priced at $69.99.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, ESPN+ has cemented itself as the most inclusive and diverse streaming service.
What’s the financial catch, you ask? Just $9.99/month, or $99.99 for one year. Admittedly, it used to cost only $4.99/month, but from personal experience, I’d argue the price hike is justified.
Though not broadcasting every game across these leagues, ESPN+ often has select games available across the MLB, NHL and NBA over the course of their long-spanning seasons. Additionally, ESPN exclusively owns the rights to all four tennis Grand Slams, and matches from just about every first division soccer league imaginable will show up on the home page.
When not on BTN+ or other college streaming services, you can even catch both high-level and underappreciated college soccer programs facing off on ESPN+.
You can browse through and stream games stress-free through the ESPN app on your phone, computer or smart TV.
This service became notorious for snatching NBC’s English Premier League coverage away from its regular cable channels. If you’re part of America’s growing soccer culture, a Peacock subscription is a must-have.
Peacock offers two different plans, centered around commercials and ads or a lack thereof, for its monthly and yearly options. With ads, subscribers pay $4.99/month. Without ads, the price doubles to $9.99/month.
Besides the Premier League, Peacock provides coverage of a wide range of niche sports, such as IndyCar, cycling, track and field and WWE. Through NBC’s umbrella, it also lets you watch Sunday Night Football and will broadcast every match of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup this November-December in Spanish. Starting in 2023, Peacock will stream dozens of Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball games.