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Streaming sports in Canada: Watch the action on the go with these services
NHL, NBA, NFL, MLS, wrestling, cricket – name your sport and chances are there's a streaming service will all-access, all the time. Here's how to find the best sports streaming service for every fan base.
Streaming sports in Canada
There was a time when the only way you could watch live sports in Canada is through a cable TV subscription service. These days sports enthusiasts can get the best and leave the rest with streaming services dedicated to showing live games, highlights, and everything in-between.
To find the best streaming service you’ll need to consider a few factors:
- What sports does the provider offer?
- Does it offer live games or just highlights?
- What devices work with the streaming provider?
- How many devices can be used (at the same time)?
- How much does it cost?
To help, we examine all the sports streaming services in Canada. We break down how to get access to the most popular leagues, the services that offer on-the-go streaming (watch anywhere on your mobile device), where you can find those hard-to-find professional sports you’re just aching to watch, and where to find free trials.
Compare sports streaming platforms
The most important criteria for any sports enthusiast is whether or not the streaming service offers access to games and leagues they want to watch.
For instance, a basic plan on Sportsnet may give an NBA fan access to a few live games, but limited access to championship games.
When choosing your sports streaming service be sure to review the coverage, the type of games broadcast, and read the fine print.
For example, up until this year soccer fans who wanted access to English Premier League (EPL) could only watch the games on DAZN, where subscription costs $29.99 per month or $199.99 annually.
What type of coverage?
It’s also not just the live-action games that sports fans seek. Features like split screens, highlights, multiple camera angles, and dedicated shows are also selling points. If you’re not sure, consider checking out a service with a free trial.
In fact, free trials are common and some of the more popular streaming services to offer free trials include:
- FITE TV
- WWE Network
- UFC Fight Pass
What devices work and how many can you use?
Depending on the provider, you can stream your favourite team either through your smart TV, gaming console, or on tablets or mobile devices.
While some subscription services will limit watching to just one device others will allow you to stream your content to more than one device. If there are a few sports fans in the house, multiple device packages can certainly help.
What you need to stream sports in Canada
Mobile phone carriers in Canada have been quick to jump onto the sports streaming bandwagon. Mobile providers like Rogers Wireless (Sportsnet NOW) and Bell Canada (TSN) have established their own sports streaming sites and secured access to content.
Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Amazon Fire TV, plus Mac and PC, are other ways to access some of the content. Providers typically have monthly and annual subscriptions.
How much data does streaming live sports use in Canada?
Again here it depends on your provider and bandwidth. For example, Chromecast’s video output is 1080p, while it also has 4K available on Chromecast Ultra. Apple TV also has 1080p and 4K options.
If you have an Internet connection speed of around 30Mbps for download and 2.5Mbps for uploading you should be free to access content to most devices without any buffering or other issues. Streaming sport in 4K uses around 7GB/hour while HD uses a little less at around 3GB/hour.
Can I stream sports for free in Canada?
There aren’t many free sports streaming sites available in Canada. You may be able to find links to free sports coverage on social media sites like Facebook or Reddit. But if you come across websites that claim to offer free sports streaming, the quality may be poor and you’ll likely be hounded by obtrusive popup ads. It may also be challenging to know which sites are safe and won’t install any harmful software on your computer.
Your best bet is to take advantage of free trials. Many high-quality paid streaming services offer free streaming for a limited time period to attract new users. Try out different services to see which one suits you the best. Enjoy your favourite events on reliable platforms, and consider whether paying for a subscription is worth it to avoid the struggle of finding good-quality sports streaming for free.
Check out the table above to compare paid streaming services.
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