Sunday, March 8, 2020

Benefits and drawbacks of streaming TV for Boston sports fans

By Zachary Baru

If you’re a Boston sports fan considering streaming television in 2020, there’s plenty of factors to consider before making the decision that is now culturally referred to as “cutting the cord”.

Sports fans, and especially New England sports fans, have very unique factors to consider, especially since the regional sports market is not dominated by one particular network.  Since the four regionally televised sports teams, the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Revolution are on both NBC Sports Boston and NESN, the obvious question for any fan would be, “does my streaming service have both of these networks?”

Unfortunately for one big option, the answer is no.  Hulu does not offer NESN on its live TV service, which even has an entire website dedicated to the issue.  It is unfortunate since Hulu’s platform is excellent for sports fans, and would be a perfect option, if not for the lack of NESN.

Hulu, like YouTube TV, makes watching live and on demand sports easy, telling you exactly what is live and allowing you to watch it right away.  Hulu also gives fans the chance to see what games they missed from their chosen favorite teams along with an option to instantly watch it again.  This is very similar to YouTube TV, but Hulu does it in such a modern and easy way that any sports fan would definitely enjoy.

YouTube TV, however also has their version of showing fans what is available for sports and makes it very easy to watch, along with having NESN, a big, big plus for any Boston sports fan.  Xfinity from Comcast, however, has their own way of showing you what is live for sports, along with a scoreboard and the ability to simply click on the game and watch right away.  You can even use their Sports App right from a button on the remote, making it very easy for fans, while offering what is a perfect picture quality for all games.  Not to mention, Xfinity carries both NESN and NBC Sports Boston, as Comcast is the owner of latter.

Boston sports fans will definitely have a lot of options when deciding how to watch their teams in 2020, as the live TV landscape becomes more crowed and extremely competitive.  In the end, customers and fans will win, giving fans the opportunity to watch sports when, how and where they want to watch.

Zach Baru can be followed @zbaru and reached at zachbaru@gmail.com.

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