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Cordcutting: the Sports Question

So. You and your family are asking if cord cutting is right for you. You’re asking the important questions like how good your Internet speed is, how much data you get, and what you really watch. But if there’s a major barrier to cordcutting, it’s sports. 

It’s not like you can bingewatch a baseball season in an afternoon. Keeping up with sports is a thing you do in real time. And many leagues and teams have major deals with various broadcasters, complicating things. So here’s what you can do about watching sports when you’re thinking of cutting the cord. 

Solution 1: Cord-Shave

Cord-shaving is when you don’t cut the cord entirely, but do cut back on the channels you get. For example, you could cut back on your premium cable channels but keep the Sportsnet package, which, as of this writing, would run you $24.99 plus tax per month. TSN recently announced a similar package called TSN Direct. Given that the average Canadian family is spending $65 per month on cable, you can see why this would be an attractive option. Here’s everything you need to know about cord-shaving

Solution 2: Get a Digital Antenna

If you only watch local sports, then maybe you only need a digital antenna. For example, if you’re in Winnipeg and you install a digital antenna, you’ll pick up CHMI-DT, which is a CityTV channel. They run Winnipeg Jets games. If that’s as far as your sports love goes, this could be a good option for you. Note, though, that the range of channels you get with a digital antenna is highly location-specific. Here’s our smart guide to digital antennas

Solution 3: Buy a Dedicated Streaming Pass

If you’re a hockey fiend and neither of the two above options will provide you with enough ice time, you’ll want to buy NHL LIVE . You can watch thousands of games, put them on different devices, and even watch on-demand replays. There are different pricing plans, but you can expect to pay a minimum of $25 a month. Again, cheaper than the average cable package, but with far more games. 

Most major sports have a streaming package like this. Baseball has the MLB.TV package. Basketball has the NBA League Pass. Soccer fans can watch NSAL games online for free. NFL fans can pay for NFL Game Pass. You get the idea. 

Paying for one of these passes annually is very reasonable. But when you start paying for multiple passes, the price tag can easily get higher than your current cable bill. One solution is to buy one pass (say, for basket ball) and get nearby friends or family to buy another (for example, hockey). Watching sports can be social, after all. 

An additional note: remember, if you’re streaming games over the Internet to your TV, you’ll need a streaming device

One final thing: these streaming packages make for great gifts. 

The Bottom Line

While sports are a big point of friction for families considering cutting the cord, there are more ways than ever to watch sports without buying a cable package. If you want to cut the cord now, here’s how

Here’s a final thought. If you want a little sport in your life without paying through the nose, remember that many cities and towns in Canada have minor and junior league sports teams that can be watched live for a much lower price tag than you’d expect, especially when compared to the professional level. An afternoon watching the Okotoks Dawgs or the Chicoutimi Saguenéens can be a lot of fun. Plus, who doesn’t like to cheer for the home team in person?