If you’ve cut the cord but still want access to regional sports networks, you might want to check out DirecTV Stream.
Although it’s one of the pricier options when it comes to streaming services, it does have the highest number of local broadcast networks and regional sports networks. Through DirecTV Stream (and depending on your location), you could potentially get the following channels:
- The CW
- FOX regional sports networks
- NBC regional sports networks
Why does your location matter? Well, your access to any of these network channels will depend on whether AT&T could secure broadcast rights through your local provider. If it doesn’t then you won’t get access to that channel. However, you could still get access to an “On-Demand” version of the channel which will carry nationally-broadcast shows and events once they’ve aired. Some may even be available in HD.
Want to discover which local and regional networks are available in your area with DirecTV Stream? You can do so using the handy Channel Lookup Tool.
The streaming service uses your billing ZIP code to determine which regional sports networks and local channels will be made available to you, and your device will have to be in that same ZIP code to be able to stream those channels. Let’s say for example, you live in Boston but you’re in Florida on vacation — you won’t be able to watch a Red Sox game until you’re back in Boston.
Which DirecTV Stream plan do I need to watch Regional Sports Networks?
To get access to regional sports networks at no additional fee, you’ll need to sign up for at least the Choice plan.
DirecTV Stream Optimo Mas
DirecTV Stream Premier
The Choice plan is a sports lover's dream and comes with 105+ channels. In addition to regional sports networks, you’ll get access to MLB Network, NBA TV, Tennis Channel, Big Ten Network, college sports networks, and more.
But sports aren’t the only thing on the menu. You’ll find news channels like CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC World and the Weather Channel; family channels like Disney, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Science and Animal Planet; entertainment channels like MTV, Spike, Bravo, Comedy TV and Game Show Network; and so much more.
DirecTV Stream offers between 40,000 to 55,000+ titles in its on-demand library, depending on the plan you choose. For the Choice plan, we can assume it falls somewhere in the middle of that number. Regardless, you’ll never have nothing to watch with this streaming service.
When you subscribe for the Choice plan, you get a free 3-month’s subscription to Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, MGM+ and Cinemax. But keep an eye out in case you want to cancel, because the plans will auto-renew at the following rates:
- Max: $15/month
- Showtime: $11/month
- Starz: $11/month
- MGM+: $6/month
- Cinemax: $11/month
You can also access regional sports networks with a subscription to the Ultimate or Premier plans.
Are there any sporting event blackouts?
Sometimes, when you go to watch a local game, you might get the following message: Nationally televised, or local, game isn’t available. There are a few different reasons why this might be the case.
First of all, make sure you’ve signed up for at least the Choice package, since the cheapest Entertainment package won’t get you access to regional sports networks. Also, NFL games cannot be streamed on smartphones. You can, however, use tablets or other devices.
Another reason you may not be able to watch a game is due to restrictions placed by sports leagues, associations and networks, which would cause a sporting event to be blocked from your area. For example, ESPN and TNT are two networks that have exclusive distribution rights to certain games and have the power to create restrictions.
Does DirecTV Stream offer DVR?
Yes, DirecTV Stream does offer DVR, and it’s one of the best in the industry. Every new subscription plan comes with unlimited DVR, with recordings stored for up to 9 months. You can record local channels, however, you may experience some restrictions. For example, some big sporting events could be blocked from being recorded, or you may just not be able to fast-forward or skip through commercials.
The streaming service also offers a 72-hour lookback feature, so you can rewatch any missed shows or sports matches.
Does DirecTV Stream offer a free trial?
Yes. DirecTV Stream offers a 5–day free trial for any of its plans so you can try the service out before shelling out a full month’s cost. Click here to get started.
How many devices can I stream on at once?
With any DirecTV Stream subscription, you’ll get to stream on up to 20 devices at once that are connected to your home network. This makes it the ideal choice for big families or large households.
You can also stream on up to 3 devices outside of your home network on mobile and streaming devices, including when watching regional sports networks. Keep in mind, however, that you can only stream on 2 devices outside of your home network at once if they are connected to a TV.
What devices can I use to watch DirecTV Stream?
How do I watch local channels that aren’t available on DirecTV Stream?
While DirecTV Stream has its perks, unfortunately, it won’t always give you all the local channels that you want. If you’re looking for a local channel that isn’t available through DirecTV Stream, you might want to consider using a digital over-the-air (OTA) antenna.
How does an OTA antenna work? It connects to your TV and gives you free access to major local broadcast networks in your area. How many channels you get will depend on the OTA antenna you choose — a good one should be able to get you dozens of local channels. If you don’t want to miss a thing, it might be worth looking into getting one to complement your DirecTV Stream subscription.
Tara Khudairi • Author
Tara Khudairi is a freelance content writer and copywriter based in Toronto. Since 2014, she has contributed to brands and blogs alike to tackle popular topics relating to technology, personal finance, entertainment, travel and lifestyle. Whether it’s the latest streaming service or cryptocurrency, she’s passionate about making the complex simple. When she’s not busy typing away, you’ll find Tara watching Netflix’s latest true crime doc or a classic 90’s horror flick.
Lisa Holden • Editor
Lisa Holden is an editor and creative based in Houston, TX. Lisa holds a BA in African-American Studies from Temple University and has spent her career working in news publications and magazines, even founding a magazine herself. When she’s not editing or working on one of her many creative endeavors (whenever that is), she enjoys traveling to new places and biking on sunny days.