How to Watch NHL Games Online Without Cable – Find the Right Platform for You

Watching ice hockey is a pretty entertaining pass-time activity, especially since it’s not just the game you’re watching, but also the scandals that erupt on the ice. So, if you’re really excited to watch the NHL Games online, we know just where you should look.

The NHL is the professional ice hockey league in North America, comprised of 31 teams. 24 of the teams come from the United States, while 7 come from Canada. Each season ends with a team winning the Stanley Cup. The most recent winners are the Washington Capitals, but the team with the most wins, namely 25 of them, is the Montreal Canadiens.

The 2018-2019 NHL Season kicked off on October 3 and it will end in June 2019, once the 82 games are completed. The regular season starts on October 3 and lasts through April 6th, followed by the Stanley Cup playoffs. The actual Stanley Cup Finals are held in late May to early June.

While Canada can watch hockey pretty much anywhere they turn (CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports, TSN, RDS), the broadcasting rights for the NHL Season in the United States are split between several networks – NBCSN, NBC, CNBC, USA, and NHL Networks.

NBCSN broadcasts one to three regular season games per week, the All-Star Game, the playoffs and the second and third game of the Stanley Cup Finals. The NBA takes over the broadcast for the Black Friday game, New Year’s Day game, Sunday afternoon late-season games, as well as the weekend afternoon and Saturday night playoff games. Plus, of course, the first and the fourth through seventh Stanley Cup Finals games.

The NHL Network broadcasts the games that are held on Wednesday, Friday, and every once in a while, a Sunday Game. The CNBC and USA channels also broadcast the Stanley Cup Playoffs overflows.

How to Live-Stream NHL Games Online from Anywhere?

It’s super easy nowadays to watch sports online, including via live TV platforms. But there’s one thing you need to keep in mind – all of these platforms that we’ll discuss and the live streams on the network’s websites are geoblocked. This means that you need to be in the United States to watch anything because licensing deals prevent them from allowing broadcasts abroad. So, if you happen to travel often abroad, you should look into subscribing for a VPN service. These services can help you change your IP address which gives off your location. So, instead of whatever corner of the world, you’re actually in, you’ll appear to be in downtown Manhattan instead. Here’s what you need to do.

  • First, you have to pick a VPN. We’ve reviewed dozens of these over the years and we can strongly recommend you go for ExpressVPN, which is one of the best we’ve encountered. So go ahead and visit the ExpressVPN website, subscribe to the service and download the app.
  • Once the app is installed on your device, launch it and log into your account.
  • Find a US-based server and connect to it. The process only takes a few seconds.
  • Load the live TV platform you chose to watch the NHL games on, such as fuboTV.
  • Have fun watching your favorite hockey teams go head to head.

Note: If the games are broadcast by NBC, we need to point out another use for the VPNs. The channel isn’t available in all corners of the United States, even if you use an online-based platform. In these circumstances, you can use the VPN to make it seem as if you’re in a different city in the United States, one that does feature NBC, such as New York City, or Chicago, to name a few. So, use the VPN to connect to a server in one of these locations, and the live TV platform will offer you the channels available there.

How to Watch NHL Games Without Cable?

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to watch TV online, thanks to the numerous live TV platforms that are available nowadays, especially within the United States. Not only that, but the fact that we’ve all become accustomed to consuming all content online – news, movies, TV series – is making the transfer to over-the-top platforms that much easier. The freedom you get when you switch to online live TV is incomparable. So, we’re going to go through the list of platforms that will allow you to watch the channels that broadcast the NHL Games. Here are the platforms where you can live stream NHL games online without cable.

1. fuboTV

FuboTV

Overview

Bundles fubo ($54.99/mo) + Family ($59.99/mo), Family Deluxe ($64.99/mo), and Ultra ($79.99/mo) promo packs.
Customization Channel Bundles - fubo Cycling ($11.99/mo), International Sports Plus ($5.99/mo), Sports Plus ($8.99/mo), Adventure Plus ($4.99/mo), NBA League Pass ($28.99/mo), Portuguese Plus ($14.99/mo), Latino Plus ($7.99/mo), fubo Extra ($5.99/mo) Premium Networks - Showtime ($10.99/mo), AMC Premiere ($4.99/mo), FX Plus ($5.99/mo), RAI Italia ($7.99/mo)
Device support Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, iOS, Android, Chromecast, web browser
DVR 30 hours, unlimited time storage, expandable to 500 hours via extra feature ($9.99/mo)
Free trial Yes, 7 days
Visit fuboTV

At the top of the list, we have single-bundle platform fuboTV. This one may only have a base bundle, but you can build upon it by adding premium networks or channel packs. Plus, they even offer you a few pre-made packs that even come with better prices for the cool add-ons they offer. When subscribing to fuboTV, you’ll be able to find NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, and USA in the main bundle. There’s no NHL Network, however.

fuboTV allows users to record any content they want to watch at a later time, offering everyone 30 hours of cloud DVR space. You can always pay another $9.99 per month to extend the limit to 500 hours. The platform also allows users to watch content on two devices at once, but if that’s not enough for you, you can add a third simultaneous stream for $5.99 per month. Make sure to read our fuboTV review to better understand the platform and everything it has to offer.

2. Sling TV

Sling TV

Overview

Bundles Sling Orange ($25/mo), Sling Blue ($25/mo), Sling Orange + Blue ($40/mo)
Customization Channel bundles - Comedy ($5/mo), Espanol ($5/mo), Heartland ($5/mo), Hollywood ($5/mo), Lifestyle ($5/mo), News ($5/mo), Kids ($5/mo), Sports ($5/mo with Orange, $10/mo with Blue or Orange + Blue), Kids + Comedy + News + Lifestyle ($10/mo)
Premium Channels - Showtime ($10/mo), STARZ ($9/mo), EPIX ($5/mo), CuriosityStream ($3/mo), Here TV ($8/mo), Grokker ($7/mo), Stingray Karaoke ($7/mo), UP Faith & Family ($5/mo), Pantaya ($6/mo), CineFest ($5/mo), Hopster ($5/mo), Comedy Dynamics ($5/mo), Dove Channel ($5/mo), DogTV ($5/mo), CONtv ($5/mo), Docurama ($5/mo), Outside TV Features ($5/mo)
NBA- League Pass ($29/mo), Team Pass ($18/mo)
Device support Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, AirTV Player, Xiaomi, LG Smart TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, iOS, Android, Fire tablets, Xbox One, Chrome web browser
DVR Up to 50 hours, unlimited storage time. Expandable by another 50 hours with extra feature
Free trial Yes, 7 days
Visit Sling

We’re moving on to Sling TV, which is one of the platforms that allow the most customizations to be made, which is perfect for many users. Sling TV hosts NBCSN, NBC, CNBC, and USA in the Blue and Orange + Blue bundles. The NHL Network can be found in the Sports Extra, which costs $5 per month for the Orange subscribers, and $10 per month for Blue or Orange + Blue subscribers. CNBC is also in one of the extra channel packs, namely in the News one, but it’s only accessible to those who picked the Blue or Orange + Blue bundles. In short, Sling TV has all the channels you need to watch the NHL games. We recommend picking Orange + Blue and adding Sports Extra and News packs, which would put the monthly $55 per month.

If you think you’re going to miss any of the games and want to watch it all later, you have to pay $5 per month for the cloud DVR feature because Sling TV doesn’t offer any space for “free”. If you want to make sure your family is able to watch anything when you’re enjoying the game, you have to avoid the Orange bundle, because that one comes with a single stream attached. The Blue bundle comes with three simultaneous streams, while the Orange + Blue bundle comes with four simultaneous streams. Make sure you read our Sling TV review if you want the full details.

3. Hulu

Hulu

Overview

Bundles A single bundle - Hulu with Live TV - $44.99 per month
Customization Premium channels - HBO ($14.99/mo), Showtime ($10.99/mo), Cinemax ($9.99/mo), STARZ ($8.99/mo)
Channel Packs - Entertainment ($7.99/mo), Espanol ($4.99/mo)
Device support iOS, Android, FireTV, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs, browsers
DVR 50 Hours Cloud DVR by default, Enhanced Cloud DVR - 200 Hours ($14.99/mo)
Free trial Yes, 7 days
Visit Hulu

The next platform on our list is Hulu, which is a name everyone knows for the video-on-demand service it’s been providing for years. Thankfully, for a while now, they’re also offering live TV, as well as a couple of extra channel packs and premium networks. You can find pretty much all the channels you need to watch hockey – NBCSN, NBC, CNBC, and USA, but no NHL Network. Either way, this seems like a good enough deal, if you want to watch the NHL games without cable. You can go ahead and subscribe to Hulu if you think this might be the one for you.

Hulu users get to record up to 50 hours of video to the cloud. If that’s not enough for you, $14.99 per month will get you a cap raise to 200 hours of cloud DVR space. While VOD Hulu subscribers can’t watch content on more than one device, Live TV subscribers can watch two simultaneous streams. Another $14.99 per month will get you “Unlimited Screens,” a feature that will lift the cap completely while you’re on the home network, or limit you to three simultaneous streams while you’re out and about. For $20 you can get these two options bundled up. Read our Hulu review for more details.

4. YouTube TV

YouTube TV

Overview

Bundles A single bundle - $49.99 per month ($54.99 if billed through Apple)
Customization Premium channels - AMC Premiere ($5/mo), CuriosityStream ($3/mo), Fox Soccer Plus ($15/mo), Showtime ($7/mo), Starz ($9/mo), Shudder ($5/mo), Sundance Now ($7/mo), NBA League Pass ($40/mo or $124/year), EPIX ($6/mo)
Device support Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, Samsung and LG Smart TVs, iOS, Android
DVR Unlimited storage space, recordings saved for 9 months
Free trial Yes, 7 days
Visit YouTube TV

YouTube TV is up next, a platform that comes from a company that thinks it knows best what users want, so it offers only one bundle of channels. You can customize things a bit if you’ll add premium networks to the mix. That being said, they do feature a lot of channels, including most of the ones you need to watch hockey on – NBCSN, NBC, as well as CNBC and USA. Again, NHL Network is missing, but you’ll catch most of the games anyway. You can subscribe to YouTube TV at any time.

Subscribers of YouTube TV get a pretty sweet deal when it comes to cloud DVR, because they get unlimited space to record anything they want and the videos even get an expiration date set 9 months into the future. Subscribers can also stream content to three devices simultaneously, so your whole family is covered. TechNadu’s YouTube TV review is waiting for you to give it a read.

5. DirecTV Now

Overview

Bundles Plus ($50/mo) and Max ($70/mo) Other Packages - Entertainment ($93/mo), Choice ($110/mo), Xtra ($124/mo), Ultimate ($135/mo), and Optimo Mas ($86/mo)
Customization Channel packs - AT&T TV Now Deportes ($5/mo) and AT&T TV Now Espanol ($15/mo) Premium Networks - HBO (included with Plus and Max), Cinemax ($11/mo or included with Max), Showtime ($11/mo), STARZ ($11/mo) International Bundles - Vietnamese ($20/mo), Brazilian ($30/mo), Korean ($30/mo)
Device support Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, iOS, Android, browsers
DVR Up to 20 hours, 30 days limit, no expansions
Free trial Yes, 7 days
Visit AT&T TV Now

Next, we have DirecTV Now, which is a versatile platform that comes with seven bundles. Two of these bundles are only a few months old – Plus and Max, while the others – Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, Ultimate, and Optimo Mas – have been around for a long time, but they now have a different name and a larger price tag. When subscribing to DirecTV Now, you need to choose wisely. NBC, NBCSN, and USA are present in all seven bundles. CNBC is present in Plus, Max, Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, and Ultimate, while NHL Network only made it in Xtra and Ultimate.

The cloud DVR feature attached to DirecTV Now enables users to record up to 20 hours of video, but there’s no way to raise that cap even if you want to pay more. The service also allows users to watch content on two devices at once. A third simultaneous stream can be added for $5 per month. Make sure to give TechNadu’s DirecTV Now review a read to get the full story about this service.

6. PlayStation Vue

Playstation Vue

Overview

Bundles Access ($49.99/mo), Core ($54.99/mo), Elite ($64.99/mo), Ultra ($84.99/mo)
Customization Channel bundles - Sports Pack ($10/mo), Espanol Pack ($4.99/mo, $3.99/mo with PlayStation Plus) Premium channels - HBO ($15/mo, or included in Ultra), Showtime ($10.99/mo, $8.99/mo with PlayStation Plus, or included in Ultra), FX+ ($5.99/mo), Epix ($3.99/mo, $2.99/mo with PlayStation Plus), Cinemax ($15/mo), Fox Soccer Plus ($14.99/mo or $12.99 with PlayStation Plus), Hi-YAH! ($2.99/mo or $1.99/mo with PlayStation Plus) Bundles - HBO + Cinemax ($21.99/mo or $19.99/mo with PlayStation Plus), Epix Hits + Showtime ($13.99/mo or $11.49/mo with PlayStation Plus)
Device support Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, Roku, PS3, PS4, browser
DVR Up to 500 programs, 28 days limit
Free trial Yes, 5 days
Visit PlayStation Vue

Up next, we have a platform that’s particularly great in many aspects. The PlayStation Vue managed to get the highest score when we reviewed it, and many people feel the same. There are four bundles you can choose from to start things off, and you may add extra channel packs and several premium networks to customize your plan a bit. PlayStation Vue is host to NBCSN, NBC, CNBC, and USA, and they’re all present in all four bundles, so you can pick whichever one you like best. We recommend you go for the Elite package if you don’t want any premium networks, or Ultra if you do.

Users of PlayStation Vue get to enjoy a cloud DVR feature that allows them to record up to 500 programs. When it comes to simultaneous streams, PlayStation Vue remarkably offers five of them, which is more than we’ve seen anywhere. Users can also enjoy a unique feature that enables them to watch three programs at once on the same screen. Read our PlayStation Vue review for more information about all of this.

7. NHL.TV

Another way to watch NHL online is to get a subscription with NHL.TV. This one only gets you access to NHL games online, and it costs $80 per season. Depending on when you subscribe to the platform, you can get a price cut. In January, for instance, the price dropped to $59.99 for the rest of the season. You can also pay $24.99 per month if you’d prefer, or $109.99 for a single team pass. The latter also get a reduced price depending on when you subscribe and how much of the season is left.

NHL.TV works on Apple smartphones and tablets, Android smartphones and tablets, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Amazon Fire, Android TV, and the web.

FAQ

We can help you out with more info in this next section, offering more details about watching NHL games online, using VPNs and more. So, if you find something that interests you in this next be, go ahead and read it.

Can I Watch NHL Online?

Yes! You can watch NHL online in multiple manners. You can either make use of the online streams of the channels that broadcast the games – NBCSN, NBC, CNBC, USA, and NHL Networks -, or use a streaming service. In the event you pick the first version, you’re going to need to have a cable contract and use the credentials provided by them to sign into your account. If you’re going to pick the latter, you’re going to need to have an account with fuboTV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, or NHL.TV.

Can I Watch NHL on Amazon Fire Stick?

Sure thing! Multiple platforms come with Fire Stick support: fuboTV, Hulu, DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and even NHL.TV.

Where Can I Watch NHL Network?

The NHL Network is also a solution to watch the hockey games, but it’s covered by only a few live TV streaming services, namely Sling TV and DirecTV Now. The platform doesn’t broadcast all games, however, but it wouldn’t hurt to have the channel, either. The NHL Network can be found in the Sports Extra pack on Sling TV, which is $5 per month for Orange subscribers and $10 per month for Blue and Orange + Blue subscribers. On DirecTV Now, the channel is in the Go Big and Gotta Have It bundles.

What Are VPNs And How Are They Useful?

VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. These are tools such as ExpressVPN, ones that can make it seem that you’re connected to the Internet from a different location than the one you’re currently in by spoofing your IP address. Basically, by using encryption, these tools can hide your real IP address before the app routes your Internet connection through its own servers. By the time the process is complete, you’ll have a new IP address to match the physical location of the chosen server. Since geoblocks are tied to a person’s IP address, the VPN will help you bypass the problem entirely.

Does the NHL Suffer Blackouts?

Yes, unfortunately. The NHL, and pretty much any other US sports league, has this thing where they like to mess with people for no apparent reason than they can. We’re referring to blackouts, of course. When it comes to blackouts, the problem is that they assume you only sympathize with your local teams, likely out of local pride or something. But you may very well have moved across the country and your favorites are on the other coast. Well, if you want to watch that team’s games, you’re fresh out of luck because you can only watch your local home games. That’s as stupid as it comes.

But we get it, in a sense, because these games are all scheduled at once, so you can’t watch two games at the same time, even if one’s in Chicago and one’s in Los Angeles, or whatever.

Can I Stream Regional and Out-of-Market NHL Games?

Yes! But you need a Regional Sports Network for the channels with broadcasting rights. If you want to watch locally available games you need specific Regional Sports Networks (RSNs). Most major channels have them – Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and so on. When it comes to cable providers, you get what you get, but with online live TV streaming services, things get a tad more complicated. Thankfully, a VPN can help you “hop” from one location to the next easily, so you can watch whatever game you want.

Another way to get around this major issue and watch out-of-market games is to buy an NHL Season Pass, that costs $119.99 per year (with the price going down as the season’s weeks tick by). This will get you access to any game. Again, the issue, however, is that you have to live in the right region to watch.

Why Does the NHL Network Blackout Games?

Well, the explanation to this question is pretty simple. The games happen in a particular region and, chances are, those who live in that region are going to be far more interested in the games than those that live elsewhere. It does not mean, however, that this is applicable to all fans.

So, the games that happen in a specific zone are available in the RSN of the channel with broadcasting rights. In the case of the NHL, we’re talking about NBC, NBCSN, and NHL.TV.

How to Bypass NHL Game Blackouts?

A VPN such as ExpressVPN will come in handy to bypass the blackout problem and it’s quite easy to accomplish too. The only thing you need to do is figure out which area can watch the game you’re hoping to watch, turn on the VPN and pick a server that’s in that general area. This will unlock the regional sports network you need to watch the game. Most VPNs have dozens of US servers, assigned to all areas you might think of, so it should be a pretty easy thing to find one that grants you access to the right RSN.

So there you have it, these have been the platforms that will help you watch NHL games online without cable this season. Let us know what platform you ended up choosing to watch the NHL games in the comments section below. Please share the article online if you can and follow TechNadu on Facebook and Twitter.

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