Just to be upfront – this is a cord cutter’s biggest dilemma. Live Sports. The major providers use this to their advantage. ESPN, Fox Sports etc are not wanting to give this content away. But there are times when you can catch the game without a cable subscription. I’ll guide you through the process with an example.
I’m going to look for one of the games I’d like to see today – Washington at Stanford. Because both teams are ranked this game has national attention. I check my favorite website for college football schedules and see that the game is broadcasting from two sources: ABC and ESPN. I’m in luck.
Next I go to my favorite website for TV Broadcast schedules and set my location for San Diego and my provider to “Local Broadcast”. I scroll over to 5pm (8pm Eastern) and confirm that my game is being broadcast on channel 10.1 KGTV.
Indeed I’m lucky. Had this game not got national attention I’d be out of luck without a cable subscription. ESPN3 streams it but only if you belong to a participating video subscriber.
Clarification: You don’t necessarily need to have a cable plan to see ESPN3. If you take only internet from the participating providers that will do. Thanks Bob (see comments) for pointing this out.