Northern California sports fans will want NBC Sports California if they are interested in baseball, basketball, and hockey. It’s the home of the A’s, Kings, and Sharks. Read on to learn how cord-cutters can get it!
In a hurry? There are a few streaming services that provide it. Here are our three favorites:
- Hulu + Live TV: With its base plan, you will get to watch all the action of these teams. Try it for free for 7 days!
- FuboTV: This great sports streaming service does have a major hole: TNT and TBS. But if that’s okay, it’s 100+ sports-heavy channel selection is great. Try it out with a 7-day free trial!
- DIRECTV STREAM: Although more expensive, it provides a lot of advantages — especially in more distant locations. Try it with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Table Of Contents
NBC Sports California is the destination for Oakland Athletics (MLB), Sacramento Kings (NBA), and San Jose Sharks (NHL) fans. It is also a partial destination for San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) supporters.
It encompasses half of the dual regional sports networks that fans of Northern California sports teams enjoy with NBC Sports Bay Area also covering the Earthquakes while focusing on the San Francisco Giants (MLB) and Golden State Warriors (NBA).
If you live within NBC Sports California’s broadcast area and would like to secure cordless access to that regional sports network, consider DIRECTV STREAM ($84.99/mo), FuboTV ($64.99/mo), and Hulu + Live TV ($64.99/mo).
What Is NBC Sports California?
NBC Sports California used to be known as Comcast SportsNet California and Comcast SportsNet West. It has brought live regional broadcasts of sporting events to those based in Northern California and nearby regions since it launched in 2004. Its initial focus was broadcasting Sacramento Kings games.
Where Is NBC Sports California Available?
NBC Sports California’s coverage area stretches across Northern California with its cutoff line roughly between Fresno and Bakersfield/San Luis Obispo. Eastward, it stretches across Nevada. Northward, it reaches as far as Eugene, OR. Westward, its coverage area stretches to and includes Hawaii.
However, just because you are in its coverage area does not mean that you can watch all Sacramento Kings, San Jose Sharks, San Jose Earthquakes, and Oakland Athletics games that it broadcasts.
That is because some of those teams are blacked out in some areas. For example, you cannot watch the Kings in the Bay Area or its Sharks and Earthquakes games in Hawaii, Oregon, or southern Nevada. Locally broadcast Earthquakes games may also not be viewed in and around Eureka, CA.
Which Sports Teams Are Shown on NBC Sports California?
NBC Sports California broadcasts a significant percentage of games played by the Oakland Athletics, Sacramento Kings, and San Jose Sharks — essentially all of them that are not broadcast nationally.
It also splits regional coverage of the San Jose Earthquakes with NBC Sports Bay Area, its sister station, with the two teaming up to show 26 of the 34 contests that it played during its 2021 campaign.
However, that is not the limit to NBC Sports California’s coverage of local professional sports. It also airs an impressive array of programming related to the San Francisco 49ers, including 49ers Press Conference, 49ers Talk, 49ers: Ask Papa, 49ers Game Plan, and 49ers: In the Huddle.
NBC Sports California Plus and NBC Sports California Plus 3
With how full NBC Sports California’s schedule can get with live sports events, on numerous occasions, two or three of them will be played simultaneously. At that time, the network puts into use one or both of its overflow channels, NBC Sports California Plus and NBC Sports California Plus 3.
NBC Sports Bay Area
NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California, when taken together, bring you local broadcasts of every non-NFL major league sports team in Northern California. NBC Sports Bay Area handles the teams that NBC Sports California does not, which include the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors and the roughly half of the San Jose Earthquakes matches that are not shown on NBC Sports California.
Do keep in mind that those based in the Sacramento area cannot watch Warriors games that are shown on NBC Sports Bay Area as the Kings have sole possession of the area as a local media market.
All streaming services that offer NBC Sports California also provide NBC Sports Bay Area.
Streaming NBC Sports California
Due to various contract disputes that have occurred over the past several years, the number of streaming services that provide NBC Sports California to its in-market subscribers has decreased significantly. However, you do still have good choices to consider.
FuboTV ($64.99/mo) is a great option if you are focused on getting NBC Sports California, but it is not if you are also looking to watch all postseason games played by the Oakland Athletics, Sacramento Kings, and San Jose Sharks. That is because it does not offer TBS or TNT, and those networks broadcast a significant portion of the postseasons for MLB (TBS) and for the NBA and NHL (TNT).
It does, however, offer over 100 sports-heavy TV channels including those that allow you to watch nationally telecast regular-season and postseason games played by these teams including ABC, ESPN, Fox, FS1, and MLB Network. It’s also probably the best service for soccer fans overall.
For more details, see our FuboTV review.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV ($64.99/mo) is arguably your best option if you want to get NBC Sports California and the other channels that broadcast Oakland Athletics, Sacramento Kings, and San Jose Sharks games. That is because it offers access to ABC, ESPN, Fox, FS1, TNT, and TBS.
Just note one minor hiccup; it does not provide access to the MLB Network, which could cause the missing of an A’s playoff game. Otherwise, it’s an exceptional choice for fans who want to watch as much northern California sports as possible.
DIRECTV STREAM ensures access to ABC, ESPN, Fox, FS1, TNT, TBS, and MLB Network as well as NBC Sports California. To get it, you need the Choice plan for $84.99/mo. Just based upon this, Hulu + Live TV is a better deal. But if you live outside the Bay Area, it may be a good choice. For example, Eugene subscribers get access to NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Bay Area, and ROOT Sports (giving you access to the Portland Trail Blazers).
See our DIRECTV STREAM review for more information.
One really affordable option that you can take advantage of is using an antenna and solely watching games played on network television. This may be a limited option during these teams’ regular seasons, but it will guarantee that you can watch all but one of them play for a championship. That is because Fox airs the World Series, ABC broadcasts the NBA Finals, and Fox and ABC split coverage of MLS Cup. However, some Stanley Cup Finals will be broadcast on TNT.
You could also take advantage of a streaming service that does not offer NBC Sports California, focusing on what it does offer, which includes a number of nationally broadcast games. For example, Sling TV’s Orange + Blue plan ($50/mo) gets you ESPN, FS1, TBS, and TNT, and Fox in select markets. Vidgo ($55/mo) offers Fox, ABC, ESPN, and FS1. However, Vidgo does not offer TBS or TNT, which will keep you from watching A’s, Kings, and Sharks games broadcast by them.
Of course, if you are located outside of the blackout regions for the A’s, Kings, Sharks, and Earthquakes, you can watch their out-of-market broadcasts through MLB.TV ($24.99/mo), NBA League Pass ($28.99/mo), and ESPN+ ($6.99/mo), the latter option handling Sharks and Earthquakes out-of-market broadcasts. Note that the out-of-market area for the Kings includes the Bay Area.
Live Stream NBC Sports Bay Area With These Devices
The most popular streaming devices are supported by all the streaming services we’ve discussed:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android devices
- Apple TV
- iOS devices
- Samsung smart TVs
- Web browsers.
You can also get a proprietary device from DIRECTV STREAM for $120 or for $5/mo for 24 months.
There are other devices supported by FuboTV and Hulu:
- Android TV-compatible devices
- LG smart TVs
- Vizio SmartCast TVs
- Xbox One.
FuboTV supports TVs from Hisense. And Hulu supports the gaming systems PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.
If you are looking to garner access to NBC Sports California without cable, consider the services offered by DIRECTV STREAM ($84.99/mo), Hulu + Live TV ($64.99/mo), and FuboTV ($64.99/mo). Make sure to also consider that FuboTV does not offer TBS or TNT. However, if you are solely interested in the San Jose Earthquakes, you will not have a sports-related need for either TBS or TNT.
How to Watch Other Sports Channels Without Cable
If you want to watch other sports-oriented channels without cable, see the following guides:
- ACC Network
- Bally Sports Arizona
- Bally Sports Detroit
- Bally Sports Florida
- Bally Great Lakes
- Bally Sports Indiana
- Bally Kansas City
- Bally Sports Midwest
- Bally New Orleans
- Bally Sports North
- Bally Sports Ohio
- Bally Sports Oklahoma
- Bally Sports San Diego
- Bally Sports South
- Bally Sports Southeast
- Bally Southwest
- Bally Sports Sun
- Bally Sports West