If you are a baseball, hockey, or basketball fan in the Windy City, having access to NBC Sports Chicago is essential. Thankfully, cord-cutters have a few options. Read on to learn all!
In a hurry? These three streaming services provide NBC Sports Chicago and a lot more:
- Hulu + Live TV: Provides all the channels you need to watch nationally televised games as well. Try it free for 7 days!
- DIRECTV STREAM: Although more expensive, it also gives you Marquee Sports to watch all the Cubs games. Comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee!
- FuboTV: Offers an amazing lineup of channels (including Marquee) that’s especially good for international sports fans. Check it out with the free 7-day trial!
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NBC Sports Chicago is a must-have channel for sports fans of Chicago-based teams as it airs in-market broadcasts of the majority of games played by the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Blackhawks.
How can you get rid of cable while securing access to this channel? First, you must be in its broadcast area. If you are, get FuboTV ($64.99/mo), Hulu + Live TV ($64.99/mo), or DIRECTV STREAM ($84.99/mo), and you will be set.
What Is NBC Sports Chicago?
NBC Sports Chicago is a regional sports network that launched in 2004 and was initially named Comcast SportsNet Chicago. It has been broadcasting a significant number of sports events featuring local franchises ever since.
The list of teams covered initially included the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Blackhawks. The Cubs left for Marquee Sports Network prior to their 2020 campaign.
Where Is NBC Sports Chicago Available?
NBC Sports Chicago has a considerable coverage area.
It includes the entire state of Illinois except for communities in the St. Louis metropolitan area. All of Iowa is included. Most of Indiana is as well but not its southern portion (eg, Evansville).
Those in southwestern Michigan, including Kalamazoo, can watch it as well while streaming service subscribers in some southern parts of Wisconsin, such as Kenosha and Madison, receive it as well.
However, some teams are blacked out in some regions of this channel’s coverage area. For example, the Bulls cannot be viewed in much of Indiana, essentially from Lafayette to the south and east, or in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, its coverage of White Sox games cannot be accessed in Michigan.
Which Sports Teams Does NBC Sports Chicago Cover?
The vast majority of games played by the Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Bulls (NBA), and Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) are broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago.
On the other hand, the Chicago Cubs (MLB) were included in this group until they left for Marquee Sports Network in 2020. Similarly, the Chicago Bears (NFL) are shown on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network. And in-market Chicago Fire (MLS) matches are broadcast locally on WGN-TV.
NBC Sports Chicago also broadcasts some college sports events. This selection includes a few Northern Iowa football games and several men’s basketball contests played by Loyola Chicago. In addition, note that UNI Panthers Sports Talk is one of the shows that regularly features on this channel.
NBC Sports Chicago Plus and NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2
As a result of three major league sports teams being featured on NBC Sports Chicago, the network has set up two overflow channels, NBC Sports Chicago Plus and NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2, to handle situations in which it is broadcasting simultaneous contests.
NBC Sports Chicago Plus 2 is used sparingly. One example was it showing a Cleveland Indians-Chicago White Sox game on April 12, 2021.
Streaming NBC Sports Chicago
NBC Sports Chicago used to be available through more streaming services, but that number has dwindled due to contract disputes that have occurred. However, a few solid choices remain.
FuboTV ($64.99/mo) offers NBC Sports Chicago in its base plan to subscribers in that channel’s broadcast area. National sports channels included in that are the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports 1 (FS1), Fox Sports 2 (FS2), ESPN, ESPN2, and NFL Network.
However, TBS and TNT are not. That means that you will miss out on watching some Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Blackhawks games, including the potential for not being able to see some of their postseason contests.
This streaming service also offers Marquee Sports Network and its Chicago Cubs broadcasts to those in that channel’s broadcast area. Learn more in our FuboTV review.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV ($64.99/mo) provides NBC Sports Chicago to its base plan subscribers as well. Like FuboTV, it carries the Big Ten Network, FS1, FS2, ESPN, ESPN2, and NFL Network in addition to other channels, two of which are TBS and TNT, so you are mostly all set for watching all games played by the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks. Your only possible stumbling block occurs if a White Sox playoff game is on the MLB Network, which Hulu + Live TV does not offer.
However, Cubs fans should note that Hulu + Live TV does not provide access to Marquee Sports Network. This is also true of YouTube TV, which offers a similar plan. Our Hulu + Live TV review has more details.
DIRECTV STREAM is a popular streaming service for sports fans, many of whom do not mind paying its higher cost. For example, it provides those subscribing to its Choice plan ($84.99/mo) with the Big Ten Network, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, NFL Network, MLB Network, TBS, and TNT.
In addition, subscribers who are in their broadcast areas get both NBC Sports Chicago and Marquee Sports Network. Read our DIRECTV STREAM review for more information.
The simplest alternate option that you have is to go with an antenna. Doing so will get you access to some Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Blackhawks games, more so if they go on long postseason runs. Also note that the vast majority of Chicago Bears and Chicago Fire games are available through this option, the latter the case for those with access to WGN-TV.
Also keep in mind that White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears, and Cubs games are on the radio in Chicago and nearby areas. Fire matches are broadcast on the radio as well, but you need to understand Spanish to know what they are saying as the station broadcasting those games is Spanish-language TUDN Radio Chicago 1200 AM.
Another option is taking advantage of a different streaming service, one that does not offer NBC Sports Chicago. This works if you are not necessarily interested in watching as many White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks games as possible. Some of the best ones are Sling TV ($35/mo) and Vidgo ($55/mo).
Live Streaming Devices for NBC Sports Chicago
Most likely, you already have one or more streaming devices that you can use to watch NBC Sports Chicago and other channels. All the services support:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile
- Apple TV
- iOS mobile
- Samsung smart TVs
- Web browsers.
If you are new to streaming, you can get a device directly from DIRECTV STREAM. It costs either $120 outright or $5 per month for 24 months.
Hulu and Fubo support more devices:
- Android TV compatible devices
- LG smart TVs
- Vizio SmartCast TVs
- Xbox One.
Hisense smart TVs are supported by FuboTV. PlayStation and Nintendo Switch are supported by Hulu.
Those looking to stream NBC Sports Chicago may receive access to it through a subscription to FuboTV or Hulu + Live TV for $64.99/mo. To decide which one to use, note that FuboTV does not offer TBS or TNT, channels that sometimes show Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Blackhawks games. But Hulu + Live TV does not have Marquee Sports Network, keeping you from watching its Chicago Cubs broadcasts.
If you want NBC Sports Chicago, TBS, TNT, and Marquee Sports Network, you need to pay the extra $20/mo to go with DIRECTV STREAM ($84.99/mo).
Can I watch NBC Sports Chicago on the NBC Sports app?
As long as you are paying for a streaming service or a cable or satellite provider that offers you access to NBC Sports Chicago, you can utilize the NBC Sports app to watch that channel. You can also use the My Teams by NBC Sports app to watch the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Blackhawks play.
How can I watch sports on channels besides NBA Sports Chicago?
See our guides for watching particular sports-oriented channels without cable:
- 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