Cord-cutters need not worry that they have to abandon the their favorite Boston teams! Read on and we’ll explain the great options you have for streaming NESN. It’s easier than you think!
In a hurry? There’s a lot to know about your options. But if you just want to know the best ways to watch NESN (and NESN+) today, these two streaming services offer it along with an excellent selection of general channels:
- FuboTV: Although it doesn’t offer as many other regional sports channels, it costs just $69.99/mo and offers over 120 other channels. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Sets you up with every regional channel in your area plus about 100 others. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
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Table Of Contents
New England Sports Network (NESN) is a regional sports network (RSN) broadcast out of Watertown, MA. It is the home of the Boston Red Sox (MLB) and the Boston Bruins (NHL).
Founded in 1984, it is owned by the Red Sox’s parent company, Fenway Sports Group (which owns Fenway Park), and the concessions company Delaware North (which owns TD Garden, home of the Bruins).
Like all RSNs, NESN is only available in a limited broadcast area. But in its case, it is a fairly large area.
NESN is available to subscribers throughout Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. It is also available throughout Connecticut except for the southwest corner of the state, which is part of the New York broadcasting area (MSG, SportsNet New York, and YES Network).
The focus of NESN is the broadcasting of live games of their two primary teams. They show the vast majority of the Red Sox’s 162 games and the Bruin’s 82 games. These include pregame and postgame shows featuring news and analysis.
Unlike some RSNs, NESN does a good job of filling up its schedule with interesting content rather than infomercials. It airs a good amount of college athletics. This tends to focus on UMass and normally includes a fair number of men’s and women’s basketball games. There are also ACC and Hockey East events.
It also airs live Connecticut Sun and Worcester Red Sox games. Additionally, there are other sporting events although not necessarily live. And it features some programing related to fantasy sports and sports betting like new episodes of Follow the Money.
NESN also offers a number of original shows. A number are more lifestyle-oriented but should appeal to Bruins and Red Sox fans. These include Charlie Moore Outdoors, Dining Playbook, Dirty Water TV, Friday Night Fenway, Golf Destination, NESN Clubhouse, The Red Sox Report, The Ultimate Red Sox Show, and Wicked Bites.
They also show notable older games under the titles Bruins Classics and Red Sox Classics.
NESN features a lot of well-known on-air talent.
Dave O’Brien took over from longtime Red Sox play-by-play announce Don Orsillo (who moved to Bally Sports San Diego) in 2016. Mike Monaco provides his play-by-play commenting skills at times as well. Color analysts include Dennis Eckersley, Tony Massarotti, Kevin Millar, and Kevin Youkilis while Jahmai Webster acts as sideline reporter.
Over at TD Garden, Jack Edwards (play-by-play) and Andy Brickley (analyst) heat up the ice at Boston Bruins games with their energetic commentary. Edwards has done so since 2005-06, Brickley since 2000-01.
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NESN Streaming Services
The major live TV streaming services offer access to some RSNs. Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV offer only a handful. FuboTV offers a lot more. But DirecTV is by far the best — providing access to almost every RSN.
FuboTV and DirecTV are currently the only streaming services that provide access to NESN. In addition, they both offer access to NBC Sports Boston, the other RSN in the area, which provides access to the Boston Celtics (NBA) and the New England Revolution (MLS).
|New England-Area RSNs||NESN, NESN+, NBC Sports Boston|
|Major Sports Channels||CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2,|
Golf Channel, NFL Network
|Cloud DVR||1000 hours|
Currently, the best way to watch NESN is probably with FuboTV. It was originally a soccer streaming service but over the years, it has grown to be one of the best overall streamers with broad access to news, entertainment, and family programming. It is also arguably the best overall sports streaming service covering everything and providing a huge number of events in 4K each year — including home Red Sox games.
The Fubo Standard plan costs $69.99/mo and includes 110+ channels including NESN. Additionally, Fubo offers 38 sports channels including ESPN, FS1, 7 from beIN Sports, 11 from TUDN. It also includes the local channels in most areas as well as a full range of other channels.
If you want more information about FuboTV, check out these articles:
DIRECTV STREAM (Formerly AT&T TV)
|New England-Area RSNs||NESN, NESN+, NBC Sports Boston|
|Major Sports Channels||ESPN, ESPN2, FS1|
|Cloud DVR||Unlimited (online sign-up)|
|Simultaneous Screens||20 (home) and 3 (away)|
DirecTV’s lowest-price (Entertainment) plan costs only $69.99/mo but it doesn’t provide access to RSNs. To get access to NESN, you need the Choice plan ($89.99/mo) or above.
DirecTV has a great channel lineup focused on news, entertainment, and family-friend content. They also provide a good selection of sports channels including all those featuring the Red Sox should they make the playoffs.
Perhaps the best thing about DirecTV is that it allows you to stream on up to 20 screens simultaneously. So if you have a large household, it is an excellent choice.
NESN was the first RSN to start its own direct-to-consumer streaming service. It’s called NESN 360. But despite the name, it is still limited to subscribers in its traditional broadcasting markets.
It’s the same as getting it through a streaming service or cable/satellite provider. You get the NESN channel and NESN+ for spillover. There are two plans:
- Monthly: $29.99/mo
- Yearly: $329.99/yr, which comes out to $27.50/mo, which isn’t a great savings but also includes 8 Red Sox game tickets.
NESN 360 also provides on-demand access to Red Sox and Bruins games that are broadcast nationally (and thus aren’t on NESN live). These are available after the games have completed.
There are some potential downsides of NESN 360:
- You don’t get any other channels like CBS Sports Network, ESPN, or FS1.
- You don’t get NBC Sports Boston, which airs virtually all of the Boston Celtics games.
- NESN 360 currently only supports viewing through its website, nesn.com, or with apps on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, or mobile devices with Android or iOS (iPhone, iPad).
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Other Ways to Get NESN?
There are a couple of options to watch live Red Sox and Bruins games — as long as you do not live in the New England area:
- MLB.tv: This service gives you live access to every out-market game in the regular season that isn’t also nationally televised.
- ESPN+: There used to be NHL.tv, a service like MLB.tv that gives access to every out-of-market NHL game. This is now part of ESPN+, which is a good service even without the NHL coverage.
NESN also has a website and an app that allows you to stream live. The problem is that this isn’t a different way to get the channel. You need DirecTV or FuboTV subscription use it. But it may be worth having anyway.
TVs and Mobile Devices to Live Stream NESN
FuboTV and DirecTV have their own apps that run on smart TVs and other devices. Both support the vast majority of equipment that is in use but FuboTV supports a bit more. See below for details.
Devices for FuboTV Only
FuboTV supports smart TVs from Hisense and LG. You can generally use any device that supports Android TV like TVs from Sony, Sharp, and TCL.
You can also use FuboTV with the Xbox One.
DirecTV Set-Top Box
DirecTV provides its own set-top for using the service. This will probably be easier for less-technical companies since it is the way that cable is distributed.
It has the advantage of making both your hardware and streaming service the same so you have one company to turn to when you need to fix any TV problems.
Devices Supported by DirecTV and FuboTV
Both services support Samsung smart TVs for the last 5 years. Similarly, if you have a TV that can accept Chromecast, you should be set if you have a supported mobile device:
- Android: any of the many smartphones that run this operating system.
- iOS: any of the Apple devices (iPhones, iPads).
And both FuboTV and DirecTV support all the major streaming media players:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
Finally, you can watch these streaming services on your computer. If you happen to be using a laptop, you can also connect it via an HDMI cable to your TV and watch it that way.
The bottom line is that both DirecTV and FuboTV almost certainly support whatever hardware you have. But if you have any questions, you should contact them and make sure.
NESN offers Boston Red Sox games in 4K. DIRECTV STREAM does not currently offer this but FuboTV does.
NESN is the go-to channel for all the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games. And cord-cutters have two options to get NESN without cable/satellite: FuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM. Both also provide NESN+ and NBC Sports Boston.
FuboTV is cheaper and offers a better selection of channels — especially for the sports fan. But DirecTV offers a great deal for viewers in large households. Regardless of which you choose, you won’t miss any of the action with your local MLB and NHL teams!
Does NESN air New England Patriots games?
NESN does not air any New England Patriots games. In fact, no RSN airs NFL games. Instead, these games are featured on Amazon Prime (Thursday Night Football), NBC (Sunday Night Football), ESPN (Monday Night Football), or regionally on Sunday afternoons through local CBS and Fox affiliates. NESN does, however, provide news and commentary related to the Patriots.
What is NESN National?
NESN offers its feed to providers outside its traditional broadcast area as NESN National. However, all Red Sox and Bruins games are blacked out. It does, however, still offer the many New England and Boston-focused sports and lifestyle shows. Fans and others with a connection to the area may find it interesting.
Can I Get NESN on Hulu?
NESN is not currently available on Hulu + Live TV. However, that could change in the future. Hulu currently provides RSNs for San Francisco Bay Area, California, Chicago, New York (SportsNet but not MSG or YES), Northwest (Portland), Philadelphia, and Washington DC. So it’s worth checking back!
Why Did YouTube TV Stop Carrying NESN?
YouTube TV stopped carrying NESN as of November 2020. The exact reason is unclear. The only information YouTube TV has shared about the issue so far is that their contract with NESN had expired and they were unable to reach a new settlement. So it is probably a question of the channel cost compared to its value to their subscribers.
YouTube TV is unlikely to get back NESN any time soon. There have been no updates regarding the issue since it was dropped from the service.
Does Sling TV offer NESN?
Sling TV does not offer NESN. In fact, Sling TV, as a low-cost streaming service doesn’t offer any RSNs. RSNs are some of the most expensive channels to license, so it just doesn’t make sense for Sling to carry it. However, you could subscribe to Sling TV to get the national channels you want and supplement it with NESN 360.
What is an RSN?
An RSN, or regional sports network, is a TV channel that focuses on the sports in a particular area. Such channels are distributed to subscribers in that area. Originally, these channels were available only through cable providers but are now available through some satellite and streaming services.
What happened to Jerry Remy?
Jerry Remy died October 30th, 2021 after a long battle with lung cancer. He was a second baseman for the Red Sox from the 1978-79 through the 1983-1984 seasons. From 1988 onward, he provided color commentary for NESN Red Sox games. He continued to broadcast up to three months before his death.
What teams does NESN serve?
NESN’s programming focuses on the Boston Red Sox in MLB and the Boston Bruins in the NHL. The other regional sports network in that area is NBC Sports Boston. They serve the Boston Celtics in the NBA and the New England Revolution in MLS. Sports fans in this area may also want to check out the RSNs in the surrounding areas like New York.
How can I watch the Red Sox’s divisional rivals?
To watch the other American League East teams, check out these articles:
How can I watch the Bruins’ divisional rivals?
To watch the other teams in the Atlantic Division, see these articles:
- Buffalo Sabres — MSG
- Detroit Red Wings — Bally Sports Detroit
- Florida Panthers — Bally Sports Florida
- Montreal Canadiens — NA
- Ottawa Senators — NA
- Tampa Bay Lightning — Bally Sports Sun
- Toronto Maple Leafs — NA
How can I watch other sports channels without cable?
The following articles provide details about watching without cable.
- ACC Network
- Altitude Sports
- AT&T SN Pitts
- AT&T SN RM
- AT&T SN SW
- Bally Arizona
- Bally Detroit
- Bally Florida
- Bally Great Lakes
- Bally Indiana
- Bally Kansas City
- Bally Midwest
- Bally New Orleans
- Bally North
- Bally Ohio
- Bally Oklahoma
- Bally San Diego
- Bally SoCal
- Bally South
- Bally Southeast
- Bally Southwest
- Bally Sun
- Bally West
- Bally Wisconsin
- beIN Sports
- Big Ten
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