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How to Watch NHL Games Live Without Cable 2023-2024 Season

With these streaming services, you’ll never miss the action on the ice.

NHL: New York Islanders at Columbus Blue Jackets
Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The ice stands prepped, the skates sharpened, and fans are more excited than ever to watch NHL games this year as their favorite hockey teams compete for a chance to take home the coveted Stanley Cup. Luckily, the days of needing a hefty cable contract to catch a hockey matchup are long gone. There are so many incredible sports streaming services offering affordable (and unique) ways to watch NHL coverage.

Where to watch NHL games

Though TNT owns exclusive rights to the Stanley Cup Final, there are lots of ways to catch in- and out-of-market games during the NHL regular season. Watching hockey on a streaming platform can be much more affordable and often more reliable than cable subscriptions. Even better, on some streaming services, you’ll be able to watch exclusive original content, breakdowns of matches, and documentaries about the sport. 

The best streaming services to watch NHL games on are Sling TV, ESPN Plus, and DIRECTV STREAM but we’ll lay out all of your options for this NHL season.

Streaming ServiceChannels Cost per Month Free Trial
Sling TV31+$40+No
ESPN PlusExclusive shows$10.99No
Hulu + Live TV85+$76.99+No

Watch NHL games on Sling TV

Sling TV offers affordable plans and lots of customizability. With three packages to choose from (Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange & Blue), there’s a bit of something for everyone — not to mention the 55-plus add-ons available. Sling Orange is ideal for watching NHL games, with access to ESPN, TNT, TBS, and USA Network, and with the Sports Extra add-on, you’ll also get access to the NHL Network. 

Here’s an overview of Sling’s pricing plans: 

  • Sling Orange ($40 per month) — 31 channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3
  • Sling Blue ($45 per month) — 42 channels, including NFL Network, FS1, Fox, and NBC
  • Sling Orange & Blue ($60 per month) — all 48 channels found in the above two plans

Watch NHL games on ESPN Plus

ESPN Plus currently owns the streaming rights for all out-of-market NHL games — and it’s one of just four spots where fans can catch exclusively broadcast NHL games during the year. ESPN Plus is unique to other streaming platforms in that it doesn’t include traditional channels but instead offers 1,000-plus live events along with 35-plus shows and movies, all tailored to sports. 

Though ESPN Plus doesn’t include TNT, which airs the Stanley Cup Final, it’s part of the Hulu + Live TV and Disney Bundle deal, and Hulu does include TNT along with 75-plus other live channels. And while there’s no free trial available, it’s an affordable streaming service starting at just $10.99 per month. 

On ESPN Plus, you’ll find lots of content perfect for hockey aficionados, like the following: 

  • “In the Crease” with Linda Cohn and Barry Melrose, featuring daily NHL commentary from experts
  • “Quest for the Stanley Cup,” a seven-part docuseries
  • “30 for 30” episodes featuring hockey legends


DIRECTV STREAM includes every national NHL channel along with a huge collection of regional sports networks — perfect for watching your in-market team play. 

However, to stream all of that NHL coverage, you’ll need DIRECTV STREAM’s Ultimate Plan, which is pricy at $119.99 per month — and remember, that doesn’t include out-of-market coverage like ESPN Plus, so many NHL fans subscribe to both platforms, which is expensive. Luckily, all four of DIRECTV STREAM’s plans offer free trials, so you can see if they fit your needs and budget before you commit to buying a full month. 

Watch NHL games on Fubo

Fubo is one of the best sports streaming platforms, and for NHL fans, you’ll get access to NHL Network and ESPN for games and Fox Sports for analysis after each game. Fubo is great for hockey fans looking for a more comprehensive streaming service, with over 100 other channels and 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage for just $79.99 per month. 

Enjoy Fubo’s seven-day free trial and customize your plan with add-ons, like the Sports Plus package ($10.99 per month) that includes NFL RedZone, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, and more channels.

Watch NHL games on Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV includes a whole array of movies, TV shows, and original content, in addition to sports — with 75-plus channels included in the $76.99 per month plan, there’s lots to enjoy. Most importantly, though, when you purchase Hulu + Live TV, you’ll enjoy its full bundle deal with access to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus for extra hockey content. 

One of the best parts of Hulu + Live TV is the onboarding. When you set up your new account and profile, you’ll select your favorite teams, sports, shows, and channels — then Hulu will remind you of upcoming games and even automatically record them for you, with unlimited DVR space. Never worry about missing a game or analysis with channels like ABC, ESPN, TBS, TNT, and some regional sports networks as well. 

NHL schedule 2024

You can find the full schedule of NHL games here and stay up to date on all the action. 

Watch NHL games more conveniently with streaming services

Whether hockey is all you’re interested in watching or you’re looking for a comprehensive show and movie package without hefty cable pricing, streaming services are the perfect way to watch NHL games and beyond. For just sports content, ESPN Plus is a great option — but to watch the Stanley Cup Final, you’ll want to pair it with Hulu + Live TV’s bundle deal with ESPN Plus and Disney Plus. 


How can I watch NHL games without ESPN Plus?

Without ESPN Plus, you can watch live nationally televised NHL games on channels like ABC, ESPN, the NHL Network, and TNT. Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and DIRECTV STREAM all should include these channels in various packages, but watch out for pricing, and make sure the package you choose includes the channels you’ll need to catch your favorite NHL matchups. 

How can I watch NHL games live on my smart TV?

Streaming services make it easy to watch NHL games live on your smart TV. Since smart TVs have internet access and streaming service hubs, you’ll be able to log in to your new account and watch NHL games instantly. And if your selected streaming service has DVR capabilities (all on our list do except ESPN Plus), you can even make sure your NHL games are waiting for you in the event you miss a game. 

Which streaming services offer NHL Network?

Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and Fubo all include the NHL Network in specific packages. Hulu + Live TV doesn’t include the NHL Network but does include a membership to ESPN Plus, which has taken over what was previously NHL TV with an exclusive streaming deal for out-of-market games.

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