This is a guest post from Stephen Lovely, an expert on cord cutting and the Managing Editor of Cordcutting.com.
If you have a TCL Roku TV, then you’re well on your way to watching all of this summer's soccer action -- no cable required. See, it’s possible to stream international soccer online using legal streaming services, and it’s also possible to watch for free using an over-the-air antenna. I’ve come all the way from Cordcutting.com to show you how.
What We’re After: Fox, FS1, Telemundo, and Universo
To watch every game coming from Russia, we’ll need a couple of channels: Fox and FS1. Fox has the rights to the English-language broadcasts of the tournament, so we’ll have to focus on those two channels in order to figure out how to watch all the games without cable on your TCL Roku TV.
Of course, I haven’t forgotten about the Spanish-language broadcasts: I’ll let you know how to track those down without cable, too. For Spanish-language coverage, we’ll need to get our hands on live streams of Telemundo and Universo. So that’s four channels altogether that we’ll be figuring out how to watch without cable: Fox, FS1, Telemundo, and Universo.
We’ll use two basic methods to watch these channels -- and, therefore, all the soccer action -- without cable on your TCL Roku TV. Our first option is to use a skinny bundle. Our second is to use free over-the-air TV. Let’s tackle those two possibilities one at a time.
First up: skinny bundles. Skinny bundles are some of the coolest things available to cord cutters right now, because they make it possible for those of us without cable to watch live network television. Skinny bundles replicate all the cool parts of the cable experience, while letting us skip the worst parts: regional monopolies, terrible customer service, and overpriced bundles.
Skinny bundles are different from cable, because they stream live TV over the internet instead of delivering it via traditional cable (or satellite) methods. That means that skinny bundles allow you to watch your live TV on all sorts of different devices, including smartphones, computers, and -- of course -- your TCL Roku TV.
Skinny bundles get their name from the fact that many of these services offer slimmed-down channel bundles. That helps make them cheaper than cable and satellite, which are always trying to get you to buy a bunch of channels you don’t need just so that you can watch the few channels you actually want.
Roku’s streaming platform is the most popular one on the market, so it’s no surprise that every major skinny bundle offers an app that will work wonderfully on your TCL Roku TV. But not every skinny bundle service can offer you live streams of the channels we need: Fox and FS1, and, for Spanish-speakers, Telemundo and Universo.
Fortunately, some do. Here are the skinny bundles that you can use to watch soccer without cable on your TCL Roku TV.
- DirecTV Now: includes Fox and FS1 in its most basic package, “Live a Little.” Upgrade to “Go Big” to get Universo.
- fuboTV: includes all Fox, FS1, Telemundo, and Universo in its most basic bundle, “fubo.”
- Hulu with Live TV: includes Fox, FS1, and Telemundo.
- PlayStation Vue: includes Fox, FS1, and Telemundo in its most basic package, “Access.”
- Sling TV: includes Fox and FS1 in its “Sling Blue” base package.
- YouTube TV: includes Fox, FS1, Telemundo, and Universo.
Free Over-the-Air TV
Skinny bundles are very affordable, but you know what’s even more affordable? Free TV. And free TV is exactly what you can get if you invest in an over-the-air antenna and set it up with your TCL Roku TV.
Not every channel is available for free over the air, of course. But Fox’s flagship network is a broadcast network, which means that you’ll find local Fox affiliates broadcasting the channel for free in places all across the country. And since Fox is putting the biggest and most exciting games of the world biggest soccer tournament on its flagship channel, this means that an over-the-air antenna can help you watch the action without cable for free.
More good news, this time for fans of the Spanish-language feeds: Telemundo is also a broadcast or “terrestrial” television station, so you may be able to pick it up for free over the air, too!
FS1 and Universo can’t be picked up using an antenna, but free over-the-air TV is still a fantastic option for fans hoping to watch soccer without cable. The most pivotal games will be widely available for free thanks to free over-the-air TV.
In short, there are plenty of options for watching your favorite matches this summer over the air without cable. All you’ll need is your TCL Roku TV, the know-how we’ve provided here, and either an antenna or skinny bundle subscription service. The soccer action kicks off in Russia on June 14, so get set now so that you can watch every minute of the action on your TCL Roku TV!