Streaming sport matches is the “in” thing, or so it seems. We are streaming live games more than ever, and for many this is their preferred way of staying up to date with the latest leagues and tournaments. Of course, not all of this is legal, but gone are the days when every stream was either breaking the law or exploiting a loop hole, gone are the days when the word “streaming” instantly conjured-up images of spam-riddled websites stealing trademarks to feed you games that spent most of the time buffering.
TV networks and league franchises noted the popularity of live streaming a couple of years ago and since then they have worked to stream official games to computers around the globe. They need to generate income from these, of course, so they are not always free, but if that is the case and if you’re a little short on cash, there are still ways you can watch your favorite teams.
These days one of the best legal ways to watch live sport is through a betting site. On many of the bigger sites you can watch the games that you are gambling on. This does not apply to the big licenses, such as the Premier League football games, but it applies to many sports, including many cricket games. You need to place a bet on the event to unlock the live stream, but in most cases the amount you need to pay is very small, often in the pennies, and you can just throw it on a bet that has very short odds if your only goal is to watch the stream for as cheap as possible.
The best site for live streams is Bet365, as they have dozens of these on the go at the same time, covering everything from snooker to soccer. William Hill also have live streams, as do Betfair, but these are a little more selective and you won’t find the best games here. On SkyBet and many other sports books you won’t find any at all (although many of them do cover live horse racing) so you need to choose carefully.
For example, you can now watch all of the World T20 at Bet365 in 2016. Check out our blogpost about it.
One of the main — and the most expensive — ways to watch cricket online is via the Sky or the ESPN Player. Sky is a TV subscription service that operates in the UK but can be accessed from many other countries. They have an online player known as Sky Go, which can be accessed by account holders. Sky has hundreds of channels, but Sky Sports is where the action is, and this is where you’ll also find many cricket matches. In fact, for the last World Cup — and no doubt for all the World Cups to follow — they had a channel entirely devoted to cricket, covering every match live, with commentary, highlights and more between matches.
Sky account holders can also gain access to BT channels, such as BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2, which includes BT/ESPN. This is a little different to the ESPN you will find online though, as this focuses more on global sports. If you already have an account or know someone who does this is ideal, but if not and if the only sport you are interested in is cricket, then this is not worth it. It focuses way more on NBA, NFL and other US sports and not enough on cricket.
You can also hit-up a friend or family member who has Sky and doesn’t use Sky Go. If they give you their number and login details, you can use Sky Go from your house, and on any device you wish. You don’t have to pay a penny and it won’t affect your friend’s account in any way. Of course, we can’t officially “recommend” this, so let’s just say that a friend of a friend said it was possible…
Depending on where you reside, you might be able to watch ITV Player or BBC Player. In the UK these are free to all residents. If you are not in the UK then you just need a way of letting the site think that you are — I’ll leave that up to the more technically minded. This is possible, and to some it will be very easy. ITV and BBC cover highlights of many games and they also have the occasional live game, especially during the big events.
There are several other sites where you can watch cricket online for free. Not all of these are straightforward and not all of them are clean either. Some of them will bombard you with pop-ups and ads, so be prepared. After all, they need to make their money and they know that many people will be happy to see a few pop-ups if it means they can watch a game for free.
The legal status of these sites is also highly questionable. It is not something we have looked into at great depth, but we are pretty sure that these sites do not have the licenses to show these games officially.