Watching sports live online has never been easier, with streaming platforms providing easy access to action from across the globe.
An increasing number of sports fans have been ditching traditional cable outlets in favour of using live streaming services in recent years.
The trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future as fans gravitate towards services that offer greater convenience and better value for money.
If you are thinking about using live sports streams online, read on as we take a closer look at the main things you need to consider.
The answer to this question ultimately boils down to which sports you want to watch. There is no point signing up for a streaming service if it does not feature the sports you like.
For the major north American sports, broadcasters such as CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, TNT and ABC generally dominate the landscape.
If top soccer competitions such as the Premier League and Champions League are more your thing, Sky Sports and BT Sport have you covered.
All of the top streaming platforms offer channel bundles designed to cover a wide range of sports, so make sure that what you sign-up for suits your individual needs.
If your primary focus is streaming your favourite sport, using league-specific services is a great way to ensure you never miss a moment of the action.
For example, the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB all have their own streaming services that allow you to watch live games throughout the season.
Generally speaking, these can be tailored to cover live games from across your chosen league, or a subscription that just covers your favourite team.
Other sports such as golf, motorsports and combat sports also have dedicated streaming platforms you can take out a subscription for.
There are loads of different streaming services to choose from, with subscriptions starting from just a few dollars per month.
ESPN+, beINSPORTS, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, DAZN, Paramount+ and Sling TV are amongst the best streaming platforms for live sports.
In many cases you can take advantage of trial periods to determine whether a service suits your requirements before committing to a subscription.
With some of the platforms offering sports packages bundled with other content, streaming services are a viable alternative to traditional cable providers.
While it is feasible to watch free live sports streams, you should bear in mind that some services are well worth avoiding.
There are hundreds of free sports streaming sites online, but many of them are loaded with malicious software and pop-up advertisements.
First Row Sports, HesGoal, SportRAR, Stream2Watch, CricHD and Sportsurge are amongst the most reliable free sites for sports streams.
Social news aggregation site Reddit is also useful for finding live sports streams, particularly for regular season and play-off games in the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB.
Having shelled out massive amounts of money to secure the rights to live sports, broadcasters are understandably keen to protect their investment.
They often use the latest geo-blocking software to ensure that their content can only be viewed within the jurisdiction it is meant for.
However, if you encounter geo-blocked content, you can use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software to circumvent this issue.
ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable services around and can be used on PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire TV, selected smart televisions and many other digital devices.