According to this huffingtonpost article, there are over 15 million cricket fans in North America with large majority being Asian Indians. If you grew up in India (like me) or any other country in the subcontinent, you would have loved and followed cricket like a religion at some of time in your life. After moving to US, my passion for cricket hasn’t faded and I still watch/follow every cricket series India plays in. If you are looking for the best ways to watch cricket in USA, here are some of the options I know of:
- Willow TV – Willow TV owns right to telecast cricket in USA and Canada for majority of the cricket series played across the world. They have an online website (www.willow.tv) as well as apps for various different platforms for streaming live cricket stream in HD quality. Its a monthly subscription based service with no contracts or lock downs. Their subscription costs $15 per month (in US) and includes support for iOS, Android and Windows 8 app. You can alternatively also choose to use their app on roku, chromecast, Samsung TV, Google TV or many other IPTV platforms. The stream quality is HD with pretty good reliability. I have used them myself and was quite pleased with their performance. Willow TV owns the broadcasting rights for IPL 2017 for USA and its territories. Read this post to know more about how to watch IPL 2017 in USA/Canada region.
- Sling TV – Sling TV is one of the official partner of Willow. You can subscribe to Sling’s International Sports package (priced at $10 per month) to watch willow TV channel live. Sling TV too has good support for various different mobile and IPTV platforms like iOS, Android, XBOX, roku etc. I personally switched to using SlingTV from willow as it costs me few $$ less per month and the world sports package includes 7 other sports channel apart from Willow. They also feature ‘WillowTV Extra’ channel which streams live matches if there are more than one matches being played simultaneously. They have a 7-day free trial that you can sign up for before deciding to subscribe from them.
- Hotstar USA: Hotstar recently launched their service for USA/Canada region. Their plans start from $10/ month and includes all STAR channels along with sports content (including kabaddi, hockey etc). Their app is currently available on Apple TV, chromecast, Roku, iOS and Android devices. The only disadvantage of Hotstar is that it doesn’t have rights for most of the cricket played outside India and some major cricket tournaments like IPL, ICC championships etc.
- Watch ESPN – In recent years, WatchESPN has acquired rights for telecasting few cricket series in North America region (including All Stars Series in USA, IPL season, cricket in England, cricket in West Indies etc). WatchESPN is the digital platform owned by ESPN corp which is the leading sports content provider in USA. Apart from few series (like IPL, world cup), most of their content is free at no additional cost. They too have good support for online live stream on their website as well as IPTV platforms like roku, XBOX, Samsung TV and others. However, their coverage is quite limited to handful of series in a year. To know more about the cricket schedule, read here.
- YuppTV – They are the latest entry into race to acquire cricket rights for US region. In 2016, they acquired rights for India vs WI series and used their Yupp TV platform to live stream the matches. Their subscription cost was $8 for the entire series. It will be interesting to see how they compete with Willow and ESPN in future.
- Willow Partner channels – Willow has partnership with almost all of the TV providers in USA. If you are already subscribed to any one of them, you can add Willow TV channel at a premium ranging from $3 to $15. Few of their partner TV providers are DirectTV, DishTV, Xfinity, FIOS etc. You can read more about them here.
Few tips & tricks:
- In my experience, Willow + WatchESPN covers almost all of the cricket series played across the world. I would sign up with either Sling or Willow and use watchESPN for their free content.
- Willow TV is priced at $7 CAD for Canada region unlike $15 for US.
- Subscribe to Willow’s youtube channel. They post highlights along with replay videos once the matches are over for free.
- Stay away from free illegal streaming sites. They have very poor video and streaming quality. It gets quite frustrating when the stream dies during a crucial part of the match.
- BCCI’s official website www.bcci.tv posts video bits of India’s matches, players and experts. You can watch them here or like their facebook page where they post ‘behind the scenes’ videos of players and matches.
Upcoming Cricket Schedule:
- Womens Ashes 2017 in Australia (Oct 22 – Nov 21, 2017)
- Bangladesh Premier League 2017 (Nov 04 – Dec 12, 2017)
- Sri Lanka tour of India 2017 (Nov 16 – Dec 24, 2017)
- The Ashes 2017-18 in Australia (Nov 23 – Jan 08, 2018)
- Big Bash League 2017-18 (Dec 19 – Feb 04, 2018)
- India tour of South Africa 2018 (Jan 05 – Feb 24, 2018)
- England tour of Australia 2018 (Jan 14 – Jan 28, 2018)
- Australia T20 Series 2018 (Feb 03 – Feb 10, 2018)
- Australia tour of South Africa 2018 (Mar 01 – Apr 03, 2018)
- Pakistan Super League 2018 (TBC) (Feb 09 – Mar 09, 2018)