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How to Watch NBC Sports Bay Area Live Without Cable

NBC Sports Bay Area is a regional sports network (RSN) that is a joint venture between the San Francisco Giants and media giant, NBC Universal. If you live in Northern or Central California, southern Oregon, Nevada, or Hawaii, Bay Area pro sports teams will be broadcast on either NBC Sports Bay Area, or NBC Sports California.

Table of Contents
  1. NBC Sports Bay Area vs. NBC Sports California
  2. Live TV streaming providers
  3. The best options for live streaming NBC Sports Bay Area
  4. Can I watch the 49ers on NBC Sports Bay Area or California?
  5. Why is NBC Sports Bay Area blacked out?

Fubo

Watch NBC Sports Bay Area in the base package.

$74.99 / month

7 Day Free Trial

$69.99 / month

Sign Up for Hulu

NBC Sports Bay Area vs. NBC Sports California

The Bay Area has two regional sports networks, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California, and although they are “sister stations,” each carries a slightly different sports lineup.

The Oakland Athletics, San Jose Sharks, and Los Angeles Kings are carried by NBC Sports California, while the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors are on NBC Sports Bay Area. The good news for cord cutting Bay Area sports fans is that all of the live TV streaming services that carry NBC Sports Bay Area also carry NBC Sports California, so if you’re willing to pick up the remote control and change the channel, you can get all the NorCal sports action your heart desires by subscribing to just one streaming service.

Both NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California are regional networks that broadcast primarily regular season MLB, NBA, and NHL games to local fans. This means only “in-market” fans that live in the viewing territory for these channels can access broadcasts. For example, if you live in Phoenix, Bally Sports Arizona will be the local RSN, not NBC Sports Bay Area.

Live TV streaming providers

There are four live TV streaming providers that carry NBC Sports Bay Area & California: fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV. I’ve also added FOX to the table below because KTVU FOX 2 broadcasts most San Francisco 49ers regular season games.

DIRECTV STREAM – ChoiceFuboTV Sports LiteFuboHulu + Live TVSling TV Blue + Sports ExtraSling Orange & BlueYouTube TV
FOX FOX
NBC Sports Bay Area NBC Sports Bay Area
NBC Sports California NBC Sports California

The best options for live streaming NBC Sports Bay Area

fuboTV – best choice

fuboTV offers subscribers 1,000 hours of DVR storage in its base package, plus the ability to record an entire team’s season, rather than having to record each game individually. These features come in especially handy for watching NBC Sports Bay Area because the teams that are featured on the channel play 162 (MLB) and 82 (NBA) regular season games respectively.

fuboTV is our top pick for watching NBC Sports Bay Area because it is a comprehensive sports streaming option. fuboTV is holds our top spot for the 49ers and most NFL teams. The platform even allows subscribers to pause a subscription while the NFL is in the off-season, which is convenient for fans wanting to save some money.

One of the main drawbacks of fuboTV is the lack of TNT and TBS on the platform. This is a major issue for Giants and Warriors fans because TBS carries much of the NL playoffs, and TNT offers extensive NBA coverage. fuboTV’s inability to reach terms with Turner Sports has left the live TV streaming service with some gaps, but we still feel that the overall value is sufficient to justify the top spot here.

Read our fuboTV review.


DirecTV Stream

DirecTV Stream’s “Choice” package allows fans to live stream NBC Sports Bay Area and California, but at an increased cost over fuboTV. KTVU FOX 2 is available on DirecTV Stream for 49ers games, as is TBS and TNT, albeit at a hefty price point.

DirecTV Stream “Choice” lags behind the competition in DVR storage, at 50 hours out of the gate, as well as in features, but it will get you the channels you need for watching Bay Area sports.

Read our DirecTV Stream review.


Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV carries both NBC Sports Bay Area and California, as well as KTVU FOX 2 for NFL games. The Hulu + Live TV base package features the popular ESPN+ bundle but only comes with 50 hours of DVR storage.

Read our Hulu + Live TV sports review.


YouTube TV

YouTube TV carries both NBC Sports Bay Area and California, as well as KTVU FOX 2. We like YouTube TV’s 4K add-on, and are also impressed by the unlimited DVR storage in the base package.

Read our YouTube TV sports review.

Can I watch the 49ers on NBC Sports Bay Area or California?

No, you cannot watch San Francisco 49ers games on NBC Sports Bay Area or California. This is confusing for fans because NBC Sports Bay Area and California list the 49ers in the “teams” section of their website, and the rest of the teams listed are actually carried by the network. Listing the 49ers on the NBC Sports website is a bit misleading as NBC Sports RSNs do not have the rights to broadcast actual NFL games. NBC Sports Bay Area has a 49ers podcast, but can’t show actual games. Most 49ers games in the Bay Area will be broadcast on KTVU FOX 2.

Why is NBC Sports Bay Area blacked out?

When the Giants, Warriors, or Sharks are featured in an exclusive national broadcast, NBC Sports Bay Area will be blacked out. For example, if the Giants appear on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, NBC Sports Bay Area won’t have rights to the game and fans will be forced to tune into ESPN instead. The same would be true if the Sharks were to make the NHL Playoffs. Disney and Turner Sports have negotiated exclusive TV rights to the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and beyond. As such, NBC Sports California doesn’t have rights to show the games.

More on the MLB blackout policy.

More on the NBA blackout policy.

Read the Latest in NBC Sports Bay Area

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