Live streaming is probably the most underused feature provided by online bookmakers. While satellite and cable channels tend to monopolise the Premier League and Champions League games, sports betting websites remain the best option for watching league and cup matches from countries around the world.
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In considering which bookies are the best for live football streaming, we’ve looked at the quality of the streams, factored in mobile accessibility and the variety of offered matches. The combination of these factors gives us the following list of the top live football streaming betting sites.
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As you’d expect from a bookie with a global reputation for quality, bet365’s football live streaming is excellent. You can watch games from La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga and even watch MLS and the J-League. They do have one football live streaming requirement, namely that you either have a funded account or have placed a bet within the last 24 hours. There’s no actual charge to watch. A minimum internet connection of 512 kb/s is recommended.
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Betfair offer a huge range of football live-stream events too, again free of charge. All you need to do is make sure you’re logged in (and Betfair will remind you of this if you try to watch a live stream before logging-in). Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga are all covered. Betfair recommend an internet connection speed of 4+ Mbps for the best experience and advise that the average delay is usually 2-5 seconds.
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Unibet offer live streaming on select football matches, picking the best from that week’s fixtures. You can expect to be able to watch the big names from the top leagues. For instance, the matches being shown at the time of writing include Barcelona, Napoli, Paris SG, Bayern Munich and AC Milan. Unibet advise the delay on their streams can be around 10 seconds.
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William Hill TV (or WHTV) is the sportsbook’s live streaming service. You can watch football matches for free as long as you have a positive balance in your sports betting account or have placed a bet in the last 24 hours. The streaming delay is between 10 and 30 seconds, fairly standard for the industry.
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Paddy Power offer high resolution live streaming – both in the browser and in the mobile app – for a wide range of leagues, including the top divisions in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. All you need to do to watch Paddy Power’s live football streams is be logged in to an account that has been funded. You don’t even need to have funds in your account at the time of the match, just as long as you have deposited money there at some point. The delay on Paddy Power’s live football streams is around 2-5 seconds, one of the best to be found.
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Betway are another of the best football live streaming sites, offering free streaming for the top leagues. All you need is a funded account, and you can start watching football matches with the ‘Play’ icon. The delays are usually from 2 to 5 seconds, and they cover the Russian and Belgian leagues too.
The Requirements of the Football Live Streaming Sites
While watching live streams is usually as easy as clicking a button, you have to meet some conditions with certain bookmakers, and then there are the technical requirements for streaming. These conditions and requirements rarely get in the way of you enjoying the match but covering them quickly is worthwhile.
What Are the Minimum Account Requirements?
Most of the top football live streaming bookies require you to have a funded account to watch matches. But what if you’ve just placed your bet and now have a zero balance? Don’t worry, placing a bet within the last 24 hours usually qualifies you to watch the match too. Most online betting sites require you to prove your identity for legal purposes before you can deposit funds. This is standard practice and just involves uploading one photo ID and a recent proof of address like a bank statement or a utility bill.
Some sportsbooks may require a minimum stake to be placed on the event you want to watch too. This can be anything from £1 to £5. However, if you stick to the bookies in our list of the best football live streaming sites, you shouldn’t have to place a bet on the match before watching (although you may want to).
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What Are the Minimum Technical Requirements?
The top live football streaming betting sites offer video in Full High Definition (1080p). To handle this quality of stream, your internet connection should be at least 5Mbps, and 10Mbps is recommended for a smooth stream. A lower quality video like 720p HD content can be streamed with a 3Mbps connection without buffering interruptions. If you’re not on a Wi-Fi network, you will need 4G coverage to stream matches properly. Make sure you have an appropriate data plan too.
Live streaming is available on most Android and iOS devices. While you can watch the action in your mobile browser, you will get a better experience by using the bookie’s dedicated mobile betting app. These will adjust the size of the viewing window to fit your device.
What Is Geo-Blocking and How Does It Apply to Live Streaming?
Gambling is a heavily regulated industry, and bookmakers are required to limit access to their services from countries where they do not have a licence to operate. Since the UK's legislation for sports betting differs from, say, Sweden's, you will not be able to access a UK bookmaker from Sweden.
Even if the bookmaker has a licence to operate in a given country, they might not have the rights to stream certain sports events there. Just as online betting sites can’t stream Premier League matches in the UK, they cannot stream the Bundesliga in Germany.
If you try and access a betting site or watch a live stream in a country where the sportsbook doesn’t have a licence to operate, they will be able to tell and will block your attempt. By checking your IP (Internet Protocol) address, bookmakers can see which country (and area of the country) you’re currently in. Anywhere outside their licensed areas will be geo-blocked.
If you are thinking of using technological trickery to get around these geo-restrictions, we advise against it. Bookmakers can often detect the use of VPNs, and other methods of masking your location, and they may take countermeasures to limit your account.
Keep in Mind That Live Streaming Is Not Real-Time
Something that is easy to forget is that live football streaming bookmakers offer events with a notable time delay. The video feed can be up to 30 seconds behind the real-time action. This won’t have an effect on your enjoyment of the game but is worth remembering if you’re using the on-screen action in your live betting.
You will know something really significant happens as the market will be suspended. If a goal goes in, there’s a penalty claim or possible red card, the betting action will be paused until it’s clarified.
Use football live streams to assess how a team is generally playing and whether goals are likely. Don’t rely on them for backing a goal based on the action you see on the screen. If the market hasn’t been suspended, the attack is probably already over, with no goal scored.
You can usually tell how the real-time action is going by the way the prices are changing. And if a goal has been scored, the bookies will suspend betting immediately.
With live football streaming available on smartphones and tablets as well as computers, often for free and in HD, it’s well worth taking advantage of.
A Couple of Useful Streaming Tips
Watching football live streaming sites is straightforward enough, but there are things you can do to get the best possible experience. How about streaming the match on a big screen? Depending on your setup, there are several ways to do this:
Smart TV This is the easiest way to live stream football on a big screen. Just login into your sports betting account from the TV, and you are ready to go. You will be able to watch via the browser or the app.
Standard TV To watch on a regular TV, you will need an HDMI connector linking your device to the TV. You can use a laptop or one of the latest generation consoles like the Xbox One or PS4.
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What About Football Live Stream Alternatives?
While live football video bookmakers offer excellent live streaming services, there are some legit online alternatives. The following live football streaming sites offer an excellent service. They’re not free but could still work out as the best solution for your situation.
WatchESPN This streaming service is provided at no extra cost, as long as you have an ESPN subscription through your Internet Service Provider. This creates some limitations if your ISP is different for your home and your mobile. Otherwise, they have plenty of football events.
Sky Sports Sky Sports costs from £25 per month, and they hold the broadcasting rights to 128 (out of 200 televised) Premier League matches. And this is only a small portion of their football content. The best feature is the 4K resolution.
BT Sport The other major player with broadcasting rights for the EPL. They hold the rights to 52 matches and, if the Premier League is your sole concern, the Sky Sports vs BT Sport decision should be easy to make. They do have plenty of other content though and 4K resolution as well, so weigh up the entire offering.
Some Free Football Live Streams to Consider
The above are the main paid methods for live football streaming in the UK. However, there are free football streams available as well. Please keep in mind the following websites occupy the grey area of broadcasting rights. These websites don't host sports streams themselves but keep an updated list of links to free sports stream content elsewhere. Some of the sites they link to may host viruses or malware, so you’ve been warned.
Sportlemon Links to foreign sites, often with many pop-up ads that open new browser tabs or windows when you try to close them. The displayed kick-off times are in the local time too, so make sure you get the time right and don’t miss the game.
Live TV Many links to live football streams, although several triggered browser warnings for possible malware during our tests.
Cricfree Cricfree used to offer links on their site, but now you have to install a viewing app to access the streams.
Nothing Beats Watching the Game
Live streaming has become a major part of the sports betting industry. Many punters choose their favourite sportsbooks by the quality and availability of the live football streaming and, with so many bookies offering the service, there’s no reason to settle for less.
The top football live streaming bookies let you watch the best teams in Europe live and for free, sat down at your computer or wherever you are via mobile. It’s a great way of seeing how a match is playing out and getting an edge in your betting thanks to your reading of the game.
If you’ve got the time, watch the football live – nothing beats it!
Frequently Asked Questions
📹Q: How Can I Stream Live Sports for Free?
💬A: Free sports live streaming is available on many websites. In addition to the mainstream options like the ones we’ve mentioned above, BT Sport have been known to broadcast live football matches on their YouTube channel. The BBC have shown international women’s football matches for free on their site, and Manchester City have streamed their women’s team’s Champions League game on Facebook.
But, if you like watching the top matches from Spain, Italy, France and Germany, you can usually find the big matches streamed for free with one of the best football live streaming sites recommended in this article.
🏆Q: Which Is the Best Website to Watch Live Football Streaming?
💬A: There are many features to consider when choosing the best football streaming sites: price, image resolution, number of covered events and leagues, and the delay. Clearly, you don’t need a 4K feed for a screen that supports full HD at most. bet365, Betfair and William Hill are all excellent.
️✅Q: Is It Illegal to Watch Football Streams?
💬A: As long as the streams are licensed, you’re not breaking any laws. However, some third-party websites show unlicensed streams and, by watching them, users infringe upon international copyright law. As the sites that offer illegal streams are known for a ridiculous number of pop-up adverts, streams that freeze, buffer or just break, and frequently containing malware, they’re not worth the trouble.
📺️Q: Can I Stream Football on a Smart TV?
💬A: Modern Android TVs can stream through either the browser or streaming service apps. However, older Smart TVs might not support the dedicated streaming app, meaning you can only watch via the browser. Linking your computer to the TV via an HDMI cable is another option.