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Play Sports (BE)

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As any serious sports fan knows, finding the best sports streaming site can be something of a daunting task. For one thing, it can be exceedingly difficult to find the right site for you, the site that offers the perfect blend of sports coverage to meet your unique sports viewing needs. That is probably the most common problem that people have when it comes to finding the best sports streaming site. Far too often, sports streamers tend to focus either too much on one sport or are unable to secure the rights to the big games – the FIFA, NFL, NBA, NHL, etc.

It’s true, though, that it can be helpful sometimes to be a member of a sports streaming site that only focuses on 1 or 2 sports … especially if you only really care about the sport(s) in question. In this case, you might find yourself better off using one of the many sports streaming sites out there provided by the leagues themselves. For instance, MLB TV is a great option for fans of American baseball and the NHL has its own sports streaming service for hockey fans that is quite good. More often than not, when it comes to finding the best sports streaming site, it is less about finding the service that is objectively “the best” and more about finding the service that has the features and coverage so as to be the best sports streaming site for you.

Sports coverage, however, can be very hard to come by on the usual, most popular streaming services. Netflix, for example, offers nothing in the way of sports streaming (save for, of course, the occasional sports documentary). Hulu is a little better, but really won’t be worth it for sports unless you invest in Hulu + Live TV (which will come at a pretty hefty monthly fee), and, still, live sports streaming is going to depend heavily on where you live, what local channels you will have access to with your Hulu Live TV plan.

In my opinion, there aren’t nearly enough sports streaming sites available on the market. At least not good, premium sports streaming services that offer live HD streaming of your favorite sports, a wide variety of games and matches, and a solid user experience. Furthermore, the best sports streaming sites that do come to mind are often crazy expensive (a la Hulu Live, YouTube TV, and maybe ESPN).

So, what does all of this mean? Does this mean that the only practical way to stream sports without breaking the bank is to buy a digital antenna for your TV and only watch the games that happen to broadcast on your local television channels? Are we doomed to rely on going to the pub to catch the game? Must we go back to – gasp – traditional cable?!

I don’t think we should give up that easily. Even though it can be a challenge to find the best sports streaming site for you that lets you live stream sports that you actually want to watch at an affordable price, it certainly is not impossible. In fact, you have come to the right place. I am proud to say that I have helped thousands of people find the best streaming sites for them –

whether for sports, movies, TV series, or music – and I am 100% confident that I can do the same for you.

The sports streaming site that we will be auditioning today is one that, if you live in Belgium, you may have already heard of (and possibly even considered) before. Today we will be taking a look at Telenet’s own sports streaming service, Play Sports.

Play Sports is a bundled sports streaming package. It consists of various partly owned channels, and the variety of sports coverage available on Play Sports is, frankly, unparalleled (at least at the price point; but we’ll cover that in greater depth later). By providing their users with access to some of the best sports streaming cable networks in Europe, Play Sports is able to hook their users up with access to European football matches, NBA basketball, American football, golf, and more.

History

Ever since its launch in 2005, Play Sports has been on a constant path towards expansion. Along with this came a couple rebrands over the years. When Play Sports launched, it was originally known as Prime Sport. The service kept this name until 2012, when they changed it again, this time to Sporting Telenet. It wasn’t until 2015 that Play Sport became the Play Sport that we recognize today.

Along with the evolution of Play Sports brand came the evolution of its sports coverage. As is usually the case with the best streaming sites, Play Sport had relatively humble beginnings. The majority of what the site had to offer concerned European sports (mostly football). It wasn’t until 2015 that Play Sports extended its reach overseas, bringing popular American sports streams to the service. This was largely due to a deal struck with Eleven Sports Network, which created 2 new channels for Play Sports members to stream as of December 2015.

The fact that Play Sports has continuously reinvented itself and expanded its coverage over the years is, in my opinion, a very good sign that Play Sports would be an excellent sports streaming site to rely on. Whenever I see steady growth and incremental expansion from a streaming service, my first thought it, ‘well, there is a good chance that this company has a growth mindset and will continue to offer their subscribers more and higher quality services down the road.

Design

I think that the Play Sports interface is quite good. It is intuitive, user-friendly, and easy on the eyes. From the moment you land on this sports streaming site’s homepage, you will have no trouble figuring out how to navigate it, as there are numerous options for browsing live sports streams, as well as plenty of ways to watch – all of which are immediately discernable.

What I love about Play Sport’s design is that it allows you to browse and discover games and matches in whatever way works for you. So, you can do something akin to channel surfing if you like; you can access the TV guide to tune in live; you can browse recently aired competitions (in a fashion not unlike that of Netflix); or you can browse by professional league if you prefer. The choice is completely yours. I am always a fan of a streaming site that gives you options.

Content and Features

As I mentioned earlier, Play Sports has one of the best varieties of sports coverage of any sports streaming site on the market today. Users will have access to a diverse assortment of sports and leagues, including some of the most popular in the world.

If you like football, Play Sports offers coverage of the Jupiter Pro League, Crocky Cup, Premier League, Serie A, and the European League. Additionally, you can catch qualifying matches, as well as several other regional and local leagues not listed here.

One of the more recent additions of coverage offered by Play Sports is motorsports. Whether you are a motocross junky, or you are more of a classic Formula 1 fan, Play Sports has you covered. You will also be able to stream Formula E, MXGP, and WRC races, both live and on-demand.

I won’t go through the full list of leagues available from every sport offered, but here is a basic overview of what else you can expect: Golf (Euro and American), basketball (Euro/NBA), field racing, cycling, volleyball, hockey (no NHL, sadly), handball, and – last but not least – the NFL. The coverage alone, if you ask me, makes Play Sports one of the best sports streaming sites on the web today.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

I wish that I could say that Play Sports also offers a reliable and easy to use mobile app. However, this is not the case. Play Sports does have an app for Android devices, but it is terribly rated on the Google Play Store; an average user rating of 2.2 (out of 5). The most common complaint has to do with the app constantly crashing. Some even claim that it freezes their phone up completely.

Pricings and Plans

Unfortunately, in order to subscribe to Play Sports, you must already be a Telenet customer. With basic Telenet coverage, though, Play Sports will only cost you € 19.95/month. Considering the amount of coverage offered, this is actually a very fair price (at least if you already have Telent cable or internet).

Likes & Hates:
Great variety and amount of live sports coverage
Stream live or on-demand (for up to 7 days of broadcast)
Fair price for the offered coverage
Mobile app is buggy and crashes
Limited platform availability (Android, Chrome Cast, browser only)
Must be a Telenet customer to access