VIPLeague was the go-to destination for sports fans around the world to access free live streams of games and matches. At its peak, it offered easy access to watch NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, soccer, combat sports, tennis, and much more. But in 2016, legal pressure forced the original VIPLeague site offline for good.
In this guide, we‘ll cover the history of VIPLeague, its legal situation, and most importantly, the top 10 alternatives for watching live sports legally online in 2022. We researched dozens of sports streaming services, both paid and free, to bring you the very best VIPLeague replacement options this year.
A Look Back at VIPLeague and Its Impact
Let‘s start with some background on VIPLeague and how it revolutionized sports streaming in the 2010s.
VIPLeague first launched in 2007 as a portal offering free live streams for sporting events. It aggregated illegal pirate streams from around the web, organized by sport and league.
The site became massively popular with over a million visitors per month at its peak. It even surpassed giants like Hulu in Alexa popularity rankings for free sports streaming sites.
VIPLeague offered visitors easy access to live NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, soccer, UFC, boxing, tennis, and other sports streams all in one place for free.
As the chart above shows, VIP League saw tremendous growth in popularity throughout the early 2010s, surpassing 1 million monthly visitors by 2012.
However, the tide soon started to turn against unlicensed streaming sites like VIPLeague. In 2016, legal pressure forced the shutdown of the original VIPLeague.se domain.
But even with the official site gone, VIPLeague had forever changed user expectations for free online sports streaming. This fueled the rise of legal alternatives and cable-replacement services we know today.
Now let‘s dig into whether VIPLeague mirrors are legal to use today, and the best alternatives you should use instead in 2022.
Is It Legal to Use VIPLeague Mirror Sites?
After the original domain went dark in 2016, many unofficial VIPLeague mirror sites popped up replicating the original site‘s content and design.
These mirrors simply recreate the VIPLeague stream index, linking out to the same network of unauthorized pirate sports streams. Most of these streams violate broadcaster copyrights by illegally distributing their content.
We performed a test scan of one popular VIPLeague mirror site using VirusTotal, which flagged some malicious files:
In addition to malware risks, using these unauthorized VIPLeague streaming sites also carries potential legal penalties. Streaming pirated content is illegal, and sporting leagues are aggressively enforcing copyright claims.
For your safety and anonymity, we strongly recommend avoiding these VIPLeague mirrors going forward. Instead, rely on the legal alternatives outlined below.
10 Best VIPLeague Alternatives for Legal Sports Streaming
The good news is that sports fans now have fantastic legal options to watch live games, fights and matches online. Paid services like fuboTV emulate the cable TV experience, while standalone options like ESPN+ give you access to even more sports content.
Based on our extensive testing and research, these are the top 10 safe and legal alternatives to VIPLeague this year:
1. Vidgo – Best Overall Alternative
Vidgo is our top pick for the best overall VIPLeague replacement thanks to its combination of channel variety, stream quality, and affordable pricing.
This legal streaming service offers 95+ channels with a major focus on sports content from ESPN, NFL Network, beIN Sports, and more. You‘ll have access to tons of live games in basketball, football, baseball, soccer, hockey, tennis, and other sports.
In addition to sports, Vidgo also includes entertainment, news, and more. Video streams are available in crystal clear HD quality up to 1080p resolution. Cloud DVR allows you to record and rewatch games on your schedule.
Vidgo works on all popular media players like Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, plus iOS and Android mobile apps. New users can test it out free for 7 days before pricing of $55 per month kicks in. Outstanding value compared to traditional cable.
2. fuboTV – Great for Soccer Fans
fuboTV is another excellent VIPLeague replacement, with a channel lineup catering especially to soccer fans. You‘ll get access to beIN Sports, GolTV, TyC Sports, Fox Soccer Plus and many more international soccer channels.
In addition to soccer, fuboTV offers 100+ total channels covering NFL football, NBA basketball, MLB baseball, NHL hockey, boxing, tennis and beyond. Cloud DVR and premium add-ons are available.
New users can try fuboTV free for 7 days. Monthly pricing starts at $64.99 after the trial for their Pro plan with 110+ channels. For $79.99 you can upgrade to the Elite plan for additional sports and entertainment channels, 4K HDR video on select events, and more simultaneous streams.
3. Sling TV – Most Affordable Paid Option
Sling TV provides one of the cheapest live TV streaming services at just $35 per month. It‘s a great budget-friendly alternative to VIPLeague.
While channel selection is more limited than the options above, Sling Orange focuses on providing must-have sports content. 30+ channels come included such as ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, FS1, TNT, and NFL Network. Local channel availability depends on your location.
For just $5 more per month, you can add Cloud DVR service with 50 hours of storage. Sling TV supports all major streaming platforms like Roku, Fire TV, iOS, Android and more. New users can test it out with a 3-day free trial.
4. Hulu + Live TV
In addition to on-demand shows and movies, Hulu + Live TV offers 75+ live channels, including the sports content you crave. You‘ll have access to national staples like ESPN, FS1, TBS, and TNT.
Hulu + Live TV also provides local regional sports networks in most markets so you can follow your local NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams. An unlimited DVR is included allowing you to record games.
On top of great sports coverage, you‘ll also get the entire Hulu on-demand streaming library with original series, movies, network TV shows, and more to watch anytime.
Hulu + Live TV costs $69.99 per month, with added features like unlimited screens and enhanced DVR available via optional add-ons.
5. YouTube TV
YouTube TV is another excellent option for cord-cutters seeking to replicate that cable TV experience. For $64.99 per month, you get 85+ live channels covering sports, news, movies, and other entertainment.
Sports fans will have access to national networks like ESPN, NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, and CBS Sports Network with YouTube TV. Local regional sports networks are also available for following your hometown teams.
Unlimited DVR storage comes included so you‘ll never miss a game. Apps are provided for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and other popular streaming devices. Try it free for a limited time, then $64.99 per month after.
6. DIRECTV STREAM
DIRECTV STREAM (formerly known as AT&T TV Now) can also act as a great VIPLeague replacement. Their PLUS package offers 45+ channels for $69.99 per month after a free trial.
You‘ll have access to national staples like ESPN, FS1, TNT and TBS for primetime sports. Local regional sports networks are available based on your location and favorite teams. Other channels focus on entertainment, news, lifestyle and more.
Cloud DVR storage comes free, with an upgrade option for more capacity. Two simultaneous streams are included. DIRECTV STREAM works on Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android and browsers.
Serious sports fans should also consider ESPN+, which provides access to thousands more live games and events that even cable networks don‘t always cover.
The streaming service includes live NHL, PGA Tour, LaLiga soccer, Bundesliga soccer, college sports, boxing, UFC, international cricket and rugby, and much more. You also get access to original ESPN shows and films.
ESPN+ comes at a very affordable $9.99 per month or $99 annually. Different than the ESPN cable channel, ESPN+ focuses exclusively on live sports and original programming. It‘s available on all popular media players and mobile apps.
In addition to live CBS channels, Paramount+ provides tons more sports content both live and on-demand. The service offers live NFL, NCAA basketball, PGA Tour, and more.
An extensive library of CBS Sports original programming and NFL on CBS replays are available to stream anytime as well. Plus, Paramount+ includes CBS TV shows, Paramount movies, Champions League matches, and other entertainment.
The Essential plan with ads included runs just $4.99 per month, while the Premium commercial-free plan is $9.99. All popular devices are supported including Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, web, iOS and Android. New users get a free 7-day trial.
NBCUniversal‘s streaming service Peacock includes lots of live sports along with NBC shows, movies, originals, and more. Sports fans can stream Premier League matches, Sunday Night Football, Olympics, WWE, and even free MLB and NFL games.
Plus, Peacock has an extensive on-demand catalog of sports documentaries, classic matches, highlights and NBC Sports original programming. Non-sports entertainment includes favorites like The Office, Modern Family, Jurassic Park movies, and much more.
Live sports and Peacock originals require the $4.99 Premium plan, but it‘s free to watch thousands of hours of on-demand movies, shows, news and sports. Available on all major platforms.
10. Locast (Limited Markets)
In select US cities, Locast offers free streaming access to local ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates which often broadcast local NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL team games.
Rather than needing cable just to watch your hometown sports teams, Locast provides free online access to local broadcast stations. Stream them easily on your media players, mobile devices or through the web.
Locast relies on user donations to operate. There are no ads shown during streams. Currently Locast is available in over 35 US markets with more being added – check availability in your city.
More Details on Live Sports Streaming Services
To help you find the right live TV streaming service for your needs, here is an overview of pricing and features for the major options:
This chart compares channel count, monthly pricing, free trial options, supported devices, and sports-specific features for our top picks.
As you can see, choosing the right service comes down to your budget, channel needs, desire for 4K and DVR, plus available platforms. Services like fuboTV cater specifically to sports fans.
Be sure to take advantage of the free trials from each provider before committing to a subscription. This will allow you to test out their stream quality, reliability, and channel lineups on your devices before paying.
The Future of Live Sports Streaming
Live sports streaming has come a long way from the early days of janky pirate sites like VIPLeague and FirstRow Sports. Today, sports fans have fantastic legal options.
Services like fuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM closely recreate the cable TV viewing experience, while ESPN+, Peacock and Paramount+ offer supplementary sports content. Even free options like Locast provide local sports broadcasts.
But the streaming landscape continues to rapidly evolve. We expect even more disruptors like DAZN to shake up established norms. Sports leagues are exploring new broadcasting technologies like targeted ads, interactivity, VR/AR, and more.
One thing we can count on is continued expansion of access and affordability. More competition means more choice for viewers. As sports broadcasting deals expire, leagues will likely spread their rights across more platforms.
The future is certainly bright for online sports streaming. But for now, the options we covered today provide everything needed to cut the cord like a pro. What will you use to replace VIPLeague in 2022? Let us know!