How To Access Bookmaker Live Streams

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How can you access bookmaker live streaming services? Are they free to use? In this article we tell which bookmakers offer the best lives streams.

What Is Live Streaming?

With the recent explosion in on-line betting, many bookmakers now offer live streaming of a broad range of sporting events, making the experience of betting on a football match or a horse race that much more exciting for their customers. But which bookmakers offer live streaming? Which are the best bookmaker live streaming services currently available? And what is required in order to access bookmaker live streaming?

While most bookmakers require their customers to make either a minimum deposit or place a minimum bet on the relevant event in order to access the live broadcast, the requirements are typically small and most of all, the live streaming is entirely legal.

A further plus is that many bookmaker live streaming services deliver sporting events that are not available on commercial television with many live streamed events not even available via satellite television, giving users a tremendous range to enjoy. And what's even better, most live streams are easily accessed on your smart phone or mobile device meaning you'll never have to miss a moment of the action.

Are “Live Streams” Really Live?

The expression ‘live streaming’ is a bit of a misnomer in itself as, typically, the action is delayed by five to ten seconds, thus giving punters who are actually at the event with a reliable internet connection a slight advantage over their counterparts manning PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones. While this may limit the value of live streaming in terms of in-play betting, what we will be reviewing is the quality, breadth and depth of the live streaming on offer at six of the most popular and long-established online bookmakers:

Betfair Exchange
Bet365
PaddyPower
SkyBet
Coral
Unibet.

To keep the comparison as fair as possible, each site has been analysed using the same wireless connection on the same computer – in this case, a Sony Vaio laptop.

What Do I Need To Access Live Streaming?

In order to receive the best picture quality at each bookmaker, we suggest users have access to a dependable 3G or WiFi connection. Furthermore, if bettors have a Firewall (security hardware/software) or any other related security software running on their PC it may affect their access to the site on which they are trying to watch a live stream.

Bettors need to be warned that they are only permitted to access live streaming for their own personal use and that video streamed from online betting sites must not be copied or reproduced without the express permission of the company providing the action.

Finally, to watch any live streaming service with an online bookmaker or exchange, a broadband connection speed of 512kbp/s or higher is required.

An overview of five online bookmakers/exchanges is provided below, with a ranking out of five given in various key categories for each.

Betfair Live Streaming Review

Sign up with BetfairCuriously, Betfair Exchange doesn’t always advertise its live streaming feature on the home page and uses a secondary menu tab titled ‘What’s On TV’ to guide their users to the live streaming access. Ordinarily, the ‘What’s on TV’ tab on the secondary menu bar takes one click but it could be argued that ‘What’s on TV’ doesn’t necessarily imply there’s a live streaming service available at the time. In a much less prominent position towards the foot of the home page there is also a small ‘Sport on TV’ tab.

Having accessed the Betfair live streaming menu, we discovered there were six events (subdivided into further races in the case of horse racing), available to bet on at that time – the Masters snooker, horse racing from Louisiana and TPara and two tennis matches in the Heineken Open. Overall, while Betfair’s live streaming service is undersold, it does a good job especially where greyhounds and horse racing are concerned as both sports offer commentary and studio analysis in addition to the expected video and audio.

Access Requirements

For exchange bets on GB, Irish and Meydan (UAE) racing a minimum matched bet of £5 (or currency equivalent) must be placed on the relevant market. Betfair’s live video is free to watch on US and South African racing for customers with funded accounts. For Tote bets, a £5 (or currency equivalent) bet is required to trigger the live stream.

Meanwhile, for fixed odds or sportsbook bets on GB, Irish and Meydan (UAE) racing, a minimum bet of £2 (or currency equivalent) must be placed on the relevant market to watch a single race.

Ease of access: 3 stars
Picture quality: 4 stars
Sound: 4 stars
Number of markets available: 3 stars
Overall: 3 stars

Sign up with Betfair to access their live streaming service now

Bet365 Live Streaming Review

Sign up with bet365Bet365 claims to broadcast 50,000 live events per year, which works out at approximately 137 per day. This is quite some claim, especially in the light of Betfair only having a small handful of events on 'analysis day'.

The site’s ‘Live Streaming’ can be accessed through a prominent tab placed on the home page at the top right, alongside the ‘Chat’ function.

Disappointingly, despite the site’s bold claims, there were only six live streams available when visited (one of which was ‘due to start shortly’) – three ice hockey, two football (‘soccer’) and one volleyball. However, the quality of the streaming is excellent. A standalone player is available if the user wants to surf elsewhere but still keep in touch and it is quick and easy to chop and change between events. During the time we spent enjoying the bet365 live streaming service, there was no buffering or break-up.

Furthermore, the football was interesting from a personal perspective as there was no commentary. Many people enjoy the inane musings of pundits, but a stream with just ambient crowd noise and the odd shout from the players themselves was quite refreshing. In fact, none of the available matches had commentary, which is a refreshing move.

Bet365 is excellent for more ‘niche’ sports such as volleyball and ice hockey, but its viewing window is quite small and in some sports it’s tough to decipher the characters and numbers on the scoreboard.

Access Requirements

Finally, punters can watch live sport on their iPhone, iPad or Android device including soccer, tennis, basketball, snooker, darts, cricket and squash. To do this, users need a funded account or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify. In line with the other four bookmakers/exchanges covered here, Bet365 offers apps for both types of operating system (Apple and Android) through which the live streams can be accessed.

Ease of access: 4 stars
Picture quality: 4 stars
Sound: 4 stars
Number of markets available: 4 stars
Overall: 4 stars

Sign up with Bet365 to access their live streaming service now

Paddy Power Live Streaming Review

Paddy Power free betWhen visiting Paddy Power, the live streaming service can be accessed by clicking a secondary tab named ‘Watch Live’. When analysis time came around for this particular site, it coincided with no live events being currently available. There were, however, four events scheduled for later that evening – one in the Masters snooker and three in the Heineken Open tennis. Furthermore, the size of the window implied that it was a larger screen than those available on both Bet365 and Betfair.

Upon checking the action half an hour later, the snooker was approximately eight seconds behind ‘real time’ and while the image is slightly larger than that seen on both Betfair and Bet365, the picture quality seems, if anything, marginally worse and suffered the odd pixelated break up and freeze. The snooker commentary uses the BBC’s audio stream.

PaddyPower’s major live streaming downfall is that, like SkyBet, the markets it offers are quite limited. Coral, Betfair and Bet365 all offer more. To its credit, however, its live streaming area’s Frequently Asked Questions section does give an honest appraisal of its service, telling users that there can typically be around (but not limited to) a ten to 30 second delay compared to live. The site recommends punters to refresh their browser every fifteen minutes to minimise time lag.

Access Requirements

In terms of conditions of access, PaddyPower matches the other services in that users must have a positive balance before they can enjoy the live streaming experience. Furthermore, no bets need to be placed in order to watch the likes of cricket and tennis but for horse racing a minimum of £1 or E1 must be wagered before bettors can sit back and enjoy the action.

Finally, it is easy enough to watch two live events simultaneously on PaddyPower by opening separate windows – a nice touch for those of us capable of multi-tasking.

Ease of access: 4 stars
Picture quality: 3 stars
Sound: 3 stars
Number of markets available: 3 stars
Overall: 3 stars

Sign up with Paddy Power to access their live streaming service now

SkyBet Live Streaming Review

Skybet free betDespite SkyBet being a division of satellite TV giant Sky, the online betting site doesn’t go ‘big’ on its live streaming offer. In fact, the site seems to offer live streaming in a very begrudging fashion. The home page shows no hint of live streaming, despite a striking ‘Live’ tab which runs horizontally across the centre of the homepage. Further investigation shows that the live events are in play and available on various TV channels such as Sky Sports, BT Sport and Eurosport – all of which require a paid-for subscription - as opposed to those that can be watched via a live stream.

The greyhound racing, unlike on the Betfair Exchange, cannot be viewed live, while the horse racing requires a one pound minimum bet per race to watch, as opposed to the standard two pound minimum stake on Betfair.

SkyBet’s live streaming service, therefore, is understated to the point of invisibility and it’s only through fairly thorough investigation – or a lucky click on the horse racing menu – that reveals it has a live streaming service at all, with a ‘Bet and Watch’ button positioned at the top right of each race’s list of runners. The picture itself, along with the sound, is very good.

Access Requirements

Overall, SkyBet’s live streaming offer is fairly limited for anyone who prefers other sports to horse racing. For fans of the nags, however, the site offers live streaming on all UK and Irish racing for any customer who places, as mentioned above, a minimum stake of £1 on that race. The underlying message from SkyBet, therefore, is a resounding ‘If you want to watch live sport, pay for a Sky TV subscription’.

While SkyBet is admittedly relatively competitive in terms of special offers, total number of markets and incentives, bettors seeking a decent choice of live streams outside of horse racing should look elsewhere.

Ease of access: 1 star
Picture quality: 4 stars
Sound: 4 stars
Number of markets available: 1 star
Overall: 2 stars

Sign up with Skybet to access their live streaming service now

Coral Live Streaming Review

Coral Free BetCoral’s live streaming service is easy enough to access. A simple click on the left of the home page’s secondary menu bar takes you there. Additionally, the site usually displays at least one large window advertising a current ‘live’ event. Clicking on that also takes users to the live streaming area.

Bettors can watch live football, tennis, snooker, rugby and basketball for free on their PC with Coral Live Stream Sports. Wherever the Coral Live Stream icon is positioned next to an event, users can watch that event live.

The site boldly claims that it offers ‘over 5,000 events streamed for free’, which is an ambiguous claim as there’s nowhere which states over what time period the 5,000 events take!

Coral’s live streaming starts two minutes before the event, which is broadly in line with all the other services analysed here. Disappointingly, only football and tennis are available on mobile devices. All of Betfair Exchange’s event streams, for example, are accessible via mobile.

Coral’s streams can also be viewed in two sizes, like on Bet365, viewed from the event in the top right hand side position below the bet slip, or in a larger window by clicking the ‘Pop Out’ icon in the player.

Access Requirements

Visitors to www.coral.co.uk can also watch live UK, Irish & Dubai Racing from anywhere, on their PC, iPhone, iPad or Android device. The condition is exactly the same as that on SkyBet, namely when they place a £1 bet on a race.

Another condition on Coral is that to watch their streaming service punters must have a positive balance on their account, which puts the ‘free’ into question although to be fair funds could just as easily be withdrawn at the end of the event without placing a (non-horse) bet.

Ease of access: 5 stars
Picture quality: 3 stars
Sound: 3 stars
Number of markets available: 3 stars
Overall: 3 stars

Sign up with Coral to access their live streaming service now

Unibet Live Streaming Review

Unibet Free BetUnibet's live streaming service is easily accessible by clicking on the Unibet TV: Watch Sport LIVE tab on the main menu bar. You can also visit the Unibet TV Schedule to see what sports will be available for you to enjoy through the upcoming week, where you can also narrow your search to the sports you are most interested in by using the handy drop down menu list. Events that are currently being broadcast are listed as 'Live Now'. Simply click any event that takes your interest and you will be taken through to that event's betting centre, where you will find a great range of betting markets to get involved with as well as the event live streaming broadcast window.

Unibet offers a great selection of sports for you to enjoy via their live streaming service, including football, tennis, basketball, cricket, ice hockey and golf among others. The range of sports, leagues and tournaments available to watch via Unibet live streaming is superb, from NHL ice hockey to NBA basketball, South American football to rugby league and rugby union, there's plenty on offer at Unibet.

Access Requirements

To enjoy Unibet's live streaming service, you are required to be logged into your Unibet account and have funds available in that account. If you do not have any funds in your Unibet account, you will still be able to access Unibet's live streaming service so long as you have placed a bet within the previous 24 hours. So it's a pretty good deal. It should be noted however that Unibet will occasionally require a payment for users to watch particularly high profile events. When this is the case, these events are clearly marked.

Ease of access: 5 stars
Picture quality: 3 stars
Sound: 3 stars
Number of markets available: 3 stars
Overall: 3 stars

Sign up with Unibet to access their live streaming service now

Football Leagues Available Via Live Streaming

The following football leagues are available via bet365, Ladbrokes and Betfair live streaming for all UK based customers:

 League  bet365 Ladbrokes  Betfair 
AFC Cup   Yes  
Argentina Primera   Yes  Yes
Asian Champions League      Yes
Asian Internationals   Yes  Yes
Australia A-League   Yes  Yes
Belgium Pro League      Yes
Brazilian Paulista      Yes
Champions League Qualifiers   Yes*  Yes*
Chile Primera   Yes  
China Super League   Yes  
CONCACAF Champions League      Yes
CONCACAF Internationals   Yes  Yes
Copa Libertadores   Yes  Yes
Copa Sudamericana   Yes  Yes
Croatia 1. HNL Yes    
Czech League Yes    
Czech Cup Yes    
Denmark Superliga Yes    
Denmark Division 1 Yes    
Ecuador Primera A Yes    Yes
Europa League Qualifiers   Yes*  
European Internationals   Yes*  Yes*
FA Cup Yes    
Finland Veikkausliiga Yes    Yes
France Ligue 1 Yes    
France Ligue 2 Yes Yes  Yes
France Cup   Yes  
Germany Bundesliga Yes    
Germany Bundesliga 2 Yes    
Greece Super League Yes    
Holland Eredivisie Yes  Yes  
Holland Jupiler League Yes    
Iceland Cup Yes    
Iceland Urvalsdeild Yes    Yes
India Super League   Yes  
International Friendlies   Yes*  Yes*
Israel Ligat Ha'Al Yes    
Italy Serie A Yes  Yes  
Japan J1 League Yes  Yes  Yes
Japan J2 League Yes  Yes  
Korea K League Yes    
Latvia Virsliga Yes    
Mexico Liga MX Yes    
MLS Yes    
Norway Division 1 Yes    
Norway Elitserien Yes    
Paraguay Professional Division Yes    
Peru Primera Division Yes    
Poland Ekstraklasa Yes    
Portugal Primeira Liga Yes Yes  Yes
Portugal Segunda Liga Yes    
Pre Season Club Friendlies   Yes*  Yes*
Romania Cup Yes    
Russia Premier League Yes    
Russia Division 1 (FNL) Yes    Yes
Serbia Super Liga Yes    
Slovenia Prva Liga Yes    
South American Internationals   Yes  Yes*
South Korea K-League Classic Yes    
Spain La Liga Yes  Yes  Yes
Spain La Liga 2      Yes
Sweden Allsvenskan Yes  Yes  
Switzerland Super League Yes    
Switzerland Challenge League Yes    
Switzerland Schweizer Pokal Yes    
Turkey Cup     Yes
Turkey Super Lig Yes    
UAE Arabian Gulf League   Yes  
USA Major League Soccer   Yes  Yes
Ukraine Premier League Yes    
Venezuela Primera Division Yes    

* UK customers cannot access live streams for England internationals or matches featuring English clubs.

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