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There’s no two ways about it, betting live on a sporting event is more exciting that betting in advance. They’ve both got their merits of course, with betting before a sporting match even starts giving you plenty of time to weight up your options and figure out what’s the right way forward. Yet there’s something thrilling about being compulsive and sticking a bet on based on what you’re seeing with your own eyes.
It allows you to go with your gut rather than your analytical brain. I remember watching a Manchester United match once when they were all over Blackburn Rovers. I stuck money on Blackburn next goal and low and behold they did it. I just sensed it was coming. To be able to do that, however, you need to be able to watch the event you’re betting on. That’s where live streaming comes in.
What Is Live Streaming?
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock or you don’t really have much experience of the internet, I’ll give you a quick overview of what live streaming is.
We all know that companies such as Sky Sports, BTSport and even Channel 4 show events live. Sky Sports in particular have made an awful lot of money by making themselves the premier place to go for live sporting events. They are, as they say, the bees knees.
They can’t cover every event ever, though. They specialise in the main sporting markets, with each of the companies having their own selling point. Sky and BT both cover the football predominantly, with BT also making a big deal of their Mixed Martial Arts coverage. Channel 4 is the place to go for your horse racing needs.
What of a handball match in Ukraine, though? How will you watch a table-tennis match taking place in Japan? Why don’t more of the main broadcasters cover English basketball? That’s when bookmakers and their live streaming service comes in.
To break it down really simply, they show events that you can bet on live by streaming it over the internet. Most commonly you can watch it via their website on your desktop computer, but many of the big bookies also allow you to stream events through their mobile apps. That way you can see what’s going on in your favourite sport and make those gut calls I was talking about a moment ago.
What Sports Are Shown Live?
This obviously differs from bookie to bookie, though typically you’ll be talking about football, basketball, tennis, golf, badminton, table-tennis, snooker, volleyball and more.
There’s no hard and fast rule, but it’s fair to say that the events you’ll be able to watch live through a bookmaker have two things in common: Firstly they’re not always going to be being covered by the main broadcasters (though of course sometimes they are, tennis mainly) and secondly you’ll be able to place a bet on them through the bookie that’s streaming the event.
If you want to see if a bookie is streaming the event that you’re hoping to watch then head to their home page and look for a ‘Live Streaming’ section. Most of them have lists of what is live as well as calendars showing what’s coming up. Normally if they have a live stream then you’ll get a link to it from within the section of the sportsbook that shows you all of the bets that you can place on the event.
What Bookies Have The Best Live Streaming?
Virtually all of what you’d call the ‘Big’ bookmakers have some form of live streaming. Some will limit it to just one or two sports, with horse and greyhound racing being particular favourites, whilst others will cover pretty much everything.
Bet365 are basically the pioneers when it comes to streaming, they’ve been doing it a long time and they know how to do it properly. You will also find perhaps the widest range of sports streamed with Bet365 and if you therefore like watch a diverse array of sports and events then this will be a happy home for you.
Coral’s coverage is almost unrivaled. They stream an impressive amount of events, normally in the region of up to 2,000 events every single week. There’s barely a sport that they don’t offer live streams for and if you’re hoping to get an eyeful of live action then they would be my number one port of call.
Unibet is another top website for live streaming. Admittedly they can’t quite hit the same heights as Coral, but you’re still talking about more than 40,000+ events streamed annually through their service. If one of these two bookies aren’t covering what you’re looking for then the other ones probably will be.
I’d suggest that both of those bookies are ones that it’s worth being members of for more reasons than merely their I’ve streaming, but perhaps you’ve got your favourite company and you’re wondering if they offer the ability to watch some things live. Well the likes of William Hill, Betfred, BetVictor, Ladbrokes and Betfair all do.
Live Streaming Restrictions?
Different bookmakers have different rules for whether or not you’re allowed to stream live events via their website. Almost without exception you need to be logged in to your account to take advantage of the service, with most also insisting you have credit in your account.
Some will require you to place a bet before you’ll be able to stream anything and this is particularly true when it comes to horse racing. Normally there’s a minimum stake requirement of £1 if you want to watch the horses or dogs racing around.
Another common restriction will exist over where in the world you are. This is often more to do with the broadcasting rights than the bookies themselves, as the rights will declare that an event can only be streamed live in certain countries. Given that most bookmakers are UK facing, however, if they’re offering a steam and you’re in the UK or Ireland then you’ll probably be fine.
One of the most important things that will make or break your ability to stream events live will be your operating system. Typically speaking you’ll need a relatively decent computer that doesn’t take half an hour to load up and is able to cope with Flash. You’ll also need a decent broadband speed. Most bookmakers suggest that 512 kbp/s is the minimum you’ll need available to you if you don’t want something buffering so much it looks like a flip book.