The 9 Best Sports Apps

Keep up with scores, find tickets, follow favorite players and more

Sports fans cheering
Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images

If you like sports of any kind–from baseball to rugby–you can rest assured that there's an app to keep you up to date on your favorite teams, players and more. Below, is a run-through of some of the top downloads to consider to boost your fan cred.

01
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ESPN

ESPN app screenshot
ESPN
What We Like
  • Supports leagues for many sports.

  • Quickly check scores, news, and standings.

  • Listen to podcasts free.

What We Don't Like
  • Frequent ads.

  • Watching sports requires a subscription.

The first app on the list is an obvious pick. Just as ESPN is a go-to channel for many sports fans, its associated app is a great way to keep up to date with your favorite teams. By signing in, you can personalize the app experience so it displays just your favorite leagues and teams. League options include the MLB, NFL, college football, NBA, NHL, college basketball, MLS and Esports.

If you have ESPN through your cable provider, you'll also be able to stream live games, news and more through the app. Note that there's a separate WatchESPN app for Android and iPhone (and other platforms like Roku and PlayStation) that lets you stream content from the full lineup of ESPN channels.

Cost: Free

Platforms:

02
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Yahoo Sports

Yahoo Sports screenshots
Yahoo Sports
What We Like
  • Well-organized.

  • Free video content.

  • Easy to play fantasy sports.

What We Don't Like
  • Many ads.

  • Fewer features than other apps.

The Yahoo Sports app provides game scores, stats and other info on your favorite teams and players across a huge number of sports leagues: NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, college football, soccer, golf, MMA and tennis. When you sign in to the app using your Yahoo account, you can select your favorite teams and leagues to personalize the experience based on your interests. You can also customize alerts for things like score updates or new games.

Cost: Free

Platforms:

03
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Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report screenshots

Bleacher Report

What We Like
  • More customizable than other apps.

  • Easy to navigate.

  • Quick access to scores.

What We Don't Like
  • No live video.

  • Occasional ads.

Bleacher Report (a great follow on Instagram, incidentally) is a popular sports news site, and its mobile apps keep you up to date on your favorite teams' scores. Like other apps, it allows you to pick your favorite teams so you only receive the updates that matter to you. It's worth considering because, when you enable push notifications, it's one of the more reliable, speedier options for getting updates on scores, wins, losses and predictions.

Cost: Free

Platforms:

04
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LiveScore

LiveScore screenshots

LiveScore

What We Like
  • Beautiful dark user interface.

  • Easy to navigate.

  • Set up score notifications.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't customize by team.

  • User interface is more static.

  • No streaming video.

LiveScore's been providing real-time scores online since 1998, and it's a great place to turn if you simply want to check in on a game you're not able to watch. 

LiveScore includes scores for football, soccer, tennis, basketball and hockey. Notably, baseball scores are not currently available through the app. The app's most popular with soccer fans, so it might appeal most to those who follow European/non-US leagues.

Cost: Free

Platforms:

05
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NBA

NBA app screenshot

NBA

What We Like
  • Well-organized interface.

  • Quick view of sports standings.

  • Can't customize user interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Cable subscription required for video.

  • Requires subscription for live games.

  • Difficult to navigate.

The official NBA app lets you view live scores, stats and game times; watch top press conferences; watch top plays and game highlights; and follow your favorite teams. While the app is technically a free download, you'll get the most functionality if you subscribe to the NBA League Pass (from $17.99 per month), which lets you watch live games and more. In that case, you'll be able to stream content including live games and full game replays through the app.

Cost: Free

Platforms:

06
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NFL Mobile

NFL Mobile screenshot

NFL Mobile

What We Like
  • Play fantasy football.

  • Well-organized news stream.

  • Watch video for free.

What We Don't Like
  • Little customization.

  • Few features.

All app users can access NFL news, highlights, stats, up-to-the-minute scores and more during the off-season and on the path to the Super Bowl. If you're a Verizon subscriber, you can also view live games, while Game Pass subscribers can replay past games and more through the app.

Cost: Free (though most in-app video requires being a Verizon customer or having an NFL Game Pass membership, the latter of which costs $49.99)

Platforms:

07
of 09

MLB At Bat

MLB app screenshots

MLB

What We Like
  • Only lite version is free.

  • Easy to customize.

  • Free video content.

  • Simple to follow individual teams.

What We Don't Like
  • Very simple app.

  • Full articles open in a web browser.

  • Not much content per team.

Baseball fans should definitely have the official MLB app on their phone. You can view all your favorite teams' scores, stats, and news via the team pages in the app, and you can watch key plays and moments from every game, even without a premium subscription. Having the premium subscription unlocks condensed game videos, among other features.

Cost: Free (though most features require a premium subscription, priced at $2.99 per month)

Platforms:

08
of 09

Instagram

Cristiano Ronaldo/Instagram screenshot

Cristiano Ronaldo/Instagram

What We Like
  • Follow teams or individual players.

  • Get a peek into players' lives.

  • Enable post notifications.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires searching for teams or players.

  • Mixed in with other Instagram content.

Why does a photo-sharing social media platform get such a high spot on a list of the top sports apps? Because it's one of the best ways to keep up with your favorite players. Mega-stars from LeBron James to Cristiano Ronaldo to Tom Brady (just to name a tiny fraction of the athletes you'll find here) have accounts that they update regularly, giving you an inside look at their lives both on and off the road. I follow all my favorite NBA players on Instagram, and their accounts are honestly some of the most fun to view!

Cost: Free

Platforms:

09
of 09

StubHub

Stubhub promo

Stubhub

What We Like
  • Quick access to sports tickets.

  • Easy to find favorite teams.

  • Follow teams to get event updates.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited features inside the app.

  • Very little content.

Usually, part of the sports fan experience is attending games whenever possible, and the StubHub app is a good way to see who's playing where, when and just how much it will cost you to grab seats. You can buy and sell seats to NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, college basketball, football, motorsports, and other events and view interactive seating maps of the stadium in question directly from your phone.

Cost: Free

Platforms: