If you joined the millions of America’s who have cut the cord, but also are an avid motorsports or auto racing tailgater, fear not. It’s easier than ever to tailgate as a cordcutter. In this guide we’ll talk about what you need, where to get the channels you need for your favorite motorsports or auto race and a few tricks on how to save some money. If you are new to the concept of going digital for your next motorsports tailgate, you might be surprised to know it’s easier than ever. In fact, in many ways, it’s easier than the traditional methods.
We in particular here at ShiftAtlanta annual camp and tailgate at Petit Le Mans. Motorsports and Aauto racing tailgating can be as simple as a small grill, some chairs and a tablet for streaming, all the way to full blown tailgating trailers with TVs and bathrooms, and of course RVs.
Motorsports and Auto Racing Streaming Basics
We want to start with the basics. If you are a regular tailgater you likely have most of your big time tailgate gear. Since we are here to talk about cutting the cord and streaming, we are not going to dive too far into coolers, grills or chairs. But if you are new to the tailgating scene you’ll want to ensure you have all of these covered.
What You Need To Tailgate Without The Cord
TV or tablet – choice is yours, but given how light and cheap 32-42″ TVs are these days don’t sleep on them as an option. It’s actually easier to tailgate with a TV when cord cutting than it was before.
Streaming Device or Stick – Doesn’t really matter which streaming device you choose. All of the major brands support the primary services you need. This may not be needed if you are using a tablet. Most newer TVs also can act as the streaming device or stick if they are smart TVs. However, not all services may be available on your smart TV.
Streaming Services – You’ll need streaming services to get most races. The good news is, the most popular motorsports and autoracing on are just a handful of services. You may even have access already with your existing cable or streaming subscriptions.
Internet Access – This will generally come from cellular, either from your phone or a hotspot. However, in race tracks and even some entire communities are also offering WIFi. Be prepared to consider how to use either or even both, as race tracks are generally in rural locations cell towers often get overloaded on race days.
Finding Your Favorite Motorsports and Auto Racing Content Via Streaming Apps
One of the biggest transitions you will need to make with cord cutting tailgating is finding all of the content you want. If you tailgate a single race, this is often a lot easier. If you are like many of us – where tailgating is a lifestyle – you’ll find yourself needing to streaming a number of different races at different times of the year. Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult. In in most instances, you won’t need a traditional cable subscription to do so.
We have more details about how to stream auto racing, whether it’s during a tailgate or at home.
IMSA WeatherTech Series Streaming
IMSA officially partners with Peacock for streaming. The Peacock subscription includes access to other motorsports such as IndyCar. Some IMSA events are also streamed for free via IMSA.TV, but the premiere events are all on Peacock.
The IMSA streaming deal includes the major IMSA race events such as Petit Le Mans, Grand Prix of Long Beach, Daytona, and Sebring.
Peacock starts at $4.99 a month.
ESPN is the official US TV provider of F1. In addition F1 offers their own direct streaming offering for $79.99 annually.
IndyCar officially partners with Peacock for streaming. The Peacock subscription includes access to other motorsports such as IMSA and select NASCAR races.
Peacock starts at $4.99 a month.
NASCAR officially partners with Peacock for many of their races. The Peacock subscription includes access to other motorsports such as IMSA and IndyCar. The remaining races are broadcast on Fox. Access to Fox or FS1 via streaming, or a traditional antenna (for races on Fox) is required for the complete season.
Peacock starts at $4.99 a month. Not all races are brodcast on Peacock.
24 Hours Of Le Mans
The 24 Hours Of Le Mans will stream exclusively in the United States on the MotorTrend App and MotorTrend On Demand.
Tailgate Channel Cheat Sheet
If your team or the game you are interested is on a specific channel, here is a quick cordcutters cheat sheet on how to get access to it. Note in some cases the game or race is available from alternative sources, but hopefully this guide gets you pointed in the right direction.
|If the race is on||You can get access by:||Comments|
|ESPN||Get SlingTV and stream plus you’ll get a login to the ESPN app. ESPN is also available via YouTubeTV, HuluTV and DirecTV Now.||You can start/stop the service as needed with most of these providers.|
|Fox||With antenna||See below for FS1/FS2|
|CBS||With antenna||Check CBS All Access/Paramount+ for additional streaming availability|
|NBC||With antenna||Check Peacock for additional streaming availability, including coverage of most IMSA and Indy Car races without a cable subscription.|
|USA||USA is available via SlingTV, YouTubeTV, HuluTV and DirecTV Now.||Check Peacock for additional streaming availability, including coverage of most IMSA and Indy Car races without a cable subscription.|
Do This, Not That – Tailgating Tips and Tricks
If you are looking for a quick cheat sheet for an experience tailgater, here are some options to consider.
|If You Have||Do This Instead||Why?|
|DirecTV/Dish For Cable||Get SlingTV and stream.||It’s cheaper and you can stop the service when it’s not in use. Plus there is no dish to setup at each location.|
|Phone Hotspot For Streaming Internet||Get a dedicated hotspot.||It’s better than being tethering. Plus, cell signal can get crowded at tailgates but many stadiums are now offering WIFi in premium tailgating spots. The smartest hotspots will use either, or even both, to ensure you have no trouble streaming the game.|
|Streaming directly off of your phone||Get a streaming stick||Rather than relying on your phone, which means you are tethered, you can get a streaming stick for $40 or less.|
|Cable Subscription for ESPN App Access||Switch to SlingTV||SlingTV is one of the view OTT (over the top) streaming providers that give you logins to major apps like ESPN/WatchESPN. The advantage is that you can use their native apps to more easily access content.|
|Carry SlingTV or Cable TV year round for seasonal sports||Switch to SlingTV||One thing we really like about SlingTV if you need access to more traditional cable channels is the ability to start and stop your service. It’s perfectly acceptable to start it in February for Daytona and turn it off end of October when the Petit Le Mans finishes, for example – saving you money for more important things.|