In recent years many bookmakers have introduced live streaming services. These services offer a wide range of sporting action streamed directly to your desktop, laptop and in the majority of cases, to your mobile device too. This live streaming is great for the bookmaker as it encourages members of the site to gamble on these events (when perhaps they might not have otherwise) and great for the sports fan as they are able to enjoy more live sporting action - and choose where and how to view it.
In this article you'll find an overview of the UK live streaming scene. I start with a look at the type of sports coverage you’ll find and the conditions you have to meet to view the streams. Next you can find out about the delay in some live streams and how you can protect yourself from this, before recommending three UK bookmakers where you’ll find a great live streaming service.
Live Streaming Coverage
In general the live streamed events will cover a wide range of sports which are not shown on the televised sports channels, such as Sky Sports, BT Sport or Eurosport, however there is some overlap at times. Fans of some sports are extremely well catered for – for example fans of tennis will be able to watch the majority of matches on the ATP and WTA tour online. Soccer fans might find some of the European leagues online as well as many worldwide matches streamed exclusively live.
Live Streaming Conditions
To view these live streams you will need to have an account with the bookmaker in question and will usually need to have funds in the bookmaker account – or to have at least placed a bet in the previous 24 hours if your account is not funded. Most sites will have a dedicated streaming page where you’ll be able to see a list of every event covered, while some may just indicate the live streamed sports by a ‘live’ symbol next to the betting market. You’ll only be able to watch certain live streams if having placed a bet on that particular market – this will particularly be the case in UK horse racing, although you might find this at some other events.
Live Streaming Delay
Although live streams can be great if you want to become involved in live betting, you should be aware that there is normally a delay with these streams. Some of the delays are negligible and in most cases the longest delay you’ll find will be between 2 and 5 seconds, but you might find that some events have a substantial delay of up to a minute in some cases – this more likely to be the case in some of the ‘smaller’ events. You can protect yourself from these delays by only betting during ‘natural’ breaks in the action – for example during a change of ends in tennis, between frames in snooker and during time-outs or ad breaks in US sports.
Best Live Streaming Bookmakers
Betfair revolutionized the UK gambling industry when they appeared at the start of the century and virtually kick-started the live betting arena you see today. The site has a great range of sports in their live streaming catalogue. This includes live tennis, snooker, cricket and soccer matches from all over the world. They also stream live UK horse racing which is available having placed a bet of £2 or more at the sportsbook or £5 or more at the exchange on the particular race. One of the highlights at the site is their extensive coverage of the NBA, with many live match ups streamed on a nightly basis. You'll defintely see the difference, check out www.betfair.com for yourself soon.
William Hill is one of the longest standing bookmakers in the industry and have achieved this by keeping ahead of the game – and their live streaming service certainly achieves this. You’ll find a particularly impressive range of soccer games streamed live on the site, as well as tennis, snooker, cricket and a wide offering of the top European basketball games. You’ll be able to enjoy UK horse races by placing a bet of £1 or more on the race – the horse racing stream also available through the William Hill app for Android and Apple devices. See www.williamhill.com for details.
Coral are another mainstay of the UK gambling industry who have moved with the times to stay at the top of the industry. Visiting their in-play page will show you all of the live betting available and many of these markets will have the ‘live streamed’ symbol next to the markets. They offer a great range of worldwide soccer, cricket, tennis, snooker and many other sports. You’ll be able to watch any UK horse race live on your desktop having placed a bet of £1 or more on the race – the horse racing stream also available on your Android or Apple mobile device through their app. See www.coral.com for details.