Using Naver To Watch Sports Online
**UPDATE** Check out the Naver Media Player App!
Many expats living in Korea are often frustrated when they can't watch their favorite sports from back home. So, how do some of them cope? Well, there is no perfect solution. In fact, often the best way to watch your favorite team or league is to just return home (Peace!). But if you are insistent on staying in Korea, there are a few solutions to consider.
Purchase A Viewing Package
If you are interested in watching MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL games, the most reliable option is to purchase an online viewing package. They all offer various plans. The upside to this option is that the quality is great. The downside is that you've gotta fork over the dough. "No dough? No show."
There is another option, one that doesn't involve paying extra money.
Consider making use of Naver Sports. Naver Sports is a division of Naver---The Google of Korea. It offers free (AND LEGAL) streams of baseball, basketball, soccer, and other "niche" sports that are popular in Korea.
Naver Sports is useful, but there are a few drawbacks to consider:
- The majority of the programming is in Korean.
- The games must be watched live.
- Accessing the streams requires either a basic understanding of Korean or the patience to spend time clicking on various links until you figure out the right one.
As you can see, some of the drawbacks are major pains. Some are relatively minor. Depending on the user, some are not an issue at all. No matter how big or small the drawbacks are for you, don't forget the most important thing: There are games to be watched!
Which Games Are Streamed?
How do you know which games will be available ahead of time? Aside from learning Korean and looking up the information, the best way to gauge whether a game will be shown is to know a particular team's roster. If there is a Korean athlete playing on a team, a stream of that team's games will almost always be available. For baseball fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Ryu Hyun Jin), Pittsburg Pirages (Kang Jung Ho), or Texas Rangers (Choo Shin Soo), this is good news.
Even if there is not a Korean playing on a team, Naver Sports does a good job of showing some of the bigger and more important games. For example, NBA playoff games are often available to watch.
So How Do I Watch The Games?
To watch the games, go to sports.naver.com. An overview of the games currently being played is in the blue banner you will find at the top of the screen. Just below the banner, the "spotlight" games are shown. These are usually the more popular showings. Either use your Korean to navigate to a game's stream or fumble around by clicking various links---eventually you'll figure it out. Then, enjoy the game.
Jonesing for sports to watch? Check out Naver Sports. The selection is limited--and often presented in Korean--but there is a catalogue of games that can be watched. The price is decent (free) and the quality of the stream is what you'd expect in a country like Korea (excellent). Enjoy the game.