Sometimes the best way to watch your favorite sports team is in the living room, with a few friends around and the game streaming on your TV. Although manufacturers don't focus on making their TVs only for sports, many modern 4k TVs have good all-around performance making them suitable for watching sports. When looking for the best TV for watching sports, you'll want to look for great motion handling and good gray uniformity. If you tend to watch games in a bright room, peak brightness and reflection handling are important, and you'll want a TV with a wide viewing angle if you watch in a wide seating area.
We've tested more than 100 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for sports to buy. See our picks for the best 4k TVs, the best budget TVs, and the best outdoor TVs.
The best TV for sports with an OLED panel that we've tested is the LG C1 OLED. TVs with OLED panels present a few advantages when watching sports. Each pixel turns on and off on its own, which means that it has a near-infinite contrast ratio for dark room viewing, and it also has a wide viewing angle as each pixel emits light in all directions. The image remains accurate when viewed from the sides, which is great if you want to watch the game with a large group of friends.
In addition to the wide viewing angle, OLEDs have a near-instantaneous response time, so fast-moving players and balls look smooth with minimal blur trail. It has a flicker-free backlight, which helps reduce eye strain, and there's an optional black frame insertion feature to reduce motion blur. If you also want a TV for gaming, it has a 120Hz panel with variable refresh rate (VRR) support and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for high-frame-rate gaming.
Unfortunately, it has poor out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may need to calibrate it to get the most accurate image possible. Also, OLEDs have the risk of permanent burn-in with cumulative exposure to the same static elements, but this isn't an issue if you watch varied content, like if you watch different sports. All in all, it's one of the best OLED TVs for sports that we've tested.
If you're worried about permanent burn-in, then the Samsung QN85A QLED is the best TV for watching sports with an LED panel that we've tested. You won't have to worry about damaging the screen after long exposure to static elements because LED TVs are immune to burn-in, and they also get much brighter as this TV has incredible peak brightness. With its outstanding reflection handling, visibility won't be an issue even in the brightest rooms.
It's part of Samsung's Neo QLED lineup, sitting below the flagship Samsung QN90A QLED. However, the difference is that the QN85A has an IPS-like panel with a wider viewing angle, so the image remains accurate no matter where you sit, which is great for watching the big game with a group of friends. You can stream your favorite sports with the user-friendly Tizen OS platform, and it doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content like from cable boxes.
Unfortunately, there's some dirty screen effect visible on our unit, which could get distracting in sports with large areas of uniform color like hockey rinks or basketball courts. If you watch games at night in a dark room, it has a low contrast that makes blacks look gray, and even though it has a decent local dimming feature, there's still blooming around bright objects. Regardless, it's the best LED TV for sports.
If you prefer something cheaper, then check out the Hisense U8G. It doesn't have a wide viewing angle like the Samsung QN85A QLED, so it's not the best choice for watching with a large group of friends, but it's still great for catching the game if you're viewing it from directly in front. It comes with Android TV as its smart interface, which has a ton of apps available to download, and you can cast anything you want from your phone using Google Chromecast support. Motion looks smooth for the most part, but there are some motion artifacts and red ghosting, but it's particularly in Game Mode, so you may not see it while watching sports. It has excellent reflection handling and high peak brightness, so it fights glare easily.
If you're in the market for the best LED TV for sports, you can't go wrong with the Samsung because it has a wide viewing angle. However, if you don't have a wide seating arrangement and prefer something cheaper, check out the Hisense.
The Hisense U6G is the best budget TV we've tested for watching sports. It's a great all-around TV, and it's good for watching sports, especially if you like to stream your sports. The built-in Android TV is a user-friendly interface with a massive selection of apps available to download through the Google Play Store, meaning you can easily stream your favorite game and not have to worry about getting external streaming devices.
It's a good choice if you watch sports during the day in a well-lit room as it gets bright enough to fight glare and has decent reflection handling, so visibility won't be an issue unless you have direct sunlight right on it. It has good gray uniformity, meaning sports with large, bright playing surfaces, like hockey or basketball, look good without any distracting dirty screen effect in the center. Fast-moving players and balls look good thanks to the quick response time, and even though the backlight flickers, it's at such a high frequency that it doesn't cause image duplication.
Sadly, it doesn't have a motion interpolation feature, and because it has such a quick response time, low-frame-rate content appears to stutter. Also, the TV has a narrow viewing angle, so the image looks washed out from the sides, and it's not a good choice for wide seating areas. Besides that, it's the best budget TV for watching sports.
If you have a wide seating area, the LG UP8000 is a decent budget TV for watching sports. Most of its variants have an IPS-type panel with a wide viewing angle, so the image looks the same if you're watching it from the sides, so it's a good choice for watching the big game with a large group of people. However, the 50, 60, and 70 inch models use a different panel type with a worse viewing angle, meaning they perform differently.
It has an easy-to-use interface, and it comes with LG's Magic Remote, which has a point-and-press feature, making it even easier to play your favorite apps in just a few seconds. It has good motion handling thanks to the quick response time, and it also has a motion interpolation feature to smooth out low-frame-rate content. However, its backlight flickers at 120Hz, which causes image duplication with 60 fps content. It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, like from cable boxes.
Sadly, it has some uniformity issues with dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting while watching sports, and the edges of the screen are darker than the rest. Also, it has some backlight bleed, but this is more of an issue when watching movies in dark rooms and not sports. Regardless of these problems, it's a good sports TV for wide seating areas.
Apr 07, 2022: Moved the LG UP8000 to its own category as the Best Budget Sports TV For Wide Seating Areas to reflect user needs; moved the LG A1 to Notable Mentions and added the TCL 4 Series/S446 to Notable Mentions.
Feb 08, 2022: Added the LG A1 as 'Cheaper Alternative' to the LG C1; added the TCL 6 Series/R648 8k 2021 QLED to Notable Mentions.
Dec 15, 2021: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability; added the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED and the Hisense U6GR to Notable Mentions.
Oct 19, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021, LG QNED90, TCL 6 Series/R648 2021 8k, and the LG UP7000 to Notable Mentions.
Aug 20, 2021: Replaced the Hisense H8G with the newer Hisense U6G; added the LG A1, LG G1, Sony A90J, TCL R745, and Hisense U7G to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs to watch sports for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.