Watching Sports Through Naver Sports
A very common problem many expats living in Korea share is finding a way to watch their favorite sports from back home. Well, there is no perfect solution. Often the best way to watch your favorite team or league is to just return home. But if you are insistent on staying in Korea, there are a few solutions to consider.
If you are interested in watching MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL games, the most reliable method is to purchase one of their respective online viewing packages. (See our blog post A Guide to Watching North American Sports in Seoul.)
There is another option. Make use of Naver Sports. It is a great place to watch free, legal streams of baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and many other sports.
In case you are either brand new to Korea or have been living under a rock while in Korea, Naver is one of Korea's dominant internet portals. It is akin to Google or Yahoo.
There are a few drawbacks to consider:
1) The majority of the programming is in Korean.
2) The games must be watched live.
3) Accessing the streams requires either a basic ability to read Korean or the patience to spend time clicking on various links until you figure out which ones are right.
Nonetheless, there are games to be watched. If there is a Korean athlete playing on a team, a stream of that team will almost always be available. For baseball fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Ryu Hyun Jin), Pittsburg Pirates (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 games. For example, many of the NBA playoff games are available to watch.
Again, you will have to watch the game live, which isn't always convenient, and the commentary is often in Korean, but at least you can watch it.
To watch the games, go to sports.naver.com. An overview of the games being played is in the blue banner at the top. Just below the banner, the "spotlight" games are shown. Even if you can't read Korean, it's not too difficult to navigate. Give it a try. Enjoy the game.