Looking Forward: Top Sports TV Series Highlights and Favorites

Sports are one of the best pastimes to exist because of the way that their stories of triumph and heartbreak encapsulate the human experience in an exciting, made for TV package. 

However, unless you have an incredibly diverse taste in sports, there’s a good chance that you won’t have a game to tap in to 24/7/365. Whether due to scheduling lulls because of the way games are spaced out — NFL games, for instance, joy take place on three days each week — or because of lengthy offseasons that can drag on for months, you might not always have the opportunity to watch your favorite sports. 

Watching YouTube highlights can be fun, but even that gets old after a while when you already know the outcome of what you’re watching. 

With that goal for an around the clock sports viewing experience in mind, TV series make for an excellent compromise. You can turn them on at any time of day or year, and with seasons upon seasons of episodes and dramatic plot lines designed so that there’s never a down moment, you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the world on the screen instead of just looking for a way to kill time. 

Here’s a look at some of the best sports TV series out there today, as well as how you can watch them. Now, with the launch of ESPN Bet in more than a dozen states, sports fans can enjoy these shows, the thrilling entertainment, and also take a bet using the ESPN sports betting code. You’re sure to get your money’s worth and immerse yourself in the action on and off the screen.

Friday Night Lights

Remember how I said that part of what makes sports so compelling is the way that they reflect the human experience? That’s exactly what made this series so compelling. 

Set in a small town in football-crazy West Texas, Friday Night Lights digs much deeper than what happens on the gridiron, showing what the players and coaches go through off the field and addressing social issues like poverty, racism and substance abuse.

The show ran for five seasons, meaning you’ll have plenty to keep you busy, and the poignant portrayal of the hardships of daily life mean that you’ll grow attached to the characters for the struggles they go through even more than for their highlights on the gridiron. Depending what country you live in, you can stream Friday Night Lights on a number of video platforms, including Netflix and Hulu. 

Ted Lasso

It’s always a shame to pick up a new TV series after it’s already finished its run. You can binge watch dozens of episodes, of course, but that comes with the painful realization that once you’re done pigging out, the show is done for good.

This option makes up for that shortcoming, as Ted Lasso is three seasons into its run with a solid chance of getting renewed for a fourth season after receiving critical acclaim. Ted Lasso tells the story of the titular man, an American football head coach who journeys across the pond to begin managing a British soccer team. 

Described as a dramedy, Lasso is a much lighter take on the world of sports, packed with humor and a generally uplifting tone as the out of place coach finds a way to bring people together and make things work. 

Just as you see the players and management at AFC Richmond start to warm up to their head coach, cheery Ted Lasso will win you over in no time if you decide to watch it on Apple TV+.

QB1: Beyond the Lights

QB1 earns a place on this list not just because of the drama, which there is plenty of, but because of the star power. Rather than relying on an ensemble cast like Ted Lasso or Friday Night Lights, this show is compelling because it’s a documentary: the players on the screen are actual college prospects amidst their senior year of high school. Getting a behind the scenes look at the next crop of standout Saturday players is a fascinating opportunity that helps you feel like you’re really getting to know them. On the other hand, the show’s impact continues as you see each player’s collegiate career pan out: it’s a harrowing reminder of just how hard it is to make it in college football, as not all of the top prospects manage to catch on at the Division 1 level. 

QB1 has showcased studs inducing Heisman trophy winners, candidates and future first round draft picks like Justin Fields, Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson.

It has also featured duds like Spencer Rattler and Tate Martell who were supposed to be the next big thing but never actually panned out as such.