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The Best NFL Streaming Services for 2021 | PCMag
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Can you still watch football if you’ve cut the cord? You bet! Our guide will tell you how to catch every NFL game this season, from now until the Super Bowl.
If you’ve ditched your cable company in favor of one (or several) video streaming services, you can still watch NFL games. On-demand services such as Netflix and Disney+ don’t offer live sports though, so you need to subscribe to a live TV streaming every live TV streaming service is ideal for NFL fans, though, as some are missing key channels. You should also consider the features and other streaming content a service offers to determine which one is the best value for your household. Check out our guide to the best video streaming services for your budget if you don’t know where to Channels Do You Need to Watch NFL Games? NFL games generally air during four time slots on different networks throughout the regular season: Thursday Night Football (typically on NFL Network, with most games simulcast on FOX and Amazon Prime Video), Sunday afternoons (CBS and FOX), Sunday Night Football (NBC), and Monday Night Football (ESPN). Broadcasts of playoff games last season were split between CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC. US holidays affect the schedule, which means that there may be multiple games on a Thursday or a game on Saturday. Consult the schedule below for details on watching those NFL recently renegotiated the broadcast rights for games starting with the 2023 season and running through the 2033 season. Under this new deal, the broadcast rights for Sunday afternoons, Sunday nights, and Monday nights remain the same. Super Bowl coverage will rotate between ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, while NFL Network retains rights to some exclusive games. Both Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football games are subject to flex schedules with this new contract; in other words, the NFL can change which games air during these prime-time slots based on what will make for more entertaining matchups. However, the agreement also signals a dramatic shift in the NFL’s support for streaming services. One major change is that Prime Video will become the exclusive broadcaster of Thursday Night Football starting in 2022. Some changes take effect this year. For example, NBC will begin streaming Sunday Night Football games this season on Peacock, much like CBS does for Sunday afternoon games on Paramount+. We hope ESPN+ starts to carry NFL games that air on ABC or V’s rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package are set to expire at the end of the 2022 season. Amazon, Apple, and Disney are all reportedly interested in securing these rights going forward, so NFL Sunday Ticket could very well shift ownership to one of these streaming NFL games you can watch on Sunday afternoons depends on where you live. These games are carried on local CBS and FOX affiliate channels and are subject to the same blackout rules as cable broadcasts. You will get other games on Sunday afternoons in addition to those involving your local team, but how many and which ones is not always easy to determine. Check out 506Sports’ regional NFL coverage maps each week for all the NFL matchups on Sunday nights and every other day of the week are national broadcasts, so everyone will see the same game regardless of where they live. Playoff games and the Super Bowl are also televised to national audiences. NFL fans don’t have to navigate the mess that is regional sports network (RSN) broadcast rights; all these channels are available in the vast majority of broadcast markets and on most live TV streaming services. Even with the upcoming changes, the NFL’s current streaming strategy still isn’t ideal. It puts the burden on fans to pay for and manage multiple streaming services at a time. The NFL also doesn’t seem to recognize the reality that a location-based strategy is ineffectual at reaching modern audiences, especially those who don’t live in their favorite team’s home of the major NFL commentary shows air on channels we already mentioned, but some do not. For example, Nickelodeon now offers a weekly, family-friendly NFL highlights show, called NFL Slimetime, that’s hosted by Nate Burleson and Young Dylan, alongside correspondent Dylan Schefter. DirecTV Stream, fuboTV, Hulu, Philo, and YouTube TV all offer Nickelodeon. Eli and Peyton Manning will also call some Monday Night Football games on ESPN2 this season; this broadcast is simulcast on ESPN+. DirecTV Stream, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV’s Orange Plan, and YouTube TV all have ESPN2 in their NFL RedZone channel is another option for people who want to watch scoring highlights on Sunday afternoons or keep up with fantasy football stats in real time. FuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV offer add-ons with this to Watch Week 6 NFL GamesThis season, each team will play 17 regular-season games (up from 16 games last season). Below is the schedule for Week 6 of the regular season per the NFL’s official site. We will update the schedule every week throughout the NFL season. All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST). The following teams have a bye this week: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, and San Francisco ursday (10/14)Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles at 8:20 p. m. (FOX, NFL Network, and Prime Video)Sunday (10/17)Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars at 9:30 a. (CBS)Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions at 1 p. (FOX)Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears at 1 p. (FOX)Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts at 1 p. (CBS)Kansas City Chiefs vs. Washington Football Team at 1 p. (CBS)Los Angeles Rams vs. New York Giants at 1 p. (FOX)Los Angeles Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens at 1 p. (CBS)Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers at 1 p. (FOX)Arizona Cardinals vs. Cleveland Browns at 4:05 p. (FOX) Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots at 4:25 p. (CBS)Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos at 4:25 p. (CBS)Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:20 p. (NBC)Monday (10/18)Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans at 8:15 p. (ESPN)Cable and Over-the-Air OptionsOne of the easiest ways to ensure complete coverage of national and in-market games is to sign up for a cable plan. Note that if you go this route, you will likely pay more than any video streaming service and will lose out on other conveniences, such as better-designed interfaces and support for more platforms. NFL Sunday Ticket is one of the few legitimate options for watching out-of-market regular-season games live. This service is available as a cable add-on or online for people who are unable to get DirecTV reaming cable over the air via an antenna is another option for watching broadcast channels (such as CBS, FOX, and NBC), though your success may vary depending on your location and the strength of the signal in your home. You also need to buy and set up an antenna for this method. Sling TV is the only video streaming service on this list that integrates with over-the-air Ways to Stream NFL GamesPaid services are not your only option to stream NFL games. For instance, you can watch in-market NFL games on Sunday afternoon as well as prime-time Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, and Thursday Night Football broadcasts via the free Yahoo Sports app or NFL app for iOS and Android. Note that neither app supports casting of any kind and that some games require you to stream them over a cellular connection. The streaming quality of both apps was excellent in testing over Wi-Fi. The Yahoo Sports App even includes a co-watching feature that allows you to watch the game with up to three nsider setting up a digital antenna to watch games on the major broadcast channels. These devices are relatively cheap and don’t require a monthly subscription. Locast used to be a cheap way to get local channels over an internet connection, but that the service has since shut Best Sports Streaming ServicesIf you are looking to watch sports other than the NFL, check out our roundup of the best sports streaming services. We also have roundups of the best MLB streaming services, best NBA streaming services, and best NHL streaming services. We cover everything you need to know about RSNs in these roundups, since many MLB, NBA, and NHL games don’t air as national broadcasts.
Our 11 Top Picks
Starts at $64. 99 per monthHulu + Live TV features all the channels you need to watch NFL games, including CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC. Hulu recently added the NFL Network channel and now offers a Sports add-on ($10 per month) that includes NFL RedZone. Other sports channels on the service include BTN and the Golf Channel. You can also subscribe to the Español add-on ($4. 99 per month) to get international sports coverage from ESPN + Live TV is an excellent choice for general audiences with coverage of most popular news and entertainment channels. A subscription unlocks Hulu’s expansive library of on-demand shows and movies, can improve Hulu’s technical capabilities with the Enhanced Cloud DVR (which increases the available DVR storage to 200 hours from 50) or the Unlimited Screens (which increases the number of simultaneous streams from two to an unlimited number in your home and up to three outside of it) add-ons. Each option costs $9. 99 per month on its own, but you can get both for $14. 98 per month. Note that while Hulu’s on-demand content is available in 1080p, a few on-demand originals support 4K streaming on select platforms. The service supports 1080p/60fps live streams on some platforms, too.
Starts at $4. 99 per monthIf you subscribe to Peacock’s Premium or Premium Plus plans, you can watch every Sunday Night Football game this season and the Super Bowl. Anyone can watch the season’s first game between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers for free, from its NFL coverage, Peacock has streaming rights to Indy Car events, Premier League soccer matches, PGA Tour golf, and WWE content (including PPV events). Peacock is also home to a substantial library of popular on-demand shows and movies, including some original titles. You won’t get any additional sports coverage by paying for the $9. 99-per-month Premium Plus tier, but you will gain the ability to download titles for offline viewing on mobile platforms and to watch most on-demand content without ads.
Starts at $64. 99 per monthFor NFL coverage, YouTube TV offers CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC in its lineup. It even includes the NFL Network, which is great for die-hard NFL fans. If you want the NFL RedZone channel, you can pay for YouTube’s $10. 99-per-month Sports Plus for other national sports, the service includes the Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, Olympic Channel, and Tennis Channel. You can pay an extra monthly fee for the FOX Soccer Plus ($15 per month) and NBA League Pass ($39. 99 per month) add-ons. YouTube TV also includes top news and entertainment YouTube TV, you get unlimited cloud DVR storage (recordings are kept for up to nine months), up to three simultaneous device streams, and support for six user accounts. All those features are useful for when family members want to watch different programs that are set to air at the same time. YouTube TV is notably one of the few services that streams live channels in 1080p. A new 4K Plus add-on lets you stream select live channels in 4K, watch DVR recordings offline, and stream from an unlimited number of devices on your home network.
YouTube TV Review
$8. 99 per monthAlthough Amazon Prime Video will hold exclusive rights to Thursday Night NFL games in 2022, it shares those rights with NFL Network and FOX this season, which means it’s not essential for NFL said, Prime Video has added some other live sports to its lineup most notably WNBA games and select MLB games. You can also pay for sports-focused channels for the platform, including Paramount+ (and its Sunday NFL coverage), NBA League Pass, and PGA Tour Live. Amazon also produces the All or Nothing series, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at various professional sports teams. Amazon Prime’s on-demand library of TV shows and movies (and especially its originals) make it an excellent choice for your on-demand streaming needs as Prime works on the web, mobile platforms (Android and iOS), media streaming devices (Apple TV 4K, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), game consoles (PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox), and smart TVs. With Prime Video, you can stream content on up to three devices at the same time.
Amazon Prime Video Review
Starts at $64. 99 per monthFuboTV is an excellent option for NFL fans; it includes CBS, FOX, NBC, and the NFL Network. FuboTV recently added Disney channels (including ESPN) to its channel lineups, which considerably improves the service’s NFL coverage. You can also get the NFL RedZone channel via the $10. 99 per month Sports Plus with NFL RedZone excels in its other sports coverage though with the Golf Channel, MLB Network, and NBA TV. International sports channels on the service include beIN Sports, GOL TV, and TUDN. FuboTV’s news and entertainment offerings are strong especially with the addition of Viacom and Discovery channels, even though it no longer has A&E or Turner of fuboTV’s plans let you record up to 250 hours of DVR content, which it keeps forever. The Cloud DVR 1000 add-on ($16. 99 per month) increase that limit to 1, 000 hours. All plans also let you stream on three screens at once, but the Unlimited Screens add-on ($9. 99 per month) increases that limit to 10 devices on your home network and two off of it. Other cool features of fuboTV are Lookback, which lets you watch select sports programs up to 72 hours after they aired, and Startover, which enables you to restart certain live events from the is available on the web or via dedicated apps for Android, iOS, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Roku devices. Note that while most of fuboTV’s live streams are limited to 720p, it does air select live programming in 4K, including NFL games. Most of its on-demand content can be streamed in atleast 1080p.
$6. 99 per monthESPN+’s value to NFL fans is that it includes simulcasts of ESPN2’s Monday Night Football broadcast with Eli and Peyton Manning this season. Otherwise, ESPN+ has a few NFL commentary shows in its lineup including NFL PrimeTime and The Fantasy Show. As for other live sports, ESPN+ includes tons of out-of-market NHL games, select MLB games; national and international soccer league matches, and various NCAA events. UFC fans must also go through ESPN+ for PPV supports up to three simultaneous streams per account, but it does not offer any DVR storage. The last time we tested the service, ESPN+’s live streams appeared to hit the 1080/60fps mark, which is great for sports fans. A higher streaming resolution means a more detailed picture, while higher refresh rates help smooth out fast action. ESPN+ is available on the web, but you can download a dedicated app on mobile platforms (Android and iOS), media streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), and gaming consoles (PlayStation 4 and 5; Xbox One, Series S|X; and Oculus Go).
$99. 99 per seasonNFL Game Pass gives NFL fans access to replays of every NFL game (including playoff matchups and the Super Bowl) each season regardless of their location. No other streaming service offers that capability, which makes NFL Game Pass one of the best options for people who do not live in their favorite team’s local market. Although some football fans might not like the prospect of watching games after they air, game replays are typically available shortly after the live broadcast concludes. The service also includes live audio feeds of games and in-market preseason Game Pass now supports streams of up to 1080p/60fps depending on the broadcast, but it no longer offers some of the genuinely useful playback features that it previously did. The condensed replay mode is still available, but the options to watch multiple replays simultaneously and listen to audio replays are both gone. The service should also let subscribers download game replays on mobile devices for offline viewing. You can watch NFL Game pass on the web; mobile platforms (via the NFL app for Android and iOS); media streaming devices (Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku); and up to the latest generation of game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox).
NFL Game Pass Review
Starts at $4. 99 per monthParamount+ enables Premium subscribers ($9. 99 per month) to stream a live feed of local CBS broadcast channels, which means you can watch live NFL games. You can also watch on-demand episodes of NFL Slimetime. Other sports on this service include the NCAA March Madness tournament, select PGA Tour events, and lots of national and international soccer (Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Concacaf, Liga Profesional de Fútbol, National Women’s Soccer League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Europa Conference League). Paramount+ includes access to a decent library of on-demand network TV shows and original too, such as The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek: Strange New addition to watching Paramount+ on the web, you can download apps for mobile platforms (Android and iOS), media streaming devices (Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), gaming consoles (Xbox and PlayStation 4), and smart TVs (LG, Samsung, and Vizio). The service supports up to three simultaneous streams per account on all plans, but the ability to download titles for offline viewing and access 4K content is restricted to the more expensive ad-free plan.
Starts at $35 per monthSling TV splits its sports coverage across its Orange and Blue plan, with ESPN channels on the former, and NFL Network and NBC on the latter. You have to pay for the combined Orange + Blue Package ($50 per month) to get its complete NFL coverage. NBC and FOX affiliates are available in select markets for those with at least a Sling Blue plan, but if you want to watch games that air on ABC, you need to set up an antenna, which partially defeats the purpose of getting a video streaming service in the first place. Sling also lacks CBS affiliate fans may want to subscribe to the Sports Extra add-on ($10 per month) to get beIN Sports, ESPN U, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL TV doesn’t allow you to stream on multiple devices simultaneously for Orange channels, but you can stream on up to three devices at the same time for Blue channels. Sling includes 50 hours of DVR storage for free, with an optional upgrade to 200 hours for an extra $5 per month. You can watch Sling TV on your mobile phone, streaming device, Xbox console (but not PlayStation), and the web.
Sling TV Review
Starts at $69. 99 per monthNFL fans should consider the Entertainment plan from DirecTV Stream (previously AT&T TV), which includes CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC. You need to pay more (the Choice Plan is $84. 99 per month) to get the Golf Channel and RSNs, however. Another disadvantage of DirecTV Stream is that no package includes the NFL Network V Stream offers 20 hours of DVR storage and keeps recordings for up to 90 days. Most other services let users save more hours of programming and for longer. Sports fans will appreciate DirecTV Stream’s Lookback and Rewind capabilities, which respectively allow you to watch previously aired content (up to 72 hours in the past) and restart live streams from the beginning of the broadcast. Note, however, that these features are only available for select channels and V Stream supports an impressive 20 simultaneous streams per account on your home network and up to three outside it. The service is available on media streaming devices, mobile platforms, and the web, but not for gaming consoles.
DirecTV Stream Review
$73. 49 per month (with total subscription length dependent on remaining months in the regular season)NFL Sunday Ticket is the only service we’ve reviewed that enables fans to watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on Sunday. It’s the best option for football fans who don’t live in their favorite team’s broadcast market. However, NFL Sunday Ticket is very expensive and does not include live Thursday night, in-market Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, or Monday night football games. We tested out the non-cable version of the service, but know that this package is only available to select customers (you can check your eligibility on the site) like NFL Sunday Ticket’s customizable closed captions and its innovative playback modes that let you watch multiple games at once. However, we would also like to see it add support for more than one simultaneous stream and DVR recordings. In testing, we did not experience any streaming performance issues even when streaming several games on the same device at the same time. You can download the NFL Sunday Ticket app on mobile platforms (Android, Fire OS, iOS), media streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku), game consoles (PlayStation and Xbox), and select smart TVs.
NFL Sunday Ticket Review
The Best NFL Streaming Service Deals This Week*
*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains
— $13. 99 per Month With Hulu and ESPN+ Bundle
— 1-Month Free Trial
— First Month for $10 on Blue or Orange Plan
— 7-Day Free Trial
Compare SpecsThe Best NFL Streaming Services for 2021
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Ben Moore is an Analyst for PCMag’s software team covering video streaming services, security software, GNU/Linux, and the occasional PC game. He has previously written for Laptop Mag,, and Tom’s Guide. Ben holds a degree in New Media and Digital Design from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, the student-run newspaper.
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How to Watch NFL Games Without Cable [2021 Update] – Frugal Rules
No sport is more popular than professional football, and most people think that a cable subscription is the only way to watch their favorite team.
Thanks to live TV streaming services, that is not the case. There are numerous ways to watch NFL games without cable or a satellite TV provider.
We’ve tested the top video streaming services to find the best ways to catch all the action this season.
What Channels Are NFL Games On? Best Choices to Watch NFL Games OnlinefuboTVSling TVVidgoHulu with Live TVYouTube TVParamount+Amazon Prime VideoHow Can I Watch NFL Games for Free? How Can I Watch Out-of-Market Games? How to Watch Sunday Night Football Without CableHow to Watch Monday Night Football Without CableHow to Watch Thursday Night Football Without CableHow Much Does the NFL Sunday Ticket Cost? Summary
What Channels Are NFL Games On?
Before choosing a service to stream NFL games, it is essential to know what networks you need.
Here are the channels you must have to get live football:
CBS – Shows Sunday games (AFC games)
ESPN – Shows Monday Night Football
Fox – Shows Sunday games (NFC games)
NBC – Shows Sunday and Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football is a bit more complicated since some shows air exclusively on the NFL Network. We will cover how to watch those games later in this review.
Best Choices to Watch NFL Games Online
There are various ways to watch live NFL games. Here are the top live streaming services to watch football this fall.
FuboTV is our top choice to watch NFL games. The service carries the entire ESPN family of channels, the NFL Network, and all of your local networks.
The base package, Family, costs $64. 99 per month and includes roughly 110 channels. This makes the streaming service a terrific choice to watch all nationally televised games as well as local games.
*Related: Do you want all the in-studio commentary without a contract? Read our guide on how to watch NFL Network without cable to learn the best options.
Other sports channels you can expect to get with the base package include:
If you enjoy niche sports, fuboTV offers various add-on packages to get access to sports like biking and tennis. You can add NFL RedZone with its Sports Plus add-on for an additional $10. 99 per month.
FuboTV has a cloud-based DVR that allows you to record 250 hours of content.
Read our review of the fuboTV channels to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN family of channels, NFL Network, FS1, FS2, BTN, Golf Channel, Olympics Channel, Golf Channel, NBCSN, TVG, beIN Sports, CBS Sports Network, and all local networks.
Best for: Top choice for NFL fans
Sling TV is the cheapest option to get live NFL games. The platform has two base packages, including Orange and Blue. Each plan costs $35 per month.
However, with the affordability comes a bit of confusion for some people. Orange includes ESPN and ESPN2, and Blue offers the NFL Network.
You must combine the two, known as Sling Orange + Blue, to get both ESPN and NFL Network. The combined package costs $50 per month and offers roughly 50 channels.
One other challenge is that local networks are only available in Blue, albeit on a limited basis.
The channels included are NBC and Fox. If you pair this with an over-the-antenna, you will have access to all of your local networks.
*Missing out on your local channels? Read our guide on how to watch FOX without a cable provider here to learn how to get your local affiliate.
If you get Orange + Blue, you’ll also receive:
You can purchase the Sports Add-on for an extra $11 per month to get NFL RedZone and ten other sports channels.
Sling has a cloud-DVR setup with 50 included hours. You can upgrade to 200 hours for $5 per month.
Read our Sling TV packages guide to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, NFL Network, Stadium, Fox, and NBC in some locations.
Best for: Fans who want flexibility
Vidgo is a newer player in the cable replacement space and a good option to watch the NFL online. The service is cheaper than options like fuboTV or Hulu Live and costs $55 a month.
Vidgo carries the entire ESPN family of channels and NFL Network. Unfortunately, it only offers ABC and Fox for local channels, so you will need an antenna to get CBS.
Other sports channels Vidgo carries include:
The Longhorn Network
This makes Vidgo the only streaming service to offer both NFL Network and NFL RedZone in its base package.
*Related: Do you want to break free of cable but overwhelmed at where to start? Sign up for our course to learn the steps you need to cut the cord and save $100+ per month. *
It’s important to note that there is currently no DVR with Vidgo. This might be a deal-breaker for fans who want to record games.
The platform also doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can try the service for $10 for the first month.
Read our Vidgo TV review here to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN family of networks, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, ACCN, BTN, The Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, ABC, and Fox.
Best for: Fans who want NFL Network and NFL RedZone
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is an excellent choice to watch the NFL online. The service offers one base package, which costs $64. 99 per month for roughly 85 channels.
Hulu Live carries each of the ESPN channels, the NFL Network, and all of your local channels. This makes it a good choice to access your local TV market and other live sports.
Other sports channels Hulu Live offers include:
You can add NFL RedZone by purchasing its Sports Add-on for $9. 99, which includes five other channels.
Despite the channel offerings, Hulu Live is light on simultaneous streams and cloud DVR. You only receive two simultaneous streams and 50 hours of cloud DVR.
While you can upgrade both, it’s easy to quickly bring the price up to $90 per month. This makes fuboTV or YouTube TV better choices if either are a need for you.
Read our Hulu Live channels list to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN family of channels, NFL Network, FS1, FS2, ACCN, BTN, CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, and SECN.
Best for: College football fans
YouTube TV is a close second to fuboTV to watch NFL games without cable. The streaming platform offers roughly 90 channels for $64. 99 per month.
This gets you the full family of ESPN channels, the NFL Network, and all local networks.
Additional sports channels include:
You can add NFL RedZone as a part of its Sports Plus add-on for $10. 99 per month. This includes six other channels.
If you’re an NBA or MLB fan, the service also carries those respective networks.
*Related: Are you a basketball fan, but want to ditch your expensive contract? Read our guide on the best ways to stream NBA games and save big bucks.
Another awesome feature YouTube TV offers is an unlimited capacity DVR. However, all recordings are only housed for nine months. This could be a deterrent for some fans.
Read our YouTube TV review to learn more about this streaming service.
Sports channels included: Entire ESPN family of channels, NFL Network, FS1, FS2, ACCN, BTN, CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, NBCSN, Olympics Channel, SECN, and all local channels.
Best for: NBA and MLB fans
Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All-Access) is a fantastic option for AFC fans.
The on-demand streaming service provides access to your local CBS affiliate if you upgrade to their premium add-free package.
As you can see below, the price is pretty affordable.
The app gives access to over 30, 000 TV shows and 2, 500 movies. If you upgrade to the ad-free option, you can watch anything on your local CBS channel, including football games.
If your favorite NFL team is in the AFC, this service might be the ideal choice for you.
However, you won’t get other games with this platform. You can pair it with an antenna or a service like Sling to catch more action.
Best for: AFC fans
Amazon Prime Video
The NFL Network airs all Thursday Night Football games, but most of them are also simulcast on Fox and Amazon Prime Video.
If you don’t want to use a higher-cost streaming service, this is a good way to get most of the Thursday Night action since they simulcast all but three games.
Amazon Prime costs $119 per year. Alternately, you can sign up for the standalone video service for $8. 99 a month.
You won’t get other games, but it is a good choice if you want to keep your costs somewhat low.
Best for: Amazon Prime members
How Can I Watch NFL Games for Free?
An over-the-air antenna is the best way to watch NFL games without cable. Outside of an affordable one-time cost, you can watch games on all your local networks free for life.
You can watch the following with an antenna:
In-market Sunday afternoon games
Sunday Night Football
Thursday Night Football that’s simulcast on Fox
Just peruse the best antennas on Amazon to find one that works for you. Top antennas include 1byone, Mohu, Wsky, and Antennas Direct.
An antenna is the cheapest way to watch pre-season games, regular season games, and the playoffs.
How Can I Watch Out-of-Market Games?
Non-regional action plagues many fans because they cannot watch their favorite teams from across the country.
You may think that NFL Sunday Ticket is the only way to watch out-of-market Sunday games. It’s not.
The NFL Game Pass is a good solution. Live coverage is not offered during the regular season, though it is during the pre-season.
You get access to all 256 regular season games without commercials. Game availability is usually delayed by one day, though sometimes it will air later on the same day.
After a seven-day free trial, the service costs $99 per year and includes games dating back to 2009, DVR functionality, coaches’ film, and the entire NFL Films library.
How to Watch Sunday Night Football Without Cable
All Sunday Night Football games air on NBC. You need either an antenna to get access to local channels or a streaming service that offers NBC.
An antenna is the most affordable option. But, if you want to watch the NFL online, fuboTV guarantees the ability to watch the action. Sling Blue may also be a choice depending on where you live.
How to Watch Monday Night Football Without Cable
Monday Night Football is a must-have for most football fans. The game airs on ESPN, so you will need a streaming service that carries the channel to stream games.
All of the live TV streaming providers on this list carry ESPN, so it comes down to which platform you prefer.
How to Watch Thursday Night Football Without Cable
Thursday Night Football airs exclusively on the NFL Network, though they simulcast most of the games on NBC or Amazon Prime.
If you don’t mind missing a couple of games, you will be fine with a digital antenna or Amazon.
However, if you don’t want to miss a Thursday night game, you will need a streaming service that offers the NFL Network.
How Much Does the NFL Sunday Ticket Cost?
It may seem odd to see NFL Sunday Ticket in a list of ways to stream NFL games without cable. However, it is a real option for some people.
If you live in an area where DirecTV is not available and you’re a student, you can get the service NFL Sunday Ticket U. This costs $73. 49 a month and lets you watch every out-of-market Sunday game live.
The price is a significant drawback, with it costing nearly $300 for the four months of the season. If you can live without the NFL live stream, there are better options.
It used to be that the only way you could watch football was with a cable contract. That is no longer the case. Most streaming platforms carry ESPN and the NFL Network.
While not all providers offer local networks, you can get those with an antenna for a one-time cost. The best part is no sports streaming services require a contract, so you can cancel at any time.
If you want to watch live NFL games without paying $200+ per month, you can do it and pocket the savings for other needs.
Has the thought of losing the ability to watch sports the way you like kept you from cutting the cord? What other channels do you feel like you can’t live without?
How to Stream NFL Games Without Cable – Consumer Reports
Football fans who have decided to cut the cable cord have plenty of options for streaming NFL action this season. With the right streaming services, you can watch Sunday afternoon games on CBS and Fox, “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, and “Monday Night Football” on ESPN.
“Thursday Night Football” is spread across Fox, Amazon Prime/Twitch, and the NFL Network. (In September, the games are broadcast only on NFL Network; the Fox and Prime Video coverage starts in October. )
Additionally, some games will be available on new streaming services, such as Peacock from NBCUniversal and Paramount+ from ViacomCBS.
If you’re using a cable-replacement streaming service, you may already have access to a decent number of games. However, live local channels aren’t available on all cable-replacement streaming services in all markets. You’ll need these channels to watch games in your area, so review the channel lineups before subscribing to a service such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, or YouTube TV.
Here are just a couple more notes before we list all your streaming options.
First, Verizon no longer has an exclusive deal to stream games to smartphones and tablets, so you’ll be able to catch a good number of games regardless of your cellular provider. (Read about the NFL Mobile app, below. )
Second, Fox Sports plans to show “Thursday Night Football” games in 4K HDR, or high dynamic range, as it did last year. (The games are actually produced in 1080p; Fox then upconverts them for viewers with 4K HDR TVs. )
Games in 4K HDR will be available through the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps on Apple TV 4K and select Roku devices, plus FuboTV and YouTube TV streaming packages that carry the channel. Additionally, some viewers can get 4K service from pay-TV providers such as Altice/Optimum, Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV, and Verizon FiOS.
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Amazon Prime members can watch 11 “Thursday Night Football” games this season. The games will be simulcast on Fox and the NFL Network, and you can also see them on Amazon’s Twitch channel. (Starting in 2022, Amazon Prime will become the exclusive home for “NFL Thursday Night Football”; the games won’t be available on Fox and the NFL Network. )
The agreement, which covers 15 games next year, is part of a long-term deal that runs through 2032. Each game will also be televised free in the participating teams’ home markets. Amazon will also air one preseason game per year.
We expect that, like last year, Amazon will get one or two exclusive late-season games, and will show a wild-card playoff game that’s also on other networks.
Sign up here: Amazon Prime Video
AT&T is spinning off the company’s TV and video businesses, including DirecTV and AT&T TV, into a company called New DirecTV.
AT&T TV plans start at $70 per month for a package with about 65 channels. You can watch NFL games on all four broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC—in most markets, plus ESPN. The only games you won’t get are the exclusive “Thursday Night Football” games on NFL Network.
There’s no longer an option, even with pricier plans, to get the NFL Network, NFL Red Zone, or NFL Sunday Ticket. However, AT&T TV subscribers can get if they are unable to get satellite where they live. With this service, you can stream live, out-of-market NFL regular season games every Sunday.
Meanwhile, AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV will soon be folded into a single brand called DirecTV Stream.
Sign up here: AT&T TV
CBS All Access has morphed into Paramount+ (see below).
NFL Sunday Ticket is the most comprehensive NFL package you can get, offering every Sunday afternoon out-of-market game. (It doesn’t include games shown on your local channels. ) DirecTV has the exclusive rights to the package this year, so you have to be a DirecTV subscriber.
As we noted above, parent company AT&T lets people who can’t use a satellite dish for DirecTV’s regular service watch the football package through a streaming service. That includes lots of people living in apartments or townhouses, college students, and people in single-family homes where an obstruction prevents satellite TV reception.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can get for $294 a season. A step-up Max plan costs an additional $100 and adds NFL Red Zone and DirecTV Fantasy Zone. You can also add NFL Game Pass, which streams every regular season game after it airs, for an additional $100.
College students can get U, which includes everything in the TV Max plan, for just $100. Game Pass can be added for another $100.
You can’t get any of these packages with AT&T TV, which is the new name for the DirecTV Now cable-style streaming service (described above).
A lot will change down the road, because DirecTV’s deal for the NFL Sunday Ticket package is set to expire at the end of the 2022 season. There are reports that several companies, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, and YouTube, are interested in acquiring the rights.
Sign up here:
The sports-centric FuboTV, one of the few places to watch NFL games in 4K with HDR (from Fox), costs $65 a month. With it, you get games on CBS, Fox, and NBC in many markets.
Thanks to a long-awaited deal with ESPN, FuboTV also gives you access to “Monday Night Football, ” plus the NFL Network to stream “Thursday Night Football” games. (Some of those are also available on Amazon and Fox. )
NFL RedZone, with game highlights and replays from every Sunday game, can be added as part of FuboTV’s $11-per-month Sports Plus add-on pack.
Sign up here: FuboTV
Priced at $65 per month, Hulu’s live TV service, called Hulu + Live TV, provides access to ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC local broadcasts in many markets.
You can also get CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports. But the big news for 2021 is that Hulu reached a deal for the NFL Network to be available on Hulu + Live TV. That’s important to sports fans, because the NFL Network has eight exclusive “Thursday Night Football” games that aren’t available on Amazon or Fox.
For an additional $10 per month, you can get a sports add-on pack that includes NFL RedZone, which includes 7 hours of “Sunday Night Football” action every Sunday afternoon, all season long.
Sign up here: Hulu + Live TV
If you subscribe to a pay-TV service, you may be able to watch football when you’re on the go by using a network’s mobile app. The following apps all require authentication, meaning that you need to be a cable or satellite subscriber.
• CBS Sports: In addition to those who get Paramount+, the network is letting “authenticated” CBS viewers—meaning those who get CBS through a pay-TV service—stream games via the CBS Sports app, and online at
• Fox Sports: The Fox TV Everywhere app offers live coverage of local-market games and regional sports networks. You can also access the games through most cable-style streaming services, such as FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV. You can watch NFL games via on your laptop or tablet and some streaming devices—including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku. You get access only to the channels in your TV lineup.
• NBC Sports: NBC will stream every 2021 “Sunday Night Football” game live on and the NBC Sports App. Both require authentication that you have a cable, satellite, or live streaming TV subscription, and both will let you watch football on an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, a computer, a Samsung smart TV, many streaming players, and Xbox game consoles. The games will also be available on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service (see below).
• WatchESPN: ESPN’s mobile app delivers “Monday Night Football, ” along with shows such as “SportsCenter, ” to your computer, smartphone, tablet, Xbox game console, and streaming players, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku. The newer $5-a-month ESPN+ streaming service doesn’t have live “Monday Night Football” games, though they are coming in 2023. ESPN+ will have one exclusive game (a regular season international game) starting in the 2022 season.
NFL Game Pass lets you watch pretty much any game you want, but with one big caveat—you’ll have to wait until the game’s original broadcast is over.
Priced at $99 for the season (or four $30 monthly payments), the streaming service lets you watch replays of all the regular season games, plus games from prior seasons. It doesn’t include the Super Bowl.
Sign up here: NFL Game Pass
Formerly a perk only for Verizon wireless customers, the NFL mobile app now lets you stream NFL games, regardless of what carrier you use.
Access is free, and the same programming is also available on Verizon’s Yahoo Sports App for mobile devices. It’s limited to live local-market games and prime-time national games. It includes playoff games and the Super Bowl nationwide. But you can’t watch Sunday afternoon out-of-market games, which are controlled by DirecTV.
Sign up here: NFL mobile App
If you like watching Sunday afternoon football games, you’ll want access to CBS. Cord-cutters can use the company’s new Paramount+ streaming service, which replaced CBS All Access. It offers access to the entire CBS NFL football season, though this year the Super Bowl shifts to NBC.
You’ll also get an AFC Wild Card showdown, AFC divisional playoff contests, and the AFC Championship game. Also included are all the NFL-related pregame shows, including “The NFL on CBS, ” plus “Inside the NFL, ” which is moving from Showtime to Paramount+.
The games will be available on both the $5 Paramount+ ad-supported service and the $10-a-month ad-free version. You can also stream games on mobile devices, something that had previously been exclusive to Verizon cellular customers.
A new deal, signed a few months ago, will bring an expanded schedule of games, including some with NFC teams, to both CBS and Paramount+ starting with kicks in 2023.
Sign up here: Paramount+
Peacock, a streaming service from NBCUniversal, lets you watch Sunday night NFL games broadcast on NBC, provided you opt for one of the paid services—live football isn’t available on the free version.
The ad-supported Peacock Premium service costs $5 a month, while the $10 a month ad-free Premium Plus tier removes the ads, but only on non-live programming.
Sign up here: Peacock TV
Sling TV is something of a mixed bag for football fans. Though it includes NBC, Fox, the NFL Network, and ESPN, it’s missing ABC and CBS. Also, you’ll need to subscribe to both the Blue (NBC, Fox, NFL Network) and Orange (ESPN) plans to get all the games. Each plan costs $35 a month, but you can get a combined plan for $50 a month.
Because Sling TV lacks CBS, you won’t get the AFC games that the network shows on Sunday afternoons. One bit of good news is that Sling has restored access to the NFL Network, and you can add NFL Red Zone as part of an $11-a-month Sports Extra add-on.
Sign up here: Sling TV
After a price hike, YouTube TV now offers 70-plus channels for $65 per month. It includes all the major broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC—plus the ESPN networks and Fox Sports. Last year YouTube TV added the NFL Network, plus the ability to add NFL RedZone in the Sports Plus tier for an additional $11 per month.
Also, YouTube TV now has a 4K HDR option, which costs an additional $10 a month for the first year. The company recently announced that it would have some Thursday night games in 4K this year.
Sign up here: YouTube TV
Whichever service you choose, you’ll enjoy the game more if you use a trusty device to stream it to your TV. Here are a few of the best-rated streaming media devices from CR’s ratings, listed in alphabetical order.
James K. Willcox
I’ve been a tech journalist for more years than I’m willing to admit. My specialties at CR are TVs, streaming media, audio, and TV and broadband services. In my spare time I build and play guitars and bass, ride motorcycles, and like to sail—hobbies I’ve not yet figured out how to safely combine.
Frequently Asked Questions about sportsdevil nfl games
What app lets you watch all NFL games?
Hulu + Live TV features all the channels you need to watch NFL games, including CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC. Hulu recently added the NFL Network channel and now offers a Sports add-on ($10 per month) that includes NFL RedZone.
What is the cheapest way to watch NFL games?
Sling TV. Sling TV is the cheapest option to get live NFL games. The platform has two base packages, including Orange and Blue. Each plan costs $35 per month.Sep 1, 2021
What is the best app for streaming NFL games?
Click here to skip to some of our top picks.Network Apps. … NFL Game Pass. … NFL Mobile App. … Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) … Peacock. … Sling TV. … YouTube TV. … Product Picks. Whichever service you choose, you’ll enjoy the game more if you use a trusty device to stream it to your TV.More items…•Sep 22, 2021