Are you excited about watching NFL games this season? Yeah, join the club!
The one and maybe only reason you still might be hanging onto your cable TV subscription is to watch NFL games. As households all over the nation are “cutting the cord” to save money, NFL games are some of the last live tv programs that can be streamed without a traditional cable or satellite tv subscription.
That’s all changing as we ramp up for the 2017 NFL season and there are more opportunities than ever to watch your favorite team online. All you need to enjoy some great football action is have an internet connection.
We’ll show you the ways to watch NFL games away from a traditional cable subscription.
Who Plays on What Channel?
NFL television contracts are constantly changing, but your games can be found on the following networks:
Thursday Night Football: CBS, NBC, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video
Sunday AFC Home Teams: CBS
Sunday NFC Home Teams: FOX
Sunday Night Football: NBC
Monday Night Football: ESPN
Most Thursday Night Football games will be simulcast on more than one network. Chances are, you should be able to watch every game with the right package.
Over the Air Antenna
Channels: CBS, FOX, NBC
Cost: $30 – $140 one time
Yeah, you can watch NFL football games just with an antenna and no cable. Grayson has been doing this for years and it works. You can get the games on CBS, Fox, and NBC in clear HD if you are close to a broadcast tower.
There are many great (and sleek) antennas now, but Mohu is known for some of the best. A Sky 60 is probably the best investment and it’s a one-time charge with no recurring fees. You can also check Amazon for a good antenna to try out.
These don’t work for everyone, but it could be a solution for many.
Channels: ESPN, NFL Network, Fox, and NBC
Cost: $20 – $50 per month
Sling TV is the cheapest way you can watch ESPN for only $20 a month to get your Monday Night Football fix with their Sling Orange package. For $25 a month, you can get access to the Sling Blue package that allows you to stream the NFL Network and NBC Sports Network to watch the Thursday Night and Sunday Night Football matches, BUT, you won’t get ESPN.
For $40 a month, you can get the Orange and Blue Package that gives you access to all these sports channels. Regardless of which Sling package you decide on, you can add the $10 Sports Extra package to watch NFL RedZone.
If you currently cannot access your local channels with an HD antenna, Sling might stream your local Fox or NBC affiliate. You will need to provide your zip code to see if you live in an eligible local market.
Channels: CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL Network
Cost: $39.99 – $44.99 per month
Despite its name, you do not need to own a PlayStation gaming device to subscribe to PlayStation Vue. When it comes to streaming NFL games, PlayStation Vue is probably the most complete because you can access your local CBS, Fox, and NBC affiliates in addition to ESPN and the NFL Network. Most streaming platforms do not offer any CBS channel.
For $39.99 a month, you will be able to stream your local channels and ESPN. Upgrading to the Core package for $44.99 will give you access to the NFL Network.
While it’s possible to access all your local channels, your tv market might only offer some channels on demand. If you have Fox on Demand, for example, you won’t be able to livestream your local game.
Hulu with Live TV
Channels: CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN
Cost: $39.99 per month
Hulu became an online streaming giant for its on-demand programming from the various over-the-air and cable channels. Now, they are venturing into the live tv realm with Hulu Live that lets you stream ESPN and potentially your local CBS, Fox, and NBC affiliate. In addition to live tv, you have full access to Hulu’s on-demand catalog.
The only channel missing from Hulu with Live TV is the NFL Network.
Channels: ESPN, NBC, and Select Local Channels
Cost: $35 – $70 per month
DirecTV Now is rather limited in what you will be able to stream. Depending on where you live, you might be able to stream your local broadcast channels if you cannot pick them up with an antenna. For $35 a month, you will be able to stream ESPN and NBC Sports. If your local broadcast channels are available, you will need to upgrade to the “Just Right Package” for $50 a month.
CBS All Access
Channels: Your local CBS affiliate
Cost: $5.99 per month
CBS All Access is the most cost-effective streaming method, but, you will only be able to stream your local CBS station. As most streaming services do not offer CBS, this can be money well spent to watch the Thursday Night Football and AFC Sunday games airing on CBS.
Verizon Wireless NFL Mobile
Channels: All NFL Games
Cost: Included with all Verizon smartphone plans
The only way to stream any NFL game on your mobile device is if you are a Verizon Wireless customer. While all these other streaming plans allow you to stream live tv from a mobile device, they will blackout out the NFL broadcast. If you are Verizon Wireless customer, all you have to do is download the NFL Mobile app and you will be able to watch any game live and view highlights on-demand.
Amazon Prime Video
Channels: 10 Thursday Night Games and Christmas Day
Cost: $99 per year
If you already shop with Amazon Prime, streaming of the 11 NFL games that Amazon will live stream during the 2017-2018 season is already included in your membership. Their streaming schedule begins on Week 4 as the Chicago Bears face the Green Bay Packers and finishes with the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers match on Christmas Day. Amazon will not stream weeks 9 and 12.
In addition to streaming NFL games on Prime Video, you will also have access to Amazon’s digital catalog of movies, tv shows, music, and audiobooks. Plus, you will also enjoy 2-day shipping on your Amazon orders.
NFL Game Pass
Channels: All NFL Games
Cost: $99.99 per year
If you don’t care about watching the game live, you can view the replay on NFL.com with their NFL Game Pass subscription. Replays are available once a game has finished and you can listen to the radio broadcast live. One advantage to using NFL Game Pass is that each game is condensed into 45 minutes of action without pauses and commercial breaks.
In addition to watching every single preseason and regular season game in their entirety, you can also access different camera angles, and even filter a game by play or player. When you’re not playing Monday morning quarterback, you can also view classic content from the NFL Films Archive.
With the right streaming plan, you can truly watch any NFL game in real time. And the best part is that you can do it for a fraction of the cost of your current cable bill. It’s time to call an audible and start saving money ASAP!
I’ve Been Cable Free for 5 Years and Still Watch TV
While in debt, I cut cable and haven’t looked back. It’s easier than you think especially with new services out on the market. One of my favorites is Sling TV, which allows you to watch live TV on the internet. It’s awesome. Check out my Sling TV review.