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There are more options than ever for streaming National Football League games to your TV, laptop, or phone. And we’re going to outline them for you.
With the right streaming services, you can watch Sunday afternoon matches on CBS and Fox, Sunday Night Football on NBC, Monday Night Football on ESPN, and Thursday Night Football, which this year is spread out across Fox, Amazon Prime/Twitch, and the NFL Network.
And let’s not forget Thanksgiving Day games, Saturday games scheduled for later in the season, and the playoffs leading up to Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020.
You may not have to do much to watch these games. If you’re using one of the new cable-replacement streaming services, you may already have access to a decent number of games.
Before we profile the various options, there are a few things to note. Some 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 services like AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) or YouTube TV.
And because Verizon no longer has an exclusive deal to stream games to smartphones and tablets, you’ll be able to catch a good number of games regardless of your cellular provider. (Read about the NFL Mobile app, below.)
Here’s the list of all the game-watching options. Sign up by kickoff and you can shift your attention where it really matters: Whether to go with the chicken wings or the nachos at halftime.
As it has for the past two years, Amazon is rewarding its Prime members with a slate of NFL games, namely 11 Thursday Night Football games that are being broadcast by Fox. The first game available on Prime is on Sept. 26.
The games will also be available free on Amazon’s Twitch streaming video platform. It’s a nice option for cord-cutters who don’t have access to the NFL Network.
CBS All Access
If you like football and NFL games on CBS, the company’s $6-a-month CBS All Access streaming service is really the way to go. It offers access to the entire CBS NFL football season, though not the Super Bowl this year.
Among the 105 scheduled NFL games on CBS are nine doubleheader Sundays, a traditional Thanksgiving Day game, a game played in London, the AFC Playoffs, and the AFC Championship Game.
Thanks to a new deal that runs through 2022, you can now stream games on mobile devices, something that had previously been exclusive to Verizon cellular customers.
CBS All Access is available on streaming players, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku; smart TVs; and game consoles, such as Xbox One and PlayStation. There’s also a $10-a-month commercial-free plan, but live TV, including NFL games, still comes with advertisements.
DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket via Streaming
NFL Sunday Ticket, which costs $294, is still 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, so you have to be a DirecTV subscriber.
However, as it has in the past, parent company AT&T lets people who can’t get DirecTV’s regular service—because they can’t install a satellite dish—watch the football package via a streaming service. That includes anyone living in an apartment, condominium, or townhouse; college students; and even private homes where an obstruction prevents satellite TV reception.
There are three streaming plans for NFL Sunday Ticket. NFLSundayTicket.TV To Go lets you stream live, out-of-market NFL regular season games every Sunday, on a variety of compatible devices, for four $73.50 payments.
NFLSundayTicket.TV Max (four $99 payments) has everything in the To Go plan, plus NFL Red Zone and DirecTV Fantasy Zone. You can also add NFL Game Pass, which streams live preseason games and prerecorded regular season games, for an additional $50.
College students can get NFLSundayTicket.TV U, which includes everything in the TV Max plan, for four $24.99 payments. Game Pass can be added for $50.
Right now you can’t get NFL Sunday Ticket with AT&T TV Now, which is the rebranded DirecTV Now cable-style streaming service, or the new AT&T TV, basically a streaming version of the company’s DirecTV satellite TV service that’s available only in a few markets right now.
AT&T TV Now/DirecTV Now
Parent company AT&T has rebranded DirecTV Now, its cable-style streaming services, as AT&T TV Now. The base package starts at $50 a month, and it lets you watch NFL games on CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC.
Unfortunately, there’s no longer an option, even with pricier plans, to get either the NFL Network or NFL Sunday Ticket. Both had been available to subscribers last year, with some limitations.
AT&T TV Now is available on Amazon Fire TV players and TVs, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku devices and TVs, and some smart TVs, as well as iOS and Android phones and tablets, and computers running the Chrome browser.
The sports-centric FuboTV has made a number of changes in the last year, including a price hike to $55 a month. With it you get games on CBS, Fox, and NBC in many markets, plus NFL Network as part of the 100-channel package.
NFL RedZone, with game highlights and replays from every Sunday game, can be added as part of fuboTV’s $11-a-month Sports Plus add-on pack. The one drawback, however, is that it’s still missing ESPN, so you don’t get Monday Night Football.
Fubo is available on Amazon Fire TVs and devices, Android TVs, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku TVs and players, and Samsung smart TVs, as well as iOS and Android phones and tablets, and computers.
Hulu + Live TV
Priced at $45 a month, Hulu’s newest service, Hulu With Live TV, provides access to ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC local broadcasts in many markets, so you’ll have to check to see what’s available in your area.
You can also get CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports, but the NFL Network and NFL RedZone aren’t available right now. Hulu With Live TV is available on Android and iOS phones and tablets; Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku streaming players; some smart TVs; and Xbox game systems.
Maybe you subscribe to a pay-TV service but want to watch football when you’re on the go. There are a lot of options. Here are a few network apps you should try. They all require authentication, so you need to be a cable or satellite subscriber.
• CBS: In addition to those who get CBS All Access, the network is letting “authenticated” CBS viewers—meaning those who get CBS through a pay TV service—stream games online at CBS.com, and on a number of set-top boxes, smart TVs, and game consoles.
• Fox Sports Go: Just as with other network apps, you’ll need to prove you have a pay-TV subscription to use this Fox TV Everywhere app, which offers live coverage of local-market games. You can watch NFL games on your laptop or tablet and some streaming devices, but not on a phone. And you get access only to the channels in your TV lineup.
• NBC Sports: The app for NBC’s streaming service will let you watch NBC’s Sunday Night Football games through your tablet, computer, Samsung smart TV, streaming player, or Xbox game console.
• WatchESPN: ESPN’s mobile app brings Monday Night Football, 10 ESPN channels, and shows like SportsCenter to your Android TV, streaming devices, and Android and iOS mobile devices. As with the others, you’ll need to prove you have a pay-TV subscription to use the app.
NFL Game Pass
Can’t get free over-the-air TV signals and you’ve cut the cable cord? NFL Game Pass lets you watch pretty much any game you want, but you’ll have to wait until the game’s original broadcast is over.
Priced at $100 for the season (or four $30 payments), the streaming service lets you watch replays of all the regular season games, plus live, out-of-market preseason games and games from prior seasons.
The service is supported on multiple devices, including Android and iOS smartphones and tablets; computers; Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku streaming media players; and Xbox and PlayStation game consoles.
NFL Mobile App
Formerly a perk only for Verizon wireless customers, you can now stream NFL games on your mobile devices, regardless of carrier, by using the NFL Mobile app.
The free streaming, which is also available on Verizon’s Yahoo Sports App for mobile devices, is limited to local-market games and primetime national games, but also includes playoff games and the Super Bowl nationwide. It doesn’t include Sunday afternoon out-of-market games, which are still controlled by DirecTV.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue offers a streaming TV package starting at $50 per month, though you’ll probably want its $55-a-month “Core” package of about 70 channels, because it adds local sports from CBS, Fox, and NBC in markets where available, plus the NFL Network and ESPN and ESPN2.
Subscribers can also add a sports package that includes NFL Red Zone, plus Fox Sports and ESPN Goal Line, for an additional $10 a month. PlayStation Vue is available on PlayStation; streaming players such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku; Android TVs; and Android and iOS phones and tablets.
Sports channels such as ESPN used to be one thing that kept people tied to their traditional cable TV packages—streaming options didn’t exist. Not anymore.
Sling TV’s Orange package, at $25 per month, includes ESPN (and ESPN2 and ESPN3), so you can get Monday Night Football. The $25-a-month Sling Blue package includes the NFL Network games, plus games on Fox and NBC in many markets.
So the best bet is to combine the two for $40 a month, then add NFL Red Zone as part of the Sports Extra pack for an additional $10 a month. Note that Sling still lacks access to the CBS network, so you won’t get AFC games on Sunday afternoons.
Sling TV is available on a wide array of devices, including Mac and PC computers; Android and iOS mobile devices; Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku streaming media devices; some smart TVs; and through Xbox One game systems.
After a price hike, YouTube TV now offers 70-plus channels for $50 a month. It includes all the major broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC—plus the ESPN networks and Fox Sports.
Right now, though, there’s no NFL Network. YouTube TV is available on a number of different devices, including some smart TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku streaming devices, and Android and iOS phones and tablets, but not on Amazon Fire TV players.
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