How To Watch Every NFL Game Without Cable


What You’ll Need

To watch every NFL game without cable, you’ll need a few essential items and services. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need:

  • A high-speed internet connection: Streaming NFL games requires a reliable internet connection with sufficient speed to handle the video stream. Make sure you have a broadband connection with speeds of at least 10 Mbps to ensure smooth streaming without interruptions.
  • A compatible device: You’ll need a device capable of streaming video, such as a smart TV, computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Most streaming services are compatible with multiple devices, so choose one that suits your preferences and budget.
  • A streaming service: There are various streaming services available that offer access to NFL games. Some popular options include NFL Game Pass, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and fuboTV. Research the available streaming services to find one that carries the channels that broadcast NFL games and fits your budget.
  • A subscription or access to the required channels: Certain games are broadcast on national or regional networks. To watch these games, you’ll need access to the corresponding channels. Networks like NBC, CBS, Fox, and ESPN often broadcast NFL games, so ensure that your chosen streaming service includes these channels in their package.
  • A compatible web browser or mobile app: If you plan on streaming NFL games on your computer, make sure you have a compatible web browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari. Alternatively, if you prefer to watch on your mobile device, check if your streaming service has a dedicated app available for iOS or Android.

By having these essentials in place, you’ll be well-prepared to start streaming NFL games without the need for a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription.

Streaming Services That Carry NFL Games

If you’re looking for streaming services that provide access to NFL games, here are some popular options:

  • NFL Game Pass: NFL Game Pass is the official streaming service of the National Football League. It offers live out-of-market preseason games, on-demand replays, and access to an extensive library of past game footage. However, please note that NFL Game Pass does not allow live streaming of regular-season games.
  • YouTube TV: YouTube TV offers live streaming of channels that broadcast NFL games, including NBC, CBS, Fox, and ESPN. With a YouTube TV subscription, you can watch live games as well as access on-demand content and DVR features.
  • Hulu + Live TV: Hulu + Live TV provides access to major networks like NBC, CBS, Fox, and ESPN, allowing you to stream NFL games live. The service also includes Hulu’s on-demand library, giving you additional content to enjoy.
  • Sling TV: Sling TV offers two base packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, with different channel lineups. To access NFL games, you may need to subscribe to the combined Sling Orange + Blue package, as it includes both ESPN and NFL Network. Some games on CBS, NBC, and Fox may only be available in select markets.
  • fuboTV: fuboTV is a sports-focused streaming service that carries major networks like CBS, NBC, Fox, and NFL Network. It offers live streaming of NFL games, as well as access to regional sports networks. fuboTV also includes cloud DVR capabilities.

These are just a few examples of streaming services that carry NFL games. It’s important to research and compare the available options to find the one that best suits your needs, preferences, and budget. Keep in mind that availability and pricing may vary depending on your location, so check with each service to ensure they offer access to the specific channels and games you’re interested in.

National Broadcasters

Several national broadcasters in the United States have the rights to broadcast NFL games. Here are some of the major ones:

  • NBC: NBC is one of the primary broadcasters for NFL games. They broadcast Sunday Night Football, which features some of the most anticipated matchups of the season. You can watch these games through various streaming services that carry NBC, such as YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and fuboTV.
  • CBS: CBS is another major network that broadcasts NFL games. They have the rights to Sunday afternoon games, known as the CBS Sunday Afternoon Package. To watch CBS NFL games without cable, you can consider subscribing to services like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and fuboTV.
  • Fox: Fox is yet another national broadcaster for NFL games. They have the rights to showcase games on Sunday afternoons through their Fox NFL Sunday and Fox NFL Doubleheader slots. You can find Fox NFL games on streaming platforms like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and fuboTV.
  • ESPN: ESPN is a sports network that broadcasts Monday Night Football. This primetime game is highly anticipated each week, and you can watch it through streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and fuboTV, which include ESPN in their channel lineup.
  • NFL Network: The NFL Network is the official television channel of the National Football League. It offers live broadcasts of select Thursday Night Football games throughout the season. Some streaming services, including YouTube TV and fuboTV, provide access to the NFL Network as part of their packages.

These national broadcasters bring you a wide range of NFL games, including prime-time matchups and Sunday afternoon contests. By subscribing to streaming services that carry these networks, you can enjoy the excitement of NFL action without the need for a traditional cable TV subscription.

Regional Broadcasters

In addition to national broadcasters, there are also regional broadcasters that have the rights to air NFL games in specific areas. These regional broadcasters provide coverage for local teams and games. Here are a few examples:

  • Regional Sports Networks (RSNs): In many regions, local cable or satellite providers offer regional sports networks that carry NFL games. These networks, such as FOX Sports, NBC Sports, or CBS Sports Network, focus on local team coverage and provide access to games in their respective markets. Check with your local cable or satellite provider to see if they offer these regional sports networks.
  • Television Networks Affiliated with NFL Teams: Some NFL teams have their own affiliated networks that broadcast their games. For example, the New England Patriots have Patriots All-Access, while the Dallas Cowboys have the Dallas Cowboys Television Network. These networks provide in-depth coverage and access to live games featuring their respective teams.
  • Local Broadcast Stations: Local broadcast stations may have the rights to air NFL games in specific markets. These stations often broadcast games featuring the local team and occasionally nationally televised games. Check your local listings or contact your local broadcast stations to see if they broadcast NFL games in your area.

It’s important to note that regional broadcasters may have limited coverage and may only air games in specific markets. Availability can vary depending on your location. If you’re interested in watching NFL games from a different region, you may need to explore streaming services that offer out-of-market coverage, such as NFL Game Pass or NFL Sunday Ticket (which will be discussed later in this article).

By utilizing regional broadcasters, you can enjoy local team coverage and get a closer look at the NFL action happening in your area.

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket is a popular streaming service that allows fans to watch out-of-market NFL games. It’s a great option for those who want to catch games that are not typically available in their local area. Here are some key points about NFL Sunday Ticket:

  • What is NFL Sunday Ticket: NFL Sunday Ticket is a service offered by DirecTV that allows subscribers to stream live out-of-market NFL games on their devices. It provides access to every Sunday afternoon game, excluding games broadcast on your local CBS or Fox affiliates.
  • Package Options: NFL Sunday Ticket offers various package options to suit different preferences. The base package is available to non-DirecTV customers and allows you to stream games on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The Max package includes additional features like Red Zone Channel and Fantasy Zone, which provide more in-depth coverage.
  • Out-of-Market Coverage: NFL Sunday Ticket is particularly popular among fans who want to follow a team that is outside their local market. It allows them to watch their favorite team’s games from anywhere in the country.
  • Availability: NFL Sunday Ticket is primarily available to customers who cannot receive DirecTV satellite service due to geographical limitations. If you live in an area where DirecTV is not accessible (such as an apartment building or college dormitory), you may be eligible for streaming-only access to NFL Sunday Ticket.
  • Blackout Restrictions: It’s important to note that NFL Sunday Ticket does not cover games that are broadcasted on your local CBS or Fox affiliates. These games are subject to blackout restrictions and are typically available on the respective local networks.

To access NFL Sunday Ticket, you can subscribe directly through DirecTV or sign up for the streaming-only version. This service provides a convenient way for fans to enjoy out-of-market NFL games and stay connected with their favorite teams, regardless of their geographical location.

NFL Game Pass

NFL Game Pass is the official streaming service of the National Football League, providing fans with access to a vast library of NFL content. Here’s what you need to know about NFL Game Pass:

  • Live and On-Demand Games: NFL Game Pass offers live and on-demand streaming of all out-of-market preseason games. However, please note that regular-season games are not available for live streaming due to broadcast restrictions. Nevertheless, you can still watch full replays of all regular-season games shortly after they have aired.
  • Game Archives: With NFL Game Pass, you gain access to an extensive archive of past games. This includes not only regular-season matchups but also playoff games and Super Bowls. It’s a treasure trove for NFL fans who want to relive unforgettable moments or study a team’s performance.
  • Condensed Games and Coaches Film: NFL Game Pass provides condensed versions of games that condense the action into a shorter, more manageable timeframe. This is ideal for fans who want to watch all the key plays without the downtime between them. Additionally, the Coaches Film feature allows viewers to watch games from multiple angles, offering a unique perspective on the action.
  • Exclusive NFL Shows and Documentaries: In addition to live and archived games, NFL Game Pass includes exclusive shows and documentaries. This content provides behind-the-scenes insights, player interviews, classic game rewinds, and more, adding to the overall value of the service.
  • Compatibility and Availability: NFL Game Pass is available on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, computers, and connected TVs. You can access the service via its website or through dedicated apps for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and other supported platforms.

While NFL Game Pass doesn’t offer live streaming of regular-season games, its extensive archive of past games, exclusive shows, and additional features make it a popular choice among die-hard football fans. Whether you want to catch up on missed games, study team performances, or indulge in NFL history, NFL Game Pass provides a comprehensive and immersive experience for football enthusiasts.

Other Streaming Options

In addition to the dedicated NFL streaming services mentioned earlier, there are a few other streaming options that allow you to catch NFL games:

  • ESPN+: ESPN+, a subscription-based streaming service, offers select NFL games, including Monday Night Football, as well as other sports content, original shows, and documentaries. While it may not cover all NFL games, it can be a valuable addition for fans interested in a variety of sports.
  • Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime has partnered with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football games. If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, you can access these games at no additional cost. It’s a convenient option for Prime members who want to enjoy football along with their other Prime benefits.
  • Yahoo Sports App: The Yahoo Sports app provides free live streaming of local and primetime NFL games on mobile devices. It’s a great option for fans who want to watch games on the go without needing a cable or streaming subscription.
  • Local Network Apps: Some local networks that broadcast NFL games may offer their own streaming apps. These apps allow you to watch local games live on your mobile device or smart TV. Check with your local network affiliates to see if they have a streaming app available.
  • Free Over-The-Air Broadcast: It’s worth noting that if you have an antenna, you can still watch NFL games for free over-the-air using your television. Local CBS, NBC, and FOX channels broadcast Sunday afternoon and primetime games, while some Thursday Night Football games air on FOX. This option doesn’t require an internet connection or a streaming service but gives you access to select games in your area.

These additional streaming options provide flexibility and convenience for fans who want to catch NFL games without cable. Each option offers its own advantages, so consider your preferences and access to determine which streaming method fits your needs.

Watch NFL Games on Your Mobile Device

One of the great advantages of modern technology is the ability to watch NFL games on your mobile device, ensuring you never miss a moment of the action. Here’s how you can watch NFL games on your smartphone or tablet:

  • Streaming Services: Most streaming services that carry NFL games, such as YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and fuboTV, have dedicated mobile apps. Download these apps onto your mobile device, sign in with your subscription credentials, and enjoy streaming NFL games wherever you go.
  • Official NFL Apps: The NFL has its own official apps, such as the NFL Mobile app and the NFL app. These apps offer access to live game streams, highlights, news, and more. Some features may require a subscription, depending on your location and service provider.
  • Network Apps: Many networks that broadcast NFL games, like NBC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN, have their own mobile apps. These apps allow you to watch live games and access additional content related to the network’s NFL coverage. Check with the respective network for more information on their mobile app options.
  • NFL Game Pass: The NFL Game Pass mobile app allows you to watch live out-of-market preseason games, as well as full game replays and highlights. You can catch up on games and stay connected to the NFL on the go.
  • Yahoo Sports App: The Yahoo Sports app offers free live streaming of NFL games on mobile devices. You can enjoy local and primetime games without needing a cable or streaming subscription.

With these mobile device options, you can conveniently watch NFL games wherever you are. Whether you’re traveling, at work, or simply prefer the flexibility of watching on your smartphone or tablet, these apps and services provide you with the means to stay connected to the NFL action.

Considerations for Streaming Quality and Bandwidth

When it comes to streaming NFL games, it’s important to consider factors that can affect the quality of your streaming experience. Here are some key considerations for streaming quality and bandwidth:

  • Internet Connection Speed: A fast and stable internet connection is crucial for smooth streaming. Make sure you have a broadband connection with sufficient speed to handle the video stream. Most streaming services recommend a minimum internet speed of 10 Mbps for optimal streaming performance.
  • Device Compatibility: Ensure that your device is compatible with the streaming service or app you are using. Check the system requirements and compatibility details provided by the service to ensure a seamless streaming experience.
  • Streaming Quality Settings: Streaming services typically allow you to adjust the streaming quality based on your internet connection speed and preferences. If you are experiencing buffering issues or your internet speed is limited, consider lowering the streaming quality or selecting an auto-adjustment option to optimize the stream for your connection.
  • Data Usage: Streaming video can consume a significant amount of data, so be mindful of your data plan limits if you are streaming over a cellular network. Consider using Wi-Fi whenever possible to minimize data usage and avoid unexpected charges.
  • Network Congestion: During peak times, network congestion can occur, resulting in slower internet speeds and buffering. If possible, schedule your streaming sessions during off-peak hours to ensure a smoother streaming experience.
  • Close Unnecessary Applications: To allocate more bandwidth and computing power to your streaming, close any unnecessary applications or background processes running on your device. This can help optimize your device’s performance for streaming.
  • Hardware Limitations: Keep in mind that older devices or devices with limited processing power may struggle with smooth streaming. If you find that your device is struggling to handle the video stream, consider upgrading to a more capable device for a better streaming experience.

By taking these considerations into account, you can enhance your streaming quality and ensure a more enjoyable NFL viewing experience on your chosen device.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about watching NFL games without cable:

  • Can I watch NFL games for free? While some games are available for free over-the-air with an antenna, most streaming services and subscriptions come with a fee. However, you may be able to access free trials or promotional offers to watch NFL games without cable.
  • Do I need to subscribe to multiple streaming services to watch all NFL games? It depends on the games and coverage you are looking for. Certain streaming services may carry different networks or have regional limitations. Research the available options and their channel lineups to find a service that best suits your NFL viewing needs.
  • Can I watch NFL games in real-time with NFL Game Pass? No, NFL Game Pass does not offer live streaming of regular-season games due to broadcast restrictions. Instead, you can watch full replays of games shortly after they have aired.
  • Can I use a VPN to access out-of-market games? Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can potentially allow you to access out-of-market games by changing your perceived location. However, it’s important to note that this may violate the terms of service of streaming services or the NFL, so proceed with caution and ensure you are in compliance with any applicable laws.
  • Are there blackouts for certain NFL games? Yes, blackouts can occur for select NFL games. Usually, games that are aired on local network affiliates may be subject to blackout restrictions. This means that if the game is available on a local channel within your region, it may not be available for streaming on certain platforms.
  • What are my options for watching NFL games outside the United States? The availability of streaming options may vary depending on your location. However, the NFL offers international streaming services like NFL Game Pass International, which provides live and on-demand streaming of NFL games to fans outside the United States.
  • Can I stream NFL games on multiple devices simultaneously? Streaming services typically have limitations on the number of devices that can stream simultaneously under one account. Review the terms and conditions of your chosen streaming service to see how many devices can be used at the same time.

If you have specific questions about watching NFL games without cable, it’s always a good idea to consult the streaming service’s customer support or visit the official NFL website for the most up-to-date information.