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The Best Ways to Watch NFL Games

Best of the Best


Best Fiber Option


Best Streaming Option

PlayStation Vue Logo

It’s time, folks—football season is here. Whether you live and die with your favorite team or just like watching the Super Bowl each year, you need a reliable way to watch NFL games.

There are hundreds of cable packages and streaming options out there, but we’ve done the research for you. We’ll tell you which packages and providers are worth your time and money when you’ve got NFL on the mind.

The Best Cable and Streaming Options to Watch NFL Games

ProviderBest ForRecommended PackageType of ServicePrice
1. DIRECTVBest of the BestCHOICESatellite$45.00 per month*
2. AT&T U-verseBest Fiber OptionU300Fiber$60.00 per month†
3. PlayStation VueBest Streaming OptionCoreStreaming$49.99 per month
4. AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin HD AntennaBest Budget OptionN/ABroadcast$27.99
Provider1. DIRECTV
Best ForBest of the Best
Recommended PackageCHOICE
Type of ServiceSatellite
Price$45.00 per month*
Provider2. AT&T U-verse
Best ForBest Fiber Option
Recommended PackageU300
Type of ServiceFiber
Price$60.00 per month†
Provider3. PlayStation Vue
Best ForBest Streaming Option
Recommended PackageCore
Type of ServiceStreaming
Price$49.99 per month
Provider4. AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin HD Antenna
Best ForBest Budget Option
Recommended PackageN/A
Type of ServiceBroadcast

Date effective 9/18/2018. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 
*For 12 months with a 2-yr contract, paperless bill, & autopay. Price increases for months 13–24.
For 12 months with a 1-yr agreement & Autopay.

NFL Packages

Are you ready to start watching some football? We know we are. Here are the best cable and streaming options for watching the NFL this season (and beyond). Let’s go!


Best of the Best

Package Details

  • CHOICE package gets you all the NFL channels you could want
  • $45.00 per month for the first year
  • Exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET with every out-of-market game, every Sunday included for the first year


  • NFL SUNDAY TICKET for the most comprehensive coverage
  • Availability almost anywhere in the US
  • One of the best DVRs in the business


  • Requires a 2-year contract
  • Provides satellite dish hardware that’s not to everyone’s taste

When it comes to NFL content, DIRECTV is our first-round draft pick. The satellite provider offers all the standard NFL channels you could ask for, plus add-on packages like the NFL Network and local sports channels.

If that’s still not enough for you, you can opt for NFL SUNDAY TICKET and get access to every out-of-market game, every Sunday—yes, every single one. The best part? You get a year included with any CHOICE package or above. There’s also RED ZONE CHANNEL® that lets you watch every touchdown play from every game across the league.

DIRECTV has other perks, too: the channel selection is quite good, the prices are competitive, and the Genie DVR is powerful and packed with cool features. Since it’s a satellite provider, you can get DIRECTV basically anywhere and keep it anywhere. That means no more worrying about switching providers when you move.

The only major downsides are the required contract and the clunky satellite dish—apart from that, you can’t go wrong with DIRECTV.

Heads up! DIRECTV’s streaming service, DIRECTV NOW, offers NFL SUNDAY TICKET in select areas without a DIRECTV satellite subscription.

This would make it our top pick, but it’s not super easy to get. It’s currently available only to areas with no regular DIRECTV access and to college students with valid identification. Stay tuned for updates though—this could be big news for NFL fans.

Check your eligibility for NFL SUNDAY TICKET with DIRECTV NOW.

2. AT&T U-verse

Best Fiber Option

The Specs

  • Offers up to 550 channels
  • Starts at $35.00 per month
  • Presents a great, clear picture with fiber service
  • Recommended Package: U300


  • One of the highest channel counts of any provider
  • Affordable pricing
  • NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and more


  • Availability is more limited than other options
  • DVR is fair at best

If satellite TV is not your thing, that’s ok. Maybe you’re worried about interference (don’t be). Or maybe you don’t want to mount anything to your roof (that’s fair). The good news is NFL games come on fiber networks too.

Enter AT&T’s other TV service: U-verse. U-verse is a fiber service that offers enormous channel counts at affordable prices—as long as it’s available in your area.

It has all the standard NFL channels, including ESPN, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and local broadcasts. You also get access to as many as 550 additional channels to fill your time during the off-season.

Our recommended package, U300, offers 470+ channels and comes at a price you’ll be happy with. It’s definitely worth checking out if U-verse is in your area.

3. PlayStation Vue

Best for Streaming NFL Games

The Specs

  • Streams live TV as well as on-demand TV—no PlayStation required
  • Includes NFL content with packages from Core and up
  • Starts at $49.99 per month with Core plan
  • Recommended Package: Core


  • The best deal for streaming live sports
  • Available on most major platforms
  • Free of DVR storage limits


  • Higher cost per channel in some packages than cable or satellite TV
  • Less variety than traditional TV plans

PlayStation Vue is a streaming service from Sony that’s designed for cord-cutters that still want the live TV experience. And what’s more important to watch live than your team?

Now, if you don’t own a PlayStation, you might be wary of subscribing to a service with PlayStation in the name. Fear not—PlayStation Vue is available on all the expected platforms, including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and more. You can also stream through a web browser to watch NFL online.

Pricing is anywhere from $44.99 to $79.99 per month. NFL fans will want to grab at least the $49.99 Core package, which offers NFL Network and other sports channels in addition to the standard ESPN and basic channels.

Why choose PlayStation Vue over other streaming options? Other options either fail to offer the channels you need to catch NFL games or they cost more for the same level of content. If you’re looking to stream NFL games live, PS Vue is the way to go.

4. HD Antenna

Best Budget Option

The Specs

  • Boasts a 50-mile range
  • Picks up basic HD broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox
  • Comes at a one-time price that’s easier to swallow than a monthly subscription


  • Offers free local NFL games (once you pay for the antenna)
  • Works nearly anywhere
  • Fits neatly behind TV with its thin shape


  • Channel selection limited to the basics
  • Reception can be finicky
  • Games generally limited to local NFL teams

Another great option for cord-cutting NFL fans is to buy an HD antenna. HD antennas grab local broadcast channels—like ABC and FOX in HD—free of charge.

Antenna prices vary, but the well-reviewed and very affordable AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin Antenna should be within anyone’s budget. It beats paying for cable, that’s for sure.

Broadcast TV offers a surprisingly good NFL experience, especially if you mostly root for the local team anyway. You’ll get access to the Sunday games on CBS and FOX, as well as all the Thursday Night Football games on CBS and NBC—all for free. In many cases, local games on ESPN and NFL Network are simulcast to local stations, so you can probably catch those too.

What to Look for in an NFL TV Plan

1.   Dedicated NFL Channels

While many games air on ESPN, FOX, and other basic channels, you’ll find the best coverage on NFL-specific channels like NFL RedZone (touchdown highlights) and NFL Network. These channels also have commentary and highlights that you won’t find elsewhere. Any package you’re looking at should have these channels included if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything.

2.   Reliable DVR System

It might be hard to accept, but odds are you won’t catch every game when it airs. You’ll probably need to record some games to watch later. That’s where a good DVR like the DIRECTV Genie comes in.

You want a reasonable amount of storage and, maybe more importantly, a high number of simultaneous recordings. This will let you record games and your regular shows at the same time—this is especially important if your spouse or roommate is a fan of a different team!

FAQs about NFL Plans

Which streaming services offer live NFL games?

Several providers stream live NFL games. Our top pick is PlayStation Vue for price and number of game options, but you can also stream NFL games on the following services:

Is NFL SUNDAY TICKET available on DIRECTV NOW or AT&T U-verse?

NFL SUNDAY TICKET is available with DIRECTV NOW, but there are some heavy location restrictions. Right now, it’s limited to areas where regular DIRECTV service is unavailable. There’s also a student package available if you can prove you’re a college student. Otherwise, you’re stuck with satellite DIRECTV if you want NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Get your game on.

Whether you’re a die-hard NFL fanatic or just a casual Bills fan (you have our sympathies), having a reliable way to catch all your games is crucial. These four options should give you plenty to work with to get your game day in order—you’ll have to plan the game-day party yourself though.

About the Author

Dave is a freelance writer with a passion for tech and how it improves our lives. His work has been published on a variety of sites around the web.

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