SVG Icons

How to Watch Thursday Night Football in 2021

The whistle blows to kick off Thursday Night Football on September 16, 2021. We huddled up to research the best ways for you to watch the action.

Best overall

Plan: CHOICETM

Price: $69.99/mo.

Thursday Night Football channels: FOX, NFL Network

DVR: 200 hrs.

Best streaming

Plan: Blue

Price: $35.00/mo.

Thursday Night Football channels: FOX, NFL Network

DVR: 50 hrs.

Best for cord-cutters

Price: $12.99/mo. Prime membership includes video or $8.99/mo. for Prime Video only

Best over-the-air

Price: $30.00–$60.00/mo.

Thursday Night Football channels: FOX

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

You need to have the NFL Network to see each and every Thursday Night Football game.

DIRECTV’s CHOICE package—our recommendation—includes NFL SUNDAY TICKET and has the NFL Network, which is a must-have to see the Thursday Night Football match-ups. It also has ESPN for Monday Night Football games and plenty of channels for those in the household who aren’t interested in football games that occur on any day of the week.

If price is a concern, we recommend Sling TV and Amazon Prime—the latter of which will be the exclusive host of Thursday Night Football after this season. We’ve even got you covered if you just prefer to use an over-the-air antenna.

What channels do I need to watch Thursday Night Football?

The first Thursday Night Football game of the 2021 NFL season will be broadcast on NBC on September 9 with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on the Dallas Cowboys.

Official Thursday Night Football begins week two, on September 16, and to watch all of the Thursday Night Football games in 2021, you need the NFL Network channel—a staple of many cable TV and live TV streaming packages.

If you are content with catching just 11 of the 19 Thursday Night Football games this season, you can do that by tuning into FOX or Amazon Prime.

The table below breaks down which of our recommended TV providers have the channels to fire you up on Thursday nights.

Swipe Left to See All →
Provider and planFOXAmazon PrimeNFL NetworkNFL SUNDAY TICKETDetails
Best overall

DIRECTV CHOICE w/ NFL SUNDAY TICKET
View plan
Best for streaming

Sling TV Orange
View plan
Best for cord-cutters

Amazon Prime Video
View plans

Best over-the-air

Mohu Leaf antenna
View antenna

Best ways to watch Thursday Night Football

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
‡ CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links. Amazon.com Price; $59.99 (as of 7/16/21 11:13 p.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.
* for 12 mos. plus taxes and Regional Sports Fee w/24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year.
† NFL SUNDAY TICKET offer for new customers only. Otherwise, it’s $293.94/yr.

Best overall: DIRECTV

Recommended plan: CHOICE $69.99/mo.* + NFL SUNDAY TICKET (current season free†)

Thursday Night Football channels: FOX, NFL Network

DVR: 200 HD hrs.

Pros

  • Every NFL game of the season
    Free DVR
    Top-notch sports programming
    NFL SUNDAY TICKET included free (current season only)

Cons

  • Price jump after first year
    2-year contract

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 mos. plus taxes and Regional Sports Fee w/24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year.
† New customers only. Otherwise, NFL SUNDAY TICKET is $293.94/yr.

While DIRECTV isn’t the cheapest satellite or cable TV option around, its CHOICE package doesn’t put a giant dent in the wallet—at least the first year, anyhow—and it offers spectacular sports programming. Plus, you get NFL SUNDAY TICKET free for the first year with it—you might call that a “touchdown.”

This plan is the way to go for football fans whose households enjoy a diverse lineup of programming. A total of 185+ channels and a free DVR allow you the opportunity to both watch and also record a variety of sports games and shows.

Aside from FOX, ESPN, and the NFL Network, sportsball lovers can see the action on NBA TV, NHL Network, MLB Network, and Tennis Channel to name a few.
Nickelodeon, The Cartoon Network, and Disney Jr. are among the channels where kids can spend their TV time.

Sure, DISH has lower prices than DIRECTV. If you’re an ultimate sports fan, though, the broad coverage of NFL games along with numerous sports channels and a free DVR means DIRECTV has you covered (in a fuzzy, sports-themed decorative blanket).

Best for streaming: Sling TV

Recommended plan: Sling TV Blue $35.00/mo.

Thursday Night Football channels: FOX (in select markets), NFL Network

DVR: 50 hrs.

Pros

  • Low pricing
    Multiple add-on options
    50 DVR hrs. included

Cons

  • Limited local channels
    No premium channels

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Sling TV offers only a couple of packages—Orange and Blue—and they are each $35 a month. If you want everything Sling TV has to offer, you can spend $50 and get a combination of the two.

Sling TV doesn’t guarantee local channels. If catching Thursday Night Football games is your goal, go with Orange. That way you’ll have the NFL Network and possibly FOX—and any other local stations—available in your area.

If you can’t get FOX or local channels where you are, it might be time to add a TV antenna—a one-time purchase that’s pretty inexpensive.

Orange isn’t the most channel-heavy plan available, but it has a leg up on some direct competitors. For instance, where Philo is $10 less—costing $25 a month—they don’t offer the sports channels needed to catch the excitement on Thursday nights.

Sling’s Orange plan guarantees the channels that will get you the pigskin games.

Best for cord-cutters: Amazon Prime Video

Recommended plan: Amazon Prime membership $12.99/mo.

Thursday Night Football channels: Amazon Prime

DVR: 200 HD hrs.

Pros

  • Low monthly fee
    Original TV shows and movies
    Approximately 25,000 shows and movies

Cons

  • Limited amount of original programming

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If you’ve cut the cable cord and rely on a streaming device like the Amazon Fire Stick or Roku to do your TV and movie watching, you can use an Amazon Prime or Prime Video account to watch 11 of this season’s games.

Upgrade that to $12.99 a month, and you get the Amazon Prime membership, which offers plenty of chances to buy items from its marketplace and get free shipping.

It’s only $8.99 a month for Prime Video, which gets you all the free content it offers—including original shows like The Boys, Panic, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Pro Tip: The future of Thursday Night Football is Prime. Following the 2021 season, Amazon Prime Video will be the exclusive home for Thursday Night Football for the next 10 seasons. If you love your Amazon Prime membership now, it’s about to be your best friend if you’re a football fan.

Best over-the-air: Mohu Leaf 50

Price: $59.95
Thursday Night Football channels: FOX
Video: 1080p
Range: 60 miles

Pros

  • 60-mile radius
    Stunning HD video
    One-time purchase

Cons

  • Local channels only

If you aren’t in need of a hefty channel lineup and are content with 11 of the 19 Thursday Night Football games, an over-the-air antenna is a budget-friendly way to go. It will get you FOX with this one-time purchase, and you’ll be all set.

We like the Mohu Leaf 50 because you get a beautiful, crisp HD picture and a broader range than you do with other antennas. It will cost you about $60, but that one-time fee can beat having an ongoing monthly payment.

If you don’t mind going with an antenna that has a smaller range—about 25 miles—Mohu also makes the Metro Leaf Metro, which comes in at $17.89—that’s a one-time purchase that is really easy on the budget.

Schedule of Thursday Night Football games

Thursday Night Football games start the second week of the season. This handy schedule tells you which teams are going head-to-head and where you can watch them. All games start at 8:20 p.m. (ET).

Swipe Left to See All →
WeekDateOpponentsTimeChannels
2Thursday, September 16
Giants @ Washington8:20 p.m.NFL Network
3Thursday, September 23Panthers @ Texans8:20 p.m.NFL Network
4Thursday, September 30Jaguars @ Bengals 8:20 p.m.NFL Network
5Thursday, October 7Rams @ Seahawks8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
5Sunday, October 10Jets @ Falcons (from London)9:30 a.m.NFL Network
6Sunday, October 14Buccaneers @ Eagles8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
7Thursday, October 21Broncos @ Browns8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
8Thursday, October 28Packers @ Cardinals8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
9Thursday, November 4Jets @ Colts8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
10Thursday, November 11Ravens @ Dolphins8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
11Thursday, November 18Patriots @ Falcons8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
12No games scheduled
13Thursday, December 2Cowboys @ Saints8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
14Thursday, December 9Steelers @ Vikings8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
15Thursday, December 16Chiefs @ Chargers8:20 p.m.FOX, NFL Network, Prime Video
16Thursday, December 2349ers @ Titans8:20 p.m.NFL Network

Final Take

DIRECTV’s CHOICE package is the way to go for serious football fans who don’t want to miss one single play of Thursday Night Football. CHOICE includes a DVR with 200 storage hours at no extra cost, so you can record the action, too, as well as shows and movies from their wide and diverse channel lineup.

Sling TV’s Orange plan gives you less channels but does include the ones you’ll need to make every Thursday night a football party throughout the season.

Amazon Prime Video is another inexpensive option and one you should get used to as it will be the Thursday Night Football host exclusively starting next year.

How to watch Thursday Night Football FAQ

Can I watch Thursday Night Football on an app?

FOX and NFL Network are part of cable and streaming packages, and two of the channels that will get you Thursday Night Football games—FOX will show 11 games and NFL Network will show each week’s game.

Download the app for the provider you subscribe to, and use your login and password information to access the content on your phone or tablet. 

Amazon Prime and its Prime Video component—another hub for viewing 11 of the season’s games—also have an app available for download on IOS and android—use your membership information to log in.

Where can I stream Thursday Night Football for free?

Thursday Night Football is available to watch and stream live as part of your cable TV subscription.

11 of 19 games are available to watch and stream live if you have FOX. Amazon Prime members can watch and stream Thursday Night Football games at no extra cost.

Can I watch Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime?

Yes, you can watch 11 of the 19 Thursday Night Football games on Amazon Prime. An Amazon Prime membership is $12.99 a month, and Prime Video alone is $8.99. In 2022, Amazon will be the exclusive host of Thursday Night Football.

How can I watch Thursday Night Football 2021?

NFL Network, which is available on multiple cable TV and streaming platforms, is broadcasting the entire 2021 Thursday Night Football season. If you have FOX, you can catch 11 of the 19 games. Amazon Prime or Amazon Prime Video members can also catch 11 of the 19 games.

Can I watch Thursday Night Football on YouTube TV?

YouTube TV has FOX for 11 of the 19 games of the Thursday Night Football season and the NFL Network, which broadcasts all of the season’s games.`