How To Watch Football on Christmas
Who plays on Christmas this year? Get into the holiday football spirit with our Christmas NFL and college football games guide.
The holiday season means a few things: Mistletoe, hot cocoa, and Christmas football games. Whether you’re a college football fan who’s ready for bowl season or an NFL fan following a playoff team, here’s what you need to know about watching football on Christmas.
NFL Christmas games
For Christmas Day, NFL fans will get a full weekend’s worth of good games with playoff and postseason implications. Christmas weekend opens with a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Saints and Rams, and we’ll get a rare Saturday NFL doubleheader that starts with Bengals–Steelers and ends with Bills–Chargers.
Christmas Eve has a full slate of games that includes Lions–Vikings, Seahawks–Titans, and Dolphins–Cowboys. On Christmas Day, viewers will have a three-game lineup that opens with Raiders–Chiefs and wraps up with Ravens–49ers. Some of Christmas’s best NFL games will include Detroit–Minnesota, Seattle–Tennessee, Miami–Dallas, and Jacksonville–Tampa Bay, all featuring teams in the thick of the AFC and NFC playoff races.
NFL Christmas schedule
|Thursday, December 21||New Orleans at LA Rams||8:15 p.m.||Prime Video|
|Saturday, December 23||Cincinnati at Pittsburgh||4:30 p.m.||NBC|
|Saturday, December 23||Buffalo at LA Chargers||8:00 p.m.||Peacock|
|Sunday, December 24||Indianapolis at Atlanta||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sunday, December 24||Green Bay at Carolina||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sunday, December 24||Cleveland at Houston||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|Sunday, December 24||Detroit at Minnesota||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|Sunday, December 24||Washington at NY Jets||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|Sunday, December 24||Seattle at Tennessee||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|Sunday, December 24||Jacksonville at Tampa Bay||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|Sunday, December 24||Arizona at Chicago||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|Sunday, December 24||Dallas at Miami||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|Sunday, December 24||New England at Denver||8:15 p.m.||NFL Network|
|Monday, December 25||Las Vegas at Kansas City||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|Monday, December 25||NY Giants at Philadelphia||4:30 p.m.||FOX|
|Monday, December 25||Baltimore at San Francisco||8:15 p.m.||ABC|
Data effective as of post date.
How to watch NFL games on Christmas for free
‡CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links. Amazon.com Price; $59.99 (as of 10/30/23 9:30 a.m. CT). Read full disclaimer.
Most of the NFL’s Christmas games will air on CBS, NBC, and FOX, so it’s easy to watch them on TV. Every standard cable or streaming TV subscription comes with all three channels. The only exceptions are Saints–Rams and Bills–Chargers, as the first game will air on Prime Video and the second will air exclusively on Peacock.
We recommend purchasing an over-the-air (OTA) antenna like the Mohu Leaf 50 if you want to watch NFL Christmas football games for free and don’t have a TV plan. OTA antennas can pick up broadcast feeds from your local NBC, CBS, or FOX affiliate for free. Streaming services like Hulu + Live TV also have free trials if you need to get a streaming rig set up for Christmas football quickly. Visit our streaming TV trials guide to learn more.
College football Christmas games
For college football fans, the Christmas bowl schedule falls in the sweet spot between the early bowl season and the College Football Playoff. For Christmas week, fans will get a handful of great major-conference matchups between various SEC, Big Ten, AAC, MAC, and Conference USA teams. The bowl season matchup lineup isn’t set yet, but check back here later or visit our main college bowls game guide for more watch details.
College football Christmas schedule
|Gasparilla Bowl||December 22, 2023||TBD||6:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Birmingham Bowl||December 23, 2023||TBD||12:00 p.m.||ABC|
|Camellia Bowl||December 23, 2023||TBD||12:00 p.m.||ESPN|
|Armed Forces Bowl||December 23, 2023||TBD||3:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||December 23, 2023||TBD||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|68 Ventures Bowl||December 23, 2023||TBD||7:00 p.m.||ESPN|
|Las Vegas Bowl||December 23, 2023||TBD||7:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Hawai’i Bowl||December 23, 2023||TBD||10:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Quick Lane Bowl||December 26, 2023||TBD||2:00 p.m.||ESPN|
|First Responder Bowl||December 26, 2023||TBD||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Guaranteed Rate Bowl||December 26, 2023||TBD||9:00 p.m.||ESPN|
Data effective as of post date.
How to watch college football on Christmas for free
‡CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links. Amazon.com Price; $59.99 (as of 10/3/23 9:30 a.m. CT). Read full disclaimer.
ABC gets a handful of college football bowl games, so you’ll be set if you already have a cable or streaming TV subscription or an OTA antenna. But you’ll need to do some more legwork if you want to watch every college bowl game because ESPN airs most college football bowl games, and it’s not available with an OTA antenna.
If you want to watch college football on Christmas for free, we’d recommend getting a free trial for a streaming TV service like Hulu + Live TV.
How to watch football on Christmas FAQ
We analyzed this year’s Christmas college football and NFL schedule to figure out this year’s top matchups. We also drew from our cord-cutter and streaming deal coverage to find the best college football and NFL watch solutions for your holiday season.
Check out our How We Rank page to learn more about our methods.
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
‡Amazon.com price as of 10/31/23 9:30 a.m. CT. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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