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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. Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

Who plays football on Christmas Day?

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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

Day Opponent Time (ET) Channel
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, Nickelodeon
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

Get free local channels
Recommended antenna:
Mohu Leaf 50 ($59.99, one-time purchase)
NFL Christmas games channels:
All local broadcast channels

‡ utilizes paid Amazon links. 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.

Pro tip: Want more football content? Check out our weekly NFL schedule and college football schedule guides for our top picks and football takes.

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

Bowl Date Opponents Time (ET) Channel
Gasparilla Bowl December 22, 2023 Georgia Tech vs. UCF 6:30 p.m. ESPN
Birmingham Bowl December 23, 2023 Troy vs. Duke 12:00 p.m. ABC
Camellia Bowl December 23, 2023 Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois 12:00 p.m. ESPN
Armed Forces Bowl December 23, 2023 Air Force vs. James Madison 3:30 p.m. ABC
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl December 23, 2023 Georgia State vs. Utah State 3:30 p.m. ESPN
68 Ventures Bowl December 23, 2023 Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama 7:00 p.m. ESPN
Las Vegas Bowl December 23, 2023 Northwestern vs. Utah 7:30 p.m. ABC
Hawai’i Bowl December 23, 2023 San Jose State vs. Coastal Carolina 10:30 p.m. ESPN
Quick Lane Bowl December 26, 2023 Bowling Green vs. Minnesota 2:00 p.m. ESPN
First Responder Bowl December 26, 2023 Texas State vs. Rice 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Guaranteed Rate Bowl December 26, 2023 Kansas vs. UNLV 9:00 p.m. ESPN

Data effective as of post date.

How to watch college football on Christmas for free

Get free local channels
Recommended antenna:
Mohu Leaf 50 ($59.99, one-time purchase)
Christmas college football channels:
All local broadcast channels

‡ utilizes paid Amazon links. 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

Who’s playing football on Christmas Day?

This year, six NFL teams will play on Christmas Day: Raiders vs. Chiefs opens the day at 1:00 p.m. ET, Giants vs. Eagles will be at 4:30 p.m., and Ravens vs. 49ers closes out the NFL’s Christmas Day schedule at 8:15 p.m.

Are there football games on Christmas?

The NFL will have a full schedule of games across Christmas weekend, starting with a Thursday Night Football game between the Saints and Rams. College football won’t have a bowl game on Christmas Day, but you’ll still have multiple bowl games, including the Las Vegas Bowl, Birmingham Bowl, and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl during Christmas weekend.

What NFL teams are playing Christmas Day in 2023?

The following NFL teams play on Christmas Day 2023:

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • NY Giants
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • San Francisco 49ers


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.

‡ 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 at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

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