How to Watch the NFL Without Cable
We’ve compiled a list of NFL viewing options that don’t involve signing up for a cable or satellite TV service.
Most people ditch cable or satellite TV services for one reason: to save money. But cutting costs shouldn’t give you FOMO when it comes to watching your favorite sports.
Fortunately, there are many ways to watch NFL games without a cable TV subscription. However, finding the right option that matches your budget and viewing habits can be tricky. That’s why we’re sharing our five favorite ways to watch the NFL without cable.
1. Score big with a live TV streaming service
A live TV streaming service is the best alternative to cable and satellite TV. Popular services like fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV have NFL channels, including NFL Network and NFL RedZone—depending on your chosen plan.
These services are the best for cord-cutters because they carry many channels, not just sports networks. After all, you’ll want something to watch when games aren’t happening. And, even better, you won’t have to deal with lengthy contracts or bulky equipment requirements. All you’ll need is a streaming device and a strong internet connection.
The main reason to ditch cable is to save money. So, how much do these live TV streaming services cost? Well, the ones with NFL coverage can cost anywhere from Sling TV’s cheapest plan ($40.00 a month) to DIRECTV STREAM’s most expensive plan ($129.99 a month).
Add-ons and feature upgrades can increase the monthly cost as well. But most plans with in-market and primetime NFL channels are around the $80.00 range.
If this is the route you want to take, check out our Best Streaming Services for Sports page. There, we’ll guide you through every major streaming service and the types of sports coverage they offer.
2. Stream NFL SUNDAY TICKET for out-of-market access
Perhaps you want extra yardage with your streaming TV plan. As we alluded to in the previous section, live TV streaming services will get you in-market and primetime NFL games. But you’ll still miss out on the out-of-market matchups that air across CBS and FOX on Sunday afternoons.
If your favorite team isn’t local—like you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan living in Vermont—you’ll want out-of-market access to avoid missing games. And that’s where NFL SUNDAY TICKET comes in.
Offered exclusively through DIRECTV, NFL SUNDAY TICKET is an out-of-market sports package that gives you every Sunday afternoon NFL game. The catch is that you need to sign up for DIRECTV. But anyone who lives in a place where DIRECTV is not available can sign up for the stand-alone streaming alternative NFLSUNDAYTICKET.TV.
Starting at $293.94 a season, NFLSUNDAYTICKET.TV is very pricey. Sure, college students can sign up for the discounted NFLSUNDAYTICKET.TV U package at $119.96 a season. But even then, you might prefer our next (and much cheaper) option for watching out-of-market games.
3. NFL Plus: one service to rule them all
The cheapest all-in-one streaming service for watching the NFL is NFL+. Forged from the ashes of NFL Game Pass, NFL+ offers two subscription plans. Its basic plan is $4.99 a month and comes with live in-market and primetime NFL games for phone and tablet users. But for $9.99 a month, NFL+ Premium users get full-length replays of every NFL game—meaning you can watch out-of-market games, but you must wait until after the final whistle.
If you’re on a tight budget, NFL+ is one of the best ways to watch football games without cable. Its device limitations are annoying for watching live games, but having access to full-game replays is a great feature. NFL+ even has an on-demand library of shows and documentaries like A Football Life and Hard Knocks.
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4. Stock up on more streaming services
Replacing a cable TV subscription with a live TV streaming service is not the most effective way to save money. But some streaming services that don’t have live premium channels still offer live NFL games for a fraction of the monthly cost.
For example, Peacock Premium starts at only $4.99 a month and comes with every NFL on NBC broadcast. That means you can watch Sunday Night Football and some NFL playoff games for around five bucks. You’ll also get the benefits of Peacock’s immense library of on-demand shows and movies—meaning now’s the perfect time to binge all five seasons of Friday Night Lights.
Peacock is not the only service that offers a slate of live NFL games. We’ve listed three other similarly priced streaming services in the table below that’ll help you get your game on.
|Amazon Prime Video||$8.99–$14.99/mo. or $139.00/yr.||
||View plansRead Prime Video review|
|ESPN+||$9.99/mo. or $99.99/yr.||
Read ESPN+ review
Read Paramount+ review
|Peacock Premium||$4.99–$9.99/mo. or $49.99–$99.99/yr.||
Read Peacock review
Data effective as of post date.
5. Free ways to watch the NFL: antenna TV, Tubi, and more
Hey, we hear you. It’s been a wild year with soaring inflation rates and high gas prices. So signing up for any service—even to watch your beloved team play—might not be your priority. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are still ways to watch NFL games for free.
Our favorite method for watching free NFL games is the old-fashioned over-the-air (OTA) antenna. Of course, the antenna itself isn’t free, and you’ll need a TV with an Antenna In port. But get a quality antenna with a large enough range to pick up your local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates, and you’ll be set to watch local and primetime NFL games for several seasons.
The free streaming service Tubi also hosts NFL coverage. While there are no live games, you can watch NFL Channel for classic NFL footage and in-season content. Other free services like Peacock, Pluto TV, and the NFL app also carry NFL Channel. But Tubi is the only free service with on-demand FOX Sports content, so you’ll also get some college football and USFL programming.
We’d also be remiss not to mention the NFL’s YouTube channel and the league’s other social media profiles. The NFL posts new content daily, including NFL game highlights, previews, and studio show clips. So go ahead and bookmark those pages. You can still be the number one NFL fan on a budget.
How to watch the NFL without cable FAQ
What streaming devices can I watch the NFL on?
Certain smart TVs and streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku will give you access to live NFL games. But you’ll also need a streaming service subscription to stream NFL games.
Can I watch the NFL Draft without cable?
Yes, you can watch events like the NFL Draft, Pro Bowl, and Super Bowl without a cable TV subscription. Each event airs on channels easily found on live TV streaming services like fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV.