No sport is more popular than professional football, and most people think that a cable subscription is the only way to watch their favorite team.
Thanks to live TV streaming services, that is not the case. There are numerous ways to watch NFL games without cable or a satellite TV provider.
We’ve tested the top video streaming services to find the best ways to catch all the action this season.
What Channels Are NFL Games On?
Before choosing a service to stream NFL games, it is essential to know what networks you need.
Here are the channels you must have to get live football:
CBS – Shows Sunday games (AFC games)
ESPN – Shows Monday Night Football
Fox – Shows Sunday games (NFC games)
NBC – Shows Sunday and Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football is a bit more complicated since some shows air exclusively on the NFL Network. We will cover how to watch those games later in this review.
Best Choices to Watch NFL Games Online
There are various ways to watch live NFL games. Here are the top live streaming services to watch football this fall.
FuboTV is our top choice to watch NFL games. The service carries the entire ESPN family of channels, the NFL Network, and all of your local networks.
The base package, Family, costs $64.99 per month and includes roughly 110 channels. This makes the streaming service a terrific choice to watch all nationally televised games as well as local games.
*Related: Do you want all the in-studio commentary without a contract? Read our guide on how to watch NFL Network without cable to learn the best options.
Other sports channels you can expect to get with the base package include:
If you enjoy niche sports, fuboTV offers various add-on packages to get access to sports like biking and tennis. You can add NFL RedZone with its Sports Plus add-on for an additional $10.99 per month.
FuboTV has a cloud-based DVR that allows you to record 250 hours of content.
Read our review of the fuboTV channels to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN family of channels, NFL Network, FS1, FS2, BTN, Golf Channel, Olympics Channel, Golf Channel, NBCSN, TVG, beIN Sports, CBS Sports Network, and all local networks.
Best for: Top choice for NFL fans
Sling TV is the cheapest option to get live NFL games. The platform has two base packages, including Orange and Blue. Each plan costs $35 per month.
However, with the affordability comes a bit of confusion for some people. Orange includes ESPN and ESPN2, and Blue offers the NFL Network.
You must combine the two, known as Sling Orange + Blue, to get both ESPN and NFL Network. The combined package costs $50 per month and offers roughly 50 channels.
One other challenge is that local networks are only available in Blue, albeit on a limited basis.
The channels included are NBC and Fox. If you pair this with an over-the-antenna, you will have access to all of your local networks.
If you get Orange + Blue, you’ll also receive:
You can purchase the Sports Add-on for an extra $11 per month to get NFL RedZone and ten other sports channels.
Sling has a cloud-DVR setup with 50 included hours. You can upgrade to 200 hours for $5 per month.
Read our Sling TV packages guide to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, NFL Network, Stadium, Fox, and NBC in some locations.
Best for: Fans who want flexibility
Vidgo is a newer player in the cable replacement space and a good option to watch the NFL online. The service is cheaper than options like fuboTV or Hulu Live and costs $55 a month.
Vidgo carries the entire ESPN family of channels and NFL Network. Unfortunately, it only offers ABC and Fox for local channels, so you will need an antenna to get CBS.
Other sports channels Vidgo carries include:
The Longhorn Network
This makes Vidgo the only streaming service to offer both NFL Network and NFL RedZone in its base package.
*Related: Do you want to break free of cable but overwhelmed at where to start? Sign up for our course to learn the steps you need to cut the cord and save $100+ per month.*
It’s important to note that there is currently no DVR with Vidgo. This might be a deal-breaker for fans who want to record games.
The platform also doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can try the service for $10 for the first month.
Read our Vidgo TV review here to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN family of networks, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, ACCN, BTN, The Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, ABC, and Fox.
Best for: Fans who want NFL Network and NFL RedZone
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is an excellent choice to watch the NFL online. The service offers one base package, which costs $64.99 per month for roughly 85 channels.
Hulu Live carries each of the ESPN channels, the NFL Network, and all of your local channels. This makes it a good choice to access your local TV market and other live sports.
Other sports channels Hulu Live offers include:
You can add NFL RedZone by purchasing its Sports Add-on for $9.99, which includes five other channels.
Despite the channel offerings, Hulu Live is light on simultaneous streams and cloud DVR. You only receive two simultaneous streams and 50 hours of cloud DVR.
While you can upgrade both, it’s easy to quickly bring the price up to $90 per month. This makes fuboTV or YouTube TV better choices if either are a need for you.
Read our Hulu Live channels list to learn more.
Sports channels included: ESPN family of channels, NFL Network, FS1, FS2, ACCN, BTN, CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, and SECN.
Best for: College football fans
YouTube TV is a close second to fuboTV to watch NFL games without cable. The streaming platform offers roughly 90 channels for $64.99 per month.
This gets you the full family of ESPN channels, the NFL Network, and all local networks.
Additional sports channels include:
You can add NFL RedZone as a part of its Sports Plus add-on for $10.99 per month. This includes six other channels.
If you’re an NBA or MLB fan, the service also carries those respective networks.
Another awesome feature YouTube TV offers is an unlimited capacity DVR. However, all recordings are only housed for nine months. This could be a deterrent for some fans.
Read our YouTube TV review to learn more about this streaming service.
Sports channels included: Entire ESPN family of channels, NFL Network, FS1, FS2, ACCN, BTN, CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, NBCSN, Olympics Channel, SECN, and all local channels.
Best for: NBA and MLB fans
Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All-Access) is a fantastic option for AFC fans.
The on-demand streaming service provides access to your local CBS affiliate if you upgrade to their premium add-free package.
As you can see below, the price is pretty affordable.
The app gives access to over 30,000 TV shows and 2,500 movies. If you upgrade to the ad-free option, you can watch anything on your local CBS channel, including football games.
If your favorite NFL team is in the AFC, this service might be the ideal choice for you.
However, you won’t get other games with this platform. You can pair it with an antenna or a service like Sling to catch more action.
Best for: AFC fans
Amazon Prime Video
The NFL Network airs all Thursday Night Football games, but most of them are also simulcast on Fox and Amazon Prime Video.
If you don’t want to use a higher-cost streaming service, this is a good way to get most of the Thursday Night action since they simulcast all but three games.
Amazon Prime costs $119 per year. Alternately, you can sign up for the standalone video service for $8.99 a month.
You won’t get other games, but it is a good choice if you want to keep your costs somewhat low.
Best for: Amazon Prime members
How Can I Watch NFL Games for Free?
An over-the-air antenna is the best way to watch NFL games without cable. Outside of an affordable one-time cost, you can watch games on all your local networks free for life.
You can watch the following with an antenna:
In-market Sunday afternoon games
Sunday Night Football
Thursday Night Football that’s simulcast on Fox
Just peruse the best antennas on Amazon to find one that works for you. Top antennas include 1byone, Mohu, Wsky, and Antennas Direct.
An antenna is the cheapest way to watch pre-season games, regular season games, and the playoffs.
How Can I Watch Out-of-Market Games?
Non-regional action plagues many fans because they cannot watch their favorite teams from across the country.
You may think that NFL Sunday Ticket is the only way to watch out-of-market Sunday games. It’s not.
The NFL Game Pass is a good solution. Live coverage is not offered during the regular season, though it is during the pre-season.
You get access to all 256 regular season games without commercials. Game availability is usually delayed by one day, though sometimes it will air later on the same day.
After a seven-day free trial, the service costs $99 per year and includes games dating back to 2009, DVR functionality, coaches’ film, and the entire NFL Films library.
How to Watch Sunday Night Football Without Cable
All Sunday Night Football games air on NBC. You need either an antenna to get access to local channels or a streaming service that offers NBC.
An antenna is the most affordable option. But, if you want to watch the NFL online, fuboTV guarantees the ability to watch the action. Sling Blue may also be a choice depending on where you live.
How to Watch Monday Night Football Without Cable
Monday Night Football is a must-have for most football fans. The game airs on ESPN, so you will need a streaming service that carries the channel to stream games.
All of the live TV streaming providers on this list carry ESPN, so it comes down to which platform you prefer.
How to Watch Thursday Night Football Without Cable
Thursday Night Football airs exclusively on the NFL Network, though they simulcast most of the games on NBC or Amazon Prime.
If you don’t mind missing a couple of games, you will be fine with a digital antenna or Amazon.
However, if you don’t want to miss a Thursday night game, you will need a streaming service that offers the NFL Network.
How Much Does the NFL Sunday Ticket Cost?
It may seem odd to see NFL Sunday Ticket in a list of ways to stream NFL games without cable. However, it is a real option for some people.
If you live in an area where DirecTV is not available and you’re a student, you can get the service NFL Sunday Ticket U. This costs $73.49 a month and lets you watch every out-of-market Sunday game live.
The price is a significant drawback, with it costing nearly $300 for the four months of the season. If you can live without the NFL live stream, there are better options.
It used to be that the only way you could watch football was with a cable contract. That is no longer the case. Most streaming platforms carry ESPN and the NFL Network.
While not all providers offer local networks, you can get those with an antenna for a one-time cost. The best part is no sports streaming services require a contract, so you can cancel at any time.
If you want to watch live NFL games without paying $200+ per month, you can do it and pocket the savings for other needs.
Has the thought of losing the ability to watch sports the way you like kept you from cutting the cord? What other channels do you feel like you can’t live without?