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How to watch NFL football this season

Discover all your streaming options for NFL games this year.

NFL 2023 schedule Credit: ESPN

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It’s football season! Time to cheer for your favorite team or player, from Aaron Rodgers in his new home playing for the New York Jets to young quarterback Patrick Mahomes who will give it his all for the Kansas City Chiefs.

You might have the best TV, sound bar, and your favorite team jersey on, but most important is a source to watch the games. There are a few satellite options to consider which will give you simple and expansive access to every game. But there are also ways to watch without cable: several streaming services have been beefing up their offerings to include sports programming, including football, ranging from Hulu + Live TV to Amazon Prime Video (the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football). Here’s a look at the best ways to watch NFL football this season.

Satellite options

1. Dish Network

Dish network channel guide on TV
Credit: Dish

With Dish Anywhere and Dish's Multi-Sport Pack, you won't miss a game.

Cost: Starts at $79.99 with a 3-year price guarantee

What you get: Local broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC affiliates, and others), ESPN, NFL Network, NFL Redzone

Free trial: Yes (3 months for premium channels)

Contract: Yes

Best for: the serious football fan

With Dish, you can access every out-of-market game on Sundays from local broadcast networks as well as ESPN and NFL Network. With a Hopper DVR, you can also access live NFL coverage from YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, with the appropriate additional subscription. A promotion that currently runs through November 13, 2023 offers the Multi-Sport Pack that adds NFL RedZone along with other football viewing tools with the AT120+ package (or higher).

Meanwhile, tap into ESPN to catch live coverage of many NFL games, including most games from your local home team. With the AT120+, 200, and 250 packages, you can also enjoy additional content in the off season, including the NFL Draft and Combine, classic games, NFL movies, and more. If you want Thursday Night Football games, add Amazon Prime Video and for out-of-market games, sign up with YouTube TV.

Sign up for Dish

2. DirecTV

Credit: Reviewed / DirectTV

DirectTV is best for those who enjoy watching a variety of sports programming.

Cost: Starts at $65/mo.

What you get: 75+ channels incl. ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, AMC, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, Nickelodeon, and more (market dependent)

Free trial: Yes

Contract: Yes (24 months guaranteed pricing with auto play and paperless bills)

Best for: general sports fans

If you love all types of sports, including football, DirecTV is a solid option to consider. You get access to every in-market and out-of-market pro football game with the appropriate package. With the YouTube add-on, you can get Sunday Ticket 23-24. A current promotion adds the DirecTV Sports Pack at no additional charge to the Entertainment, Choice, or Ultimate package for the first three months. This includes more than 40 specialty and regional sports networks, including NFL Network and NFL RedZone, as well as NBA TV, ESPNews, MLB network, and others.

Sign up for DirectTV

How to watch NFL football without cable

1. Amazon Prime Video

Credit: Amazon Prime Video

Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on Amazon Prime Video starting September 14th.

Cost: Starts at $8.99/mo.

What you get: Thursday Night Football games

Free trial: Yes (30 days)

Contract: No

Best for: Thursday Night Football

Chances are you already have access to Amazon Prime Video and might not even realize it. Amazon Prime Video comes standard with an Amazon Prime subscription, so while you’re busy shopping online to get fast and free shipping, you can also switch over to Prime Video and stream football.

In fact, Amazon Prime Video is now the exclusive home for Thursday Night Football games, which means you’ll need a subscription to watch. You’ll also be able to enjoy NFL studio coverage, but you won’t get access to local games on CBS or Fox, Monday Night Football on ESPN, Sunday Night Football on NBC, NFL Network games, or out-of-market Sunday afternoon games. If gearing up every Thursday evening after work to watch the game is your thing, enjoy doing so through Amazon. If you need more, you can consider Dish Network with the Amazon Prime Video add-on.

Sign up for Prime Video

2. Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV
Credit: Hulu

Hulu + Live TV gives you access to NFL action on CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC & NFL Network live.

Cost: Starts at $69.99/mo.

What you get: Sunday afternoon football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, college football

Free trial: No

Contract: No

Best for: families

When we think of Hulu, we think of its growing list of popular TV shows. But Hulu offers tons of sports content too when you opt for the Hulu + Live TV tier. This provides access to NFL games on NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, and ABC, as well as NFL Network for other football-related programming including commentary.

Go all out with the bundle that also includes ESPN+ and you get even more, including access to the popular 30 for 30 documentary series that highlights pivotal and iconic moments in NFL history as well as some of the best-known players. If you have kids or you want an all-encompassing service with quality movie and TV content as well for the whole family, the ESPN+ bundle includes access to Disney+ as well for everything from movies like Guardians of the Galaxy to the new Star Wars series Ahsoka.

Sign up for Hulu + Live TV

3. Sling TV

Sling TV
Credit: Sling TV

To watch NFL Network with Sling TV, you'll need a subscription to Sling Blue or Orange + Blue.

Cost: Starts at $40/mo.

What you get: Sunday afternoon football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, college football

Free trial: No

Contract: No

Best for: those on a budget

Opt for the Sling Blue plan to get access to NBC, Fox, and the NFL Network; but if you want ESPN, too, you will have to upgrade to the Orange & Blue plan, which is $15 more. For access to college football games as well, add-on Sports Extra, which includes every game that airs on ESPN and ABC through the ESPN3 simulcast and conference network coverage from the SEC, ACC, and Pac-12, along with NFL RedZone.

If you love other types of sports as well, from baseball to basketball and even wrestling and boxing, Sling TV provides a good variety. Keep in mind you won’t get local games on CBS, however, nor can you access out-of-market games.

Sign up for Sling TV

4. FuboTV

Fubo TV
Credit: Reviewed / Fubo

Fubo is best for die-hard football fans who want to watch every team.

Cost: Starts at $74.99/mo.

What you get: Sunday afternoon football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, college football

Free trial: Yes

Contract: No

Best for: accessing local games

Fubo TV has tons of sports content available including football and beyond, making it a good option for overall sports fans, but especially for football fans. This is because it includes NFL Network, which offers most in-network games with the exception of Thursday Night Football. Add the Sports Plus option and you can also access NFL RedZone as well as some NCAA conference networks. You can also opt for the slightly more expensive Ultimate Plan which includes Sports Plus in the bundle. For access to all the biggest games at a relatively affordable price, FuboTV is a good option.

Sign up for Fubo

5. DirecTV Stream

DirecTV stream and nfl
Credit: DirecTV stream

NFL Network & NFL RedZone are both available through DirecTV stream.

Cost: Starts at $74.99/mo.

What you get: Sunday afternoon football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, college football

Free trial: Yes

Contract: No

Best for: casual football fans

You can sign up for the streaming service from DirecTV if you don’t want the full satellite service, and this will provide access to NFL games through networks like NBC, CBS, Fox, and ESPN. Opt for the Choice, Ultimate, or Premier plans and you can add college football games to the mix. In total, you get 30+ regional sports networks and can stream using the app from anywhere to watch on the go, a feature available with most of the other streaming services as well.

If you are looking for great TV shows and movies to watch when games aren’t on, you can also enjoy three months of access to premium channels when you sign up, including Max (formerly HBO Max), Showtime, Starz, MGM+, and Cinemax. But keep in mind that DirecTV Stream does not include access to NFL Network nor NFL RedZone.

Sign up for DirectTV Stream

6. YouTube TV

Youtube TV nfl screen
Credit: Youtube

Youtube is offering NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions for $449 for the coming season, or $489 to include NFL RedZone.

Cost: Starts at $72.99/mo.

What you get: Sunday afternoon football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, college football

Free trial: Yes

Contract: No

Best for: NFL Sunday Ticket fans

Sure, you can watch funny cat videos on YouTube for free, but with the paid YouTube TV subscription, you can access to so much more. Among this are channels that have footballs games, including CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, NLF Network, and ESPN. YouTube is also the exclusive home of NFL Sunday Ticket, which means you can watch more than 200 out-of-market Sunday footballs games each season. But it requires an additional subscription at a pretty hefty price (you can sign up for NFL Sunday Ticket on its own through YouTube, without YouTube TV, but you get savings with the bundle).

College football fans will love YouTube TV as well since even the base plan includes the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC networks. Other available sports include NBA, PGA, and add on Sports Plus for motorsports, pro tennis championship matches, and even international sports channels.

Sign up for Youtube TV

7. Paramount+

CBS schedule nfl
Credit: Paramount+

Paramount+ will let you stream local, national and postseason NFL on CBS games live.

Cost: Starts at $5.99/mo.

What you get: Sunday afternoon football, college football

Free trial: Yes (7 days)

Contract: No

Best for: college football fans

You can easily navigate sports content through the dedicated sports hub on Paramount+, and while football games are limited to only simulcast games that air on CBS, you do get access to college games through that network as well. This service isn’t as robust with its selection of games, but if the ones you want to watch will be on CBS, it has you covered.

You won’t, however, be able to access local games on Fox, Sunday Night Football on NBC, Monday Night Football on ESPN, Thursday Night Football games, NFL Network games, or out-of-market Sunday afternoon games. Nonetheless, for light football fans, Paramount+ is a good source for plenty of sports-related content to watch before or after the games, including documentaries about everyone from John McEnroe to the late Kobe Bryant. For the price, it’s one of the cheapest entries into streaming to get access to a limited selection of football games.

Sign up for Paramount+

8. Peacock

Peacock football on NBC
Credit: Peacock

Watch every Sunday Night Football game that airs on NBC.

Cost: Starts at $5.99/mo.

What you get: Sunday Night Football, college football

Free trial: 7 days

Contract: No

Best for: games and related content

Peacock has plenty of great original series, like Twisted Metal and Poker Face. But one of its biggest draws is the diverse and expansive selection of live sports, from baseball to wrestling. This includes every Sunday Night Football game for the low price of entry per month. If you love to explore the games further, you can also watch plenty of daytime sports talk shows that focus on NFL.

Both tiers of Peacock as well, including Premium and Plus, offer access to live sports. You won’t get access to local games on CBS or Fox, nor Monday or Thursday Night Football games, NFL Network games, or out-of-market Sunday afternoon games. But you’ll be able to watch the most important games within the entire Sunday Night Football schedule. Plus, for this season, Peacock will also be the only home of the Wild Card game between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Chargers, which will take place (and stream exclusively there) on January 13, 2024. Considering all the great, quality programming you get along with football access, Peacock offers good bang for the buck.

Sign up for Peacock

9. NFL+

Credit: NFL+

NFL+ delivers live in-market NFL games and playoff coverage.

Cost: Starts at $6.99/mo.

What you get: Sunday afternoon football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football

Free trial: Yes (7 days)

Contract: No

Best for: watching on the go

The draw with NFL+ is the simplicity in watching NFL games from your phone or tablet, either at home or on the go. Whether you’re sneaking a watch while you work at the office, checking out the game on your public transit commute home, or even popping in an earbud and watching under the table at dinnertime (shhh, we won’t tell anyone!) you can stream the games via mobile devices to your heart’s content. This includes in-market games, playoff games, and all primetime broadcasts. You will need a good mobile device, solid cellular plan (if you’re not streaming on a Wi-Fi network) and must turn location services on.

In addition to games, you can also watch NFL-related documentaries, shows, and movies as well as NFL Network. Everything is accessible in the NFL app. Upgrade to NFL+ Premium and you can even watch replays of games in case you’re stuck in a meeting or at an event and can’t watch live, and see exclusive game film that’s typically viewed only by coaches and analysts. The downside, of course, is that NFL+ is only for mobile viewing, and you don’t get out-of-market games. But if you’re a busy individual whose always out and about when the games are on, NFL+ means you won’t have to miss a single second.

Sign up for NFL+

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