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These days, more people are cutting the cable cord than ever — more than 50 million Americans last year, to be precise. So what’s the main thing that’s keeping people tuned in? That would be live sports for $200, Alex. But here’s the good news: finding an NFL live stream isn’t rocket science. In fact, there are plenty of options out there for watching NFL games without cable, so grab some snacks and a nice cold beer and get watching.
To help make your decision easier, we’ve compared all of the top options according to price, which games you get access to, and additional features. Unfortunately, because NBC, ABC, CBS and ESPN all have their own streaming networks, you may need to sign up for a hodgepodge of streaming apps to guarantee you can stream every single NFL game. Fortunately, we’ve done your homework for you, so keep reading to find out how to stream NFL games in 2022 without cable.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to stream Super Bowl LVI, as it’s coming soon on Sunday, February 13. If watching the Super Bowl is important, you’ll want to sign up for the NBC streaming app Peacock or one of the live TV alternatives featured below.
1. Hulu + Live TV
For an excellent alternative to traditional cable that gets you every channel you’d need to watch the NFL in one package, go for the Hulu + Live TV bundle. You get all four networks, ESPN and the NFL Network. Seeing as all games are broadcast live on one of those channels, you should have no problem watching your local team play. Overall, for its price, Hulu + Live TV is definitely one of the best options for NFL live streams. And if you’re willing to spend only a few bucks more, you can get the same bundle plus Disney+ and ESPN+, which will get you ESPN archives, as well as Monday Night Football.
What You Get: Watch all games live on ESPN, NFL Network, CBS, NBC and Fox
2. YouTube TV
BEST DVR FUNCTION
If you’re already into YouTube and/or Google’s product offerings, you might consider trying YouTube TV. The package includes all four networks, ESPN and NFL Network. Plus, if you love getting all the best action and key information at once, you can upgrade your subscription to include the NFL RedZone channel. Overall, it offers, more or less, the same benefits as Hulu + Live TV, give or take a few channels, but we particularly love its DVR function, so you can record the games you want and catch them later.
What You Get: Watch all games live on ESPN, NFL Network, CBS, NBC and Fox
3. Peacock Premium
BEST FOR NBC BROADCASTS
As NBC Universal continues to develop its streaming service, it continues to unroll even more options for subscribers. If you want to stream NBC-owned football games online, you’ll need to subscribe to the Premium version ($4.99 a month for ad-supported streaming) or Peacock Premium Plus ($9.99 a month for ad-free streaming). In addition to watching football, you’ll also get access to Peacock Originals (like Dr. Death, MacGruber, and Girls5Eva), Premier League soccer, and a bunch of next-day NBC shows as well. Want to watch football later and on the go? The Premium Plus package allows you to download content onto your device and watch it offline.
Plus, because NBC has rights to the Super Bowl broadcast, premium Peacock customers will be able to watch the Super Bowl and related programming come February. For all these reasons, we think Peacock is the best streaming app for the NFL.
What You Get: Stream NBC Sunday Night football games and Super Bowl LVI live on your devices
Price: Starting at $4.99/Month
4. Sling TV
BEST CABLE ALTERNATIVE
Sling TV is one of the best alternatives to cable TV, and it’s more affordable than similar services like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV. Sling has three different packages, but for NFL fans, the $50/month Blue and Orange package is your best bet. This package will give you access to Fox, NBC, the NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN 3. While it doesn’t have CBS access, you can complement your package with a separate subscription to Paramount+, and all ABC NFL games are also broadcast on ESPN 3.
Sling is a great option for basketball fans, but it doesn’t give you 100% coverage of the NFL. Still, you get all of the most popular television channels, including almost every worthwhile sports channel, for just $50/month. If you love watching TV but hate cable companies, then Sling is an affordable option.
What You Get: Stream NFL Games on Fox, NBC, ESPN, ESPN3 and the NFL Network
Price: Free trial then $50/Month
BEST FOR CBS BROADCASTS
For a less-than-ideal but nonetheless decent option for local live games, Paramount+, formerly known as CBS All Access, will get the job done. With a premium subscription, you’ll be able to access local games that are broadcast on CBS, which is a great base to work with. That’s all you’ll get here in terms of NFL live streams, but a Paramount+ subscription will also get you access to the service’s slate of originals (The Good Fight, Yellowstone), as well as the entire catalog of CBS, MTV, Comedy Central and Sports HQ series, among others.
Paramount+ also has a free trial, so if you’re trying to watch a specific NFL matchup for free, this is one of the only legitimate ways to watch the NFL for free.
What You Get: Stream CBS NFL games
Price: Free trial, then $5.99/Month
6. Amazon Prime Video
BEST THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
We mention Prime Video because many people already have it. If you do, you already have access to Thursday Night Football live, at no additional cost. The games are broadcast in 4K and as an added bonus you can often choose which commentary team you want to stream with it. With a Prime Video account you’ll also have access to a slew of original shows (Jack Ryan, The Boys, The Wheel of Time), plus access to all of those Prime Video channels and add-ons.
We should also note that starting in 2022, Prime Video becomes the exclusive partner for Thursday Night Football. So now is not the worst time to subscribe. (Plus, you know, there are many other benefits to Amazon Prime).
What You Get: Stream Thursday Night Football broadcasts
Price: Free for 30 days, then $12.99/Month
7. NFL Game Pass
If you want access to every game and don’t care about catching them live, NFL Game Pass is your best, and probably your most affordable, option. All games are available to stream the minute the live broadcast ends, regardless of where you are or where the game took place. The service also gives you the option of catching 45-minute, condensed versions of all the action, although it no longer offers the option to stream multiple games simultaneously in the same view. One of the coolest parts is that you can dig back as far as 2009 and rewatch some of your favorite matchups, with no blackouts or out-of-market rules to worry about.
The only downside? No live games, which is definitely a deal-breaker for some fans. However, the service does offer live, full audio streams of games as they air.
What You Get: Stream all NFL games after they air
Price: Free trial, then $9.99/Month
8. DirecTV Stream & NFL Sunday Ticket
BEST FOR OUT-OF-MARKET
If you’re looking for a way to watch legal, out-of-market games on a Sunday afternoon, NFL Sunday Ticket is your ticket. The service features nifty playback modes and a reliable stream, but you will have to have DirecTV in order to access it as an add-on. In addition, DirectTV Stream is another cable TV alternative worth considering for NFL fans. The Entertainment+ package with DirecTV Stream lets you access all of the channels you need to watch NFL games and the Super Bowl, plus three free months of premium movie channels.
What You Get: Watch all NFL games live, plus out of market games with NFL Sunday Ticket
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to access select Monday Night Football broadcasts, a standalone ESPN+ subscription is the way to go. The affordable service offers select live games across all sports as well as archived ESPN shows, but it doesn’t give you access to primetime or network programming. If you’re a Manning fan it may still be worth it, as all available MNF broadcasts include commentary by Eli and Peyton Manning. You can also enjoy special NFL programming such as the highlights show “NFL PrimeTime on ESPN+”.
What You Get: Monday Night NFL Games on ESPN plus additional NFL special programming
BEST FOR MULTI-SPORT FANS
For fans who love football and every other sport, FuboTV is another popular option. The basic package comes with all the essential channels — NBC, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN and NFL Network — but Fubo also offers more expensive packages with more channels as well as every add-on under the sun, including a sports add-on that includes NFL RedZone. The add-ons can be costly and most live streams are limited to 720p, but it does include some 4K content and a handy DVR functionality.
Also Consider: Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna
For the cheapest way to stream NFL games without a TV package or subscription, pick up an HD TV antenna like the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse TV Antenna.
It picks up signals from any direction up to 35 miles, whether through walls, buildings, mountains or reception dead zones, and you could end up with a dozen crystal clear channels, including the major networks, depending on how close you are to the source. While that will still leave you without the majority of NFL games, you’ll be able to watch your team of choice live with just one purchase, no subscription required.
What You Get: Local NFL broadcasts plus the Super Bowl
Price: One-time purchase of $39.99
How Much Will it Cost To Stream the Games?
There are several answers to this question, but basically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 a month to $35 for an all-in package. If you want access to every single game, there’s the $100 NFL Game Pass, but keep in mind those games won’t show live. For the most part, basic options run between $35 to $70 per month and include live access to your local team’s games and some of the bigger Sunday matchups. But of course that all depends on the number of overall games you want and whether you’re live-streaming.
Now, without further ado, let’s check out how to stream NFL games below.
When Does a Typical Season Run?
Football in the US typically kicks off in September (pun intended) and goes all the way to February. The regular season consists of 272 games total, with each of the 32 teams playing 17 games during an 18-week period (there is also one bye week per team, per season). It’s worth noting that the number of games jumped from 16 to 17 games during the 2021-22 season, and as a result, there were a handful of broken records. Whether that format was successful is still under review, given that many of the players were originally against it.
When Are the NFL Playoffs?
Once the regular NFL season wraps, the real fun begins. The year before the league changed its regular-season run to 17 games, it also made the decision to expand playoffs from 12 to 14 teams. That means seven teams from the AFC and seven teams from the NFC make the postseason, and that the previous bye week for the second-place team in each division has now been eliminated.
This all goes down in January, after the always exciting Wild Card Weekend, in which the NFL solidifies which teams will make the playoffs. Then, one by one, each team is eliminated in a bracket-style tournament, until two teams are left. Everyone gets a week off the weekend before Super Bowl (find out how to watch the Super Bowl online here), so that both competing teams are fresh and ready to take the field.