How to Watch NFL Games Without Cable

Many consumers have “cut the cord” on cable TV because they’re tired of paying $100-plus per month for 500 channels but only watching 20 of them. Eliminating this expense has become a consistent strategy among those looking to cut costs in a time of rising prices.

But what if you’re a pro football fanatic? Is there a way to watch NFL games without cable? The answer is a resounding yes!

You may not be able to watch free NFL games without cable, but there are plenty of better deals with online streaming services, which are often much cheaper than cable.

They also include a wide selection of other sports games, a complete lineup of TV channels – including some of the most popular – and plenty of movies and special events.

Have I piqued your interest? If so, keep reading for 10 ways to watch NFL games without cable.

Table of Contents
  1. 10 Ways to Watch NFL Games Without Cable
    1. 1. Amazon Prime
    2. 2. FuboTV
    3. 3. DIRECTV
    4. 4. YouTube TV
    5. 5. Peacock Premium
    6. 6. Sling TV Orange + Blue
    7. 7. Paramount+
    8. 8. NFL+
    9. 9. ESPN+
    10. 10. Hulu + Live TV
  2. Final Thoughts

10 Ways to Watch NFL Games Without Cable

A growing number of streaming services are available to help you eliminate your cable TV service and save plenty of money. But we’ve narrowed the list to the following ten streaming services that we believe provide the most live NFL broadcasts.

Be aware that each service has its own unique pricing and service package. You can generally expect more NFL coverage from services with higher subscription fees. And if you’re really looking to cut costs to the bare bones, it is possible to get low-fee or free TV apps, but your exposure to NFL games will be much more limited.

1. Amazon Prime

What the service provides: NFL Thursday night football games.

What the service doesn’t provide: All other NFL games.

Price: $139 per year for Prime Annual, or $14.99 monthly for Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon brings Thursday night NFL football games to viewers anywhere in the US. It’s available through Amazon Prime Video and also on the Prime Video Twitch channel. The service is available in both English and Spanish.

For the 2023 NFL season, Amazon Prime is showing 16 games. Each game is broadcast live on Thursday nights, except for the Jets – Dolphins game, which will air on Friday, November 24, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you already have an Amazon Prime membership – which will set you back $139 or $14.99 per month – you can watch Thursday night football games on Prime Video at no additional charge. If you sign up for a subscription you’ll also get a 30-day free trial.

Of course, if you sign up for Amazon Prime, you’ll get more than Thursday night NFL games. You’ll get access to a Prime membership’s full lineup of benefits. That includes streaming of Amazon Originals and other programs and access to Discovery+, Paramount+, EPIX, NBA League Pass, and STARZ channels. No cable is required, and you can cancel the service anytime.

👉 Learn more about Amazon Prime

2. FuboTV

What the service provides: Most NFL games.

What the service doesn’t provide: Thursday night and out-of-market games.

Price: FuboTV Pro plan, at $54.99 per month for the first two months, then $74.99 per month thereafter.

FuboTV offers what may be the most comprehensive package of live NFL games. With your subscription, you’ll get access to nearly all NFL games except those broadcast on Thursday nights or out-of-market games in your area.

The plan is available for a flat rate of $$54.99 for the first two months, then $74.99 monthly, after a seven-day free trial. You can cancel your subscription at any time. However, FuboTV offers multiple plan packages at different rates, depending on the combination of channels you’re looking to access.

The Pro plan also comes with 175 channels, 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR, and the ability to watch up to 10 screens simultaneously.

You’ll be able to watch nearly all NFL games played each and every Sunday, as well as those available on other days, like Fridays and Mondays. FuboTV covers all 32 NFL teams.

You can watch live TV on multiple devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Hisense, LG TV, Roku, Vizio TV, and Xbox. Content can also be viewed on your smartphone or tablet.

👉 Learn more about FuboTV

3. DIRECTV

What the service provides: Most NFL games. 

What the service doesn’t provide: NFL Thursday night football.

Price: CHOICE plan: $84.99 monthly, locked for 24 months.

The DIRECTV CHOICE plan comes with the ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1, with the ability to add the CBS Sports Network as an optional add-on. That will give you plenty of access to live sporting events, including the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. With the Gemini device, you can enjoy all channels and apps together in one place, controlled by a voice remote powered by Google Assistant.  

With DIRECTV Sports Central, you can access every in-market and out-of-market NFL game. However, there is an additional fee of $15.99 per month for regional sports. But the package includes plenty of college football as well, including the ACC Network, B1G Network, and SEC Network. 

DIRECTV is currently available for $84.99 per month on a 24-month contract. They offer a $200 DIRECTV Visa Reward Card for current applications. You’ll also enjoy access to premium networks for three months, including Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax, and MGM – all free of charge.

4. YouTube TV

What the service provides: Sunday night football (NBC), Monday Night Football (ESPN), local games on CBS and Fox, and NFL Network games.

What the service doesn’t provide: Thursday night and out-of-market games.

Price: $50.99 monthly for the first three months, then $72.99 per month thereafter for the Base plan. 

YouTube TV offers access to ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, FS1, and the NFL Network, among over 100 channels. The service is available nationwide. One of the advantages of YouTube TV is that there are no annual contracts and no installation fees. YouTube TV can be accessed on PS5/PS4, LG, Firetv, Vizio, XBOX, Roku, Apple TV, and Google TV. In fact, you can watch YouTube TV over your Internet connection on your TV and any other supported devices.

NFL games include YouTube TV’s Key Plays View, Stats View, and Fantasy Football View. You can also add NFL Sunday Ticket, bundled or standalone, with four payments of $43.50, or $174 for the rest of the regular season.

5. Peacock Premium

What the service provides: All Sunday night football games, plus the January 13 Wild Card playoff game.

What the service doesn’t provide: All other NFL games.

Price: $5.99 per month for Premium; $11.99 per month for Premium Plus.

Peacock streams all games available on NBC for the 2023 football season. And since Peacock will exclusively provide the January 13 Wild Card playoff game, that game will be available as well.

Peacock is one of the less expensive streaming services available, starting at $5.99 per month for the Premium plan or a flat annual payment of $59.99 for even more savings. Just as important, you can cancel your subscription at any time. And if you prefer your programming to be ad-free, you can sign up for Premium Plus at just $11.99 per month or a single payment of $119.99 for greater savings.

But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, which applies to Peacock. All you’ll be getting with the plan are Sunday night games available on NBC, plus the Wild Card playoff game in January. If you’re a real pro football connoisseur, you must combine another streaming service with Peacock to get complete coverage.

6. Sling TV Orange + Blue

What the service provides: Monday Night Football (ESPN), Sunday Night Football (NBC), NFL Network games, and local games broadcast on FOX. 

What the service doesn’t provide: Thursday night games, out-of-market games, and local games broadcast on CBS.

Price: Orange & Blue plans, each $20 for the first month, then $40 per month thereafter; both packages are available for $27.50 for the first month, then $55 per month later.

With Sling TV, your NFL coverage will depend on your chosen plan. The Orange plan has seven channels, with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 the only networks airing NFL games. But if you take the Blue plan, you’ll have access to 15 channels, with NFL games airing on NBC, FS1, and the NFL Network.

The price structure is a bit deceptive since you’ll get half off only for the first month. But the combined Orange + Blue plans will give you access to more NFL games at just $55 per month after the first month.

Sling TV is available on Apple TV, iOS TV, Roku, FireTV, XBOC, Android TV, Windows, LG, Samsung TV, TiVo, Xfinity, Google TV, and Vizio, among other devices. The plans include 50 hours of DVR storage. You can stream on up to three devices simultaneously with the Blue plan but only a single device with the Orange plan.

👉 Learn more about Sling TV

7. Paramount+

What the service provides: All games broadcast by CBS, regional AFC Sunday afternoon games, as well as the AFC divisional playoff games and the AFC Championship Game.

What the service doesn’t provide: All other NFL broadcasts.

Price: $5.99 per month for the regular service and $11.99 per month for the mostly ad-free Paramount+ with Showtime plan.

Like Peacock Premium, Paramount+ is well-priced but offers an extremely limited lineup of NFL games. Essentially, the plan is limited to NFL games available on CBS. That will include Sunday afternoon, regional AFC games, and the AFC championship games. But you’ll also have access to college football games broadcast on your local CBS channel. That will include the B1G and SEC networks.

Paramount+ can be accessed on Android TV, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, firetv, LG, PS4 and PS5, Roku, Samsung TV, Vizio, XBOX, Xfinity, and Xumo. 

👉 Learn more about Paramount+

8. NFL+

What the service provides: NFL Network games, Sunday night football (NBC), Monday Night Football (ESPN), and local games broadcast on CBS and Fox. 

What the service doesn’t provide: Out-of-market games. 

Price: NFL+ $6.99 per month or $49.99 per year; NFL+ Premium $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year. 

The price for NFL+ is super attractive. It is $6.99 per month, but there is a catch. NFL+ games are available only on phone and tablet devices. Available games include live local, prime-time regular, and postseason games. But on your TV and personal computer, you’ll also have access to the NFL Network, like game audio, NFL films, and more on-demand content.

NFL+ Premium includes everything available on NFL+ but is available for TV, your personal computer, and your phone and tablet. You’ll also get NFL RedZone, ad-free. 

9. ESPN+

What the service provides: Monday Night Football games on November 20, December 11, 25th, and 30th; a wild-card playoff game on January 15 (2024) and a divisional playoff game in January (2024).

What the service doesn’t provide: NFL Network games, local games on Fox and CBS, Sunday night football (NBC), Thursday night football, and certain Monday Night Football games. 

Price: $10.99 per month or $109.99 per year.

ESPN+ is another low-cost provider, offering a limited number of NFL games. Those are primarily select Monday Night Football games and a limited number of playoff contests.

As a dedicated sports network, ESPN will give you access to Major League Baseball (including the World Series), US and international soccer, UFC, golf, tennis, and the NHL.

They also offer plenty of college football, including the ACC, Big 12, Conference USA, SEC, Sun Belt, and Western Athletic conference games.

On the cost side, ESPN+ is certainly reasonable. You can sign up for a monthly subscription fee of $10.99 or pay an annual price of $109.99. With either plan, you’ll have the option to cancel at any time without further obligation.

ESPN+ is available for Apple devices, Amazon FIRE, PlayStation 4 and 5, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Vizio, Xbox, Xfinity, and Xumo. 

10. Hulu + Live TV

What the service provides: NFL Network games, Sunday night football (NBC), Monday Night Football (ESPN), and local games broadcast on CBS and Fox. 

What the service doesn’t provide: Thursday night games and out-of-market games

Price: $76.99 per month.

Hulu + Live TV gives you access to more than 90 top channels, including live sports on ESPN+. The service also allows you to record live TV with unlimited DVR at no additional cost. You can stream on multiple devices, both home-based and mobile. There are no equipment rentals, installation appointments, or hidden fees, and you can cancel the service anytime.

Games are available on ABC, CBS, ESPN, Fox, FS1, TNT, and the NFL Network. Compatible devices include Mac and PC, Apple iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV (fourth generation), Xbox (360, One, and Series X/S), Samsung TV, LG, Nintendo Switch, Android TV, PlayStation (4 and 5), and Vizio. 

👉 Learn more about Hulu + Live TV

Final Thoughts

For most people, keeping cable TV has become something of a bad habit. More than a desirable service, cable TV has become little more than a default setting: if you don’t know where else to go, you choose to stay with cable TV.

That’s not necessarily bad, given that cable TV typically provides a wide variety of NFL games and other programming. But once again, the problem centers on paying for a bunch of channels you never watch, which is typically most of the channels offered. You’ll also be charged an additional fee for any premium channels you want to add.

If you’re a big-time NFL fan, that can get pretty expensive. If you’re tired of paying the high and rising cost of cable TV and want even more comprehensive pro football coverage, cutting the cable and adding a streaming service or two can provide you with a wider amount of NFL coverage at a fraction of the cost of cable TV.

Exactly which service you choose will depend on how much NFL football you like to watch each season. Once again, the most comprehensive streaming services will also charge the highest fee. But that may be a more cost-effective way of getting the number of games you hope to see each year.

But if you’re a budget-conscious consumer and want some – but not all – NFL games, you can choose one of the lower-cost providers offering more limited coverage.

Either way, knowing you can watch NFL games without cable is a nice feeling.

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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