One of the biggest concerns people have about cord cutting is how to get sports, namely the NFL, without the cable box. We’re only a few weeks away from the start of the 2017 NFL season and if you decided to get rid of your cable, here’s how you can still catch all the NFL action online or over-the-air this season.
Watch NFL Games as a Cord Cutter
If you don’t need to watch games live, one popular option is NFL Game Pass which allows you to replay every game of the season, including the Playoffs and Super Bowl.
For live games, however, like “Monday Night Football” on ESPN you can get it via over-the-top (OTT) streaming services like PlayStation Vue, Hulu Live, or DirecTV NOW. But the cheapest option is to sign up for Sling TV which provides ESPN in its cheapest package which is only $20/month. NBC airs the Sunday Night Football game and the OTT streaming services offer it in their packages in select areas.
NBC live streams the Sunday Night Football for free online, too. The site allows you to select different camera angles and provides real-time stats during the game, too.
To watch the Thursday night games, you can get NFL Network for an additional fee for a sports package through services like Sling TV. Also, you can get NFL RedZone which allows you to move from game to game for the biggest plays that are happening at any given moment. Both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue offer them as an add-on option for $10/month. There is no contract required so you can just keep the extra package for the season and then cancel it.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member ($99/year or 10.99/month) then you will have access to certain “Thursday Night Football” games. The NFL and Amazon struck a deal to stream 10 of the season’s games. Obviously, this isn’t all the games and it starts during week four of the season – here is the 2017 schedule.
And services like Hulu Live and PlayStation Vue also offer local channels in most major markets. And, we see they are adding more local channels in additional markets on a regular basis. However, your best bet is to check each service’s website to see what local channels are available in your area. Also, CBS All Access ($5.99/month with commercials or $9.99/month without commercials) offers in-market Sunday games. Although NFL games are not available via All Access on mobile phones.
It’s also worth a relatively new live streaming service called Fubo TV that launched in 2015. It provides a ton of live sports content as well as popular cable channels like USA, FX, CNN, and others. Fubo works on most set-top boxes, mobile devices, and through a browser. The main thing to point out is it includes the NFL Network in its entry package called Fubo Premiere. The package includes over 65 channels, of which, 35 are dedicated sports channels. That will give sports fans their fix even after the NFL season is over.
CBS, FOX, NBC Games Over-the-Air (OTA)
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to use streaming services to get NFL games. You can get games from CBS, NBC, and FOX in HD over-the-air for free. All you need is a simple Leaf-style antenna that hangs in your window. Prices vary depending on how far you want to receive signals and your reception will vary depending on your location.
This is a great option if you live in an urban area and want to watch your local team. Unfortunately, I live in the country and my indoor antenna only picks up PBS and FOX. But, luckily most of the Minnesota Vikings games are on FOX. Whatever your situation, as a cord cutter, between live streaming services and OTA HDTV you should be able to catch plenty of NFL action.
ISPs and wireless carriers also offer NFL packages that are exclusive to their customers. For instance, Verizon customers can stream Sunday night games on their mobile device via the NFL Mobile app. What did I miss? Leave a comment below and let us know what your service offers!