Football is the most popular sport in America, and the NFL is the league that carries the torch. There are plenty of options for watching your favorite teams each week. We’ll show you the most affordable services.
Unfortunately, watching the NFL can be a frustrating experience. The games have been spread out to a larger number of channels over the years. Depending on how many games you want to watch, you may need more than one service. Let’s dive in.
Which Channels Broadcast NFL Football for Free?
First and foremost, let’s talk about the channels that broadcast NFL football games over the air. You can watch these channels for free with a basic TV antenna, no internet required.
- CBS: Sunday games for AFC teams (local and national).
- FOX: Sunday games for NFC teams (local and national).
- NBC: Sunday Night Football (national).
When your local team is playing, you’ll see those games on CBS or FOX. At the times when your local team isn’t playing, you’ll see the nationally televised game. The NBC Sunday night game is always nationally televised.
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Other Channels for NFL Football
There are a number of other non-OTA channels that also televise NFL football games each week. You will need to pay for cable or a streaming service to watch these games.
- ESPN: Monday Night Football (national).
- Amazon Prime: Thursday Night Football (national).
- NFL RedZone: Switches between games to show all scoring plays.
- NFL Network: Select weekly nationally televised games.
- NFL Sunday Ticket: Out-of-market regular season games (exclusive to DirecTV).
These channels are more for watching the NFL at large, not one specific team. The one exception is NFL Sunday Ticket, which is intended to be used by people who don’t live in the local market of their team. It’s only available on DirecTV, though.
Cheapest Streaming Services for the NFL
There are plenty of streaming services that have NFL games, but finding the cheapest option is a balancing act. We’ve got a few choices for you.
Sling TV – Orange & Blue Packages
Sling has two separate packages that can also be combined. The “Orange” package includes ESPN channels, while “Blue” has the NFL Network and some local FOX and NBC stations.
That means if you’re a fan of an NFC team and you live in an supported market, you can see most of your teams’ games with the Blue package for only $35. The Orange package alone is only good for ESPN Monday Night Football games.
However, combining both the Blue and Orange packages is only $50, which is still cheaper than most streaming services that include live sports. Assuming you live in a supported market, Sling TV is the best choice.
Vidgo is one of the newer streaming services available today. For NFL fans, it includes ESPN, FOX, and NFL Network in the base plan. The “Premium” plan adds NFL RedZone.
As a new service, there’s not as much information about Vidgo as the other options. For example, it doesn’t provide great information about which markets have access to local FOX channels. However, the pricing for Vidgo makes it hard to ignore.
The base “Plus” plan cost $60 and also includes channels such as Big Ten Network and SEC Network, which make it an excellent option if you’re interested in college football as well. To get NFL RedZone, you’ll need the $80 “Premium” package.
Now we’re getting into the price range where you have a few options in the same vicinity. YouTube TV, fuboTV, Hulu Live, and DirectTV Stream are all in the $65-70 range. YouTube TV is the cheapest of the bunch, and it’s probably the nicest to use.
For $65, YouTube TV includes ESPN, NFL Network, and all three local TV networks in some markets. That basically covers all the needs for NFL games. For an additional $11 per month, you can get NFL RedZone in the “Sports Plus” add-on package.
As you can see, watching the NFL on streaming services is not cheap. By far the most affordable option is an OTA antenna to watch your local team on CBS or FOX. Otherwise, you’re looking at paying at least around $30 per month for a streaming service.
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