Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
The NFL's regular season is full of thrilling action, but even those fast-paced games pale in comparison to what comes next: the winner-take-all drama of the NFL playoffs. Fourteen teams will enter the expanded 2020 postseason, but only two will make it to the Super Bowl, and just one will get to lift the Lombardi Trophy. This is the kind of stuff that sports fans simply can't afford to miss, whether they have cable or not. But if you're both an NFL fan and a cord cutter, how can you catch every minute of the 2020-2021 NFL playoffs? Don't worry — the answers are below, and you'll have no trouble getting your hands on the NFL playoffs live stream before the next big game kicks off.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream the NFL playoffs:
The most effective way to watch the NFL playoffs without cable isn't to try to track down online streams of each and every individual game — that's a major pain (and will likely end up leading you to some streams of pretty questionable legality). The better way to enjoy the NFL playoffs without cable is to find out which channels are showing NFL playoff games this year and then find ways to watch those entire channels without cable.
So which channels are the NFL playoff games on this year?
The NFL playoffs have aired entirely on major broadcast networks in the past. But things are a little different this year. You’ll still be able to get each and every game on ABC, NBC, Fox, or CBS. But CBS is putting an alternate stream of one wild card game on both CBS All Access and Nickelodeon. The latter will be a “kid-friendly” broadcast.
As for NBC, they’re also putting one of the wild card games on both NBC and live streaming service Peacock.
Then there’s ABC, which will simulcast a Wild Card game with sister channel ESPN. The same game will also air on ESPN2 with “looser” commentary — whatever that means. Maybe the announcers stop calling the game and start making cheese dip. Meanwhile, the exact same game will air on a fourth channel as well: Freeform, which will have a broadcast geared towards women.
In short, you can watch every NFL playoff game on the major networks alone, but you’ll have more options for commentary if you also have access to cable networks like Nickelodeon, ESPN2, and Freeform.
There are two major ways to watch live TV without cable as a cord cutter. The first is the live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle.” With a skinny bundle, you'll get a cable-like bundle of live TV networks as well as many of the benefits of the streaming era — such as lower prices, no long-term contracts, and the ability to stream on all sorts of different devices.
Another great way to watch live TV without cable is free over-the-air TV. This method is particularly useful if your priority is to watch the major networks — which, of course, lines up rather nicely with the fact that the NFL playoffs air on major networks.
Below, we'll list the best live TV streaming services to use when streaming the NFL playoffs. After that, we'll cover free over-the-air TV.
Stream the NFL playoffs for free with Hulu
Disney's Hulu is a powerful option for cord cutters. Not only does Hulu offer a popular on-demand service, but it also boasts a live TV streaming service. The Hulu + Live TV skinny bundle service offers live feeds of tons of great channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and ESPN2. That's all four major networks plus two flavors of ESPN. As of this writing, Hulu + Live TV’s channel lineup also includes Freeform.
Stream the NFL playoffs for free with fuboTV
fuboTV is a live TV streaming service that puts a special emphasis on sports coverage. Though fuboTV's sports edge is more obvious in the area of foreign soccer, it puts up a solid showing for the NFL playoffs, too. In many markets, you can get CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC. The most affordable fuboTV package also comes with ESPN, ESPN2, Freeform, and Nickelodeon.
Watch the NFL Playoffs on Paramount+
CBS All Access is an on-demand streaming service that also lets you watch CBS live in some markets. CBS has announced that all subscribers will be able to watch one Wild Card playoff game on CBS All Access. If CBS All Access includes live local streaming in your market, you may also be able to watch every other playoff game that airs on CBS.
AT&T TV Now makes a great way to watch the NFL playoffs without cable. This live TV streaming service from AT&T offers live feeds of ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. AT&T TV Now can give you access to cable-only networks, too, meaning that you can use it to watch the simulcasts and alternate broadcasts on channels like ESPN2. You may know this service by its earlier name, DirecTV Now.
YouTube TV is Google's live TV streaming service, and it's a great option for fans who are hoping to enjoy the NFL playoffs without cable. YouTube TV offers live feeds of ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, as well as ESPN, ESPN2, Freeform, and Nickelodeon.
Free over-the-air TV is the most cost-effective way to watch live TV as a cord cutter. Once you've purchased your antenna and set it up, you'll be able to pick up any broadcast stations that are in the range of your antenna and watch them live for free. Not every channel is available over the air: ESPN, for instance, is not a “terrestrial” or “broadcast” station. But ABC is, and so is every other one of the “major networks.” That means that every single NFL playoff game will be broadcast for free over the air. Get the right antenna and you’ll be able to watch the NFL playoffs for free, no cable necessary!
When it comes to NFL playoff action, only the biggest and baddest of your screens will do — which is why you might be wondering if any of the services above are going to work with your favorite smart TV or streaming device. Well, the odds are in your favor. Let's take a closer look at the platform support offered by each of our favorite ways to watch the NFL playoffs without cable.
If you're a Roku owner, then you have a lot of options for enjoying the NFL playoffs without cable. Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all offer channels (apps) for Roku devices.
If you own a Fire TV device instead, that's no problem: Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all offer apps for Fire TV, too.
Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all work on Apple TV as well.
As for Android TV, fans of that platform will find apps available for Hulu, fuboTV, and YouTube TV.
If you prefer to use Chromecast to get your NFL playoff action up on the big screen, then Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV will all work for you.
Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV each also offer mobile apps for iOS and Android as well as in-browser apps for use with your PC or Mac computer.
If you're planning on catching NFL playoff games in between your own games of Madden, then you'll be happy to know that Hulu and CBS All Access work for PlayStation 4 and that Hulu, YouTube TV, and CBS All Access work on Xbox One.
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