Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
The 2021 NFL season will kick off in September, and, for the first time ever, each team will play 17 games instead of 16. Your first chance to catch your favorite team in action won’t come in Week 1, but in the preseason — which will also look a little different. Since the regular season is now longer, the NFL trimmed the preseason from four games to three. It’s less time for your team to tune up, but it’s still worth a look if you’re curious and starved for football.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream the NFL preseason:
Not every NFL preseason game makes it to TV, but the ones that do air on CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, or even the NFL Network. Let’s look at some ways to get those broadcasts as a cord-cutter.
You’ll need to track down a few key channels to watch NFL preseason games without paying for cable. How can you do that? The best option is to use a live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle.”
Skinny bundles are out to beat cable at its own game, and they’re doing a heck of a job of it. Skinny bundles trim the fat from overstuffed cable packages, leaving a leaner bundle of great channels that sells for less and streams online.
Skinny bundles aren’t your only option, but they’ll dominate our list. Let’s talk about some of the best skinny bundles for NFL fans in the preseason, and then move on to alternative methods.
Stream NFL preseason games with DIRECTV Stream
The live TV streaming service from AT&T is a good option for NFL fans. If you don’t recognize the DIRECTV Stream name, you may know the service by one of its previous names: AT&T TV, AT&T TV NOW, and DIRECTV NOW. It offers livestreams of all four major broadcast networks, plus ESPN and NFL Network.
Stream NFL preseason games for free with Hulu
Hulu’s live TV streaming service includes access to lots of major networks and sports channels. Signing up for a Hulu + Live TV subscription lets you tune in to livestreams of CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN, which means you can watch as much preseason football as you can handle!
Stream NFL preseason games with fuboTV
This live TV streaming service offers livestreams of CBS, FOX, NBC, and NFL Network. As of 2020, ESPN is finally available on fuboTV as well. To learn more about the pros and cons of the service, head over to our fuboTV review.
Stream NFL preseason games with Sling TV
Sling TV is Dish’s take on the live TV streaming service. The service’s a la carte pricing structure makes it easy to build the perfect bundle for less. Sling TV’s packages include ESPN and NFL Network, as well as FOX and NBC in a few markets.
Stream NFL preseason games with Paramount+
Paramount Plus arrived on the scene in 2021 — and it’s OK if you’re not sure what it has to do with football. ViacomCBS is Paramount Plus’ parent company, which means many viewers can use it to watch a live feed of their local CBS affiliate, although availability varies by market.
Google’s live TV streaming service is a worthy competitor. Its channel lineup includes CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN. If you’d like more details, our YouTube TV review can provide them.
For broadcasts on major networks, the cheapest option is to invest in an antenna to get the big-time channels for free over the air. Some rural residents may have trouble, but most people live within range of at least one or two local broadcast stations. If you need help picking the right antenna, we’ve got you covered.
The Yahoo Sports app offers livestreams of preseason games. Live NFL games on your phone used to be available only to Verizon customers, but that’s not the case anymore. It’s a great way to catch preseason action — albeit on a small screen, since screencasting is not allowed.
The NFL Mobile app offers livestreams of preseason games, but only to Verizon customers. It’s another one of the NFL’s annoying corporate tie-in deals, and it leaves people who use other providers out in the cold. For Verizon subscribers, it’s a great way to catch preseason action — albeit on a small screen.
NFL Game Pass, the league’s streaming service, is kind of a lightweight compared to big dogs such as MLB.TV. It doesn’t offer live games during the season, which makes it useless to most fans. But Game Pass excels in the preseason, when all out-of-market games are streamed live to subscribers. Blackouts, however, will prevent you from watching the games featuring your local team or being aired on major national networks.
NFL games are meant for big screens. Good news: You can watch preseason action on a wide range of platforms, which means you’ll be able to watch on your biggest and baddest TV if you want.
Paramount Plus isn’t on the chart, but it works with every device listed.
NFL preseason games can be fun, but you know what’s even more fun? The NFL regular season. No football fan has ever said, “Well, I think I got my fill of action from that preseason game where the star quarterback mostly sat on the bench and drank Gatorade.” Our guide to watching NFL Games without cable will provide everything you need to know about watching the regular season. And we can’t forget the biggest game of the year, so you may want to read our guide to watching the Super Bowl without cable as well.
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