Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
Football feels a little different on Thursday nights. Anything can happen when two teams face off after less than a week of preparation. Even for the most organized and meticulous teams, “Thursday Night Football” showdowns tend to be when wild things happen. If you’re an NFL fan, then you don’t want to miss “Thursday Night Football” — regardless of whether you have cable. We’re here to show you how to stream “Thursday Night Football” online and watch it free over the air, no cable required.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream Thursday Night Fightball:
Can you watch “Thursday Night Football” online? The short answer is yes. The long answer is also yes, but we have a lot of streaming options to discuss.
“Thursday Night Football” airs partly on FOX, which is available on cable and also included with some streaming services. Live TV streaming services — sometimes called “skinny bundles” — are streaming cable alternatives that offer a cable-like experience without a cable-like price tag.
We’ll list the best streaming options for FOX and “Thursday Night Football” below. We’ll also talk about over-the-air TV, since FOX is an over-the-air channel — which means there’s a good chance you’ll be able to watch at least some “Thursday Night Football” live for free, with no cable necessary.
FOX has partial TV rights to “Thursday Night Football,” but many games also air on NFL Network. In fact, when the NFL first debuted “Thursday Night Football,” many people weren’t thrilled, as the NFL Network can be a tough channel to get. (It’s not impossible, though, and we can show you how to watch NFL Network online). In recent years, the NFL has taken more of a hybrid approach. Several of the 2021 season’s games will air on both NFL Network and FOX. However, eight of them will only be available via NFL Network, so be sure to get that channel if your favorite team is playing in one of those eight games.
There are also streaming rights — and those belong to tech giant Amazon. Amazon typically airs the livestreams on Amazon Prime Video, as well as its esports streaming service Twitch.
Stream Thursday Night Football on DIRECTV Stream
Like its competitors, DIRECTV Stream is aiming to beat old-school cable and satellite services by offering a better version of the same experience for less money. DIRECTV Stream's channel list includes FOX in most markets, which means it has a livestream of “Thursday Night Football.”
Stream Thursday Night Football on Hulu
The Hulu + Live TV bundle offers both on-demand content and live TV channels. Hulu + Live TV includes NFL Network and FOX, which means you’ll find a “Thursday Night Football” livestream whenever a game is on. Our Hulu vs. Hulu + Live TV page can tell you more about the differences between Hulu’s on-demand and live TV streaming services.
Stream Thursday Night Football on fuboTV
As we explained in our fuboTV review, fuboTV is a live TV streaming service that puts sports first — which makes it a great choice for NFL fans. You can watch every NFL game on fuboTV, including “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts on FOX and the NFL Network.
Stream Thursday Night Football on Sling TV
Sling TV isn’t always on lists of ways to watch “Thursday Night Football” without cable, but it has offered NFL Network for a while. The service also now offers livestreams of FOX affiliates in certain markets. If you’re in a market such as Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, or Chicago, you’ll be able to get FOX with a Sling TV subscription. As of this writing, though, Sling TV’s FOX coverage isn’t as complete as that of some other skinny bundles.
Amazon rival Google didn’t land the streaming rights to “Thursday Night Football,” but you can still use a Google product to legally watch Thursday games live. YouTube TV (not to be confused with regular old YouTube) is a live TV streaming service that includes both a FOX livestream and NFL Network.
Starting with the 2014 season, the NFL sold TV rights to major networks: first to CBS, then to CBS and NBC jointly, and, finally, to FOX, which has most of the games this year, as we mentioned above. More specifically, you can find 11 TNF games on FOX this season.The FOX games will also be simulcast on NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video.
FOX, like its major-network peers, is available for free over the air in most markets. If you have a FOX broadcast affiliate near you, grab an antenna to watch “Thursday Night Football” for free.
Amazon doesn’t have a cable alternative, but it does have a streaming platform: Prime Video, which is built into the company’s Amazon Prime service. Amazon netted the streaming rights to “Thursday Night Football,” and one of the places you can watch the all-online version of the broadcast is in the Prime Video app. Starting with the 2022 season, Amazon Prime Video will be the exclusive way to watch “Thursday Night Football,” unless you live in the broadcast market of one of the teams playing.
What does that look like in practice? Starting in 2022, Pittsburgh Steelers fans who live in western Pennsylvania, for example, will have no trouble watching the team play any Thursday night games, regardless of whether they have Amazon Prime Video. But Steelers fans in, say, Atlanta, will need Amazon Prime Video to catch their favorite team on Thursday nights.
Twitch is a video streaming service best known for hosting livestreams of people playing video games. Self-made gaming stars and big esports events have made Twitch the place to be for virtual gaming, but Amazon has also put some real-life gridiron action on the platform. “Thursday Night Football” streams for free on Twitch.
Streaming “Thursday Night Football” is pretty easy, and it doesn’t require watching it on your computer. Our favorite live TV streaming services play nice with virtually all of our recommended streaming devices. Use the chart below to make sure the service you use will work with the devices you already have.
“Thursday Night Football” airs only one night a week, but there are football games several times a week — and we’re here to help you watch it as many nights as you want! How to Watch NFL Games Without Cable has everything you need to know for the regular season. If you’re excited for the postseason because you think your team will be good this year (sorry, Jets fans, but we’re not really talking to you), then check out our guide to watching the NFL playoffs without cable.
Your email address will not be published.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.