You don’t need cable to watch your favorite NFL team every week during the 2021-2022 season. This guide explains how to watch your favorite NFL team’s games every week, whether you live inside or outside their TV market. I’ll also cover how to watch nationally televised games like Thursday, Sunday, and Monday Night Football. What you need to watch the NFL each week will depend on what you want to watch and where you live. While I explain this in detail within this article, my basic advice is:
If You live in the TV Market of your Favorite Team: You will need 5 different TV networks to watch your favorite NFL team each week: CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network. The streaming services that provide all 5 of those are Hulu Live TV(Free Trial*), FuboTV (Free Trial*), DIRECTV Stream (sign up*), and YouTube TV.
If You Want to Watch Teams Outside of Your TV Market: Check the article for how to watch the specific NFL team below. If you want to watch more than one team this season or all the games, then check out the How to Watch Out of Market NFL Games section below.
Watch Your Favorite NFL Team Without Cable
For the 2021-2022 NFL season, I put together a guide specific to each team. The articles below will explain how to watch that team for fans that live both inside and outside that team’s TV market. We even touch on watching the preseason, but you can see our guide on how to watch preseason NFL games for more details.
Read on for more details on ways you can watch the 2021-2022 season without cable.
Best Options to Watch NFL Games Live
To know which live streaming service is the best for watching the NFL, we need to consider NFL games air on the following channels:
- Sunday local market day games will air on Fox and CBS.
- Sunday Night Football will air on NBC.
- Monday Night Football will be on ESPN. ABC will typically carry a simulcast of the game in the local market of each team.
- You can watch Thursday Night Football games on NFL Network. However, those games will be simulcast on Fox and Amazon Prime in weeks 5 through 16 (There are no Thursday games in week 17 and 18.) Check out our article, how to watch Thursday Night Football for more information.
While nationally televised games are on the same channel nationwide (Sunday Night Football on NBC, Thursday Night Football on NFL Network, and Monday Nigth Football on ESPN,) most games will vary based on region. If you live in your favorite teams’ market, you just need your local CBS and Fox channel for regional games and NBC, NFL Network, and ESPN for national games. If you want to watch teams outside your local TV market, you may want to consider using NFL Game Pass, which I cover later in the article. So based on that information, here are the best TV streaming services to watch the NFL this season:
FuboTV will be the best option for most football fans to watch their home team and nationally televised games. They recently added ESPN to their lineup covering Monday Night football. They are one of the only options for NFL Network, providing access to all the Thursday night games. They also carry live local Fox, NBC, and CBS in every NFL team’s home market. FuboTV provides the means to watch your home team on CBS and Fox while watching Sunday Night Football on NBC. In short, with a FuboTV subscription, you can watch
- Your local team’s Sunday afternoon games on Fox and CBS
- All Sunday Night Football on NBC
- All Monday Night Football on ESPN
- All Thursday Night Games on NFL Network
FuboTV offers a 1-week free trial. There is no contract, and you can cancel anytime. After the trial period, the cost of the Standard package is $64.99. Fubo is supported on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, and more. See our full review of FuboTV for more information.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu has NBC, CBS, and Fox in nearly all TV markets in the country. They also have ESPN and NFL Network in their lineup. Therefore, Hulu Live TV provides the following NFL games:
- Your local teams Sunday day games on Fox and CBS
- Sunday Night Football on NBC
- Monday Night Football on ESPN
- Thursday Night Games on NFL Network
You can try out Hulu Live TV through their 1-week free trial. After the free trial, Hulu costs $64.99. Hulu is supported on Roku, Fire TV Devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and more. Check out our full review of Hulu Live TV for more information on their service.
YouTube TV also offers ESPN, Fox, NBC, CBS, and NFL Network so that you can watch nationally televised games along with regional games on Sunday afternoons. The service costs $64.99 a month. The live streaming service also includes a DVR and supports a host of streaming devices. Youtube TV supports Android, iOS, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, and more. The YouTube TV app isn’t available on Roku. However, users can use YouTube TV through the YouTube app on Roku devices. Like the other services, YouTube TV offers a free trial, cloud DVR, local broadcast channels, and many other features. Please read our review of YouTube TV for more details on their service.
DIRECTV Stream is a live streaming service that carries ESPN, Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS, which will let you watch Washington Football Team games. However, DIRECTV Stream doesn’t offer NFL Network, which you may need to watch Thursday Night Football. ESP, Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC are available in DIRECTV Stream’s “Entertainment” channel plan for $69.99 per month. You can sign up online and get a full refund if you cancel within your first 14 days. They don’t force you into a contract, and you can cancel at any time.
The service also includes a cloud DVR service and allows you to stream to 20 devices simultaneously. DIRECTV Stream is supported on Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, iOS, Android, Roku, and more. See our review of DIRECTV Stream for more details on this streaming service.
Watch NFL Games for Free
Your local NFL team’s games will be available to watch for free, over the air most Sundays during the day on either CBS or Fox. That means you just need a TV antenna. Furthermore, Sunday Night Football is on NBC, and Fox will air all the Thursday Night Football with the exceptions of Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4. You will need NFL Network for Thursday Night Games in those three weeks.
That means the only games you will miss are on Monday Night Football, which airs on ESPN, and possibly a few Thursday Night Games (Some are exclusively on NFL Network.) Of course, if your local Market team is playing on Monday Night Football, the game is typically syndicated on your local broadcast affiliate.
Ultimately, you can watch quite a bit of football for free with an antenna. Whether your local NFL team is playing home or away, your local affiliate should be broadcasting the game over the air on Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, or Sunday Night Football (OTA). I’ve written a guide so you can choose the best TV antenna for your needs.
Additionally, since broadcast TV is less compressed, the picture will be of much higher quality than what you are used to with cable and satellite TV. I’d much rather watch football OTA. Watching on cable or satellite feels grainy by comparison. You can read our HD antenna guide for more information on choosing an antenna.
Watch Out of Market NFL Games
While the options I’ve given thus far cover nationally televised games and your local market games, there is NFL Game Pass for out-of-market games. NFL Game Pass costs $99 for the season for US customers. NFL Game Pass provides all games, all season, but there is a catch. You can’t watch live on devices in the United States. But, you can watch right after the conclusion of the applicable game’s telecast. If you access NFL Game Pass through a free trial, Thursday night games will not be available until 72 hours after the telecast.
However, you can get around this delay rule and watch live! You just need to make your device look like it’s not in the United States. See, NFL Game Pass lets international customers use “NFL Game Pass International.” This will show games live to devices that are outside the US. All we have to do is make our computer look like it is a country that carries NFL Game Pass International, like India, and you can stream all NFL Games live as if you are living there. To do this, you can use a VPN like IPVanish to simulate an IP address in another part of the world. The steps are as follows:
- Sign up for IPVanish.
- Once you sign up, install the IPVanish client. After that, it’s simply a matter of starting the client, logging in, and click India as your location on the map to turn on the VPN. (I suggested India because it’s the cheapest for NFL game pass)
- Your computer now looks like it’s in India.
- Clear your browser cache. This is important in case Game Pass stored a location cookie on your system
- Once the VPN is set up, you can sign up for NFL Game Pass. Simply go to https://www.nflgamepass.com/. When you click “Sign Up Now” you should be redirected to the Game Pass International page where you can sign up. Notice this page says, “All 250+ games LIVE.” You even get a free trial to test this out.
- You can use your current billing address, but I recommend Paypal. The VPN will still open up all games since you are based abroad from the perspective of Game Pass.
- I’ve tested this using my laptop. If I want to watch Game Pass on my TV, I connect my laptop to my TV, and I’m watching on the big screen.
I describe more about using a VPN to get around sports blackouts and delays in the article: using a VPN to watch sports. Of course, you don’t need a VPN. If you are fine with the delay, just sign up for NFL Gamepass without using the VPN.
Currently, NFL Game Pass will be available on iPad, iPhone, Android Tablets and Phones, Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV, and more. NFL Game Pass will provide the following functionality and more . . .
- The ability to connect to multiple devices
- Turn scores on and off to avoid spoilers
- Condensed game versions that are about 30 minutes long
- Full replay of every game from 2009 until the present day
- Coaches Film
- DVR Controls
You can learn more about NFL Game Pass on the NFL Game Pass Website.
Watch Monday Night Football Online
Monday Night Football airs on ESPN. If you are solely interested in watching Monday Night Football, the services below offer ESPN.
From our article on How To Watch Monday Night Football:
- Sling TV Orange
- DIRECTV Stream
- Hulu with Live TV
- YouTube TV
- Yahoo Sports App (Mobile Only explained below)
Watch Sunday Night Football Online
Sunday Night Football airs on NBC. It will also stream on the NBC Streaming service Peacock. Any of the services below will allow you to watch Sunday Night Football every week.
From our article on How To Watch Sunday Night Football:
Watch Thursday Night Football Online
If you are just interested in catching Thursday Night Football, the NFL Network is what you need. While other networks air certain Thursday games, NFL Network will air all of them. We cover this in detail in our article on how to watch Thursday Night Football. You’ll find our recommended options from the article in the list below.
Thursday Night Football on Amazon
Amazon Prime will show all the Thursday Night games simulcast on Fox this season through their Prime Video App in Weeks 5 through 16. They will also be streaming these games live on Amazon-owned Twitch, which means you don’t need to buy an Amazon Prime membership to watch these games.
NFL On Mobile Devices
“NFL Live” through the Yahoo! Sports app is a free way to watch local and primetime Games through the Yahoo Sports app, but only on mobile devices.
The Yahoo! Sports app provides access to all of the below NFL material:
- In-game highlights
- Game Previews
- Preseason live videos
- Regular season live videos, including Sunday afternoon in-market local games (there’s no access to out-of-market games) and Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games.
- All 11 playoff games
- Super Bowl
- The Pro Bowl
The Yahoo Sports app is available on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Unfortunately, this app currently only works on mobile devices. The app shuts down when attempting to mirror your phone to Apple TV or Roku.
NFL Live though the Yahoo Sports App also has a feature called “Watch Together,” which lets fans watch live local/primetime games with up to four family and friends on their phones during a synchronized Livestream
Typically, NFL Sunday Ticket is only available to Direct TV subscribers. However, there are situations where NFL Sunday Ticket is available online without subscribing to Direct TV.
During last year’s NFL Season, NFL Sunday Ticket Online was available to people living in select apartment buildings, attending one of the select universities, or living in select areas within New York City, Philadelphia, or San Francisco.
They also offer the service to “select multi-dwelling unit buildings nationwide.” They have also expanded the offering to more Colleges and Universities. You can verify eligibility on their website.
Blackout rules still apply, so you will still need an antenna to catch games within your local market.
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