The NFL is one of the most cord cutter friendly sports in the U.S. during the regular seasons. In fact, it is easy to watch the NFL without cable. So, it comes as no surprise that it’s just as easy to watch the NFL Playoffs without a cable TV subscription.
In fact every game of the 2018 NFL playoffs (2017 Season) is available on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox using an over the air antenna. So, there is no need to have a cable subscription or a to enjoy NFL football this postseason. All of those channels are available using a TV antenna. If you want to set one up, just check out my guide on choosing a TV antenna. However, there are now several ways to stream local TV channels.
Streaming the NFL Playoffs
Update: Verizon has announced that all NFL playoff games will be available for free using the Yahoo Sports app. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store on iOS devices and GooglePlay on Android devices. It may be possible to Chromecast or Airplay the content to your television using an Apple TV or Chromecast. However, I have not yet tested this function.
Several streaming services stream local ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS. The services that stream these services in the most area as follow.
DIRECTV NOW – This service streams live local channels in most markets in the country. You can check my review of DirecTV Now to see which channels are available in your area. I put the NFL Playoff schedule later in the article so you can make sure you’ll be able to watch the game using this service. DIRECTV NOW also provided ESPN. This is handy for the AFC Wildcard game that airs on both ABC and ESPN. It’s basically a way to watch the game if you can’t get ABC. You can also check out this 1-week free trial to ensure you have access to the channels you need.
Hulu Live TV is another good option as they also stream all the required local networks. I also break down which local networks are available in a given market in my Hulu Live TV review. They also offer a free trial for you to see which local channels are available.
You can also check out this post on streaming local channels for other viewing options. If none of these work you can still catch the game by using the international version of NFL Game Pass. Game Pass offers a live NFL streaming service available to people outside the U.S. All one needs to do is make your computer seem like it’s not based in the U.S. which is actually pretty easy to accomplish.
To do this you can use a SmartDNS service or VPN to simulate a French based IP address. The details of doing this are described in my article on using a SmartDNS. I personally use Overplay SmartDNS to do this. The basic steps to do this are below. Make sure you set up your DNS before purchasing Game Pass. You will need to purchase it while using the foreign DNS. Bear in mind, this is a last resort. While you are paying to watch, using a Smart DNS likely violates the NFL Game Pass end user agreement. In other words they have the right to cancel your subscription without a refund.
Setting up SmartDNS for NFL Game Pass
- Sign up for Overplay SmartDNS
- Follow the instructions here to setup your device
- While logged into Overplays website click ” My Account” then click “SMARTDNS”
- Here you can configure your SmartDNS settings for the services you want to use, including NFL Game Pass. Make sure NFL Game Pass is set to “France”
- Now that it looks like you are in France. Navigate to NFL Game Pass and sign up. Create an account (you need a new account, don’t use U.S. Game Pass Account)
- You will be asked for a payment method. Using a U.S. based credit card shouldn’t matter.
NFL Playoff TV Schedule
Wild Card Weekend
Saturday, Jan. 6
Tennessee at Kansas City: 4:35pm EST on ESPN and ABC
Atlanta at L.A. Rams: 8:15pm EST on NBC
Sunday, Jan. 7
Buffalo at Jacksonville: 1:05pm EST on CBS
Carolina at New Orleans: 4:40pm EST on FOX
Saturday, Jan. 13
New Orleans/Carolina/Atlanta at Philadelphia: 4:35pm EST on NBC
Kansas City/Tennessee/Buffalo at New England: 8:15pm EST on CBS
Sunday, Jan. 14
Jacksonville/Kansas City/Tennessee at Pittsburgh: 1:05pm EST on CBS
L.A. Rams/New Orleans/Carolina at Minnesota: 4:40pm EST on FOX
Sunday, Jan. 21
NFC: NFC Championship, 3:05 p.m. ET (FOX)
AFC: AFC Championship, 6:40 p.m. ET (CBS)
Super Bowl 52
Sunday, Feb. 4
AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion at U.S. Bank Stadium, 6:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
If this article didn't answer your specific question, check out the Cord Cutting Guide. It provides links to the most important articles in our over 200 pages of content to help you ditch pay TV.
You can also get help online with any technical questions you may have. Just check out this Online Tech Support Chat Tool
If you enjoyed this article, please Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. It goes out every Thursday and keeps you up to date on information relevant to cord cutters. Subscribing will also inform you on the latest deals out there for internet, streaming, and more.