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Watch NFL Preseason Live without Cable

2016 NFL preseason football is quickly approaching.  I’ve covered how to watch NFL football without cable, but I really didn’t go into much detail on how to catch NFL preseason action.

Due to the 2016 Summer Olympics, nationally televised 2016 NFL preseason games will be airing a bit later this year. Furthermore since NBC will be covering the olympics, the Hall of Fame Game will air on ESPN instead of NBC.

This years Hall of Fame Game see the Indianapolis Colts face off against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday August 7th. Since it’s airing on ESPN you can catch it on Sling TV. You can get a 7 day free trial to enjoy the game. Playstation Vue also offers ESPN on their base service.

All of your in market team’s regular season and preseason games, whether home or away, can be seen on local team’s flagship station using a TV antenna. For instance, I live just west of Baltimore and can watch every Ravens game for free using my Mohu Sky antenna.

Not only will you have access to your local market teams with an antenna, but you will also have the preseason games that are nationally broadcast. That’s pretty much every nationally broadcast game with the exception of week 1, where Dallas plays Los Angeles.

The rest of the games will air on NBC, CBS, and FOX. Those can be seen using a digital TV antenna. The nationally televised preseason games along with when and where you can watch them is shown below.

Week 1
  • Los Angeles vs. Dallas (Saturday, August 13 on ESPN at 8:00 PM EST)

Week 3

  • Atlanta at Miami (Thursday, August 25 on NBC at 8:00 PM EST)
  • Cleveland at Tampa Bay (Friday, August 26 on CBS at 8:00 PM EST)
  • Tennessee at Oakland (Saturday, August 27 on CBS at8:00 PM EST)
  • San Diego at Minnesota (Sunday, August 28 on FOX at 1:00 PM EST)
  • Arizona at Houston (Sunday, August 28 on FOX at 4:00 PM EST)
  • Cincinnati at Jacksonville (Sunday, August 28 on NBC at 8:00 PM EST)

Now, those ESPN games will obviously not be available on your antenna.  However watching ESPN without cable is now possible thanks to Sling TV. Check out my full review of Sling TV for all the details on their service. Certain markets may even have access to the Fox games through Sling TV.

What About Out of Market Games?

What if you want to watch more than just your local team? Perhaps, you have relocated from Wisconsin and want to watch your Packers preseason games. Well, the NFL has just made it easy to do.

For the 2016 preseason, all preseason games will be available online to watch live on NFL Game Pass. In fact, during the regular season, you can watch NFL games without cable using Game Pass as well.

Watching live only applies to NFL teams no within your local market, and excludes any of the nationally broadcast games I mentioned above. To watch those games when the air live you need a TV antenna for the local games and Sling TV for nationally televised ESPN games.

But even if you don’t have an Antenna or Sling TV you can still watch those games on NFL Game Pass. NFL game Pass will let you watch those games on demand as soon as the live telecast has ended.

Essentially you are on a few hour delay for your local team and nationally broadcasted games. Otherwise you can watch the game live online.


Get your antenna now. Not only can you watch your local team’s preseason games, but every game they play all season. You even get to watch if your team makes it to the post season.

For teams outside your area you can watch most games on NFL Game Pass. The exceptions are the nationally broadcast games on NBC, CBS, and Fox which you can watch on an antenna, and the few games on ESPN. However, those can be viewed with a subscription to Sling TV.

For help choosing an antenna or other tips on cutting your cable bill, check out my guide on how to watch TV without cable.

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Categories: Guides
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (4)

  • I live in northern Wisconsin, have outdoor antenna that receives NBC and ABC out of wausau wi, cbs & fox out of wausau i dont get with the antena that is rated for 150 miles, I have to pay for CBS with their all access through ruko, and don't get fox at all. Don't know how CBS & fox get away with not broadcasting a strong signal. Wausau is approximately 70 miles or less away, as the bird flies. How can I get fox?

    • Sling TV is rolling out live broadcasting of Fox to customers, but I don't think it's in your area as of yet. Stay tuned. Have you checked out the TV Antenna guide for help with your OTA setup?

  • I am in Southwest Fkorida on the Gulf of Mex. I relocated here from the DC Baltimore area. I do get directv and the NFL package....how ever they dont offer any preseason games. With out breaking my bank account. How can i catch the Skins and the Ravens on line? Surly there are some cheap options and not one that rips you off for preseason.