While the NFL Preseason has been underway for some time now, any football fan knows that the true fun is yet to come. Early September marks the beginning of the regular 2017 NFL Season, the time that the games really start to mean something.
The NFL is probably the best sport for cord cutters, as there are great options for watching by streaming or even free over-the-air in most locations. While many of the options from last year’s guide still hold true, there are also some big changes for viewing options this season. Read on below to learn some of the best way to catch all the action this year.
A TV Antenna is the NFL Fan’s Best Friend
Did you know that the majority of NFL football airs on NBC, FOX, and CBS? That’s right—all day Sunday and many Thursday nights you can watch NFL on broadcast channels, which is great news for cord cutters. All you need is an antenna, and you’ll get all the football you can handle. In fact, even when your team plays on Monday Night Football, which airs on ESPN, a local affiliate will broadcast the matchup for free.
What this means is that most casual football fans can get away with watching all the football they desire for free! As long as you get good reception and you live in your favorite team’s market, you’re good to go (for the 2017 NFL season and beyond).
Of course, diehard fans might want to supplement their antenna with a streaming option that will get them additional coverage. That could mean ESPN for Monday Night Football, NFL Network for more Thursday Night Football games, and maybe even NFL RedZone for watching non-stop game action.
For ESPN, you have multiple skinny bundle streaming options. Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue… the list goes on and on. Each service has its own strong and weak points, but all come with free trials, so you can get a taste before you shell out any money.
As for NFL Network and RedZone, your options are a bit more narrow. Currently, you can gain access via Sling TV or PlayStation Vue. On Sling TV, you’ll need the Blue package for NFL Network and the Sports Extra add-on if you want RedZone. With Vue, you need the Core plan for NFL Network, and the Sports add-on for NFL RedZone. Rumor has it that DIRECTV NOW will be adding NFL Network and RedZone to its line-up(s) soon.
Thursday Night Football on Amazon
You may remember Twitter offered free live streams of some Thursday Night Football games last season. This year, Amazon took those streaming rights from Twitter. Amazon will offer live streaming of 10 TNF games to Prime subscribers.
If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, add this to the random perks you get beyond free 2-day shipping. This might be especially handy if you aren’t home to watch the TV broadcast with your antenna. If you aren’t a Prime member, no worries. The same games that Amazon will be streaming will also be available on CBS or NBC (depending which network is broadcasting). Your antenna will have you covered.
Want to watch NFL games on your phone on the go? Verizon Wireless has an exclusive deal with the NFL for mobile streaming. So if you’re a Verizon customer, you can stream games absolutely free as part of your plan.
Not a Verizon customer? Your option would be to get a Tablo DVR and connect it to your antenna. From there, set up the Tablo app on your mobile device and you can stream the games to your phone. It’s a nice work around!
There are plenty of great options for the 2017 NFL season. And remember, if you’re new to cord cutting, make sure to use Untangle.tv to create your customized cord cutting setup!