NFL Live Stream Guide: Watch NFL Online Free and Over-the-Air

NFL Live stream

Are you ready for some football? More importantly, are you ready to watch football online? You can be…even without a cable TV subscription. Below, find my extensive NFL live stream guide. From how to watch NFL online to using an antenna, you’ll learn about all the legal options available. We’ll even show you how to watch NFL games online free without cable.

Not located in the US? Click here to learn about your best NFL live stream options so you too can watch football online and stream NFL games anywhere in the world.


How to Watch NFL Online without Cable

While there are now many ways to watch the NFL live streaming without cable, DIRECTV NOW is your best bet since it carries ESPN for Monday Night Football, NBC (in select markets) for Sunday Night Football and some Thursday Night Football, and FOX (in select markets) for Sunday afternoon games. It’s the most affordable option to watch NFL games online without cable.

  1. Visit DIRECTV to explore their channel packages.
  2. Choose the package(s) you want to watch NFL online
  3. Sign up for a free 7-day trial.
  4. Download the DIRECTV NOW app on your streaming device, or watch on your computer.
  5. Watch NFL live stream free legally without cable!
  6. If you like the service, keep it with no contract.


How Can You Watch Monday Night Football Online without Cable?

directv now review

Currently, DIRECTV NOW is the best way to watch Monday Night Football online, and really, one of the best ways to watch football online in general. This all-new service was just launched recently, and it provides a great way for NFL fans to stream live NFL games without cable TV. The service also offers a free 7-day trial!

DIRECTV NOW (review here) includes many channels that will be useful for watching football online. Most importantly, ESPN is included, as is ESPN2 and ESPN3. As you likely know, ESPN hosts Monday Night Football every week. Also included in DIRECTV NOW’s packages are channels like NBC and FOX in select areas, which are useful for Sunday and Thursday games.

DIRECTV NOW has several packages available, with the cheapest package starting at only $35 a month. They also give away free streaming devices regularly for prepaid customers, click here to see what they are offering.

Right now, DIRECTV NOW is our #1 recommendation for a service to watch NFL games online. Click here to try it out for free for a full week!


Can You Watch Sunday Football Games without Cable TV?

Absolutely. The NFL currently has contracts with NBCFOX, and CBS. DIRECTV NOW carries both NBC (home of Sunday Night Football) and FOX (Sunday afternoon NFL games) live in many select markets across the country, offering a legal way to watch NFL games online without cable. If you live in those markets that carry NBC and FOX live, you’ll be able to watch NFL games online all Sunday long each week! Click here to learn more about availability and to try DIRECTV NOW free for 7 days. It’s a great way to stream NFL games free for one week! Sling TV also offers these channels (learn more about Sling below).

As for the CBS-hosted games, you’ll want to sign up for CBS All Access for just $5.99 a month. This online streaming service was originally only for CBS TV shows, but now, it also offers live streaming of ALL football games that CBS broadcasts. This means lots of Thursday Night Football and Sunday Football games. Basically, if a game airs on CBS in your area, you’ll be able to stream the game live using CBS All Access. You can try the service for free for 7-days by clicking here.

PlayStation Vue also offers the same channels in limited markets, like DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV. However, live local channels are more expensive with Vue (your price goes up an extra $10 per month when you have locals), and streaming on your mobile device outside of your home network is heavily restricted.

Of course, NBC, FOX, and CBS are all network TV stations that are available for free with an antenna, offering an alternative to watching NFL games online. If you don’t have an antenna, check out our guide on choosing the best TV antenna for your home.

As far as TV scheduling is concerned, regional afternoon games, which air around 1 p.m. and 4 p.m (ET), are divided between CBS and FOX. CBS has the AFC package, and FOX has the NFC package. Which games you see will depend on the region in which you live. You will get to see your local favorites, as well as others. Check local listings for region-specific information.

As for the nationally telecast Sunday Night Football, NBC has full rights. So wherever you are in the country, if you get good antenna reception, you can watch Sunday Night Football free in HD. NBC also offers live streaming of Sunday Night Football on their site, but you may need a pay-tv login to see it.

The downside to watching with an antenna? You can’t pause, rewind, or record. Luckily, there are some good DVR options now available to cord cutters. I recommend you use a DVR. This lets you record, pause, rewind, and even live stream games to your connected devices. So once you’re all setup with your OTA DVR, you can actually enjoy an NFL live stream free on your devices. Check out our OTA DVR guide to learn more about your options.

Verizon Wireless customers can live stream Sunday night games on their mobile devices through the NFL Mobile app. This is an additional way, albeit a limited one, to watch football online.


Can I Watch Thursday Night Football Online without Cable?

NFL Network live stream

Thursday Night Football is a bit easier for cord cutters to watch this year. NFL Network owns part of the broadcast rights and will air every TNF game. Sling TV has just announced it will be carrying NFL Network (and NFL RedZone in the Sports Extra package). That means, you’ll be able to many Thursday Night Football matchups with Sling TV. However, any Thursday Night games that are being simulcast on CBS will be blacked out on NFL Network on Sling TV due to licensing agreements. Consider using CBS All Access to fill in the gaps on those blacked out TNF games.

Additionally, both CBS and NBC will also simulcast the majority of the TNF games this year. That means you can watch most TNF games with your antenna, and don’t forget Sling TV (7-day trial to enjoy NFL live stream free) also carries NBC live in many select markets across the country.

For the CBS-hosted TNF games, the best service to use is CBS All Access. This service is $5.99 a month (yeah, 6 bucks a month!) and offers live streaming of ALL CBS-hosted NFL games that broadcast in your area. It also offers a ton of live TV and on-demand CBS TV shows, so it’s a great value beyond football.

On top of that, the NFL struck a deal with Twitter to stream 10 of the games online absolutely free! Who doesn’t want to watch NFL games online free?

PlayStation Vue has also announced they just added NFL Network to their two upper-tier plans. As for NFL RedZone, you’ll have to pay $39.99 up front, but it will last you the entire season. Not terrible when you piece that out to a month-to-month cost, but it doesn’t give you the option to cancel it if you decide you don’t want it for the entire season. DIRECTV NOW does not currently offer NFL Network.

Note, the CBS TNF games will not air on either Vue or Sling. You’ll have to turn to Twitter to watch those games.

Once again, if you’re a Verizon Wireless customer, you’re in luck as you’ll be able to live stream Thursday Night Football on your device using the NFL Mobile app.


Use Sling TV to Watch Football Online

sling tv

Sling TV is another great way to stream NFL games online without cable. With Sling TV, you could get Monday Night Football plus plenty of Sunday NFL action depending on your market.

Year in and year out, Monday Night Football is consistently cable’s most watched series. And although it’s aired by ESPN, the good news is that you no longer need cable to watch. Thanks to Sling TV, you can now watch Monday Night Football online, each and every week, no cable subscription required. You’ll also get the NFL analysis you crave from ESPN — pre and post game analysis, NFL Live, NFL Insiders, and more. It’s also where you’ll be able to catch an NFL Draft live stream.

Sling TV is a streaming service backed by Dish Network that allows you to stream a package of many popular cable channels over the internet through your phone, tablet, computer, or TV (using a streaming player). The basic package includes an ESPN live stream, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, AMC, HGTV, CNN, Disney, and more — all for only $20 per month. In some areas, NBC and FOX are also offered, which means access to even more NFL games!

There are larger packages available ranging up to 60+ channels. The best part? No contract. You can try it for free now for 7 days (watch NFL games online free for a week!). It’s a great way to watch football online free.

Want to get your NFL live stream on your TV? Then I recommend you take advantage of Sling TV’s limited-time deals on Roku and Apple TV streaming players you pre-pay 3 months of Sling. These deals may change, but Sling TV usually offers a free Roku Streaming device or 40% off a new Apple TV to new prepaid customers. It essentially pays for itself in the long run, and it will carry you through the majority of the NFL season. Watching Monday Night Football online with Roku is as easy as it gets.

Would you rather get the NFL live stream on your mobile device? While many mobile devices support this streaming service, only T-Mobile customers get an incredible 30% savings — as a T-Mobile customer, all you have to pay is $14/month. This savings can be used for a whole year and can be canceled at anytime. This is a great deal for NFL fans, especially since you’ll never be charged data overage fees thanks to T-Mobile’s Binge On feature. It’s the cheapest way to stream NFL games. Sign into your T-Mobile account now to see whether your qualify.


Watch CBS-Hosted NFL Games Live with CBS All Access

cbs all access

It was recently announced that CBS All Access, the online streaming service provided by CBS itself, will now be offering live streaming of CBS-hosted NFL games! This is huge news for cord cutters, as previously these games have been difficult to watch without cable.

Basically, if a game airs on CBS in your area, you’ll be able to watch the game on CBS All Access. This is most useful for AFC teams, and mostly includes Thursday Night Football and some Sunday afternoon games. Note that CBS All Access is only live in select areas, although it’s growing very rapidly. Also, note that there may be mobile viewing restrictions of NFL games. Read our review for more info.

CBS All Access also provides live and on-demand access to tons of hit CBS TV shows and much more. At $5.99 a month, it’s a steal of a deal. Try it out for free with a 7-day trial!


Watch NFL Online On Demand with NFL Game Pass

NFL Game Pass

It’s virtually impossible to catch every single NFL game live as it airs. But thanks to the new US version of NFL Game Pass, you don’t have to. NFL Game Pass is a streaming service that allows you to watch football online on replay (no live games during the regular season) the same day they air. It will include replays of all 256 regular season games, some live out-of-market preseason games, and even older games from the 2009-2016 seasons, including the Super Bowls from these years. This is great for cord cutters who watch local market games with their antenna and want to see the games they missed later on with no commercials. It’s also a solid option for someone who doesn’t have time to catch their favorite team’s games live as they air.

Bored in the off season? NFL Game Pass will also allow you to relive the previous season all spring and summer long. With so much content, you can watch NFL games online year round and get your football fix any time you want!

NFL Game Pass is an affordable service with packages of various tiers available and a 7-day free trial to stream NFL games free for a week. You can find out more about the service by clicking here or by reading our full Game Pass review.


What about NFL Sunday Ticket?

For years, the holy grail for football lovers has been DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. If you’re looking to watch every single NFL game with no difficulty or workarounds, it’s hard to argue against the fact that DirecTV offers the easiest option. NFL Sunday Ticket gives you the most extensive live NFL coverage you will find anywhere else, including every out-of-market game live on Sundays. That’s wall-to-wall action each Sunday, perfect for hardcore fans, fantasy football junkies, and those who live out of the market of their favorite teams.

For DirecTV satellite customers, Sunday Ticket is available at no extra cost with the DirecTV Choice package or above. A two- year service agreement is required, but that’s a lot of football for your money. You’ll get every minute of every game all season long.

Of course, not everyone can get satellite TV where they live. For those people, there is now a way to watch NFL Sunday Ticket online. The Sunday Ticket streaming package offers live out-of-market NFL games streamed directly to your computer, mobile devices, game consoles, and streaming players, like Roku, Chromecast, PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, and soon on Apple TV. It’s only available if you fall into one of the following groups: you live in apartments, condos, or townhomes that don’t allow or can’t receive DirecTV service, you’re enrolled in a qualifying 2- or 4-year university (most schools qualify), or you live in the Philadelphia, NYC, or San Francisco. It’s priced at $49.99 a month for qualifying customers, or students at most 2- and 4-year schools can get Sunday Ticket U for $24.99 a month.

Call 888-648-7389 now for more details.


Watch NFL Live Stream Free on Your Mobile Device with Verizon Wireless

watch nfl games online with verizonIf you’re someone who likes to catch games on the road via your mobile device, then you may want to consider switching to Verizon Wireless. All Verizon customers can download the NFL Mobile app and watch pretty much all the live NFL games online they can handle. See local Sunday afternoon games and national broadcasts, including Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, and Monday Night Football live on your mobile devices.

Keep in mind, the NFL live stream will only work on your mobile devices, not your computer or TV. For a limited time Verizon is giving out $300 to new and existing customers when you trade in your old phone and buy a new one.


How Can I Watch NFL Online Outside the US?

NFL Game Pass

If you don’t live in the US, none of the options above are going to work for you to watch NFL games online. However, don’t worry. You’re actually likely in the best-case scenario. There is a special NFL live stream service created specifically for international viewing of live football games called NFL Game Pass.

NFL Game Pass allows international customers to watch NFL online in HD. It offers live, DVR, and on-demand options. Available across a variety of devices, NFL Game Pass gives you the option to view up to four games at once on screen, ensuring that you don’t miss any of the action. Please note that in some instances, blackouts will apply.

Want to find out more about NFL live stream options with NFL Game Pass? Click here to get more information.


NOW TV Offers UK Fans More than 100 Live NFL Games

Now TV logoIf you live in the UK, there’s also another way you can live stream NFL games this season. NOW TV, a streaming service that gives subscribers access to all 7 Sky Sports channels, will allow you to see more than 100 live NFL games online this season. With NOW TV, you’ll get to stream Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, the playoffs, the Super Bowl, and the Pro Bowl. Sky Sports even shows some preseason matches.

NOW TV offers a few different subscription options for its sports package. You can buy a Day Pass for £6.99, a Week Pass for £10.99, or a Month Pass for £31.99. If you plan on following the NFL all season long, the Month Pass is your best value.

Click here to learn more about NOW TV and how you can use it to watch football online.


Have Questions about NFL Live Streaming?

In my opinion, the best package for a cord cutter that wants to watch live is as follows: DIRECTV NOW + antenna. Maybe you’ve read through my guide but still have questions about how to watch NFL online. No problem. I’m here to help! Leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Finally, if you’re interested in how to watch other sports online, check out my guide.


NFL Team Guides

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Cincinnati BengalsDetroit Lions
Cleveland BrownsGreen Bay Packers
Pittsburgh SteelersMinnesota Vikings
Houston TexansAtlanta Falcons
Indianiapolis ColtsCarolina Panthers
Jacksonville JaguarsNew Orleans Saints
Tennessee TitansTampa Bay Buccaneers
Buffalo BillsDallas Cowboys
Miami DolphinsNew York Giants
New England PatriotsPhiladelphia Eagles
New York JetsWashington Redskins
Denver BroncosArizona Cardinals
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