Given that the National Football League (NFL) is one of the most popular sports organizations in the entire world, it’s paramount for the league’s continued growth that they make games accessible to people everywhere — regardless of where those people are watching from. While this is easier said than done (considering that TV deals are notoriously difficult to structure and negotiate), luckily for us fans, the NFL has created various methods for its fans to catch games both during the regular season, and throughout the playoffs.
Yet, because there are now so many watching options, it might be tough for you to find out which of these platforms is best for you. For that reason, we’ve decided to put together this list of the main ways to watch the NFL, in order to help you decide how you’d like to watch the 2024 season.
Watch NFL on Cable
Perhaps the most efficient way for you to watch NFL games is if you have access to cable, and purchased the traditional channel package. This will allow you to watch the live, nationally broadcast NFL games on FOX, NBC, CBS, and ESPN.
However, cable isn’t the perfect way to watch the NFL because you will only be able to watch the games that are broadcast on primetime. In a typical regular season week in the NFL, there are only 6 (out of 14 or 15) games that are broadcast live for a national audience — and those games are selected for you. Therefore, if cable is your only means of watching the NFL, you will only have access to a fraction of the games, and some of those might not be of interest to you.
That being said, once the NFL season gets into the playoffs, those aforementioned cable channels broadcast every single game (aside from the games that are shown exclusively on Peacock, but we’ll get to that later). So cable is a great option for watching the best playoff matchups.
Watch NFL on NFL+
NFL+ is the National Football League’s exclusive streaming service, and it one of the better ways to watch NFL games. It exists within the NFL app and NFL.com ecosystem, and delivers a combination of live local and primetime mobile games — along with variety of other NFL-centric content options.
Considering that NFL+ is available in most countries, this way to watch the NFL is a solid option for most. However, contrary to popular belief, fans are not able to watch all NFL games live through NFL+ this season. With the NFL+ regular subscription and the NFL+ Premium tier only covering primetime and local in-market fixtures, NFL+ only allows viewers to watch the game games they would have access to through cable.
Yet, those with the NFL+ Premium can watch all games as full or condensed replays as soon they have concluded. So if you aren’t necessarily going to watch the games live, NFL+ is a great option for you.
There are two subscription years to NFL+: regular ($6.99 per month or $19.99 per year) or the premium version ($14.99 per month or $39.99 per year).
To watch NFL on NFL+, follow these steps:
- Subscribe to NFL+ via the NFL website or mobile app.
- Download the NFL app on your mobile or tablet device.
- Log in with your NFL+ account credentials.
- Access live local and primetime games, NFL RedZone, NFL Network, live game audio, and game replays.
Watch NFL Games on Paramount+
While Paramount+ is another potential way to watch the NFL, it is quite limited in what it actually offers. While all Paramount+ subscribers can stream NFL games on supported devices and platforms, the only games that they have access to are the games that are broadcast on your local CBS station.
While CBS (and therefore, Paramount+) does broadcast over 100 regular season games, not all of those are will be broadcast on your local station; and therefore aren’t available on Paramount+. Yet, if you are already a Paramount+ subscriber, you’ll automatically have instant live access to nationally televised and local NFL games.
Paramount+ Essential (the basic Paramount+ subscription) is available for $5.99 per month.
To watch NFL games on Paramount+, follow these steps:
- Subscribe to Paramount+.
- Download the Paramount+ app or visit the Paramount+ website.
- Log in with your subscription credentials.
- On game day, select “Live TV” from the menu to watch live games.
Watch NFL Games on Peacock
Peacock TV is a solid option for fans that are eager to watch the NFL. However, like most of the other streaming options on this list, Peacock does have its limitations.
During the NFL regular season, Peacock offers live streams of NFL games every week — most notably the weekly primetime NBC Sunday Night Football matchup. Yet, the games that Peacock displays are only games that are broadcast on NBC, so you don’t get full access to every NFL game live.
However, Peacock scored a great deal that started in this most recent 2023-24 season, where the platform became a host of exclusive games. Some of these games included the week 16 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers, and even the NFL playoff between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, which took place on January 13. While many NFL fans who don’t have access to Peacock weren’t happy about this exclusive deal, it was ingenious for the streaming platform to secure this, as it likely earned them many new subscribers.
Peacock Premium is available for $5.99 per month ($59.99 per year), while Peacock Premium Plus goes for $11.99 per month ($119.99 per year).
To watch NFL games on Peacock:
- Sign up for Peacock through their website or app.
- Subscribe to one of their plans, either Peacock Premium or Premium Plus, to get access to live sports.
- Stream Sunday Night Football live, as well as other exclusive NFL games announced for the season.
- Enjoy additional NFL content, such as Pro Football Talk, on Peacock.
Watch NFL Games on NFL RedZone
If you were to ask a diehard NFL fan (or a fantasy football fan) what the best way to watch live games are, almost all of them would have the same answer: NFL RedZone.
NFL RedZone brings you every touchdown from every game, every Sunday afternoon during the regular season, and acts as the perfect Fantasy Football companion. It’s over 7 hours of nonstop, commercial-free football. NFL RedZone will often be showing multiple games at once (even up to 8 games at a time), but will place a focus on games where one of the teams is operating inside their opponent’s 20-yard line.
You can watch NFL RedZone from anywhere across NFL.com, NFL Mobile, and other connected devices. NFL RedZone is also available through pay TV providers. The biggest downside to NFL RedZone is that is doesn’t show playoff games — but when it comes to the regular season, NFL RedZone is unbeatable.
To watch NFL games on NFL RedZone:
- Subscribe to a service offering NFL RedZone, such as YouTube TV or NFL+.
- Use the subscription to log in on NFL.com, the NFL Mobile app, or compatible devices like iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV.
- Stream NFL RedZone to catch every touchdown from every game on Sundays during the regular season.
Watch NFL Games on NFL Sunday Ticket (YouTube)
NFL Sunday Ticket (presented by YouTube) is the most underrated NFL streaming platform out there. With NFL Sunday Ticket, you can watch regular season Sunday afternoon out-of-market NFL games carried on CBS and FOX on channels that are not available in your local area. So while you can’t watch your local team with NFL Sunday Ticket, you can watch any other game.
NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube also does not include Sunday Night Football on NBC, nor Monday Night Football on ESPN. In other words, NFL Sunday Ticket shows all the games that aren’t available with a typical cable package.
While NFL Sunday ticket is great, it’s also super expensive, costing you from $174.00–$244.00 per season. Yet, if that is in your pay range, we would certainly suggest NFL ticket.
To watch NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV:
- Choose between bundling with YouTube TV or a standalone NFL Sunday Ticket subscription.
- Ensure you have a stable internet connection, recommended speed of 7+ Mbps.
- Download the YouTube or YouTube TV app on your device, or access through youtube.com or tv.youtube.com.
- Sign up and start streaming NFL Sunday Ticket content.
For more details, visit the YouTube TV NFL Sunday Ticket page.
Watch NFL on Amazon Prime Video (Thursday Night Football)
While Amazon Prime Video isn’t a great way to watch the NFL, it does exclusively show the weekly Thursday Night Football game. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, that will give you exclusive access to the one game on Thursday night each week of the NFL regular season.
Amazon Prime Video offers a range of pricing options. It’s included with an Amazon Prime membership for $14.99 per month or $139 annually. For those not interested in the full Prime membership, Prime Video alone is available for $8.99 per month. There’s also a 30-day free trial available for new users to explore the service
To watch Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video:
- Open the Prime Video app on your device or download it if needed.
- Sign in or sign up for a 30-day free trial if you’re not already a Prime member.
- Search for Thursday Night Football, find it on the homepage, in the Sports section, or the “Live & Upcoming” carousel.
- Select the game for the day and press play.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to watch the NFL. Depending on what your price range is, desire to watch local teams or nationally televised games, or where you’re located, you should be able to discern between the above options to see which option (or a combination of options) is the best fit for your NFL fandom.
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