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How to Watch the NFL Without Cable in 2022: Cut Cords & Go Online

Whether you cheer for the Philadelphia Eagles or the Dallas Cowboys; whether you feel enraged at a New Orleans Saints’ loss or thump your chest at a New York Giants’ victory, the NFL family celebrates football together. Trying to figure out how to watch NFL games online for the coming season? We have you covered.

Arjun Ruparelia
By Arjun Ruparelia (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-06-20T17:19:57+00:00

American football fans need those couple of hours of thrill during the NFL seasons. After a hard day at work, watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off against the New England Patriots is just what you need to kick back. If you’ve given up cable and are a dedicated cord-cutter now, you’ve still got plenty of alternatives to watch the NFL, and this guide will show you how to watch NFL games online. 

Key Takeaways:

  • If you’re a cord-cutter who wants to watch the NFL, you can stream the games on streaming platforms like fuboTV or YouTube TV.
  • If you don’t mind streaming on a small screen, NFL streaming is free on apps like Yahoo! Sports app. You can enjoy NFL live, but you can’t cast your screen onto a bigger screen.
  • If you want to enjoy NFL on a larger screen, you can get a free trial for one of the streaming services that offer them and use it alongside a VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to watch NFL live for free, at least for a while.
  • While there are plenty of options to watch NFL live, you’ll need a VPN to access them, since a lot of them are available only in the U.S.

If you’re not in the U.S. though, a lot of these services may not be accessible to you. We’ve got a solution that will help you access all platforms. We’ll give you all the dirt on ways to stream all things NFL, from regular season games to out-of-market games.

  • 10/11/2021 Facts checked

    Updated guide with new information for the 2021 fall season.

  • The best way to watch the NFL is on NFL.com, or the Yahoo! Sports app if you want to stream using a mobile phone. While the Yahoo! Sports app is free, NFL.com is not. However, if you’re not in the U.S., you’ll need to use a VPN to access these platforms because NFL.com often has regional blackouts, and Yahoo! Sports is only available in the U.S.

  • You can watch the regular season games on services like fuboTV, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, Peacock Premium or on NFL.com, among others. A lot of these platforms are available only in the U.S., and some have regional blackouts, but you can use a VPN to access them wherever you are.

  • NFL.com is the official NFL-owned streaming service for watching NFL games. However, you can also enjoy NFL on other services (free and paid), like fuboTV and YouTube TV. If a service isn’t available in your location, you can use a VPN to bypass the platform’s geoblocks.

How to Watch NFL Games Online Without Cable

You can live stream NFL games on NFL.com. The website is accessible worldwide, but it’s not free, and it’s subject to regional blackouts. However, you can always use a VPN to bypass the geoblocks.

nfl game pass
NFL.com is available worldwide, but the content is often subject to regional blackouts.

Big-time football fans may want to consider buying an NFL Game Pass that costs $99.99 a year and offers the entire current NFL season. NFL Game Pass also has a seven-day free trial if you want to see if it’s worth the money. If you want to watch local TV market games or primetime games on your mobile phone, the Yahoo Sports app is a great free alternative.

If you don’t mind splurging a little, you can stream live NFL games on the DirecTV Fantasy Zone channel, but DirecTV costs $69.99 a month. You can also watch NFL games live on streaming services like fuboTV, YouTube TV and Hulu+ Live TV, all of which cost $64.99 a month. You can also watch the NFL on Sling TV’s Orange and Blue plans, which cost $35 each or $50 for a combo purchase.

If you’re on a tight budget but want to watch games on one of the live TV streaming services, your most pocket-friendly options are Paramount+ Premium, Amazon Prime Video and Peacock Premium. If you’re not in the U.S., however, you won’t have access to a lot of these services. You can still use a VPN to get access to these services, of course.

Streaming service:Channels availableIs it free?Free trialPrice
fuboTVCBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN/ABC, NFL Network, NFL RedZoneNo7 days$65 per month
YouTube TVCBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN/ABC, NFL Network, NFL RedZone add-onNo14 days$65 per month
Hulu+ Live TVCBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN/ABC, NFL Network, NFL RedZone add-onNo 7 days $65 per month
Sling TVFox, NBC, ESPNNo 7 days $50 per month (Orange + Blue)
DirecTV Stream AT&T TVCBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN/ABCNoNo, (14-day money-back guarantee)$70 per month
Yahoo! SportsN/A N/A N/A N/A
PeacockNBCNo7 days$5 per month
Paramount PlusCBSNo7 days$5 per month
Amazon Prime VideoNBC, CBSNo7 days$13 per month

Watch NFL Games on fuboTV

fuboTV offers channels like ESPN, NBC, Fox and CBS where you can stream games and watch the Super Bowl, but it lacks the NFL Network. However, fuboTV does offer a package inclusive of NFL RedZone where you can stream Sunday afternoon NFL games 1 p.m. through 8 p.m. (Eastern Time). 

Watch NFL Games on YouTube TV

YouTube TV has the most extensive range of RSNs. All four major networks (ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC) are available, so you can stream local market games. The package includes NFL RedZone, and you also get access to NFL Network so you can stream exclusive games.

Watch NFL Games on Hulu

Hulu+ Live TV subscribers have access to ESPN, NBC, Fox and CBS to watch both local market and national games. Starting July 2021, Hulu added NFL Network to its live TV channels, so it’s similar to YouTube TV in terms of pricing and channels for football fans.

Watch NFL Games on Sling TV

Sling TV has all but one channel: CBS. If you don’t mind passing on the local market games, Sling TV should be good. However, to get access to all remaining channels (Fox, ESPN, NBC and NFL Network), you need to buy both Orange and Blue plans.

Watch NFL Games on AT&T TV Now

AT&T TV offers ESPN, NBC, Fox and CBS so you’ll have access to almost all local and nationally televised games. However, it doesn’t have the NFL Network, so you may have to miss a few Thursday night football games.

Watch NFL Games on Yahoo! Sports

If you’re in the U.S. and don’t want to cast your mobile phone’s screen onto a bigger one, Yahoo! Sports is a great free way to watch all local and prime-time games. Just download the app, allow your location and click on the “watch” tab.

Watch NFL Games on Peacock

Peacock Premium subscribers can view all Sunday night football games and any other NFL game that’s broadcasted on NBC. Peacock also recently announced the Sunday Night Football Final, an exclusive post-game show available for Peacock subscribers throughout the 2021 season, so that’s an additional goodie you get with Peacock.

Watch NFL Games on Paramount Plus

NFL games that air on CBS will be available on Paramount Plus, but they are regionalized. CBS is key to watching the NFL on Paramount+; that’s where you’ll see all the regional AFC games — depending on your region, of course. It’s not NFL Sunday Ticket, so you can’t watch any game you want, but it’s still something at $5 per month (check out our guide on how to watch Paramount Plus).

Watch NFL Games on Amazon Prime Video

You can watch simulcasts of 11 Thursday night football games that are broadcast either on NBC or CBS on Amazon Prime Video. You won’t have access to any local channels or NFL Network, though.

Is There an NFL Live Stream Free Online?

You can stream NFL games free on the NFL app and Yahoo! Sports, provided you’re in the U.S. If you’re not, you’ll need a VPN to bypass the app’s geoblocks. For big-screen NFL streaming, consider signing up for a free trial with one of the services that offers one. The free trial, plus the 30-day money-back guarantee that many VPNs offer, means you can essentially watch the NFL for free.

How to Watch NFL Games for Free With a VPN

If you haven’t used a VPN before, we’ll walk you through three simple steps so you can enjoy watching your local NFL team play football.

  1. Download and Install the VPN

    Your first step is to sign up with a VPN service provider — we recommend ExpressVPN. Once you’ve done that, download and install the VPN app on your device.

    download-expressvpn
  2. Connect to a U.S. Server

    Most of the services we’ve mentioned are accessible from the U.S. so you’ll need to connect to a U.S. server using your VPN to bypass the geoblocks. When you launch the VPN app, you’ll see a list of locations. Choose “U.S.” to connect with a server.

    expressvpn us server
  3. Access Paramount Plus

    Now that you’re connected to a U.S. server, try to access Paramount Plus. If you’re using a different streaming service, you can use the same process.

    paramount with vpn

The Best VPN to Stream NFL Games

The best streaming VPNs offer blazing-fast connection speeds, unlimited bandwidth and the ability to bypass geoblocks.

  1. ExpressVPN — Lightening-fast connection speeds
  2. NordVPN — Unlimited bandwidth at a pocket-friendly price
  3. Windscribe — Best free VPN for streaming NFL games

How to Watch Thursday Night Football

You can watch Thursday night football on the NFL app or Yahoo! Sports app for free, but if you want to watch Thursday night games on a bigger screen, you need a streaming service that carries Fox or NFL Network. To watch football on a Thursday, you’ll need access to fuboTV, Hulu+ Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV or DirecTV (which also gives you access to out-of-market games, provided you subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket). 

How to Watch Monday Night Football

Monday night football will be broadcast on ESPN and you can watch all Monday night games for free on ESPN.com, the ESPN app or Yahoo! Sports app. Read our guides on how to watch ESPN anywhere without cable and how to bypass ESPN blackouts. You can also watch any Monday night football game on fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

How to Watch Sunday Night Football

Sunday night games are broadcast on NBC, but you can also watch a Sunday night football matchup on your phone with the NBC Sports or NFL App (if you have cable subscription), or Yahoo! Sports app for free. If you want to stream live games on a bigger screen, you will need one of the following live TV streaming services: fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV or YouTube TV.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to watch Sunday afternoon games or sip on a cold beer as you watch the crowd go wild at the Los Angeles Chargers Stadium, most NFL games are available on streaming services. If you want to watch NFL RedZone, several streaming platforms will allow you to add NFL RedZone and get streaming access to Sunday afternoon games.

The only caveat is that if you’re not in the U.S., you may not have access to all streaming platforms. However, you can simply use a VPN to bypass the geoblocks. Do you know of other ways to stream the NFL online? Did you have to use a VPN to access the platform? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!

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