The NFL has never wavered in its promise to start the season on time, despite the coronavirus pandemic. But much beyond that remains unpredictable. Football is a much higher contact sport than either basketball or baseball, and while the NBA has not had a case of COVID-19 penetrating its social bubble, MLB has had several series of games canceled due to team outbursts.
The NFL also supports the protocol set by other leagues to play in empty stadiums; Several teams have pledged to allow at least some fans to watch the matches, with the Miami Dolphins announcing that they will let 13,000 people into the stands for their September 20 home opener.
All in all, your home is the safest place to watch the 2020 season. The NFL has regularly embraced streaming in recent years, and there are now more ways than ever to get your network on when the season begins Thursday, Sept. 1
Here is our guide to all your streaming options.
Over the air
Unlike the NBA, NHL or MLB, the NFL plays a simple 16-game schedule where each team plays one game a week. It is suitable for fairly predictable TV programming. The league shares Sunday afternoon broadcasts after the conference: AFC games air on CBS at 1:00 pm and 4:05 pm ET, and Fox runs NFC games at 1:00 pm and 4:25 pm ET.
NBC retains the popular Sunday Night Football broadcast, which begins at 8:20 p.m. ET. All you need is an over-the-air digital TV antenna and affordable proximity to a broadcasting tower. You will find our best antenna choices here.
This year, 11 of 14 Thursday Night Football broadcasts will be broadcast on Fox and simulcast on the cable-only NFL Network. The league’s flagship channel retains sole ownership of the remaining three matches.
It only omits the iconic Monday Night Football game on cable only with ESPN, which you can access via one of the streaming options below.
If this plethora of TV deals makes your head spin like you just took a bone-chilling hit from JJ Watt, check out 506Sports.com or Sports Media Watch. Each site lists which games are on which channel for each week of the season. Mark them for easy access.
Even if you do not have a cable subscription or a TV antenna, you still have many options for capturing all the pro-pig skin action. Streaming options continue to expand each season, offering many ways to customize your view. However, while emphasizing what each service offers, the availability of individual channel live content may vary from market to market. It pays to check through each service’s website to see what it offers in your area before subscribing.
AT&T TV Now, formerly DirectTV Now, offers CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN in their Plus package of $ 55 per month. Unfortunately, it seems that the NFL Network was a victim of the company’s recent channel.
CBS will continue to stream its NFL broadcasts to subscribers to the CBS All Access service at $ 6 per month. And Amazon will stream through Amazon Prime Video all the Football Night games broadcast on Fox. If you do not want to pay the $ 119 annual Amazon Prime membership fee to access Amazon Prime Video, you can still catch these games as they will be streamed for free on Amazon-owned Twitch.
Both Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV give you all-season Sunday games and Monday Night Football – but not the NFL Network – for a $ 55 or $ 65 subscription, respectively.
FuboTV will give you CBS, FOX and NBC for every Sunday game, plus the NFL Network for Thursday in its family package, which costs $ 65 per month. For an additional $ 11 per month, you can also get the NFL RedZone via the service’s Sports Plus supplement. Hosted by Scott Hanson, it only exists in about a seven-hour window every Sunday, and RedZone sends nothing but the highlights of the day (mostly touchdowns, as the name suggests) at a frenetic pace that perfectly evokes the adrenaline rush of a game-winning ride
Sling TV’s live NFL offerings are split between their two channel packages: Sling Orange includes ESPN, and Sling Blue has FOX and NBC. Each one will cost you $ 30 a month, so it’s $ 60 a month to get the three channels. Sling used to offer a discounted combined package called Sling Orange & Blue, but it has been discontinued. In addition, Sling TV no longer carries the ABC or NFL Network, making this a less appealing option for football fans than previous seasons.
NFL Game Pass
With the NFL Game Pass, you can watch all pre-season games off the market live, and you can reprise each match in the regular season after the end. If you can live without ser action you can select live local radio broadcasts from where you have broadband access.
The NFL Game Pass also gives you a few unique ways to watch completed games: You can see a condensed view of the game, which summarizes all the action in about 45 minutes, or you can watch Coaches Film, which shows the game from your choice of two camera angles : All 22 and High End Zone. The All 22 camera is positioned high above the field to capture all 22 players simultaneously. The High End Zone camera is located on either side of a field, high above the goal posts and behind the end zone. This camera angle shows what the game looks like when there are game actions coming towards (or away from) the end zone camera.
The NFL Game Pass costs $ 100 for the season. In addition, mobile apps are available for most streaming platforms, including Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Roku and Xbox One.
Looking down fields
Super Bowl LIV broke previous streaming records for the NFL Championship game, with an average streaming audience of 3.4 million.
Although it represents only a small fraction of all Super Bowl viewing, it shows that there is an audience that is willing to accept alternatives. And if the NFL continues to make a serious commitment to live streaming, it may set a new bar for sports broadcasting in 21St. century just as it did in the 20thth.
Are you looking for even more ways to watch the match this season? Do not miss our overview of other screen folders.