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NFL without cable: A string guide for the 2020 season

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

0, with a game between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs.

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.

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