Despite COVID-19 outbreaks that caused a handful of teams to adjust their schedules, the 2020 NFL season remains doggedly on track as we enter the final weeks of the regular season.
After the Vikings and Saints opened up Week 16 on Christmas Day, the gift of professional football continues today with the NFL’s first Saturday broadcast of 2020. The festivities kick off at 10 a.m. PT when the Buccaneers take on the Lions, followed by the 49ers and Cardinals in an NFC West showdown at 1:30 p.m. PT. The fun concludes with the Dolphins and Raiders at 5:15 p.m. PT.
Watching today’s games will be a bit trickier than usual. Outside of each team’s respective home markets, which will carry the games on local channels, the Bucs/Lions and Dolphins/Raiders games will be broadcast exclusively on the NFL Network, while the Niners/Cards tilt will be exclusive to Amazon Prime Video and Twitch. This arrangement is only for today’s games. The NFL’s normal broadcasters will handle Sunday’s games.
Here’s how you can watch all the action without cable.
How can I watch the NFL without cable?
You can stream the 2020 NFL season, no cable required, on any live-TV streaming service that carries channels with live games. Numerous such services offer broadcast networks like CBS, NBC and Fox as well as ESPN, the NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Exact channels may also vary based on where you live, but the best services for NFL fans are YouTube TV and FuboTV.
Thursday Night Football is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video (so long as you subscribe to Amazon Prime), Twitch or the Yahoo Sports or NFL apps. Fox and the NFL Network broadcast Thursday Night Football games as well.
As mentioned above, Week 16’s Saturday games will require both the NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video to watch all the action outside of local markets.
For those looking for a different experience, Fox will be streaming its Thursday night games in 4K on FuboTV (as well as offering the 4K feed on certain cable and satellite providers). Amazon, meanwhile, will be adding the option to choose from a variety of different announcers in its Prime Video app, so you have options just in case Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman aren’t to your liking.
Read more: NFL streaming: Best ways to watch the 2020 football season live without cable
YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes all the channels NFL fans need: CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network. There’s also an option for RedZone for an extra $11 a month. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.
FuboTV costs $65 a month for its Family plan and includes CBS, Fox and NBC plus ESPN and the NFL Network. An $11-a-month Sports Plus add-on will get you into the RedZone, and FuboTV will also stream the Fox Thursday Night Football games in 4K. Click here to see which local channels you get.
Amazon Prime will stream today’s 49ers vs. Cardinals game, which will also be streamed on Twitch.
Sling TV splits its live NFL options across its $30-a-month Blue plan and $30-a-month Orange plan, which forces NFL fans into a tricky choice or encourages them to spring for both at $45 a month. Sling Blue includes the NFL Network, NBC and Fox as well as the option to add RedZone through the Sports Extra add-on for $10 per month. Sling Orange includes ESPN.
Sling TV doesn’t offer CBS, but its packages are discounted by $10 for the first month. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.
Hulu Plus Live TV costs $65 a month and includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. Click the “View channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code. The NFL Network and RedZone aren’t available from this service.
AT&T TV basic, $60-a-month Plus package includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live. The NFL Network and RedZone are not available.
CBS All Access costs $6 per month and will let you watch the games being broadcast on your local CBS station on Sundays if you live in one of these 206 markets where the service offers live TV. It makes for a good add-on for Sling TV subscribers, who don’t get CBS.
All of the services above offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.
As mentioned above, the NFL is continuing to stream games live on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch. Here’s the remaining upcoming game for that platform:
- Jan. 10: AFC Wild Card playoff game that also airs on CBS
Finally, cord-cutters can receive free local CBS, Fox and NBC broadcasts using an over-the-air antenna.
When did the NFL season start?
The NFL regular season began on Thursday, Sept. 10, with the Houston Texans visiting the Kansas City Chiefs.
Where are games being played?
Teams play their games as scheduled in their respective home stadiums.
Are fans allowed in?
Some teams allow fans and some do not.
The Chiefs, for example, hosted their home opener on Sept. 10 with 15,895 fans in attendance, 21% of Arrowhead’s capacity.
Other teams, including the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears, hosted their respective home openers without fans in the stands in Week 2. This so far has been a team-by-team, city-by-city situation that is subject to change throughout the season.
What happened to the preseason?
The NFL canceled the entire 2020 preseason in July, with teams focusing on doing their own training camps to prepare for the upcoming season.
Which players are sitting out?
Like in other sports, a fair amount of NFL players have opted out of the 2020 season. Here are a few of the notable players not participating this year, with a larger list available at ESPN:
- Patrick Chung, S, New England Patriots
- Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots
- Marqise Lee, WR, New England Patriots
- Marquise Goodwin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Devin Funchess, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Geronimo Allison, WR, Detroit Lions
- C.J. Mosley, LB, New York Jets
- Nate Solder, OT, New York Giants
- Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
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