From the Hall of Fame Game to the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft, cord cutters have several great options to keep tabs on America’s favorite sports league. Here are our picks for the best live TV streaming services for football fans.
For a full channel lineup, be sure to consult our Service Matchmaker.
Best for NFL Football
The Streamable’s Choice
Hulu Live TV is a stellar solution for NFL fans. This season, subscribers can see [NFL RedZone] and NFL Network on Hulu for the first time. That automatically makes it a contender. The add-on price is just $9.99/month.
Monday Night Football is included with the base package and ESPN.
Thursday Night Football will be an Amazon Prime Video exclusive starting next year, but you’ll still see it on NFL Network and FOX this season.
As for regional sports networks, Hulu Live TV offers NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington+, and SportsNet NY.
A huge benefit to Hulu Live TV is complimentary access to its on-demand catalog of excellent movies and TV shows, so you’d have something extra to watch whenever there isn’t a game on.
Best on a Budget
Sling TV is unique because it offers three different options: Sling Blue, Sling Orange, and a combo of the two.
Let’s walk through each day and how Sling TV can help.
Thursday Night Football: If you get Sling Orange+Blue, you’ll have access to FOX and NFL Network.
Sunday afternoons: NFL RedZone is our favorite way to watch football on Sundays, and that is available for $11/month on Sling Blue or the Orange-Blue combo. If you prefer to watch full games, Sling Blue or Orange+Blue will give you the NFC games on FOX. But the AFC games on CBS are not available for any Sling package. You could remedy that with an antenna or Paramount+ Premium for $9.99/month.
Sunday Night Football: NBC is included with Sling Blue or Orange-Blue.
Monday Night Football: ESPN is available on Sling Orange or Orange-Blue.
Ultimately, if you only care about the games and you’re looking for the cheapest way to get RedZone, Sling TV (Blue) is your choice. You’ll just have to ask yourself if Monday Night Football, ESPN and ESPN2 are worth another $15/month to add the Orange lineup.
FuboTV prides itself on sports, and it’s a great option to keep tabs on the NFL.
Let’s start with the wall-to-wall, commercial-free action of NFL RedZone, which you can add to your package for $11/month. FuboTV is also the only service to offer access to NFL Mobile, which has live and on demand NFL RedZone shows.
If you enjoy the NFL-related shows on your regional sports networks, fuboTV offers AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Marquee Sports Network, MSG, MSG+, NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington+, NESN, Root Sports Northwest, and SportsNet NY.
The 2021 NFL season will also see the introduction of a dedicated fuboTV sports betting app with a bet slip that changes automatically, depending on the game you’re watching.
Overall, YouTube TV is quite similar to Hulu Live TV, minus the great on-demand entertainment library.
When it comes to regional sports programming, YouTube TV offers NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, and SportsNet NY.
YouTube TV does offer an excellent unlimited cloud DVR. You can store recordings up to nine months. If you record the games, YouTube TV offers an awesome “catch up through key plays” option. If you choose to join a game in progress, that feature will show you any touchdowns, turnovers, sacks, or big yardage plays. It’s a great way to move through a game quickly without penalties, injuries, or endless sideline chatter.
No NFL RedZone or NFL Network makes this a poor choice for football fans, but if you enjoy sports overall, DIRECTV STREAM holds a unique position as the only carrier for the Bally Sports Networks.
DIRECTV STREAM offers four tiers of service, and they all feature important football networks like ESPN, NBC, CBS, and FOX.
If you upgrade to the Choice package, you could choke a horse with the number of sports channels available. For $84.99/month, you’d get Altitude, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Carolinas, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Tennessee, Bally Sports West, Bally Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Marquee Sports Network, MASN, MASN2, MSG, MSG+, NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Washington, NESN, Root Sports Northwest, Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum SportsNet LA, SportsNet NY, SportsTime Ohio, and YES Network.
Ultimately, the higher price point and the lack of RedZone is probably a dealbreaker.
If you really want to supplement your NFL experience, ESPN+ can be a great addition. For a low monthly price you’ll be able to watch NFL PrimeTime, NFL Live, NFL Countdown, Fantasy Focus, and much more.
ESPN+ also includes great on demand content, like the full “30 for 30” library, which offers some stellar documentaries about the game.
Is it necessary? No. But if you’re a rabid football fan, you’re bound to find something worth watching.
If you’re interested in ESPN+, it’s worth bundling it with Hulu Live TV and Disney+ to save $7/month.
Considering the fractured nature of streaming college sports, the NCAA streaming landscape is a bit more tricky, but we’ll break down those options in a future guide.