After months of anticipation, the contest is at hand. The 2016 NFL season is just a few days from officially kicking off and, if you’re like me, there’s nothing more exciting. But for many of you out there in cyberspace, it might be a time of mixed emotion because you’re still tied down with burden of cable television but you don’t want to miss this upcoming season. Or you are a cord-never and would love to watch the 2016 NFL season but you are not sure how to go about it.
Well have no fear my cable hating friends, because it is entirely possible to watch the NFL without a cable bill. And today, not only are we going to find out how, we’re also going to find out when and where this week’s games will take place. So without missing a beat, let’s go ahead and dive in!
All times in Eastern Time Zone
A simple question deserves a simple answer. You can watch most of the games airing in your region plus national broadcasts using a simple over-the-air (OTA) antenna, like the Mohu Leaf or its eco-friendly counterpart ReLeaf. These stylishly designed, powerhouse antennas are fully capable of picking up all the broadcast networks that air the NFL (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) and delivering them to you in full HD for FREE (minus the one-time cost of the antenna, of course).
The only downside to relying solely on an antenna is that you will only have access to the games broadcasted in your market, which means you’ll see your hometown favorite teams but will most likely miss the game happening on the other side of the country. Yes this is the same deal with Cable Television, but darn it, we want more (and we want to pay less for it)!
Luckily, there are ways around this.
For $99 a season, you can subscribe to the service NFL Game Pass and get streaming access to every single game in a season. Plus you can stream every single NFL game from 2009 to present as well as a handful of classic match-ups and Super Bowls. The only downside is that you can’t watch anything live, with the exception of the pre-season.
Thankfully, the games become available immediately after the broadcast ends, so the wait isn’t too long. My advice to you is to watch the games in your area until the match-up of your choice becomes available. Then switch over, and fast forward through all the commercials and time-out delays (hint: you can watch the game in about half the time this way).
Now if you’re not feeling the Game Pass option, you can always pair your antenna with Sling TV. For those few games the air on ESPN, a subscription to Sling TV will go a long way. With the Orange subscription, which costs $20 a month, you can get access to the ESPN 1 & 2.
If you have subscription to the Blue package for $25 a month, you’ll get access to the NFL Network; which airs live NFL games (including all the Thursday Night Football games not available on broadcast networks) and original NFL content like Good Morning Football. For an extra $5 a month you can also add-on the NFL RedZone network where you can catch every play that happens inside that oh-so critical 20 yard line.
Not to be outdone, Sony’s PlayStation Vue already offers ESPN and ESPN2 in all its packages (which start at $29.99/month), and they recently announced the addition of NFL Network into its middle and top-tier packages (Core & Elite). Like Sling TV, you can also add NFL RedZone to your Vue subscription. Unlike Sling TV, which charges $5/month for RedZone, Vue charges you upfront for the full season of the add-on ($39.99).
So what are your picks for this week? Will the Panthers pound the Broncos now that Manning is gone, or is history doomed to repeat itself? Let us know in the comments below or sound off on social media!
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.