Watching Games this NFL Season
CBS and FOX have exclusive rights to all Sunday afternoon games. These two networks broadcast a combined three NFL games every Sunday afternoon, the first game starting in the 1pm EST time slot as the ‘early’ game, and the ‘late’ game starting between 4:05pm and 4:25pm EST depending on preceding coverage.
Eight weeks out of the regular season both CBS and FOX take turns airing double-headers, broadcasting games in both the early and late time slots. CBS owns AFC coverage, so every CBS Sunday afternoon game will feature at least one AFC team. FOX owns the NFC package, so same deal there.
On Sunday nights, NBC has exclusive rights and airs one nationally televised game every week, with a typical kickoff of 8:20pm EST.
Monday Night Football games air exclusively on ESPN, with their one nationally televised game typically kicking off at 8:15pm EST.
Thursday Night Football airs on multiple platforms depending on the week. FOX produces all TNF games and broadcasts 11 games throughout the season, while NFL Network broadcasts every TNF game. Amazon Prime and Twitch also simulcast select games.
Watching on Mobile Devices (Completely Free)
The NFL has opened up mobile streaming to all cell phone providers via the Yahoo! Sports and NFL mobile apps. These streaming options are completely free to anyone, without the need of any cable service. Both apps live stream all local and nationally televised NFL games.
There are restrictions however - you can only watch local games in your market, and you can only watch the games from your mobile device (no sending the feed to your TV). For some NFL Network exclusive games you have to use your cell data as wifi will be disabled. So keep that in mind if you don’t have unlimited data.
Watching Out-of-Market Games
Our Out-of-Market Guide details all your options for watching NFL games out of market.
The NFL doesn’t air every game in every part of the country. All the Sunday, Monday and Thursday Night games will air nationally. But for Sunday afternoon games, there are too many to air at the same time.
So the NFL breaks up broadcasting for those games by market, depending on where you live and the national interest with any given game. Every team is required to air in every market at least once a year, but that’s it. This means if you’re a fan of a team not ‘in your market’ you will miss most of their regular season games.
Unless you subscribe to one of these options:
DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. This premium subscription allows you to watch or stream every single out-of-market NFL game, for any team. And it comes with options. You can either add NFL Sunday Ticket to your DirecTV cable package. Or you can get Sunday Ticket as a standalone streaming service.
NFL Game Pass. This option is a little different. You can live stream every out-of-market preseason game. But you won’t be able to live stream regular season games (unless you live outside the U.S.). Instead they provide a full replay of every single NFL game shortly after each game ends, regardless of the market.
Listening to Live NFL Game Feeds
Our NFL Radio Guide provides all the services and plans available to live stream the game day play-by-play audio for every NFL game, for every NFL team.
All NFL games can also be listened to live with a subscription to SiriusXM Radio, TuneIn or NFL Game Pass, regardless of market. Local radio stations air their local team's play-by-play coverage on at least one 'flagship' station and primetime NFL games also air on local radio, produced nationwide by Westwood One.
SiriusXM is a satellite and internet radio subscription service. They have options for streaming radio stations more traditionally in your car and/or on most any internet-connected mobile device, for a monthly fee. They offer a main NFL radio station as well as ‘reserved play-by-play channels’ to listen to each and every game’s live broadcast, regardless of market. You do need a certain subscription for that access.
TuneIn is one of the world’s largest internet audio networks. They offer live audio game feeds for every single NFL game, regardless of market. With this option you’ll be able to hear the local announcer’s game call of your choosing. Subscription to the service is required.
NFL Game Pass is an on demand video service from the NFL that allows you to watch any and every NFL game of the season shortly after each game concludes. While the video portion of this service is not live, the radio option is. With a subscription you can listen to every game of the NFL season live and choose between the HOME or AWAY local announcer’s game call.
Westwood One is also one of the largest audio networks out there, broadcasting on terrestrial (local, over-the-air) radio. Gaining access to their live NFL coverage is completely free, though they only air audio for primetime games. They produce all Sunday, Thursday, Saturday and Monday Night Football game audio coverage, as well as all international NFL games. That broadcast airs in the local sports radio markets of the teams playing as well as select radio stations nationwide (blackouts and restrictions do apply, in most cases the broadcast is not available for free online streaming, only over-the-air local radio).
NFL on Westwood One Sports is hosted by Westwood One and therefore is not the nationally televised audio feed but instead announced by Westwood One commentators.