The 2021-22 NFL season is finally here. We don’t know which stars will shine brightest, or how the postseason might take shape, as we get set for Week 1 of Sunday football games kicking off across the countrystarting today at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. Whether you have cable or not, there are tons of options you may want to know about — both free and paid platforms — in order to watch live NFL games and NFL RedZone through the rest of the 2020-21 football season.
The best options for paid streaming services (some with free trial periods), ranked
Paid TV streaming services often have the best and most reliable live streams for college football games, so if you don’t have cable and don’t want to worry about finding a new bootleg live stream infested with popup ads and low quality output on your computer each week, your best bet might be to sign up for one of the following paid services. Several websites like Reviews.org, The Streamable and PC Magazine have already ranked these paid services for 2021 and determined which ones are the best for sports and college football fans. But we’re just going to give you our top two picks as the best options for fans in the Pacific Northwest that include NFL RedZone. Currently, fuboTV and Sling are the only services that carry Pac-12 Network, which will get you the most Pac-12 college sports events. Both services offer a free trial or discounts for new signups. Both of these services can also be watched through your Smart TV, or on a regular HDTV with the aid of a streaming device like a Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, etc., or also on your computer or mobile phone: The prices might seem similar to a cable package, but remember you can take the service with you on your phone or tablet and if you have a friend or family member that is willing to split the monthly dues with you, both services allow you to have at least 2 concurrent live streams. That means at least you and one other person can use the service at the same time. Depending on the versatility of what your local cable or satellite provider offers, it might work out to be a pretty sweet deal for you.
No. 1—fuboTV (free 7-day trial, then $64.99/month)
Not only does fuboTV have every game being broadcast in your local market on NFL Sundays - games for FOX and CBS being broadcast depend on what region you are in - so that you can watch your favorite team, they also happen to now have ESPN as well as the RedZone channel. RedZone lets the fantasy football and action junkies get their fix each Sunday with nothing but highlights of touchdowns and the best plays of the day as they happen from 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET up until Sunday Night Football.
FuboTV also happens to be the only streaming service listed here that allows you to stream live video in 4K. Everybody else is playing catchup, so if that’s important to your viewing experience, there’s really no other option that can beat this platform.
While it is the most expensive of the three options, fubo allows up to two people to use the same account simultaneously. This means you and a friend or family member could split the cost of the monthly fee and each use the service at the same time to watch RedZone, other NFL games or whatever else you’re looking to tune into. Cutting the cost in half this way makes this by far the best deal if you can swing it.
•Try out Fubo TV on a 7-day free trialstarting this Sunday, then watch all the games and see if it works for you.
No. 2—Sling TV Blue package ($25 off the first month, then $46/monthif you add the “Sports Extra” package that includes NFL RedZone and more)
Despite being the cheapest of the three options listed here, Sling makes the list at No. 2 because of their a-la-carte price system. They have two plans that split the sports channels up, making it tough to decide what would be best for the football fan. Sling does have NFL RedZone, however, but it will come as an add-on and cost you a little more. If you want to get all of the sports channels, you would have to spend extra to get the complete “Orange and Blue” package ($50/month) as well as adding on the “Sports Extra” package ($15/month). If you want the cheapest option, NFL RedZone is only included in the Sports Extra package when purchased alongside the “Blue” plan, which is a $11 add on. If you get select the “Orange” plan, NFL RedZone is not included in the Sports Extra add on. To get the best value that includes NFL RedZone, get the Sling Blue + Sports Extra package for $46/month. There are no long-term contracts and you can cancel the service any time. The stream quality and reliability isn’t on par with what fubo TV offers, but still a great option at this price point. You can also supplement with an over-the-air HDTV antenna to expand your streaming options for big game broadcasts in your local market.
Do you have an Amazon Prime membership? You can watch most Thursday Night Football games for free
That’s right! If you have an Amazon Prime membership, or if you want to to sign up for one, you can watch most of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games for free on your mobile device, computer or even on your TV. The next game available on Prime is in Week 5 when the Seattle Seahawks take on the LA Rams on October 7, 2021. Here’s the complete schedule:
Want to watch your local CBS affiliate broadcast NFL games for free? Try out Paramount+
If you don’t have cable and don’t want to buy a paid live TV streaming service like the ones described above, there is another option to get at least two Sunday games for free this week, and then keep watching them on the cheap going forward.Paramount Plus, the new CBS on demand streaming service, offers a few live channels to watch through the app as well as tons of on demand content like movies, TV shows and more. Those live channels include your local CBS affiliate, which almost always has a morning and afternoon game broadcast live nationally. If you want to try it out, Paramount+ is offering a 1-week free trial, and then the service is $10/month after that. Cancel after the trial at no cost if you feel like the service doesn’t work for you. Here’s a look at the upcoming NFL games CBS will have live each week of the season.
•Try out Paramount+ for free (free trial)
The HD antennae is the best way to watch NFL games for FREE
If you don’t already have one, another way to watch a few games for free this season — including every Sunday Night Football game — is by purchasing an HD antennae. An HD antennae will get you those Sunday night games and will also get you any games being broadcast on Sunday afternoon in your local market on both the CBS and FOX channels.
A solid and well-rated HDTV antenna can be purchased for under $30.This Gesobyte brand HDTV antennaeis currently the top selling HDTV antennae product on Amazon andis under $30 and ships quickly with Prime. So, if you have a Prime account, you should be able to get it and be watching NFL games as soon as it arrives.
—Tim Brown, The Oregonian/OregonLive| @timfsbrown
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