How to stream football online

Since 1920, North America has reveled in the glorious game we’ve come to know and love as football. What started as a hybrid of soccer and rugby among ivy league schools back in the mid-1800s has become the most popular sports league in the word — and an industry capable of grossing $13 billion in a single season.

With week-to-week urgency during a suspensefully short 16-game season, age-old rivalries, Cinderella stories, fantasy football and the Super Bowl, there are more than a few reasons the gridiron has garnered worldwide recognition. Not to mention a massive viewer audience for each NFL broadcast (which probably includes you if you’re reading this)!

If you’re a fan, you’re certainly in good company. And you also know that streaming college or pro-ball games can be a massive headache, due to the NFL’s complex rights deals with cable and streaming companies that grant specific networks the right to broadcast specific games in specific areas. 

The good news? We’re here to show you how to watch football without cable — and to make sure you get your daily dose of the sport, whether it’s high season, off-season or anytime in-between. 

What leagues can I stream?

From fully loaded streaming services like Hulu + Live TV — which boasts a huge on-demand library and a variety of network and premium channels — to NFL-centric apps like NFL Game Pass, there are tons of services out there that make it easy to watch football online. With these options, you can watch action from every league in American football, including:

So whether you’ve cut the cord for good or you’re simply a die-hard football fan who’s not near your man-cave or she-shed when the game is on, there are lots of ways you can watch football online. 

Live TV streaming services for football

There are several streaming services that provide access to America’s favorite sport. Below, we’ll break down our top-recommended streaming services by price, free trial options and more. We’ll also discuss which leagues each provider covers. Most of these services are compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Android devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS devices, Roku, Xbox One, PS4, web browsers and more. 

Hulu + Live TV

You can stream both NFL and college ball games online without a cable subscription when you sign up for Hulu + Live TV. The service comes loaded with 50 hours of DVR space (with the option to upgrade to 200 hours for an extra $15/mo.) and boasts over 60 live channels, like CBS, CNN, FOX News, FX and more. Plus, if you’re a new subscriber, you’ll get a free seven-day trial. Hulu + Live TV with ads is $54.99/mo., while the ad-free option is $60.99/mo. You’ll get access to tons of channels that broadcast college ball and pro-football games, including ABC/ESPN3, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS and CBS Sports Network, ESPN College Extra, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX, FS1, FS2, Longhorn Network, NBC, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports and SEC Network. 

Visit our Hulu Live review and Hulu Live channel list to read more. Sign up for a Hulu + Live TV free trial below:

Sign up for Hulu
Start a 7-day free trial

Get 65+ channels along with a library of 80,000+ TV episodes and movies on-demand! Bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ for even more great content.

fuboTV

For $54.99/mo., you can feast your eyes on tons of NFL and college football live streams when you subscribe to fuboTV. The baseline subscription comes with a seven-day free trial and 30 hours of DVR, with the option to upgrade to 500 hours of DVR for $9.99/mo. The service carries several channels that broadcast college and pro-football games, including beIN Sports, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, CBS, FOX, FS1, FS2, NBC, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, Pac-12 Network, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports and other regional networks. 

Visit our fuboTV review and fuboTV channel list to read more. Sign up for a fuboTV free trial below:

Sign up for fuboTV
Start a 7-day free trial

Enjoy the largest selection of live sports content! Get 100+ channels with up to 500 hours of online cloud DVR storage and the option to stream on multiple devices simultaneously.

Sling TV

This service offers a Sling Orange package for $30/mo., and a Sling Blue for package $30/mo. — both of which include different channels. While Sling Orange offers ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3. With Sling Blue, subscribers have access to the Sports Extra package, which includes NFL RedZone and FS2 for $10/mo. extra. If you’re a die-hard football fan, and you want to catch the Conference Championships, we recommend opting for the combo Sling Blue + Orange package ($45/mo.) For this price, you’ll get access to tons of channels to stream NFL, XFL and college football games, including ABC/ESPN3, ACC Network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX, FOX/NBC (limited markets), FS1, FS2, NBC, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, Pac-12 Network, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC, SEC Network and Stadium.

 Plus, you’ll get a $10 discount on your first month of service, three simultaneous streams with your Sling Blue package and one stream with Sling Orange (or four total with Sling Blue + Orange.) The plan also comes with 10 free hours of DVR space, with the option to upgrade to 50 hours for an extra $5/mo. 

Visit our Sling TV review and Sling TV channel list to read more. Sign up for a Sling TV free trial below:

Sling TV logo
Sign up for Sling TV
Start a 7-day free trial

Sign up for the Orange or Blue Sling TV packages, or get them both to access 50+ channels. Use the add-ons to customize your streaming experience!

YouTube TV

This service comes with a $49.99/mo. price tag and includes a great variety of channels where you can watch NFL and college football broadcasts. Like most of the other services on this list, a seven-day free trial is standard for new subscribers. Channels where you can get your football fix include ABC/ESPN3, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS and CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX, FS1, FS2, NBC, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports and SEC Network.

Visit our YouTube TV review to read more.

NFL Game Pass

 While it doesn’t offer the option to watch live football games, NFL Game Pass is an awesome choice if you’re a die-hard pro-football fan or fantasy footballer. With tons of features (like being able to watch up to four games simultaneously, tailor your profile to focus on your favorite team and a slew of bonus programs and content), NFL Game Pass is an unbeatable one-stop shop for NFL junkies. A subscription to this service will run you $99.99/yr. with a free seven-day trial to start. 

Visit our NFL Game Pass review to read more.

CBS All Access

With CBS All Access, you can “stream exclusive NFL games on Sundays (and more!),” plus get access to “…national coverage showcasing the best games from college football’s best conference, Southeastern Conference, with the ‘SEC Game of the Week,’ as well as the SEC Championship game.” In other words, this is a lower-cost option if you’re a viewer who’s into SEC games who doesn’t need 24/7 access to any and all football action. While there’s no DVR capability, one bonus is that you’ll get access to CBS’s entire catalog of shows as well as some movies. 

Visit our CBS All Access review to read more. Sign up for a CBS All Access free trial below:

Sign up for CBS All Access
Start a 7-day free trial

Enjoy access to over 15,000+ episodes of CBS content, including premium shows and sports content. Starting at just $5.99, CBS All Access provides quality content at a respectable price.

The takeaway

As a football fan, you’ve got lots of options when it comes to streaming your favorite games. In fact, you may be delaying cutting the cord because you don’t want to lose access to must-see games. However, walking away from cable doesn’t mean giving up NFL or college football. With tons of streaming services to choose from, you’ll have no problem keeping up with your favorite teams (and saving some cash in the process).

Suzanna Colberg

Suzanna Colberg specializes in both print articles and search engine optimized web content. Her stories have been published in Massage Magazine, Grand Rapids Magazine, AAA Magazine, and SwitchedOn Leadership magazine. As a senior copywriter and content strategist in Chicago, Suzanna has worked with clients that run the gamut from healthcare to agriculture to hearing aids, human resources software, finance and more.