The NFL season is almost here and if you are a cord cutter like me you may be wondering how to watch NFL games with Android TV or Chromecast. The good news is there are more ways than ever to catch football streaming live, but it can get a little confusing. Let’s take a look at the best streaming options for not missing any of the games that matter to you this year.
First, a quick refresher on the four categories of games and who will be carrying them this year before we get into the streaming options. This should help make it easier to just glance at each streaming service and understand what you are getting.
Thursday Night Football (NFL Network/Fox/Amazon Prime)
This is by far the messiest as the NFL has a variety of different deals in place. There are 18 “Thursday Night Football” games this year. These games are aired on Fox, Amazon Prime, and/or NFL Network. Most (11) of these games are simulcast across all three channels, but 7 are exclusive to NFL Network. Those games include Thursday games in weeks 2 and 3; Sunday morning games in London weeks 6 and 9; and a Sunday tripleheader in week 16.
Sunday Afternoon Football (CBS/Fox)
These games will be carried by your local CBS and Fox affiliates, so they are available via over-the-air (OTA) methods for many people, but you might feel safer with a streaming option.
Sunday Night Football (NBC)
These games will be carried by your local NBC affiliate, so again you could simply use an antenna to get them via OTA if you prefer that to a streaming option.
Monday Night Football (ESPN)
These games are exclusive to ESPN, which is available through many of the streaming services that we will be covering.
Sling starts out as one of the cheaper options to watch NFL games with Android TV, but there are some definite drawbacks. In most markets, Sling TV does not offer the major broadcast networks (CBS/FOX/NBC), meaning you need to go with an antenna solution. Sling consistently offers a few deals to help with this, the free AirTV + antenna is the best option as this allows you to integrate these channels into the Sling app. You are going to want to check what OTA channels are available near you before going ahead with Sling TV.
Sling offers two primary packages, Sling Orange (33 channels) and Sling Blue (48 channels). To get the most out of the service as an NFL fan you need both. Sling Orange gets you ESPN, while Sling Blue carries NFL network. You can also add Sports Extra for $10 a month which adds NFL RedZone to the Sling Blue package. A 50-hour cloud DVR is another $5 a month.
As you can see, once you add all of that up you could be spending $55 a month for the full package. That’s for a total of just over 60 channels if you opt for Sling Orange & Blue along with Sports Extra.
Price: $25/month for Sling Orange or Sling Blue or $40/month for both with additional options available. (40% discount available on your first month.)
Thursday Night Football: Yes, NFL Network available with Sling Blue.
Sunday Afternoon Football: Sort of, local CBS and Fox affiliates available via OTA with the AirTV and antenna package.
Sunday Night Football: Sort of, local NBC affiliate available via OTA with the AirTV and antenna package.
Monday Night Football: Yes, ESPN available with Sling Orange.
NFL RedZone: Yes, available with Sports Extra.
Hulu Live TV
One of the best options to watch NFL games with Android TV is Hulu TV, newly supported on these Android TV devices:
Chromecast, Android smartphones, and Android tablets are supported as well. The base plan offers you over 60 live and on-demand channels with a 50-hour DVR on up to 2 screens simultaneously.
Price: $44.99/month with additional options available.
Thursday Night Football: Some, NFL Network is not available, so you can watch 11 of the 18 games.
Sunday Afternoon Football: Yes, local CBS and Fox affiliates included.
Sunday Night Football: Yes, local NBC affiliate included.
Monday Night Football: Yes, ESPN included.
NFL RedZone: No, not available.
fuboTV offers almost 100 channels with its standard package with a strong focus on sports. It starts a bit higher than the rest at $55, but covers almost everything at that price. ESPN is the one hole in the coverage, making Monday Night Football a no go. NFL RedZone is an extra $10.99 a month as part of the 24 channel Sports Plus with NFL RedZone package.
A cloud DVR is part of the standard package with the ability to record up to 30 hours. One cool feature with fuboTV is Lookback, this allows you to view virtually anything that has aired in the last 72 hours even if you forgot to record it. With these included extras the higher price feels justified and would still have us consider fuboTV as one of the best options to watch NFL games with Android TV.
Price: $54.99/month with additional options available.
Thursday Night Football: Yes, NFL Network included.
Sunday Afternoon Football: Yes, local CBS and Fox affiliates included in many areas.
Sunday Night Football: Yes, local NBC affiliate included in many areas.
Monday Night Football: No, ESPN unavailable.
NFL RedZone: Yes, available with Sports Plus with NFL RedZone.
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