The official start of the 2023-2024 NFL season is almost here, but first there’s one more week of the pre-season for teams to fine-tune their strategy.
Week three of the pre-season was a rough one. The matchup between the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers was suspended after Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden was carried off the field on a stretcher after taking a hit. The team suspended two practices with the Tennessee Titans this week because of the abrupt ending of the game. (Bolden was kept overnight, but then released from the hospital and flew home with his teammates.)
The end of the pre-season could see more big names taking the field for a few minutes this week, and the games will have a slightly wider broadcast window. As excitement for the season builds, though, as with the past few weeks, only a handful will be shown nationally.
Your best bet is to catch your local team is on their affiliate of choice, usually CBS or Fox. But starting next week, it will be a lot easier to catch the team you want.
Here’s how best to watch this week’s games.
Which NFL teams are playing this week? And what channels are airing the games?
Here’s where to catch your favorite team as they begin the season. (The home team is listed second.) A few games will be televised nationally, but finding your favorite might still be a challenge.
Thursday, Aug. 24
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons, 7:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:00 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Friday Aug. 25
Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers, 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS
New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans, 8:15 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Los Angeles Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers, 10:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Saturday Aug. 26
Buffalo Bills vs. Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
New York Jets vs. New York Giants, 6:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Commanders, 6:05 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 7:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Los Angeles Rams vs. Denver Broncos, 9:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Sunday Aug. 27
Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints, 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox
How can I watch NFL games for free—even if I am out of market?
Out of market is a bit tough this week. But if your home team is playing, your best bet to watch any sort of network programming for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. A number of this week’s games will be carried by broadcast networks, meaning watching will be fairly simple. To ensure you’re getting the most reliable signal, be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home.
Can I stream NFL games live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?
Yep. There are lots of choices.
NBC’s streaming service will give you access to several games, including tonight’s contest and all upcoming Sunday night matchups. You can get a seven-day free trial, followed by a $6 or $12 monthly charge. (The free version of Peacock does not include live sports.)
Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ no longer has a free trial, so you’ll have to pay $13 per month for all three combined (or $19.99 per month for no ads on Hulu). Keep in mind that starting Oct. 1, the prices will increase to $15 and $25.
Including Live TV in the bundle bumps the price to $70 per month ($76 with no ads). In October, that jumps to $77 for the ad-supported plan and $90 for commercial free.
Hulu with Live TV
The free trial on this service is no longer offered, either. It will cost you $70 per month until Oct. 1, when the price increases to $77.
After up to a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $73. YouTube is also now the home of Sunday Ticket. Prices on that service currently range from $300 to $439 for the season, with the current discounts.
Dish Network’s Sling lower-tiered “Orange” plan will run you $40 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $55 per month. The seven-day free trial has disappeared, but the cord-cutting service is offering 50% off of the first month’s bill.
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow, and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you $75 per month and up after the free trial option.
This sports-focused cord-cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $75 and up, depending on the channels you choose.
Can I watch NFL games on Amazon?
Amazon’s sole pre-season game will be aired on Aug. 24, when the Colts meet the Eagles.
Amazon once again has the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football—but that exclusivity in the regular season doesn’t kick in until mid-September. The first matchup on Amazon will be the Philadelphia Eagles facing the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 14.
Does the NFL offer any viewing packages to watch the games I want?
Three, in fact.
The NFL App will let you stream games that are being broadcast locally in your market on Sundays. If you want to watch an “out of market” game, you’ve got two choices.
Watch live local and out of market games and (with the premium subscription) replays. There’s a seven-day free trial, after which you’re looking at a charge of $6.99 per month (including NFL Network). ($14.99 per month for premium, which includes NFL Network and RedZone.)
NFL Sunday Ticket
As mentioned above, YouTube has taken over broadcast duties for this channel, replacing DirecTV. With the current offered discounts, prices on the service (and the optional NFL Red Zone) currently range from $300 to $439 for the season.