After a tease of what the 2023-2024 season will hold last week, the NFL is ready to give fans a closer look.
Last weekend, the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns took to the field. By the time you go to bed Sunday, all 32 of the league’s teams will have gotten their season underway – despite the stifling heat in many parts of the country.
Unlike the regular season, the first full week of the preseason takes a more leisurely approach to its scheduling, holding games on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The games, of course, have no meaning in terms of rankings or importance, but they are a chance to see how the drafted players are shaking out and give fans a look at how coaches will be positioning their teams this year.
One other hurdle: NFL pre-season games aren’t broadcast like the regular season. A handful are shown nationally, but in general, your best bet is to catch your local team on their affiliate of choice, usually CBS or Fox. It’ll be a couple of weeks before you can watch them all. (Or, of course, you can sign up for one of the NFL’s streaming services and watch now.)
Ready for kickoff? Here’s how best to catch the game.
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.) Keep in mind that while a few games will be televised nationally, you might be able to catch the local team on one of your broadcast channels.
Thursday, Aug. 10
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots, 7:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks, 10:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Friday Aug. 11
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins, 7:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 7:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions, 7:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Washington Commanders vs. Cleveland Browns, 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals, 10:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Saturday Aug. 12
Tennessee Titans vs. Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills, 1:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers, 4:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Dallas Cowboys, 5:00 p.m. ET on ABC, NBC and CBS (channel will depend on location)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Los Angeles Rams, 9:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
Sunday Aug. 13
Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
San Francisco 49ers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 4:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network
How can I watch NFL games for free—even if I am out of market?
The best way to watch any sort of network programming for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. Many, but not all, 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?
That’s actually the best way to catch all the action.
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). And, 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, as well. It will cost you $70 per month, until October 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?
Yes, but not yet. Amazon once again has the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football—but that exclusivity doesn’t kick in until mid-September. The first matchup on Amazon this year 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 $30 charge per season. ($80 for premium.)
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.