How To Watch Football Without Cable: Stream NFL and College Football (2022)

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Are you looking to watch football in 2022 by streaming the NFL or college football instead of paying for cable each month?

Good news! It’s entirely possible to accomplish this without paying the cable or satellite company a dime.

In this article, I’ll walk you through all the ways that you can cut the cord and remain as big a football fan as ever.



Watch the NFL Without Cable

If you’re a fan of one of the 32 NFL teams, you likely know that there are six basic timeslots they could play each week of the regular season.

A typical NFL game week features games on Thursday and Monday nights, while the rest of the league plays on Sunday at either 1 p.m., 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. Eastern.

Seems simple enough, but there are more than five TV channels that hold the rights to games televised in each of these timeslots. On any given week, your favorite NFL team could play on CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN or the NFL Network.

And with Amazon’s Prime Video gaining exclusive rights to the Thursday Night Football game, the number of streaming feeds you may need to see your favorite team’s games doesn’t seem to be decreasing any time soon.

To ensure that you’re seeing games from the entire league, cord-cutters are likely going to need a subscription to a live TV streaming service.

YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are two popular services that will offer access to all of these channels for the 2022 NFL season.

Before you make your choice for streaming the NFL, let’s walk through all the options.

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Local NFL Games: Watch Your Favorite Team

If you’re a fan of your local NFL team, you may not even need a live TV streaming subscription to watch the majority of your team’s games.

That’s because teams play the majority of their games in the Sunday afternoon timeslots that are broadcast on either CBS or FOX. And your local CBS or FOX affiliate is contractually obligated to broadcast the game of your local NFL team each week as a part of an agreement with the NFL.

This means you could access most of your local team’s games by using an indoor antenna to access your local channels without cable. If that’s not an option, a live TV streaming service such as YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV will provide access to these channels as well as all the other channels you may need to stream the NFL.

The NFL has launched its own streaming service, called NFL+, that provides mobile and tablet access to live games in your local market for $4.99 per month. This could be a cost-saving option for those who don’t have access to an antenna feed and don’t want to pay for a livestreaming TV service.

How Do You Know if Your Team Is Playing on CBS or FOX?

It can vary from week to week based on who their opponents are, but generally speaking, AFC teams are native to CBS broadcasts and NFC teams are native to FOX broadcasts. But AFC teams and NFC teams play against each other for a significant portion of the 18-week season, so there’s no hard-and-fast rule.

Here’s a look at the full 2022 NFL schedule, which has some CBS or FOX designations for select games already.

But remember: Just because a game is marked for CBS or FOX doesn’t mean that it will be on TV in your market. These games are picked by your local affiliate stations. To get streaming access to all of these games, read on about the NFL Sunday Ticket package.


NFL Sunday Ticket: Stream Most Out-of-Market Games

If you don’t live in the local market for your favorite NFL team, the only path to streaming the league without cable is probably the NFL Sunday Ticket package.

And doing so without busting your budget is going to be tricky.

This service, which is powered by DIRECTV, allows you to watch Sunday afternoon out-of-market NFL games for a season-long subscription fee. It does not include Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football (more on those later).

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For the overwhelming majority of consumers, the only way to access this package is by becoming a DIRECTV customer.

Here is the 2022 season pricing information from DIRECTV:

2022 season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET are $293.94 (6 payments of $48.99) and season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX are $395.94 (6 payments of $65.99). New customers that sign up for DIRECTV are eligible to get their first season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX at no cost when they sign up with CHOICE or above base package. Each season thereafter, they will need to subscribe and order NFL SUNDAY TICKET or NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX.

DIRECTV can be a costly commitment that defeats the purpose of cutting the cord from your cable company. So for most streamers, this package is simply a dream until the NFL offers it without the DIRECTV requirement.

The NFL does offer the Sunday Ticket streaming service to non-DIRECTV subscribers but only if you live in an area where DIRECTV service is not available or if you’re a registered college student.

NOTE: DIRECTV’s contract for exclusive broadcast rights to out-of-market games on the NFL Sunday Ticket service expires after the 2022 season. There may be a new process in place by 2023, and that may include a new streaming partner for the NFL. Apple, Amazon and Google are among the companies said to be interested in purchasing the rights.


RedZone Channel: Action From Multiple NFL Games at Once

Since the NFL Sunday Ticket is so hard for most cord-cutters to get, many will opt for the NFL RedZone channel as an alternative to get their Sunday afternoon NFL fixes.

This channel offers a chance to see most of the action from every Sunday afternoon NFL game without actually watching the full telecasts.

RedZone Channel is offered as an add-on service from livestreaming TV options including YouTube TV and Sling TV.

Team Clark has a guide to subscribing to this service without a cable subscription, but it’s going to cost you $10-15 per month extra for the required add-on package.

Below is a description of the RedZone product from the NFL.

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“NFL RedZone is an all-in-one channel where fans can watch 7 hours of live football, and see every touchdown from every game, every Sunday afternoon during the NFL regular season.

“When a team reaches the 20-yard line, (i.e. the “red zone”) NFL RedZone cuts to the local broadcast of that game. NFL RedZone also takes fans back to watch any turnovers, game-changing plays and scoring plays outside of the designated red zone, so they can see all the incredible action Sunday afternoon games have to offer.”


Thursday Night Football

Thursday Night Football Amazon Prime Video

The broadcast rights for Thursday Night Football now belong to Amazon’s Prime Video. This is a change for the 2022 season. These games previously aired on either the NFL Network or FOX.

Amazon has made a huge investment in broadcasting live NFL games and may be one of the players for the Sunday Ticket package in the future.

Well-known announcers Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will headline this weekly broadcast, which has moved from live TV to a video streaming service.

Prime Video is already included in the Amazon Prime subscription that delivers goods to your doorstep, so if you’re already paying for that you only need to download the app and log in. The going annual rate for Amazon Prime is $139.

If you want Prime Video only, you can pay $8.99 for streaming access.

Here is the 2022 Thursday Night Football schedule. It’s worth noting that the first Amazon broadcast is actually in Week 2 of the NFL season. NBC’s Sunday Night Football crew will handle the broadcast of the Week 1 Thursday night game that opens the league’s season. The Week 12 game, to be played on Thanksgiving night, will also air on NBC.

DateGameStreaming Options
Sept. 8, 2022Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles RamsNBC, Peacock
Sept. 15, 2022Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City ChiefsPrime Video
Sept. 22, 2022Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland BrownsPrime Video
Sept. 29, 2022Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati BengalsPrime Video
Oct. 6, 2022Indianapolis Colts at Denver BroncosPrime Video
Oct. 13, 2022Washington Commanders at Chicago BearsPrime Video
Oct. 20, 2022New Orleans Saints at Arizona CardinalsPrime Video
Oct. 27, 2022Baltimore Ravens at Tampa Bay BuccaneersPrime Video
Nov. 3, 2022Philadelphia Eagles at Houston TexansPrime Video
Nov. 10, 2022Atlanta Falcons at Carolina PanthersPrime Video
Nov. 17, 2022Tennessee Titans at Green Bay PackersPrime Video
Nov. 24, 2022New England Patriots at Minnesota VikingsNBC, Peacock
Dec. 1, 2022Buffalo Bills at New England PatriotsPrime Video
Dec. 8, 2022Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles RamsPrime Video
Dec. 15, 2022San Francisco 49ers at Seattle SeahawksPrime Video
Dec. 22, 2022Jacksonville Jaguars at New York JetsPrime Video
Dec. 29, 2022Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee TitansPrime Video

Sunday Night Football

Sunday Night Football

The broadcast rights for Sunday Night Football belong to NBC. This game, which often features one of the premier NFL matchups of the week, is the sole regular-season NFL game to air on the network each week.

NBC’s Peacock subscribers also have access to live streaming Sunday Night Football games. With premium subscriptions starting at $4.99 per month, this could be a cost-effective way to stream these.

Of course, many people will be able to access NBC without cable or a live TV stream if they have an antenna that can catch the signal of the local NBC affiliate.

Here is the 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule. It is worth noting that the NFL has the right to change the game featured in this national broadcast from Oct. 9 until the end of the season to ensure it has a desirable game in the spotlight each week.

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DateGameStreaming Options
Sept. 11, 2022Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas CowboysNBC, Peacock
Sept. 18, 2022Chicago Bears at Green Bay PackersNBC, Peacock
Sept. 25, 2022San Francisco 49ers at Denver BroncosNBC, Peacock
Oct. 2, 2022Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay BuccaneersNBC, Peacock
Oct. 9, 2022Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore RavensNBC, Peacock
Oct. 16, 2022Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia EaglesNBC, Peacock
Oct. 23, 2022Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami DolphinsNBC, Peacock
Oct. 30, 2022Green Bay Packers at Buffalo BillsNBC, Peacock
Nov. 6, 2022Tennessee Titans at Kansas City ChiefsNBC, Peacock
Nov. 13, 2022Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ersNBC, Peacock
Nov. 20, 2022Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh SteelersNBC, Peacock
Nov. 27, 2022Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia EaglesNBC, Peacock
Dec. 4, 2022Indianapolis Colts at Dallas CowboysNBC, Peacock
Dec. 11, 2022Kansas City Chiefs at Denver BroncosNBC, Peacock
Dec. 18, 2022New England Patriots at Las Vegas RaidersNBC, Peacock
Dec. 25, 2022Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona CardinalsNBC, Peacock
Jan. 1, 2023Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles ChargersNBC, Peacock
Jan. 8, 2023To Be DeterminedNBC, Peacock

Monday Night Football

Monday Night Football

The broadcast rights for Monday Night Football belong to ESPN. This game, which often features one of the premier NFL matchups of the week, is the sole regular-season NFL game to air on ESPN each week.

Games also occasionally appear on ABC, which is a sister network to ESPN and was the long-time home for this American staple.

Introduced in 2021 and set to continue in 2022 and beyond, ESPN launched an alternate version of the broadcast with Peyton and Eli Manning discussing the game in real-time with various celebrities. This broadcasts on ESPN2 and is available only on select dates.

To assure that you have access to both ESPN channels without cable, you’re likely going to need a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV.

Here are the 2022 Monday Night Football games and the channels that will broadcast them.

DateGameStreaming Options
Sept. 12, 2022Denver Broncos at Seattle SeahawksABC, ESPN, ESPN2
Sept. 19, 2022Tennessee Titans at Buffalo BillsESPN
Sept. 19, 2022Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia EaglesABC
Sept. 26, 2022Dallas Cowboys at New York GiantsABC, ESPN, ESPN2
Oct. 3, 2022Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ersESPN, ESPN2
Oct. 10, 2022Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City ChiefsESPN
Oct. 17, 2022Denver Broncos at Los Angeles ChargersESPN
Oct. 24, 2022Chicago Bears at New England PatriotsESPN, ESPN2
Oct. 31, 2022Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland BrownsESPN, ESPN2
Nov. 7, 2022Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans SaintsESPN, ESPN2
Nov. 14, 2022Washington Commanders at Philadelphia EaglesESPN
Nov. 21, 2022San Francisco 49ers at Arizona CardinalsESPN
Nov. 28, 2022Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis ColtsESPN
Dec. 5, 2022New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay BuccaneersESPN, ESPN2
Dec. 12, 2022New England Patriots at Arizona CardinalsESPN, ESPN2
Dec. 19, 2022Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay PackersABC, ESPN, ESPN2
Dec. 26, 2022Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis ColtsESPN
Jan. 2, 2023Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati BengalsABC, ESPN

Watch College Football Without Cable

In many areas of the country, college football actually is more popular the professional product of the NFL.

Rooted in deep traditions and filled with game day pageantry, college football draws some of the biggest crowds for any sporting event in the world.

So it’s completely understandable that there’s a big market for streaming college football games each fall. From the beginning of the season until the conclusion of the College Football Playoff, there are ways to watch all the action without paying for cable.

Let’s walk through how to watch all portions of the college football season without cable.


College Football Playoff

The College Football Playoff is a meeting of the top four college football teams to decide each season’s national champion.

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The two semifinal games will be played on Dec. 31, 2022, and the national championship game will be played on Jan. 9, 2023.

ESPN owns the television rights to the College Football Playoff, so you’ll need access to its family of channels in order to see the action. Typically the national title game is simulcast over multiple ESPN channels with each offering a different presentation method.

The College Football Playoff is the grand finale of what is often referred to as “bowl season” for the sport. There are 2-3 weeks’ worth of post-season bowl games that are played as a lead-up to this “final four” event. Most of those games are played on the ESPN family of channels, though there are some that are broadcast on networks FS1, FOX and CBS Sports Network. All of these channels are available in YouTube TV’s base streaming package.


Southeastern Conference (SEC)

The Southeastern Conference plays games each week on the following channels: CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and SEC Network+.

While game day content is spread across several channels, the conference does have its own 24-hour channel. Here are the streaming services that offer the SEC Network.

Live Streaming ServiceOffers SEC NetworkMonthly Subscription Price
YouTube TVYes$64.99
Hulu + Live TVYes$69.99
DIRECTV STREAMOnly with upgrade$84.99
fuboTVYes$69.99
Sling TVOnly with upgrade$46
PhiloNo$25

You need live streaming access to the channels listed above to watch the following universities’ football games:

  • Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Arkansas Razorbacks
  • Auburn Tigers
  • Florida Gators
  • Georgia Bulldogs
  • Kentucky Wildcats
  • LSU Tigers
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs
  • Missouri Tigers
  • Ole Miss Rebels
  • South Carolina Gamecocks
  • Tennessee Volunteers
  • Texas A&M Aggies
  • Vanderbilt Commodores

Big Ten Conference (B1G)

The Big Ten plays games each week on the following channels: FOX, ABC, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, Big Ten Network and Big Ten Network Plus.

While game day content is spread across several channels, this conference also has its own 24-hour channel. Here are the streaming services that offer the Big Ten Network.

Live Streaming ServiceOffers Big Ten NetworkMonthly Subscription Price
YouTube TVYes$64.99
Hulu + Live TVYes$69.99
DIRECTV STREAMOnly with upgrade$84.99
fuboTVYes$69.99
Sling TVOnly with upgrade$46
PhiloNo$20

You will need live streaming access to the channels listed above to watch the following universities’ football games:

  • Indiana Hoosiers
  • Illinois Fighting Illini
  • Iowa Hawkeyes
  • Maryland Terrapins
  • Michigan Wolverines
  • Michigan State Spartans
  • Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers
  • Northwestern Wildcats
  • Ohio State Buckeyes
  • Penn State Nittany Lions
  • Purdue Boilermakers
  • Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  • Wisconsin Badgers

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

The Atlantic Coast Conference plays games each week on the following channels: ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, ACC Network Extra and Bally Sports regional networks.

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Game day content is spread across several channels, but the ACC also has its own 24-hour channel. Here are the streaming services that offer the ACC Network.

Live Streaming ServiceOffers ACC NetworkMonthly Subscription Price
YouTube TVYes$64.99
Hulu + Live TVYes$69.99
DIRECTV STREAMOnly with upgrade$84.99
fuboTVYes$69.99
Sling TVOnly with upgrade$46
PhiloNo$20

You need live streaming access to the channels listed above to watch the following universities’ football games:

  • Boston College Eagles
  • Clemson Tigers
  • Duke Blue Devils
  • Florida State Seminoles
  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
  • Louisville Cardinals
  • Miami Hurricanes
  • North Carolina Tar Heels
  • North Carolina State Wolfpack
  • Pittsburgh Panthers
  • Syracuse Orange
  • Virginia Cavaliers
  • Virginia Tech Hokies
  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Note: Notre Dame does compete in the ACC for non-football sports but maintains modified conference independence for football. The Fighting Irish football games can be found on NBC.


Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 plays games each week on the following channels: ABC, FOX, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the ESPN+ streaming service.

Unlike the rest of the “Power 5” conferences, the Big 12 does not have its own 24-hour channel. Instead, it has a joint agreement with FOX and ESPN that opens up both television and digital-only broadcasts of its sporting events.

You need live streaming access to the channels listed above to watch the following universities’ football games:

  • Baylor Bears
  • Iowa State Cyclones
  • Kansas Jayhawks
  • Kansas State Wildcats
  • Oklahoma Sooners
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys
  • TCU Horned Frogs
  • Texas Longhorns
  • Texas Tech Red Raiders
  • West Virginia Mountaineers

PAC-12 Conference

The PAC-12 plays games each week on the following channels: FOX, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the PAC-12 Network.

While game day content is spread across several channels, the conference does have its own 24-hour channel. Here are the streaming services that offer the PAC-12 Network.

Live Streaming ServiceOffers PAC-12 NetworkMonthly Subscription Price
YouTube TVNo$64.99
Hulu + Live TVNo$69.99
DIRECTV STREAMNo$84.99
fuboTVOnly with upgrade$81
Sling TVOnly with upgrade$46
PhiloNo$20

You need live streaming access to the channels listed above to watch the following universities’ football games:

  • Arizona Wildcats
  • Arizona State Sun Devils
  • Cal Golden Bears
  • Colorado Buffaloes
  • Oregon Ducks
  • Oregon State Beavers
  • Stanford Cardinal
  • UCLA Bruins
  • USC Trojans
  • Utah Utes
  • Washington Huskies
  • Washington State Cougars

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