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- Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season includes the Bills and Patriots on Monday Night Football.
- NFL games are spread across several channels, including NFL Network, ESPN, NBC, Fox, and CBS.
- HD antennas and streaming services offer select NFL games without the need for a cable subscription.
The 2021 NFL season enters the home stretch in week 13, with a single loss separating the top six teams in the AFC and more than 10 NFC teams in the playoff hunt. The 7-4 Buffalo Bills will host the 8-4 New England Patriots in a high-profile Monday Night Football game that will have serious ramifications on the AFC East division race.
Buffalo beat New England twice in 2020 after losing seven straight games to the Patriots dating back to 2016. This season New England is led by rookie quarterback Mac Jones, who has outperformed the league’s other rookie signal-callers after being taken 15th overall in the draft. Bills quarterback Josh Allen is a candidate for most valuable player this year, with more than 3,000 passing yards and 25 touchdowns so far this season.
Throughout the season, NFL games are spread across five primary channels: ESPN, NBC, Fox, CBS, and the NFL Network. Meanwhile, the next Super Bowl will be broadcast on NBC.
To help ensure you get access to every game you want to watch, we broke down the ins and outs of streaming the NFL season without a cable subscription.
NFL Week 13 schedule
Week 13 of the NFL regular season begins with a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Cowboys and Saints on Fox, NFL Network, and Amazon Prime Video. This week’s Sunday Night Football game will feature the Broncos and Chiefs on NBC and Peacock.
Primetime games are shown nationally, but local broadcasts for afternoon games are determined by your area.
|Date and time||Channel|
|Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints||December 2, 8:20 p.m. ET||Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime|
|New York Giants at Miami Dolphins||December 5, 1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans||December 5, 1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions||December 5, 1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets||December 5, 1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears||December 5, 1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals||December 5, 1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons||December 5, 1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams||December 5, 4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders||December 5, 4:05 p.m. ET||Fox|
|Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers||December 5, 4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks||December 5, 4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs||December 5, 8:20 p.m. ET||NBC, Peacock|
|New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills||December 6, 8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN, ESPN2|
How to watch NFL games without cable
You can access select NFL games without a cable subscription via streaming services like Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock Premium, and NFL Sunday Ticket. You can also watch local NFL games with an HDTV antenna.
The 2021 NFL regular season began on September 9. During the regular season, Sunday afternoon games with an NFC home team will typically air on Fox, and Sunday afternoon games with an AFC home team will typically air on CBS.
Meanwhile, Sunday Night Football airs on NBC, and Thursday Night Football is broadcast on NFL Network all season long. Select Thursday Night Football games are also shown on Fox and streamed via Amazon Prime and Twitch. Finally, Monday Night Football is on ESPN.
Additionally, you can stream all your local in-market games on your mobile device for free using the Yahoo Sports app or the NFL app.
Here’s a full roundup of all the services you can use to stream NFL games without cable.
You can purchase an antenna, like this Channel Master model, to add to your TV for about $25, giving you access to local channels within a certain distance. For more recommendations, check out guide to the best digital antennas.
What you get:
Hooking up an HD antenna to your TV gives you access to local over-the-air (OTA) signals in your location. This means that you will be able to access the local affiliates of major broadcast networks, like Fox, CBS, and NBC.
This lets you watch all the regional games broadcast from wherever you’re located. You also get the Sunday Night Football matchup that airs on NBC. Because it’s only a one-time payment, this is a great option if you’re solely interested in watching the team in your area. However, you will not get access to any out-of-market games or games that air on ESPN or the NFL Network.
There are three different plans, depending on what channels you prioritize. Sling Orange and Sling Blue each cost $35 a month, while the combined Sling Orange + Blue plan costs $50 per month. Additionally, you can purchase the Sports Extra package to add NFL RedZone to your plan for $11 per month.
What you get:
Sling Orange has ESPN, while Sling Blue has Fox and NBC in select markets as well as the NFL network. CBS is not currently offered by Sling. While there is a Sports Extra package, it does not include any channels that air live NFL games.
Your best bet to get access to the most NFL games via Sling is to sign up for the Sling Orange + Blue plan and cash in on Sling’s current promotional offer of a free antenna for local channels. The free antenna requires that you prepay for two months of the Sling service. Plus, if you want RedZone you can add the Sports Extra package to the Orange + Blue Plan for a total of $61 a month.
If you don’t want it all, you can just sign up for Sling Blue to gain access to Sunday afternoon games on Fox and Sunday Night Football games on NBC, or just Sling Orange to gain access to Monday Night games on ESPN, in addition to the local offerings included with the antenna. As with all streaming services, game availability is subject to blackouts.
With Sling’s channel listings, add-ons, and the fact that they provide a free antenna, you can gain access to all local channels, the NFL Network, ESPN, and NFL RedZone, making it one of the most cost-effective ways to watch the NFL without cable.
In addition to all of its other offerings, Hulu + Live TV has nearly everything you need to stream NFL games for $65 per month.
What you get:
Like an HD antenna, Hulu + Live TV gets you access to all the local affiliates of the major broadcasts, meaning Fox, CBS, and NBC. These will show the games that are within your regional broadcast map with the exception of any blackouts. In addition, you also get ESPN, which gives you access to all Monday Night Football games, and NFL Network for Thursday Night Football.
You can also add the Sports add-on package to get NFL Redzone for an extra $10 a month.
At $65 a month for the Starter Plan, Fubo TV is one of the most comprehensive live streaming options for NFL football. You can also spend an extra $11 a month to add the Sports Plus with NFL RedZone package.
What you get:
In terms of NFL games, the Starter Plan includes access to local CBS, NBC, and Fox stations (regional availability and blackout restrictions apply). Fubo TV’s Starter Plan also grants you access to ESPN to watch Monday Night Football, and NFL Network to stream Thursday Night Football all season long.
With a base price of $65 a month, YouTube TV is another service that offers access to most NFL games. Additionally, the service announced an agreement with the NFL to offer NFL Redzone as an add-on included in their Sports Plus package for an additional $11 a month.
What you get:
Like other services at this price range, YouTube TV offers access to all the local channels you need to watch NFL games, including CBS, Fox, and NBC. YouTube TV also offers ESPN and NFL Network in their base package, so you’ll be able to watch all Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football games. And with the news of the new Sports Plus package, you can also watch NFL Redzone for an additional $11 per month.
NFL Sunday Ticket lets NFL fans watch every out-of-market Sunday afternoon game. That said, the service is only available in select areas.
There are two separate plans available: The NFL Sunday Ticket To Go plan costs $73.49 per month for four months, which is $293.96 total. There is also the NFL Sunday Ticket Max plan for $93.99 per month for four months, adding up to $387.96 total.
What you get:
Both plans give you access to all out-of-market Sunday afternoon games. This means that you do not get access to Thursday, Sunday, or Monday night games. You also won’t be able to stream locally televised games with only an NFL Sunday Ticket subscription. However, this is the only way for people hoping to watch full live games of their favorite teams out of market. A fun feature included in both plans is that you can watch four games at once on your screen.
In addition to the normal features, NFL Sunday Ticket Max adds in NFL RedZone and the DirecTV Fantasy Zone, which is a new channel solely dedicated watching games through the lens of fantasy football.
If you’re just interested in watching locally televised AFC home games, then a Paramount Plus subscription could be all you need. The service lets you stream live CBS television, as well as a growing library of on-demand shows and exclusive titles. Paramount Plus is available for $5 a month with commercials or $10 a month with ad-free on-demand streaming. With that said, all live broadcasts, including NFL games, still feature commercials with the ad-free plan.
What you get:
Paramount Plus offers live streaming for every NFL game that airs on the regular CBS channel in your local market. However, since Paramount Plus only offers CBS content you won’t be able to watch any games that air on other networks or any out of market matches. You can see a full schedule of NFL games set to air on CBS here.
Peacock won’t be streaming any exclusive games during the 2021 season, but Premium subscribers can stream all the NFL games being broadcast on NBC.
What you get:
For $5 a month, Peacock Premium will give you streaming access to NBC’s Sunday Night Football games, as well as Super Bowl LVI, the Thanksgiving game between the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints, and the 2021 kick-off game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The NFL’s flex scheduling gives NBC the option to change the Sunday Night Football game of the week, which typically guarantees that the primetime game will be one of the week’s best matchups.
Though yon won’t get local channels, NFL Network, or in-depth analysis, Amazon Prime Video members can watch select Thursday Night Football games with their subscription for no additional cost. A standalone Amazon Prime Video membership costs $9 a month, and the service is included as part of an Amazon Prime subscription for $119 per year or $13 a month.
What you get:
Amazon Prime Video will stream 11 Thursday Night Football games starting week five of the season. These game will also be broadcast on NFL Network and Fox. Since Amazon won’t be streaming any additional games, Prime Video on its own is really only suitable for casual football fans who just want to stream a few games this season.
If you’re only interested in watching in-market games without cable or an antenna, then you can stream live local and primetime games on a mobile device using the Yahoo Sports or NFL app. Both options are free and each app is available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
What you get:
These apps provide live streaming for regular season local and primetime games, playoffs, and the Super Bowl. With that said, you can only watch the games on a mobile device. You’ll also need to ensure that your location services are activated on your phone or tablet.