The Best Ways To Stream NFL Games in 2023
The NFL’s top streamers—plus internet deals and tech tips to optimize your big-game viewing
Best for in-market gamesParamount+What you can watch:
- CBS-broadcast games in your local market
- Super Bowl LVIII
- Price: $11.99/mo. or $119.99/yr.
Best for out-of-market gamesYouTube TV with NFL Sunday TicketWhat you can watch:
- 200+ Sunday afternoon games outside your local market
- NBC, FOX, ESPN, NFL Network, and other sports channels
- Price: $72.99/mo. plus $349.00–$489.00/season
Best for Monday Night FootballESPN+What you can watch:
- 22 Monday Night Football broadcasts
- 10 alternative “ManningCast” shows with Peyton and Eli
- Price: $9.99/mo., $99.99/yr., or $12.99/mo. for Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+
Best for Thursday Night FootballAmazon Prime VideoWhat you can watch:
- 16 Thursday Night Football matchups
- Thanksgiving game
- Price: $14.99/mo. or $139.00/yr. (w/ Prime membership), $8.99/mo. (w/out Prime membership)
The NFL kicked off its 2023 season on Thursday, Sept. 7, so it’s time to pull on your team’s jersey and fire up the smart TV to settle in for some football.
There are approximately ten gajillion ways to watch NFL games in 2023, but you can get almost all of the action from two streaming services: Paramount+ and YouTube TV. See our guide for the best ways to stream all the gridiron glory. We also have deals on NFL Sunday Ticket and networking tips to make sure your Wi-Fi is fast enough to catch every trick play.
What’s the best streaming service for NFL games?
Paramount+ and YouTube TV with NFL Sunday Ticket are the two best options for streaming NFL games. These two platforms give you the lion’s share of broadcasts, including kickoffs in your local market, hundreds of Sunday-afternoon NFL matchups, and Super Bowl LVIII, of course.
Since NFL games are broadcast over multiple networks, you unfortunately can’t get one streaming option to cover every single game happening over the entire season. But other streamers can get you special games and broadcasts, including Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, and ESPN+.
You can also tune in with a cable TV plan, which may be more reliable if you don’t have the best internet connection. (See our tips below for Wi-Fi speed recommendations and ways to optimize your streaming for live sports.)
Best for streaming in-market games and Super Bowl LVIII: Paramount+ gets you access to games in your local market, which are streamed live on CBS. You can also use the platform to watch CBS’s Super Bowl broadcast in February 2024.
Best for streaming out-of-market games: YouTube TV holds exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, an add-on that gets you most of the NFL’s out-of-market games for your lazy Sunday afternoons. You also get the major channels that broadcast football, including NBC, FOX, ESPN, and NFL Network.
Best for streaming everything else:
- Amazon Prime Video is the home to Thursday Night Football, showing 16 matches that include the NFL’s Black Friday game.
- Peacock, the streaming service of NBC, gets you the NFL season’s 18 Sunday Night Football The lineup includes a Peacock-exclusive match in Week 16 and a Thanksgiving throwdown.
- ESPN+ lets you watch Monday Night Football, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling 22 games. Peyton and Eli Manning will be on deck for 10 alternate “ManningCasts” too.
Best for streaming games free: The NFL’s mobile app gives you free access to live local and prime-time games. You can also watch highlights and breaking news, and you can sign into NFL Sunday Ticket through the app for out-of-market matches.
TV channels with NFL:
- NFL Network
- NFL RedZone
Don’t miss these NFL Sunday Ticket internet deals
Football season means hot deals from internet providers to reduce the cost of your NFL needs. See the best NFL deal below, and find more in our Best Internet Deals guide.
Frontier customers can get $50 off NFL Sunday Ticket: Sign up for a Frontier internet plan, order YouTube TV by September 19, and add NFL Sunday Ticket to your YouTube TV plan. You can redeem the $50 offer after confirming your YouTube TV subscription.
What internet speed do you need to stream the NFL season?
You need speeds of at least 100Mbps to comfortably watch NFL games—and ideally more if you share your Wi-Fi with a lot of people.
Streaming takes up a lot of bandwidth, and it’s extra important to have sufficient speeds if you want to keep up with the fast pacing of live sports. The Super Bowl typically broadcasts in 4K, an ultra high-def resolution that demands a fast and reliable connection.
Take a speed test to see if you’re getting ample bandwidth for your football fix. Try running the speed test at different times throughout the day, and during the usual kickoff times to see how your Wi-Fi holds up.
What equipment do you need to stream the NFL season?
You need a smart TV and a set-top box like a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV, which support the streaming platforms that broadcast live NFL games. Of course, you also need an active subscription to your preferred streamer or a cable TV plan that gives you channels like CBS and ESPN.
Tips for optimizing your NFL streaming experience
If you’re looking forward to a big game, the last thing you want is a spotty Wi-Fi connection buffering two seconds before a touchdown or lagging behind your neighbor’s stream. You don’t want their cheers next door to spoil the surprise of a big play, and you need a reliable connection to keep up with CBS broadcaster dynamic duo Charles Davis and Ian Eagle too.
Here are some troubleshooting measures you can take to ensure your Wi-Fi doesn’t make a fumble.
Update your router
An out-of-date router means slow speeds and occasional restarts. Vamp up your equipment with a router featuring the Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E standard. See our best routers guide for recommendations.
Move your router
If your router’s shoved into a back closet or cabinet, the signal is going to have trouble making a connection with your TV. Put the router in a centralized place, such as your living room or wherever you’ll plan to watch the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Test your speeds
A speed test is the stethoscope of your Wi-Fi network, letting you know whether you’re getting the bandwidth you’re paying for from your internet provider. Run speed tests regularly (and download our speed test app!) to make sure your Wi-Fi isn’t under the weather by game time.
Limit other devices
Sorry kids, you don’t need to watch Frozen II for the 15th time if it means the parents might risk missing Justin Tucker kicking a game-clinching field goal. When an important game is coming up, politely ask your children or roommates to cool it on excess app and browser usage—or kick everyone off the Wi-Fi using your router’s admin settings.
Author - Peter Holslin
Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.