It’s that time of the year, everyone’s favorite season, football season. Whether you’re gearing up to cheer on your alma mater this Saturday, making plans for your next NFL watch party, or adjusting this week’s fantasy football lineup, it’s a busy time for football fans.
It used to be hard to watch football without a cable subscription, but those days are long gone. Today, there are more affordable and legal ways to stream your favorite college and NFL teams than ever before. And not only that, you can get access to tons of sports content in HD for free using an OTA antenna. Don’t miss a single play and save some money while doing it: Here’s a quick look at how you can watch sports online without cable in this football fans guide to cutting the cord.
Why Cut the Cord?
There are a lot of people who are still using traditional dish or cable services to watch their favorite shows, sports and news. Yet more and more people are cutting the cord and turning to other options for watching their favorite shows and sports games while saving money at the same time. And with the average cable bill reaching $103 and projected to continue to increase you can’t blame them. So consider cutting the cord and don’t miss any games this season. The following are some options to consider for watching football without missing a single play AND without a cable bill!
HD AntennasOne low-cost option for watching the game is to buy a HD antenna for your TV. Most NFL games and many college football games primarily play on locally accessible channels, which is great if you’re considering cutting cable.
While this option does require a one-time investment of anywhere from $25 - $60, this is still cheaper than the average cable bill you’re used to paying every month. Here is a previous post that covers the different types of antennas available and which is the best for you.
Most antennas should be able to pick up the majority of local channels including FOX, ABC, PBS, NBC, CBS, CW, and many more in crisp HD. With that being said, the channels you will be able to receive largely depend on where you are located. Visit this link to see what channels are available in your area.
It is important to keep in mind, clear reception is based on your distance from broadcast towers, but positioning or mounting the antenna as high as possible or near a window usually results in best performance. Antennas are definitely a worthwhile option if you are looking cut out your current TV provider and save some money. Here are some tips to help you get the best results when using an HD antenna.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss any game you will probably need to consider a subscription-based service in order to be able to access other channels like ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network and other non-locally available channels. An important consideration is that you will need a high-speed internet connection to take advantage of these services.
Sling TV is a subscription service that can give you access to ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN as well as other channels like TBS, Comedy Central, A&E and more for just $20 a month with their Orange package (30 channels). They also offer a Blue package (45 channels) which features FOX Sports 1 & 2, NFL Network, and NBC Sports network for $25 a month. You can even bundle both packages together and still pay less than the average monthly cable bill. They website has more information with a complete list of channels, packages and add-ons.
PlayStation Vue is another subscription service that’s basic plan will also give you access to ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1 & 2 along with 50+ other channels for $29.99. You can pay $5 more to increase the channel selection to 70+ channels including the NFL Network, ESPN U, and ESPN News. PlayStation Vue also offers two higher tiers but these first two are the main ones to look at if you are primarily interested in sports channels. Visit their website for more details and complete package and channel lists.
One important thing to note is that while this is a PlayStation branded service you do not need a PlayStation 3 or 4 to use the service. Devices such as Amazon Fire Stick, Roku and Google Chromecast are compatible as well as mobile devices.
For the ultimate cord cutting football experience, consider combining a HD Antenna with one of the subscription services in order to have local channels as well as sports channels like ESPN covered.