By John Patrick Pullen
September 6, 2018

Cord-cutters know that you don’t need cable to watch NFL football online. But as live streaming services become increasingly popular, people have gone back to asking “What time is the football game tonight?” While NBC is broadcasting the NFL’s kickoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football tonight starting around 8:20 p.m. E.T. (the broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m.), you don’t even need a television to catch the start of NFL’s Week 1. Instead, all that’s required to catch the start of the NFL 2018 season is an internet connection. Here’s why:

How to watch online

Just like for February’s Super Bowl game, NBC will offer free online streaming through NBC.com, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app. That means no log-ins will be required to watch Thursday Night Football—a gambit that should help the league’s sagging ratings, because fans will be able to watch whether or not they have a cable package. (There is also the question of whether NBC will broadcast the national anthem and players’ potential protests.)

To watch on a computer, direct your web browser to NBC.com or NBCSports.com. Owners of mobile devices or streaming television boxes should download the NBC apps to stream tonight’s NFL game through Chromecast, Roku, AppleTV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Xbox.

How to watch with cable

If you’re committed to conventional television, NBC will air the Thursday Night Football games on the broadcast network every week. For people with cable or a digital antenna they can rig up, watching the game via NBC’s local affiliate is another great option.

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