How to Watch and Stream Thanksgiving NFL Football Games Live Online for Free—Without Cable

November 28, 2019, 1:00 PM UTC

Thanksgiving and football go together like … well … Thanksgiving and turkey.

While most of us stuff ourselves to the point of self-loathing today, six NFL teams will be on the field, fighting for a playoff spot. Today’s not a day where it’s convenient to slip off to a sports bar, though. And preparing the feast might make it impossible to lounge on the couch. (Or maybe you’ve cut the cord to save money for more holiday gifts.)

We’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at who’s playing today—and several different ways to watch the games.

Which NFL teams are playing on Thanksgiving? And what channels are airing the games?

How to watch Thanksgiving football games online for free without cable
Allen Robinson #12 of the Chicago Bears makes a catch and runs the ball in the first quarter of the game against the at Ford Field on November 28, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.
Rey Del Rio—Getty Images

The upside to there being just three games is you don’t have to decide which one to watch. The NFL has conveniently stacked them so you can marathon your way through the day, completely avoiding your family (or, at the very least, tuning them out if they get to be too much).

Here’s a look at who’s playing. (The home team is listed second.)

Thursday, November 28

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox

Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

How can I watch my local NFL team for free—even if I am out of market?

The best way to watch any NFL game for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. Local and regional games are broadcast by CBS, NBC and Fox, meaning you’ve got a good chance of capturing the game over the air, which costs nothing beyond the equipment prices. Be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home to find the most reliable signal.

How can I stream NFL games live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?

There are loads of online options to watch NFL games, some completely free and others with free trial periods. If you’re not near a TV, you can log into to watch the game or use the Fox Now app. CBS offers its All Access streaming service, which has a one week free trial, followed by a $6 monthly charge. And NBC’s Web site and apps will let you watch live programming on the go. Another option? Yahoo Sports and the NFL have teamed to stream live NFL games on mobile devices this year. Just download the Yahoo Sports app or Yahoo Fantasy Football mobile app and watch all local and primetime games on phones and tablets. Prefer another method? Here are a few that work just as well.

This free service lets you watch local broadcast channels with no monthly fees or contracts. The hiccup is: It only services part of the country.

PlayStation Vue

The free trial is 5 days. Subscription packages start at $50 per month.

Hulu with Live TV

You can try the service free for a week. Once that’s up, you’ll pay $45 per month.

YouTube TV

After a seven day trial, you can expect monthly charges of $50.

Fubo TV

This sports-focused cord cutting service carries CBS in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $55.

Can I watch any Thanksgiving NFL games on Amazon?

Normally, yes. Most Thursday night games are simulcast to people with an Amazon Prime subscription.The online retailer has struck a deal with NBC to air select Thursday night games from now through December 12 (Jets vs. Ravens).

This week, however, (perhaps because it’s a holiday) Prime will not be airing the game.

Does the NFL offer any viewing packages to watch the games I want?

Kind of.


The NFL App will let you stream games that are being broadcast locally in your market on Sundays. If you want to watch an ‘out of market’ game, you’ve got two choices.

NFL Game Pass

There are couple hitches with this service. You can’t use it to watch live games, but you can watch anything once its main broadcast ends. There’s a seven day free trial, after which you’re looking at a $100 charge per season.

NFL Sunday Ticket

DirecTV customers have access to it, but if you’re not a subscriber and live in an area where it’s not available, you can watch any NFL game live, online or on TV $73.49 per month or $293.36 for the entire season.

Related reading:

Stores open (and closed) on Thanksgiving Day
—Not into cooking? These restaurants are open for Turkey Day
—Here’s when major retailers will open on Black Friday
What to watch (and skip) in theaters and on Netflix over Thanksgiving weekend
In-demand items you’ll want to prioritize getting on Black Friday
—Black Friday weekend will deepen the divide between retail’s winners and losers
—Many of Amazon’s best Black Friday deals have one thing in common
—Walmart Black Friday ad: 8 deals you shouldn’t ignore
—Give these world-class experiences as gifts this holiday season
—The best white, red, sparkling, and dessert wines to give this year
Travel must-haves to give your favorite globe-trotters—The best brews for beer-lovers
—Must-have luxury items for everyone in your life
—Here are Oprah’s favorite high-tech things for 2019

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.