How to Watch NFL Wild Card Playoffs Live Online for Free—Without Cable
The regular season is over for the NFL. It’s all or nothing from here on out.
This weekend is the Wild Card round, as eight teams vie for a chance to advance to the divisional round. Perhaps most surprising of those is the Patriots, who started this season so indomitable, but slipped later in the year.
Because the games are being split between Saturday and Sunday, you might have other things to do when some are on. That doesn’t mean you have to miss them, though. There are plenty of alternative ways to view. Here’s a look at who’s playing this week—and several different ways to watch the games.
Which NFL teams are playing this week? And what channels are airing the games?
Two games Saturday. Two games Sunday. And every moment counts. The Wild Cards are often some of the most exciting games of the year, as it’s when dark horses start to emerge.
Here’s a look who’s playing this week. (The home team is listed second.)
Saturday, January 4
Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans, 4:35 p.m. ET on ESPN and ABC
Tennesse Titans vs. New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS
Sunday, January 5
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints, 1:05 p.m. ET on Fox
Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 4:40 p.m. ET on NBC
How can I watch my local NFL team for free—even if I am out of market?
Playoffs aren’t blacked out in any market, so you shouldn’t have to worry about finding the game, even if your home team is playing. Regardless, 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 Fox.com 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. 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.
Hulu with Live TV
You can try the service free for a week. Once that’s up, you’ll pay $45 per month.
After a seven day trial, you can expect monthly charges of $50.
Dish Network’s Sling is one of the OG cord cutter options. It has an extensive selection of ESPN options in its lower tiered “Orange” plan. That will run you $30 per month, but you won’t get Fox Sports in that bundle. (For that, you’ll also need to subscribe to Sling’s “Blue” plan, which bumps the cost to $45-per-month.) You’ll have a 7-day free trial first.
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T’s streaming service will run you $65 per month and up after a 7-day free trial.
Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ can be enjoyed for free for seven days, after which you’ll pay $12.99 per month for all three combined
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 NFL games on Amazon?
Not anymore, for this season at least. Amazon struck a deal with NBC to air select Thursday night games this season, but the last one was broadcast on the retail giant’s streaming service on Dec. 12. There are, at this time, no plans to jointly air any playoff games.
Does the NFL offer any viewing packages to watch the games I want?
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.
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.
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 for $73.49 per month or $293.36 for the entire season.