How to watch NFL games on Thanksgiving live online for free—and without cable

November 25, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

Football is almost as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey, stuffing and the pressing need for an afternoon nap.

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. Of course, slipping down to a sports bar is not an option for most people (no matter how much they might want to get away from Uncle Ernie). And if you’re in charge of making dinner, there go your plans for lounging on the couch. Even if you do have the time, you might have cut the cord to save money for more holiday gifts.

Whatever your circumstances, 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 this week? And what channels are airing the games?

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

Thursday, Nov 25

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

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS

Buffalo Bills vs. New Orleans Saints, 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 sort of network programming for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. And NFL games are one of the easiest to view, since they air on broadcast networks, meaning you’ll be able to watch even if you don’t have a cable subscription. To ensure you’re getting the most reliable signal, be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home.

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

You’ve got several options to choose from: 


NBC’s streaming service will give you access to Sunday night games and others aired on that network. You can get a seven-day free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge. (The free version of Peacock does not include live sports.)


CBS’s streaming service will give you access to games aired on that network. You can get a one-month free trial, followed by a $6 monthly charge.

Hulu with Live TV

You can try the service free for a week. Once that’s up, you’ll pay $65 per month.


After a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $65.

Sling TV

Dish Network’s Sling lower tiered “Orange” plan will run you $35 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $50-per-month. You’ll have a 7-day free trial first—and right now, the cord cutting service is dropping the first month’s bill to $10.


Formerly known as DirecTV Now and AT&T TVNow, AT&T’s streaming service will run you $70 per month and up. There is no longer a free trial option.


Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ can be enjoyed for free for seven days, after which you’ll pay $13.99 per month for all three combined

Fubo TV

This sports-focused cord cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $65-$80, depending on the channels you choose.

Can I watch NFL games on Amazon?

Usually yes, but not today. Amazon’s contract with the NFL does not include any Thanksgiving Day games. The next one will air on Dec. 2.

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

Several, in fact.


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 for $73.49 per month or $293.36 for the entire season.

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