How to watch opening day of the NFL 2022 season live online for free—and without cable
The preseason was fun, but it’s time to get serious. The NFL kicks off its 2022–2023 season tonight.
While the bulk of the games will take place Sunday, there’s a certain appeal to the true first game of the season. And the league is starting things off with a corker.
The Buffalo Bills will face the Los Angeles Rams, pitting the leader of last year’s AFC East against the winner of Super Bowl LVI.
Grab a drink and settle into the couch or your favorite barstool. Football is back. Here’s a look at who’s playing whom and how best to catch the game.
Which NFL teams are opening the 2022 season? And what channel is airing the game?
Here’s how opening night is shaping up. (The home team is listed second.)
Thursday, Sept. 8
Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
How can I watch NFL games 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 watching preseason NFL games is simple, since many 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.
Note, however, that you’ll only be able to watch the Thursday night game over the air. Starting next week, the rights revert to a strictly online provider.
Can I stream NFL games live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?
There are, in fact, several options.
NBC’s streaming service will give you access to several games. 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.)
Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ no longer has a free trial, so you’ll have to pay $13.99 per month for all three combined (or $19.99 per month for no ads on Hulu). Including Live TV in the bundle bumps the price to $70 per month ($76 with no ads).
Hulu with Live TV
The free trial on this service is also no longer offered. It will cost you $70 per month.
After an up to two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $65.
Dish Network’s Sling has a lower-tiered “Orange” plan that will run you $35 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $50 per month. You’ll have a seven-day free trial first—and right now, the cord-cutting service is cutting the first month’s bill in half.
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow, and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you at least $70 per month after the free trial option.
This sports-focused cord-cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $70–$100, depending on the channels you choose.
Can I watch the NFL opening night game on Amazon?
NBC has exclusive broadcast rights to opening night this year. However, starting Sept. 15, Amazon Prime will be the exclusive home to Thursday Night Football.
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.
Watch live local and out-of-market games and (with the premium subscription) replays. There’s a seven-day free trial, after which you’re looking at a $30 charge per season. ($80 for premium.)
DirecTV customers have access to it, but if you meet the conditions, like living in an apartment complex or some area where you can’t get DirecTV, you can also sign up for an online version, letting you watch any NFL game live this season. There’s a one-week trial; then you’re looking at monthly charges of $73.49 per month for a four-month period or $293.36 for the entire season (or $99 for four months, or $396).
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