The Pro Bowl has always been a bit of an outlier in the NFL.
Envisioned initially as the league’s version of the all-star game, it used to be held after the Super Bowl, when fans had started to move on from the season. So, officials moved it up to the week before the Super Bowl, but that meant members of the two best teams were absent—and other players would generally play with a rather gentle nature.
This year, the NFL is trying something new once again—a two-day series of events that culminates in a trio of AFC vs. NFC flag football games. It’s an interesting concept. The question is: Will fans care?
The first events took place on Thursday, with players taking part in dodgeball, water balloon catching events and a NFL take on the dunking booth. (Really.) There were also longest pass competitions and the first round of the “Best Catch” games, where player attempt to receive a ball in the most creative way possible.
Sunday will see the final round of that “Best Catch” competition and other … unusual games, as well as the flag football events.
Does it sound more like a field day at school than an NFL All-Star game? Of course it does. Does that mean it won’t be entertaining? Well, only time will answer that question. We will remind you that “Battle of the Network Stars” ran for just short of 10 years, so, at one time at least, there was an audience for this sort of thing. If you’re figuring out the best way to watch or won’t be near at TV, here are the best way to catch the games.
When is the 2022 Pro Bowl and where can I watch it?
Today’s games aren’t what you’re used to. Beyond the finals of the “Best Catch” competition, players will take part in:
- The Gridiron Gauntlet, a showcase of strength that sounds a lot like “Wipeout”
- Kick Tac Toe, where each team’s kicker, punter and long snapper will compete to complete a connecting line of three squares or hit five squares total;
- Move the Chains, which sees players pulling a weighted wall 10 yards as fast as they can using first down chains
- It all ends with three flag football games.
Sunday, Feb. 5
AFC vs. NFC, 3:00 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN and Disney XD
What’s different about the 2022 Pro Bowl than previous years?
There has never been a real reason for players to go hard in the Pro Bowl, since risking injury made no sense. Fans got tired of watching them go easy on each other, so this year the league did away with the tackle game altogether, opting instead for a series of skill challenges capped by a few rounds of flag football. There will be three seven-on-seven games of flag football between the AFC and NFL on a smaller field with two 10-minutes halves. It’s not quite the all-star game fans might expect, but it’s still a celebration of the sport.
How can I watch the NFL Pro Bowl 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 since the conference championships air on broadcast networks, 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.
Can I stream the NFL Pro Bowl live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?
You can! Here are some options…
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 no longer offered, as well. It will cost you $70 per month.
After up to a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $65.
Dish Network’s Sling recently increased its prices. The lower-tiered “Orange” plan will now run you $40 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $55 per month. (A $5 per month increase for each.) The seven-day free trial has disappeared along with the price increase, but the cord-cutting service is offering 50% off of the first month’s bill.
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you $70 per month and up 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 Pro Bowl on Amazon?
Nope. Amazon does not carry the games.
Does the NFL offer any viewing packages to watch the NFL Pro Bowl?
A trio of them.
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.)
NFL Sunday Ticket
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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