Looking to watch the NFL for free? Let’s break down the pros and cons of the streaming services that will offer free trials during the NFL season this year.
Table of Contents
- #1. YouTube TV – longest free trial for NFL fans
- #2. Fubo – free trial + pause subscription
- #3. NFL+ – free trial, plus excellent value for money
- #4. Paramount+ – free trial, plus budget AFC value
- #5. DIRECTV STREAM – shortest free trial, plus Lakers and Yankees in-market
- For existing cable TV subscribers
- NFL Viewing Guides
With the rise of on-demand content, sporting events are the only events Americans watch live any longer. Of the most watched television events last year, over 90% were either college or pro football. Because the demand for sports, and especially football, is so high, streaming services are competing for your dollars with free trials.
In this post, I will break down my top picks for streaming NFL games in a free trial based on my first-hand experience using each of these apps. For each streaming service, I will give the pros and cons of continuing with the service after the free trial period ends.
#1. YouTube TV – longest free trial for NFL fans
YouTube TV offers a generous 14 day free trial, which means NFL fans can get two football weekends for free with a YouTube TV subscription.
With ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC all included in the base package, YouTube TV carries all of the channels NFL fans need to follow their team this season, as well as an option to upgrade to NFL Sunday Ticket for watching out-of-market games.
#2. Fubo – free trial + pause subscription
Fubo carries all the channels NFL fans need to watch their local teams, plus marquee games like Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, the NFL Playoffs, and the Super Bowl. Fubo’s free trial, at 7 days, lags behind YouTube TV, but also allows users to easily pause a subscription while the NFL is in offseason, which is a money saver.
#3. NFL+ – free trial, plus excellent value for money
Despite the limitation of mobile only streaming, which will be a deal breaker for some, I listed NFL+ as my top overall pick for watching the NFL this season based on value for money and big game coverage. NFL+ offers a 7 day free trial.
- 7 day free trial
- Full local coverage of NFL franchises
- Live audio of NFL games
- Available on mobile and tablet only
#4. Paramount+ – free trial, plus budget AFC value
If you live in a market with an AFC franchise, like Denver, NY, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and others, Paramount+ offers a 7 day free trial, and excellent value for money thereafter with CBS’s NFL on CBS lineup.
- 7 day free trial
- Good coverage of AFC teams
- Watch the AFC playoffs and Super Bowl LVIII
- Limited to CBS coverage only
- Not suitable for NFC teams
#5. DIRECTV STREAM – shortest free trial, plus Lakers and Yankees in-market
DIRECTV STREAM offers a full lineup of NFL channels, and offers a 5-day free trial. The reason to signup for DIRECTV STREAM is if you want to watch a local pro sports team that is only carried by DIRECTV STREAM (Lakers, Yankees, Orioles) in addition to your NFL team.
- 5 day free trial
- Full NFL channel lineup
- Carries regional sports networks for Orioles, Lakers and Yankees that can only be streamed on DTV “Choice”
- Shorter free trial than Fubo or YouTube TV
- Most premium sports channels like NFL Network are in the more expensive “Choice” upgrade
- User experience lags behind Hulu, Fubo, and YouTube TV
For existing cable TV subscribers
If you are already paying for cable TV, you might be able to stream NFL games without spending any extra money via a concept known as “TV Everywhere.” Virtually every cable TV package includes foundational channels like CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC.
When you pay for these channels, you don’t need your cable box to watch them, you can also stream them at no additional charge.
For example, let’s say you are away from home and want to watch Sunday Night Football on NBC on your phone. If you download the NBC Sports app and use your cable TV login credentials, you can stream the game on the NBC app for no additional charge.
The same applies for the FOX, CBS, and ESPN apps.