Here are the three best options for watching your favorite NFL team on an iPhone, Android device, or tablet for the 2023 season.
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Of the 100 most watched TV broadcasts of 2022, a whopping 75 were NFL games!
Yes, you read that right. The NFL is beyond popular in the United States, which means many of us want to watch our favorite team from our phones.
Access to NFL games on mobile is especially important for people like me, who just had a baby, and are running around like chickens with our heads cut off on diaper runs. It’s nice to be able to have access to the game from the aisles of the grocery store, or in the kitchen while warming up milk. Since I became a new Dad, my consumption of sports on my iPhone has gone up about 1,000%.
If you live in the same market as your favorite team, NFL+ is the best option for live streaming NFL games on mobile. Since 2010, Verizon had licensed the mobile rights to NFL games which is why football fans could watch games on their phones with the Yahoo app (Verizon owns Yahoo). However, Verizon didn’t renew its NFL mobile rights, and they reverted back to the League. The NFL used its newfound mobile rights to create NFL+, a streaming platform that allows football fans to watch local and primetime games at a low price, but only on mobile devices and tablets.
#1. NFL+ on the NFL app
The NFL app is available for both Android and iOS users, and is a great option for NFL streaming. Once you download the app, you will see the “+” symbol at the bottom of the mobile navigation. Open this section of the app to sign up for NFL+.
Last season, much of the content that is now NFL+ was available for free on the NFL app, but this season, the NFL is charging a monthly fee to stream games on mobile. Although the new charges are unfortunate, they still represent a major savings over most live TV streaming services.
With NFL+, football fans can watch:
- Live local regular season games on a mobile phone or tablet only
- Out-of-market preseason games
- Live audio for every game
- Game replays
- Sunday Night Football on mobile or tablet only
- Monday Night Football on mobile or tablet only
- Thursday Night Football on mobile or tablet only
- NFL Playoff games on mobile or tablet only
Note: There is no Apple Air Play option on the NFL app, so your viewing will have to stay on your phone exclusively.
#2. YouTube TV
Although they do offer free trials on a regular basis, a YouTube TV subscription will still run you at least $64.99, and that’s without add-ons like the 4K package.
However, if you are in the market for a more comprehensive streaming service, YouTube TV is a great option, and their mobile app is extremely well done.
Having tested every live TV streaming service to watch sports, I can say with 100% certainty that YouTube TV is the best of the bunch for football, and especially for watching football on a mobile device.
The app is supported on both iOS and Android operating systems, and the development team has gone above and beyond in creating innovative features. In fact, of all the streaming reviews I’ve done, the best features, of any kind, I’ve seen are Stats View and Key Plays on YouTube TV.
With Stats View, YouTube TV subscribers can watch real time stats accruing as they watch any NFL game. Key Plays allows for viewing games through highlights of the most important plays, which is a great way to catch up on a game when you missed the kickoff, or for DVR viewing on games you’ve recorded.
YouTube TV’s mobile only fantasy football feature
While the Stats View, and Key Plays features are certainly impressive, YouTube TV also went above and beyond for its mobile users by creating an integration with Fantasy Football Leagues.
Through a featured called Fantasy View, YouTube TV subscribers can link their NFL.com fantasy team to the YouTube TV app to follow fantasy scoring in real time. This feature is so far beyond any of the live TV streaming competitors that YouTube TV should earn the top spot for viewing the NFL on mobile with just this innovation alone.
Last, AFC fans should be aware of Paramount Plus as a live TV streaming option for NFL action.
At just $4.99 per month for the Essentials Plan, cord cutters get access to all the NFL action on CBS, which includes some playoff games, and the Super Bowl when CBS has the rights.
The Paramount Plus mobile app is available on Android and iOS.
What is the best way to live stream NFL games for free on my phone?
In an unfortunate twist of events for fans, last season there was far more free content on the NFL app than this season. Much of the free content you could watch on the NFL app is now behind the paywall of NFL Plus.
If you’re looking to live stream NFL games for free, the best bet is signing up for a free trial on one of the major streaming services, DIRECTV STREAM, YouTube TV, and fuboTV all offer free trials of between 5-14 days.