Disclosure: Your support helps keep our site running! We earn referral fees for some of the products & services we recommend. Learn more
Categories

How to Watch the Puppy Bowl Online Without Cable (2023)

Last Updated:

Watch Puppy Bowl XIX with pregame at on Animal Planet with FuboTV!

Get ready to be entertained by some of the cutest and cuddliest athletes on the planet! The annual Puppy Bowl is back, and this year’s lineup is full of furry footballers ready to bring their A-game to the field. Want to cheer on these playful pups, without inviting cable to the party? Read on.

In a hurry? Game day is Super Bowl Sunday, February 12, and Puppy Bowl XIX kicks off (paws off?) at 2 pm Eastern. Pregame starts at 1 pm Eastern. If you want to catch it live, any of these services will work great:

  • Fubo: With 130+ channels, it offers something for everyone. Fubo allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Provides everything you expect from cable with many options. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
  • Sling TV: Probably the best streaming service in terms of customization with a super low price. Save 50% on one month now!

If you can’t watch your favorite sports, TV and movies because of your location, try ExpressVPN to get access to the content you deserve. Signup now.

Unfortunately, we don’t know a streaming service in that offers this TV channel. But if you’ve already paid for the right service, and just can’t watch because of your location, there is an easy way to get the sports, movies, and TV you deserve. You need a VPN, like one of the following.

ExpressVPN
  1. ExpressVPN: Known as “The VPN that just works,” it combines remarkable ease of use with with state-of-the-art power, speed, security, and privacy. Get three extra free months when you sign up for a year. Unleash your streaming with this top-rated VPN.
Sign Up Now
Surfshark
  1. Surfshark: Surfshark: Secure and easy to use with thousands of servers around the world. Of special note is its excellent collection of servers inside the US, which is great for regional sports lie NFL, MLB, and NBA. Get it now with an incredible 82% discount on a 24-month plan.
Sign Up Now
NordVPN
  1. NordVPN: One of the top VPNs with extremely fast servers all over the world. Great for streaming with tested perfomance on the biggest servers and included ad-blocking. Currently offering 70% discount on 2-year plans.
Sign Up Now

If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, you’ll find all the answers in our full VPN guide.

Sign Up for a Free 7-Day Fubo Trial

Come that Sunday in February, many American households will have a party atmosphere. They’ll be ready to watch the hotly-anticipated matchup, root for their favorite teams and players, watch the pregame shows, speculate on the half-time program, and hope someone poops on the field or steps in the water dish. Wait — what??

Welcome to the Puppy Bowl, Animal Planet’s annual send-up to the Super Bowl. And, wow, do they go all-in on the parody:

  • Play-by-play commentary from ESPN’s Steve Levy and Thursday Night Football‘s Taylor Rooks
  • Pun penalties (eg, “paws” interference) called by an on-field referee
  • Sponsored venue (the GEICO Puppy Bowl Stadium)
  • Slo-mo replays and puppy-cams
  • Pregame special (this year: “the inside scoop on the Puppy Bowl draft”)
  • Kitty Halftime Show
  • Celebrity tailgates (Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg have now been promoted to “coaches”)
  • Live-“tweeting” cockatiel
  • Model blimp “piloted” by hamsters
  • Water-dish cam
  • Variety of species as “cheerleaders” (bunnies, pigs, hedgehogs, goats, armadillos, and penguins, to name a few)
  • Mascots.

When puppies playing with toys on a fake football field is the main premise, it’s hard to go wrong. And when the cause is helping shelter and rescue animals find forever homes, you don’t have to feel guilty about wallowing in the cuteness.

You also don’t need a cable company to see whether Team Fluff can hang on to the Lombarky Trophy in 2023, or if Team Ruff can stage an upset. This year, with now that Warner Media and Discovery have merged, it’s airing on Discovery Channel and TBS as well as Animal Planet — and streaming on Discovery+ and HBO Max!

Vivianne of Team Fluff - Puppy Bowl XIX
Vivianne, a bulldog mix from Team Fluff

Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet

Others have attempted to copy the Puppy Bowl’s success. In 2014, Hallmark Channel launched the Kitten Bowl and National Geographic Wild premiered the Fish Bowl. But only Animal Planet has had runaway success.

NFL Films, the studio that does the official in-house documentaries on all NFL properties, produced a “Making Of” featurette on its canine counterpart. And the 2021 game’s score and highlights were reported on by the sports divisions of NBC, CBS, and Fox as well as ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

While no one exactly takes it seriously — puppies, remember? — in its eighteenth year, it is appropriately acknowledged for the genuine phenomenon in its own right that it is.

Animal Planet is one of the core channels of Discovery Inc, along with Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, TLC, and Investigation Discovery (ID). In 2022, WarnerMedia merged with Discovery to form Warner Bros. Discovery, so the Discovery channels are now step-siblings to the Warner channels: TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, and HBO.

In order to watch the Puppy Bowl — or any other Animal Planet show — you used to need a cable subscription. Now, though, there’s an alternative: OTT (over-the-top) streaming services that provide the same channels without annoying installation appointments, super high prices, or long-term commitments.

Read on to see which services offer Animal Planet.

Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl page.

Streaming Services with Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet

Discovery is ubiquitous, which is good for you because it means all the major streaming services except Sling TV carry Animal Planet — and the other main Discovery channels — in their base packages.

But that doesn’t matter anymore because for the first time, you can also watch Puppy Bowl XIX on TBS and Discovery. Between the three of them, any streaming service has you covered!

Read on to see what other channels might interest you.

FuboTV

fubotv logo

FuboTV is a great service for sports fans and puppy fans alike. FuboTV’s Starter plan provides over 110 channels for $74.99/mo. This includes all your local networks, as well as Animal Planet.

Go for the Elite plan for $84.99/mo and you’ll also pick up more educational and DIY Discovery channels. You can also get the extra channels with the Fubo Extra add-on for $7.99/mo.

All plans come with a 7 day trial, at least 1000 hours of cloud DVR storage, and simultaneous streaming on up to 10 devices.

See our FuboTV review for details.

Sign Up for a Free 7-Day Fubo Trial

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM

The DIRECTV STREAM (Formerly AT&T TV) Entertainment plan is $74.99/mo for roughly 80 channels, including Animal Planet and the Discovery channels listed above plus your local broadcast channels.

The next tier, Choice, is $99.99/mo and you get all the Entertainment channels and Cooking Channel, OWN, Science, Travel Channel, and regional sports networks (RSNs). Destination America, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, Magnolia Network, and National Geographic Wild are all on the Ultimate tier ($109.99/mo).

All DIRECTV STREAM channels come with unlimited cloud DVR storage as long as you sign-up online and the ability to stream on unlimited devices simultaneously.

For more information, see our DIRECTV STREAM review.

Get DIRECTV STREAM Free for 5 Days

Sling TV

Sling TV Logo (2021 100x50)

Sling TV used to be left out of the puppy party (no Animal Planet), but now that Puppy Bowl XIX will be on TBS and Discovery, well, Sling is running with the big dogs. If you opt for the Sling Blue package, you’ll get Discovery, but both Sling Blue and Sling Orange have TBS. You can even flip back and forth between the puppies and Super Bowl LVII.

Either base plan, Blue or Orange, is $40.00/mo, or you can get both for $55.00/mo. Sling’s big thing is customization, so you only get around 40 channels in your base package, but you can add on dozens of others.

All plans come with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, upgradable to 200, and the ability to watch on up to 3 screens at the same time.

More details in our full Sling TV review.

Save 50% on Sling TV Now

Hulu + Live TV

hulu logo

Hulu + Live TV offers over 85 live channels, including all your local broadcast network affiliates, Animal Planet, and the core Discovery channels for $69.99/mo. Sign up for Hulu Live’s Entertainment Add-on and you’ll also enjoy Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, Magnolia Network, and Science.

Hulu offers unlimited cloud DVR (9 month storage) and streaming on up to 2 devices at the same time. It does not currently carry the Hallmark Channel or Curiosity Stream.

Our Hulu + Live TV review has more information.

Try Hulu + Live TV Today!

Philo

philo logo

Philo doesn’t have any sports networks or local channels in its 60+ channel lineup, but it does have Animal Planet!

Only $25/mo, it also includes the main Discovery channels, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, Magnolia Network, Hallmark Channel, OWN, Science, and Travel Channel.

It features unlimited cloud DVR storage, streaming on up to 3 screens at a time, and a 7 day trial. It does not currently carry National Geographic Wild or Curiosity Stream.

See more in our Philo review.

Try Philo Free for 7 Days

Vidgo

vidgo logo

Vidgo is a two-tiered service perfect for families and college sports fans (and college sports fan families). Their base plan, Vidgo Plus, is $69.99/mo for over 100 channels, including Animal Planet and the main Discovery channels, Curiosity Channel, Magnolia Network, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic Wild, OWN, and Travel Channel.

Vidgo Premium is :vidgo-price and adds Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Life, and Discovery Family, among others, to the lineup. You can stream on up to 3 screens at a time. But there is no DVR functionality or on-demand content. Broadcast networks are limited to Fox and ABC.

See our Vidgo review for more information.

Try Vidgo Today!

Vidgo HGTV
Vidgo offers a broad selection of live TV channels including Animal Planet.

Other Ways to Stream Puppy Bowl XIX

There are other options for streaming Animal Planet content:

  • Discovery+: Streaming service featuring original programming and classics from across all the Discovery brands — including Animal Planet and the Puppy Bowl. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial, after which it’s as low as $4.99/mo.
  • HBO Max: Now that HBO and Discovery are under the same roof, corporately speaking, HBO Max will also be streaming the Puppy Bowl in 2023.
  • YouTubeTV: Animal Planet is one of the over 85 channels they offer for a comparable service to Hulu + Live TV; it’s also priced at $72.99/mo.
  • Animal Planet Website and App: There are some episodes free to watch — sadly, not the Puppy Bowl. The best and most recent content requires a TV provider.
Kokobean of Team Ruff - Puppy Bowl XIX
Kokobean of Team Ruff came all the way from the Humane Society of Dominica in Roseau, Dominica

TVs and Streaming Devices for the Puppy Bowl

Most streaming devices in use (and probably the ones you own) are supported by most streaming services. For example, everyone supports the standard TV devices:

Android and iOS mobile devices are also universally supported. So are web browsers. And you can use them to cast the Puppy Bowl to your TV with Chromecast.

Other than DIRECTV STREAM, they all support Android TV-based devices.

FuboTV Discovery Channel
Android fun running FuboTV with Discovery Channel.

Philo and Vidgo do not support Samsung smart TVs but the other service do. Hulu + Live TV and FuboTV both support LG and Vizio smart TVs. FuboTV also supports Hisense TVs. Hulu and FuboTV also support the Xbox One gaming console. And Hulu supports the PlayStation.

For a complete list, see our review for the streaming service you are interested in.

Wrapping Up

It doesn’t matter if you watch because you like football-puppy puns or you like Dan Schachner (veteran Puppy Bowl ref of nine years), or — oh, hell, you don’t need a reason. It’s puppies! On a tiny football field! Playing with toys and each other!

Seriously, if there is one thing everyone can still agree on — maybe the only thing — it’s that puppies are irresistibly cute, and cable companies aren’t. So check out one of the streaming services above to see the puppy players of Team Ruff and Team Fluff go head-to-head February 12!

FAQs

What other shows can I watch on Animal Planet?

Since its launch in 1996, Animal Planet has always featured documentaries and reality shows about animals and animal-related occupations. There was an unfortunate decade from 2008 through 2018 when, to boost viewership, management decided they needed to turn the “edgy” up to 11 and emphasize the killer instead of the cute of the animal kingdom. And this hit a real low point with a documentary on mermaids in 2012.

In 2018 they returned to their nature documentary roots, though some series from the previous era (such as River Monsters) remain. Some popular shows, past and current:

  • The Zoo
  • The Zoo: San Diego
  • Pitbulls & Parolees
  • Crikey! It’s the Irwins
  • River Monsters
  • Born Mucky: Life on the Farm.

Sign Up for a Free 7-Day Fubo Trial

How did someone come up with Puppy Bowl?

The origin of Puppy Bowl is a funny story! Back in 2005, the New England Patriots were up against the Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville, Florida for Super Bowl XXXIX. The Super Bowl and its surrounding programming dominate the day, especially in terms of advertising; most channels have long since given up competing.

So the Animal Planet execs were in a room discussing what they should air for Super Bowl Sunday, and one of them says — and I’m paraphrasing — “Screw it! Put a camera on some puppies on a miniature football field and call it a day.” Nobody had any better ideas, so they tried it out. That was Puppy Bowl I, and the rest, as they say, is history.

What are the results of past Puppy Bowls?

Last year, Puppy Bowl XVIII was held on February 13. Mirroring the Super Bowl, Team Fluff won with a touchdown that put them over just as time ran out. The final score was 73-69, and the MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) was wide retriever (not a typo) Kirby.

Puppy Bowl XVII in 2021 saw Team Ruff make a sensational fourth-quarter comeback to win 73-69. MVP Marshall invented a new play by scoring a double touchdown.

How do they get the puppies to play the game?

We don’t wish to upset anyone but the Puppy Bowl is staged. What you watch as the Puppy Bowl is not like the other Big Game. Production for it starts the August before with the selection of the puppies (there’s no shortage of prospective players from shelters around the country).

Shooting takes place over 2 or 3 days in October, divided up by animal species (cats, dogs, other animals). About 53 hours are shot with 15 cameras, producing thousands of hours of footage. In addition, 45-80 puppies are used, with only 10-15 permitted on the field at any one time, and are rotated out in 20-30 minute shifts.

All the footage is then edited together, taking the best action and cutest moments, to create the semblance of a seamless game.

Does Animal Planet do anything else like this?

Puppy Bowl is not the only animal-themed sporting event! Back during the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, Animal Planet presented the Puppy Games, with kittens for the Opening Ceremony. It also featured puppies “competing” in a number of events including swimming, soccer, boxing, and gymnastics.

Then, starting in 2018, since the Puppy Bowl is so wildly successful at getting puppies adopted, the Dog Bowl, featuring dogs ages 2 to 15, debuted the day before Super Bowl Sunday to promote adoption of older dogs, which can be even harder to place. Dog Bowls II and III followed in 2019 and 2020.

How can I watch things other than the Puppy Bowl?

The Puppy Bowl comes but once a year. What else will you enjoy? Whatever it is, you can do it without cable. These guides show you how to watch different entertainment channels:

Ditch “Big Cable” Now – 3 Simple Steps to Cut the Cord

  1. Pick the right streaming service
  2. Get the content you deserve with the best VPN.
  3. Supercharge your internet provider

That’s it — you’ll save money, take back control, and enjoy TV more!

Page Updates

  1. Added links.

  2. Added links to streaming services. Updated some section headings. Added a few links. Image changes.

  3. Added buttons for streaming services. Pricing updates. Additional links. Mentioned offers.

  4. Added links to streaming services. More links. Mentioned offers.

  5. Image changes. More links. Pricing updates.

  6. Pricing updates. Cross linking. Small layout changes.

  7. Added links to streaming services. Added more info about plans. Mentioned channel info. Updated some sub-sections. Updated some section headings. Linking.

  8. Updates to a section.

Alanna Baker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap