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Watch NFL Preseason Without Cable: How to Never Miss a Game via Live Stream

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You can almost feel it. The crisp, early-autumn air that signals the start of the NFL Football season. We love football and if you’re here, you do too. But if you’re concerned about cutting the cord and losing access to games, don’t! You don’t need cable to watch all the action!

In a hurry? If you just want to make sure you have access to the entire NFL season, these streaming services will give you everything you need and more:

  • FuboTV: The best streaming service for international sports also provides 100+ well-selected channels. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Get a great channel lineup with the best selection of RSNs in the industry. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
  • Sling TV: This low-cost service allows you to select just the channel lineup you want. Save 50% on your first month of Sling TV.

Preseason Football Schedule

This is the first season with 3 preseason weeks and 18 regular season weeks (with each teaming getting one bye week for 17 total games). But the season starts with the Hall of Fame game on Thursday, Aug 5th at 8:00 EDT.

The normal preseason games start on Aug 12th.

Preseason Week 1

The first week of the preseason features half the games (8) televised — all on NFL Network.

Thu Aug 12th

  • Washington vs Patriots (7:30 pm on NFL Network)
  • Steelers vs Eagles: (7:30 pm)

Fri Aug 13th

  • Titans vs Falcons (7:00 pm)
  • Bills vs Lions (7:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Cowboys vs Cardinals (10:00 pm on NFL Network)

Sat Aug 14th

  • Dolphins vs Bears (1:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Broncos vs Vikings (4:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Saints vs Ravens (7:00 pm)
  • Browns vs Jaguars (7:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Jets vs Giants (7:30 pm)
  • Bengals vs Buccaneers (7:30 pm)
  • Texans vs Packers (8:00 pm)
  • Chiefs vs 49ers (8:30 pm)
  • Seahawks vs Raiders (9:00 pm)
  • Chargers vs Rams (10:00 pm on NFL Network)

Sun Aug 15th

Preseason Week 2

Ten of the second preseason week’s games will be televised. Eight will air on NFL Network and two on ESPN.

Thu Aug 19th

Fri Aug 20th

  • Bengals vs Washington (8:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Chiefs vs Cardinals (8:00 pm on ESPN)

Sat Aug 21st

  • Bills vs Bears (1:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Jets vs Packers (4:25 pm on NFL Network)
  • Ravens vs Panthers (7:00 pm)
  • Falcons vs Dolphins (7:00 pm)
  • Titans vs Buccaneers (7:30 pm)
  • Lions vs Steelers (7:30 pm on NFL Network)
  • Colts vs Vikings (8:00 pm)
  • Texans vs Cowboys (8:00 pm)
  • Raiders vs Rams (10:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Broncos vs Seahawks (10:00 pm)

Sun Aug 22nd

Mon Aug 23rd

  • Jaguars vs Saints (8:00 pm on ESPN)

Preseason Week 3

It’s only in the final week of the preseason that the networks get in on the action with both CBS and NBC airing games. NFL Network will also air 7 games.

Fri Aug 27th

  • Colts vs Lions (7:00 pm)
  • Steelers vs Panthers (7:30 pm)
  • Eagles vs Jets (7:30 pm)
  • Vikings vs Chiefs (8:00 pm on NFL Network)

Sat Aug 28th

  • Packers vs Bills (1:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Ravens vs Washington (6:00 pm)
  • Bears vs Titans (7:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Cardinals vs Saints (8:00 pm)
  • Buccaneers vs Texans (8:00 pm)
  • Rams vs Broncos (9:05 pm)
  • Chargers vs Seahawks (10:00 pm on NFL Network)

Sun Aug 29th

  • Jaguars vs Cowboys (1:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Dolphins vs Bengals (4:00 pm on CBS)
  • Raiders vs 49ers (4:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Patriots vs Giants (6:00 pm on NFL Network)
  • Browns vs Falcons (8:00 pm on NBC)

Note that the games that do not have a channel will be available to stream with NFL Game Pass. This is subject to blackout for local games. See our review for more information.

Do You Need a VPN?

If you find you can’t watch particular events because of your location, a VPN should allow you to get the access you are entitled to. It also provides extra security and unequalled privacy. See our complete VPN Guide for all you need to know.

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How to Watch the NFL Preseason Without Cable TV

As you can see in the schedule above, NFL Network is the place for preseason action. Of the 27 preseason games that will be aired, 23 will be on it.

For people who are limited to the local over-the-air channels, the preseason coverage will be pretty thin. You will only get to watch two games via antenna, both on the last day: Dolphins at Bengals (CBS) and Browns at Falcons (NBC). And the Hall of Fame game will air on Fox.

Here’s where the NFL preseason will air:

  • NFL Network (23 games)
  • ESPN (2 games)
  • CBS (1 game)
  • NBC (1 game).

Once the season starts, things will be different. Thursday Night Football will be airing on NFL Network as well as Fox and Amazon Prime. And NBC is airing the first week.

Sunday afternoon games will be split between CBS (AFC) and Fox (NFC). And Sunday Night Football will be on NBC. Monday Night Football is on ESPN (and sometimes also ABC).

So football fans want to sign up with a service that gives them NFL Network, ESPN, and all the networks. Luckily, there are a lot of options for this!

FuboTV NFL Network


fubotv logo

FuboTV is one of the best streaming services for sports fans. They offer NFL Network, ESPN, CBS, Fox, NBC, and a whole lot more. Their basic plan comes with 100+ channels including over 35 sports-focused ones. Regardless of your favorite sport, FuboTV has you covered.

NFL ChannelsCBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL Network
Total Channels100+
Cloud DVR750 hours
Simultaneous Screens10
Free Trial
FuboTV Price$69.99/mo

If this isn’t enough for you, you can get the Sports Plus add-on for $10.99/mo. It includes NFL RedZone, which allows you to easily keep up on all the games — even the ones playing at the same time. And it comes with 25 other sports channels including the 7 Pac-12, ACCN, SEC Network, and the three big league channels MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network.

All plans come with 750 hours of cloud DVR storage. You can also watch on up to 10 devices at the same time. It’s easy to find out if FuboTV is right for you. Sign up for a free for 7 days. Or check out our extensive articles:

Hulu + Live TV

hulu logo

We’d like to welcome Hulu + Live TV into the fold. Until recently, it wasn’t offering NFL Network. But just in time for the 2021 NFL preseason, Hulu has added the network back to its live TV plan.

NFL ChannelsCBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL Network
Total Channels85+
Cloud DVRUnlimited*
Simultaneous Screens2
Free Trial
Hulu Price$69.99/mo
* 9 month storage

In addition, you get ESPN, CBS, Fox, and NBC. And, of course, 85+ other channels in addition to its exceptional on-demand library — all for $69.99/mo. And NFL RedZone is now available as an add-on for $10.99/mo.

Hulu + Live TV also comes with unlimited DVR storage and the ability to stream on up to two devices at once.

Vidgo NFL Network


vidgo logo

Vidgo is a low-cost streaming service offering over 100 channels for just $59.95/mo. They offer a great selection of national TV channels. These include NFL Network and ESPN. They also offer the local Fox affiliate in most areas.

NFL ChannelsESPN, Fox, NFL Network
Total Channels100+
Cloud DVR
Simultaneous Screens3
Free Trial
Vidgo Price$59.95/mo

The downside of Vidgo is that it doesn’t provide CBS and NBC. This won’t be a big deal during the preseason but you really want these channels for the regular season. You can, however, make up for this by installing an antenna or using Locast if it is available in your area.

Vidgo doesn’t provide a cloud DVR but you can run your own at home. It does allow you to stream on up to three devices at once. Check out Vidgo for $59.95/mo. Check out our articles on Vidgo:

Sling TV

sling logo

Sling TV is the low-cost streaming leader. The Sling Blue plan is just $35/mo and includes NFL Network as well as Fox and NBC in most areas. If you want ESPN, you can opt for the Orange & Blue plan for $50/mo.

NFL ChannelsFox, NBC, NFL Network
Total Channels40+
Cloud DVR50 hours
Simultaneous Screens3
Free Trial
Sling TV Price*$35.00/mo

The hole in Sling TV’s coverage is CBS. There are a couple of ways to get around this. You can integrate a TV antenna (free if you sign up for two months) or Locast (if available in your area) with the Sling TV interface. All that is required is that you have a CBS affiliate in your area.

Sling TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and the ability to stream up to three devices at once. Currently, save $10 on your first month of Sling TV. See our articles on Sling TV for more information:

Other Ways to Watch the NFL Preseason

There are other ways to watch NFL from the Hall of Fame game to the Super Bowl:

  • NFL Game Pass: If you don’t care that much about your local teams, this service is great. It allows you to watch all league games live. But games involving your local teams will be blacked out. It’s just $99.99 for the whole season and they offer a 7-day free trial! See our NFL Game Pass review for more information.
  • NFL App: You will still need your streaming service credentials to log in, but this allows you to watch the preseason wherever you are.
  • YouTube TV: Another streaming service similar to Hulu + Live TV, you get all the channels you need to enjoy the NFL season.

TVs and Devices to Stream the NFL Preseason

Sling TV NFL Android
Android phone with Sling TV and NFL shows.

The services that we’ve discussed above support almost all the streaming devices currently in use. Except for Vidgo, they support the recent smart TVs from Samsung and LG. Hulu supports the VIZIO SmartCast TVs. And FuboTV supports Hisense. And all of them Android-based smart TVs.

If you have a “stick” TV device, you are also covered: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku. The same goes for Chromecast devices. And Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) mobile devices are universally supported.

Finally, all the services except Vidgo support the Xbox One. Hulu even supports the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation. And the VR fans out there can use their Oculus with Sling TV.

And of course, web browsers are also universally supported. And most devices that run them can either cast or physically connect to a TV.

Superpower Your Streaming With a VPN

For the sake of privacy, security, and access, you should be using a VPN. They are low-cost and easy to use. We’ve been using them for years and our top pick is ExpressVPN.

i Our VPN Buyer’s Guide provides a complete introduction and all you need to know to choose the best VPN for your needs.

Wrapping Up

You can stream the NFL preseason live with any of these services that we’ve discussed above. If you want to know more about watching NFL, check out the following articles:

Have more questions about how to watch the NFL Preseason without cable? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


What is the NFL preseason for?

Preseason games act as an extension of training. Each game allows the coaching staff to try out new strategies and see how players react on the field outside of practice. Some players will make the cut and some won’t. Your favorite players, the starters, may not see too many downs in these preseason games, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to watch to see how your team matches up.

Can I watch the NFL preseason on Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime will not be airing any of the NFL preseason games. They will, however, be airing some Thursday Night Football games this season. And starting in the 2022 season, Amazon Prime will be the exclusive provider of the game. So you don’t need it yet, but starting next year, NFL fans may want to sign up for Amazon Prime.

How can I watch my favorite NFL team?

For those who want to know how to watch their favorite team, we’ve put together specific articles:

AFC EastAFC NorthAFC SouthAFC West
Buffalo BillsBaltimore RavensHouston TexansDenver Broncos
Miami DolphinsCincinnati BengalsIndianapolis ColtsKansas City Chiefs
New England PatriotsCleveland BrownsJacksonville JaguarsLos Angeles Chargers
New York JetsPittsburgh SteelersTennessee TitansLas Vegas Raiders
NFC EastNFC NorthNFC SouthNFC West
Dallas CowboysChicago BearsAtlanta FalconsArizona Cardinals
New York GiantsDetroit LionsCarolina PanthersLos Angeles Rams
Philadelphia EaglesGreen Bay PackersNew Orleans SaintsSan Francisco 49ers
Washington CommandersMinnesota VikingsTampa Bay BuccaneersSeattle Seahawks
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