The 2022 NFL season is here! Looking for info on the preseason? See our NFL Preseason Viewer’s Guide.
If you’ve ever moved away from your hometown, you may have experienced some frustration with watching your favorite home NFL team. The bad news is there are some distinct limitations for cord-cutters in this regard. But you do have many options.
In a hurry? If you just want to start watching out-of-market NFL games and don’t care to dive into the details, these tools will allow you:
- NFL Sunday Ticket: Only available through the satellite plan, but it is the best way to watch the whole NFL season.
- FuboTV: Although it won’t provide you with all out-of-market NFL games, it does give you 100+ channels including all those that you need to enjoy the season live. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
- DIRECTV STREAM: A great cable-replacement service with all of the NFL as well as MLB, NBA, and NHL with the Choice plan. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
Watch the entire 2022 NFL preseason with NFL+ for just $4.99!
Table Of Contents
Watching Out of Market NFL Games: Overview
We discuss this more below but here are your main options for watching out-of-market NFL games.
NFL Game Pass
One option to stream out-of-market games is to use NFL Game Pass. But where you are located is critically important:
See below for more information.
Streaming With ExpressVPN
Regardless of whether you use NFL Game Pass, FuboTV, or other streaming services, you can supplement it with a VPN to increase your privacy and watch out-of-market games (eg, when you are on the road).
VPNs sound scary but they are surprisingly easy to use. There are step-by-step instructions for every situation. And you get a 30-day money-back guarantee with ExpressVPN, so you have nothing to lose.
Learn more about using a VPN below.
NFL Sunday Ticket
NFL Sunday Ticket is the easiest way to get access to all out-of-market NFL games. The main problem is that you can only get it by signing up with DirecTV. That’s the satellite plan, not the newly launched DIRECTV STREAM. If that changes, we’ll be talking about it here.
The other issue is that it’s very expensive. For details, see below.
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.
What Are Out-of-Market Games?
Out-of-market games are those that don’t involve any of the local teams. What this means is that if you are a Los Angeles Rams fan who lives in New York, you are unlikely to see them play a great deal.
Most NFL games are aired on Sunday afternoons by CBS and Fox. They each air roughly a six games: more or less half are at 1:00 pm (ET) and the rest are at roughly 4:00 pm (ET).
For example, on the second week of the 2021 season, Fox aired these games at 1:00 pm:
- Bills at Dolphins
- 49ers at Eagles
- Rams at Colts
- Bengals at Bears
- Saints at Panthers.
And at 4:05 pm, they will air these games:
- Vikings at Cardinals
- Falcons at Buccaneers.
Your local affiliate will only air one game from each group. Our Dolphins fan in New York was out of luck because the Fox affiliate there aired the 49ers at Eagles game and not the Rams at Colts game.
This is the problem with out-of-market games in the NFL.
The Good News
The good news is that the NFL airs three nationally televised games each season:
In the 2021 season, the Rams will be playing in 4 nationally televised games. This number is different depending upon the team, but even if you are out of market, you will get to watch at least a couple of games.
You will also get to see games that are considered in-market because, for example, the Rams play the New York Giants.
Watch Out-of-Market Games With NFL Sunday Ticket
The gold standard in watching out-of-market games is NFL Sunday Ticket. It allows you to watch whatever games you want. It’s available through DirecTV Satallite. If you already have it, great! Adding NFL Sunday Ticket will cost you $300 but that’s probably worth it.
Alternatively, it’s possible to get NFL Sunday Tickets as a sign-up bonus with the Choice plan if you are a new customer. Just remember that the deal goes away and you will be paying a lot next year.
However NFL Sunday Ticket is not available with DIRECTV STREAM (their streaming service). We keep expecting this to change. But we’ve been waiting for years. It seems that DirecTV just does not want to offer this to streamers.
Watch Out-of-Market Games With NFL+ Premium
With NFL+ Premium, you can watch all games for one low price of $9.99 per month. What’s the catch? You can only watch local and primetime games live — and those only on mobile devices. The other games are available after they air. Games are added right after the conclusion of their telecast in most cases.
NFL+ has more to offer. Not only can you watch this season’s game, you can watch games from previous seasons, including playoffs and Super Bowl. You also get the ability to watch condensed versions of games that just show the action. And another popular feature is the coaches films that allow you to really get inside the game
NFL Game Pass International
Now, as mentioned above, there is an international version of NFL Game Pass. It is quite a lot more than the US-based version.
NFL Game Pass International offers live streaming of ALL NFL games. Can’t beat that, right? However, the catch is that it is not available in the US. So you have to be located in another country to get the international version.
See our NFL Game Pass review for all the details.
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.|
Watch Out-of-Market NFL Games With ExpressVPN
Using a VPN, you can unlock streaming content from all over the world. This can come in handy for watching out-of-market NFL games as well. Not only does it help you stream, but it also protects your privacy in the process.
For streaming with a VPN, we recommend ExpressVPN. It allows for lightning-fast connection and streaming, keeping your data anonymous and safe all the while. It’s the perfect complement to streaming out-of-market NFL games.
Learn more about how to watch NFL with ExpressVPN.
How can I stream out-of-market NFL games for free?
In general, you can’t watch out-of-market NFL games for free. The games featured on your local affiliates will focus on in-market games. You can, of course, sign up for a free streaming service trial. But currently, there is no general way to stream out-of-market NFL games — for free or otherwise. That will probably change next year.
There are, however, services like StreamEast that provide games for free. But they are illegal in most locations and can be dangerous as well. We highly recommend you avoid these.
Can I watch NFL games on ESPN+?
ESPN+ is a great service but it does not stream any NFL games. Even Monday Night Football games that are aired on ESPN are not available on ESPN+. If you don’t mind watching on mobile devices, you might check out NFL+, which provides all the primetime and local games for just $4.99/mo.
Can I use a VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games?
Using a VPN, you can watch out-of-market NFL games. You must be careful about any licensing issues. But ExpressVPN provides detailed instructions on how to use its VPN with NFL Game Pass and all the major streaming services. Note also: it’s a good idea to use a VPN regardless because it protects your privacy.
Can I watch out-of-market NFL games with Paramount+?
In general, Paramount+ will not allow you to watch out-of-market games. You will get to watch the two NFL games that air on your local CBS affiliate. But these will be the games of most interest to viewers in your area and so will generally feature in-market and related games.
Does FuboTV offer all NFL games?
FuboTV’s basic plan for $69.99/mo offers all the channels that air NFL games: CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, and NFL Network. But since you will only get your local CBS and Fox affiliates, you will only get access to four of the roughly dozen games Sunday afternoon. FuboTV’s 1000 hour DVR storage does mean you can record games on one channel as you watch the other.
Do any streaming services offer all out-of-market NFL games?
In the United States, you can only get all out-of-market NFL games through NFL Sunday Ticket. FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV all offer all the NFL channels. And DIRECTV STREAM, Sling TV, and Vidgo offer most of them. But many out-of-market games remain unavailable regardless of the service.
How can I watch the NFL without cable?
If you want to learn more about watching the NFL without cable, check out our popular guides: