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Your Ultimate Guide to 2023 Thanksgiving Week Sports on Sling TV: The Tasty Thrill of Victory

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Thanksgiving isn’t just for football anymore — there’s basketball, hockey, and more! Read on to find out all your options for Thanksgiving week sports on Sling TV.

In a hurry? Thanksgiving week sports are centered around ESPN, but there’s also lots going on over on Fox Sports, NBC, and TNT. If you’re into multiple leagues, your best bet is to get Sling Orange + Blue with the Sports Extras to keep all your bases covered. If you’re trying to keep your TV bill down, go with Sling Orange + Sports Extra.

There are few non-food Thanksgiving traditions as solidly established in the United States as football. There are the traditional Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys games, plus a ton of college games.

Nowadays, though, there’s also plenty of college basketball on and around Turkey Day. And if a sporting league doesn’t have games on T-day (NHL, NBA), they’re sure to have at least a couple on Friday.

Depending on where you’re located, you can watch almost all of the Thanksgiving week sports on Sling TV. Keep reading for details.

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Thanksgiving Week Sports 2023 Schedule

As usual, the sports fan’s Thanksgiving week sports dilemma is not “are there any sports on?” but instead which sports to watch and where. We’ll break it down by sport, starting with the NCAA football matchups.

College Football: A Thanksgiving Tradition

For many, Thanksgiving week sports and college football are basically the same thing.

First up, we have the Egg Bowl, the annual contest between rivals Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State Bulldogs for the Golden Egg going all the way back to 1901. This year, the Bulldogs are hosting, and it will be on ESPN at on Thanksgiving Day.

Then on Friday the 24th, you could watch NCAA gridiron from noon until well into the evening. Here are some of the bigger nationally televised contests on Black Friday (all times in Eastern):

  • : Iowa @ Nebraska (CBS)
  • : Memphis @ Temple (ESPN)
  • : Miami (FL) @ Boston College (ABC/ESPN3)
  • : Ohio @ Akron (CBSSN)
  • : TCU @ Oklahoma (Fox)
  • : Toledo @ Central Michigan (ESPNU)
  • : Utah State @ New Mexico (CBSSN)
  • : UTSA @ Tulane (ABC/ESPN3)
  • : Air Force @ Boise State (FS1)
  • : Missouri @ Arkansas (CBS/Paramount+)
  • : Penn State vs Michigan State (NBC/Peacock)
  • : Texas Tech @ Texas (ABC/ESPN3)
  • : Oregon State @ Oregon (Fox)

Then on Saturday, there’s both the Iron Bowl and the Bayou Classic, a long-standing HBCU rivalry:

  • TBD: Virginia Tech vs Virginia (an ESPN channel)
  • : Ohio State vs MichiganViewer’s Guide (Fox)
  • : Texas A&M @ LSU (ESPN)
  • : Southern vs Grambling State at the Bayou Classic (NBC/Peacock)
  • : Alabama vs Auburn at the Iron Bowl (CBS/Paramount+)
  • : Washington State @ Washington at the Apple Bowl (Fox)
  • : Florida State vs Florida (ESPN)
  • : Georgia @ Georgia Tech (ABC/ESPN3)

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Thanksgiving NFL: American as Apple (or Pumpkin) Pie

In addition to the long-held annual games on Thanksgiving Day hosted by the Lions and the Cowboys, there will be a third game in primetime, making a tripleheader of NFL Thanksgiving games.

Washington and Dallas have a long-standing rivalry / photo by Joe Glorioso / All-Pro Reels under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

The Thanksgiving week sports continue with Amazon Prime Video‘s regular Thursday Night Football on Friday instead, with the Dolphins at the Jets at . Pro football yields to college for Saturday, and Sunday is back to the regular schedule. Here are a handful of higher profile contests going on:

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College Hoops + Thanksgiving: A Tasty Combination

Unlike the NBA, which takes Thanksgiving Day off, NCAA B-ball has more than a few Thanksgiving Day games. With bunches of early-season tournaments over Thanksgiving week, there’s probably more college basketball than any of the other Thanksgiving week sports.

On Turkey Day itself, there’s the culmination of the all-new four-game Arcrisure Classic. The fourth game is set to tip off in Palm Springs at between Michigan State vs Arizona. You can watch it on Fox, immediately following the Packers/Lions football game.

Battle 4 Atlantis 2023

ESPN will be carrying the 12-game, three-day Men’s tournament in the Bahamas from Nov 22-24. (The Women’s tournament is Nov 18-20 on FloHoops, with the championship on ESPN2.)

  • Game 1 – Wed Nov 22 : North Carolina vs UNI (ESPN)
  • Game 2 – Wed Nov 22 : Villanova vs Texas Tech (ESPN or ESPN2)
  • Game 3 – Wed Nov 22 : Michigan vs Memphis (ESPN2)
  • Game 4 – Wed Nov 22 : Arkansas vs Stanford (ESPNU)
  • Game 5 – Thu Nov 23 : Loser 1 vs Loser 2 (ESPN2)
  • Game 6 – Thu Nov 23 : Winner 1 vs Winner 2 (ESPN)
  • Game 7 – Thu Nov 23 : Winner 3 vs Winner 4 (ESPN)
  • Game 8 – Thu Nov 23 : Loser 3 vs Loser 4 (ESPNU)
  • Game 9 – Fri Nov 24 : (3rd Place) Loser 6 vs Loser 7 (ESPN2)
  • Game 10 (Championship) – Fri Nov 24 : Winner 6 vs Winner 7 (ESPN)
  • Game 11 – Fri Nov 24 : (5th Place) Winner 5 vs Winner 8 (ESPNU)
  • Game 12 – Fri Nov 24 : (7th Place) Loser 5 vs Loser 8 (ESPN+)

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ESPN Events Invitational

Another 3-day 8-team 12-game tournament, this one played in Orlando.

  • Game 1 – Thu Nov 23 : Penn State vs Texas A&M (ESPN)
  • Game 2 – Thu Nov 23 : Florida Atlantic vs Butler (ESPN2)
  • Game 3 – Thu Nov 23 : Iowa State vs VCU (ESPN2)
  • Game 4 – Thu Nov 23 : Boise State vs Virginia Tech (ESPN2 or ESPNU)
  • Semi Final 1 – Fri Nov 24 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN2)
  • Consolation Game 1 – Fri Nov 24 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN+)
  • Semi Final 2 – Fri Nov 24 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN2)
  • Consolation Game 2 – Fri Nov 24 : TBD vs TBD (ESPNU)
  • 7th Place – Sat Nov 26 : TBD vs TBD (ESPNU)
  • Championship – Sat Nov 26 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN)
  • 5th Place – Sat Nov 26 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN2)
  • 3rd Place – Sat Nov 26 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN2)

Fort Myers Tip-Off

The Palms Division faces off against the Beach Division for domination of Fort Myers.

  • Beach Division Semifinal 1 – Mon Nov 20 : Wisconsin vs Virginia (FS1)
  • Beach Division Semifinal 2 – Mon Nov 20 : West Virginia vs SMU (FS1)
  • 3rd Place – Wed Nov 22 : TBD vs TBD (FS1)
  • Final – Wed Nov 22 : TBD vs TBD (FS1)

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Maui Invitational 2023

A similarly structured tournament to the Battle 4 Atlantis above, this Hawaiian tourney features 8 men’s teams playing 12 games over three days Nov 20-22.

  • Game 1 – Mon Nov 20 : Syracuse vs. Tennessee (ESPN2)
  • Game 2 – Mon Nov 20 : Gonzaga vs. Purdue (ESPN2)
  • Game 3 – Mon Nov 20 : Kansas vs. Chaminade (ESPNU)
  • Game 4 – Mon Nov 20 : Marquette vs. UCLA (ESPN2)
  • Game 5 – Tue Nov 21 : Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (ESPN2)
  • Game 6 – Tue Nov 21 : Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 (ESPN2)
  • Game 7 – Tue Nov 21 : Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (ESPN)
  • Game 8 – Tue Nov 21 : Winner 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (ESPN)
  • 3rd Place – Wed Nov 22 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN2)
  • Championship – Wed Nov 22 : TBD vs TBD (ESPN)
  • 7th Place – Wed Nov 22 : TBD vs TBD (ESPNU)
  • 5th Place – Wed Nov 22 (midnight): TBD vs TBD (ESPN2)

NIT Season Tip-Off

Top schools head to Brooklyn to contest the Preseason Tip-Off.

  • Wed Nov 22 : Baylor vs Oregon State (ESPN2)
  • Wed Nov 22 : Florida vs Pittsburgh (ESPN2 or ESPNU)
  • Fri Nov 24 : Third place game (ESPN2)
  • Fri Nov 24 : Championship (ESPN)

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2023 Rady Children’s Invitational

Another first-time event, this four-team two-day tournament will take place in San Diego.

  • Thu Nov 23 : Oklahoma vs Iowa (FS1)
  • Thu Nov 23 : Seton Hall vs USC (FS1)
  • Fri Nov 24 : Oklahoma vs Seton Hall or USC (Fox)
  • Fri Nov 24 : Iowa vs Seton Hall or USC (Fox)

Vegas Showdown

Formerly the Wooden Legacy, it used to be eight teams, but got pared down to four teams and two days in 2021.

  • Thu Nov 23 : NC State vs Vanderbilt (ESPN2)
  • Fri Nov 24 (midnight): BYU vs Arizona State (ESPN2)
  • Fri Nov 24 : Third place game (ESPN2)
  • Fri Nov 24 : Championship Game (ESPN2)

Pro Basketball: Can the Knicks Take the Heat?

Like the NHL below, the NBA takes the holiday off, but they’re back on Friday with two primetime tip-offs on ESPN:

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NHL Action: Put Your Turkey Leftovers on Ice

There are no hockey games on T-day itself, but there are 15 games on Friday, including two nationally televised matchups on NHL on TNT:

Other Events

If football, basketball, and hockey aren’t enough for you, here’s more Thanksgiving week sports, or, at least, competitions:

  • Thu Nov 23 12 pm: National Dog Show (NBC)
  • Sat Nov 25 : WWE Survivor Series: Wargames (Peacock)

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How to Watch Thanksgiving Week Sports on Sling TV

Can you really watch all those Thanksgiving week sports on Sling TV? Well, no, if for other other reason than there are, for example, 6 college football games scheduled for noon on Friday. Also, some Thanksgiving week sports are streaming only on services such as Prime Video or Peacock. And finally, some of the games are on CBS or CBS Sports Network, which Sling does not carry.

So what’s a sports fan on a budget to do? Let’s go over the base packages briefly. All plans come with 50 hours of DVR storage and run on all the major streaming devices.

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Sling Orange

The Orange base plan ($40.00/mo) is home of ESPN. It includes ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 (which simulcasts ABC sports), along with 30+ other popular channels, including TNT.

You can add on the Sports Extra for $11/mo additional to add 14 sports networks to that, including the rest of the ESPN channels, such as ESPNU.

If you’re into college basketball, this is a particularly good deal, since there are a couple smaller tournaments on Fox Sports, but most of them are on ESPN. The NBA games are on ESPN, and together with TNT that’s a heckuva lot of Thanksgiving week sports.

Sling Blue

The Blue base plan (also $40.00/mo) features NBC and Fox and associated channels. Note that NBC and Fox are only available in select markets. If you aren’t in one of them, Sling TV may still work for you, which we’ll get into below.

Local Fox affiliates:

  • Atlanta (WAGA)
  • Austin (KTBC)
  • Chicago (WFLD)
  • Dallas (KDFW)
  • Detroit (WJBK)
  • Gainesville (WOGX)
  • Houston (KRIV)
  • Los Angeles (KTTV)
  • Milwaukee (WITI)
  • Minneapolis (KMSP)
  • New York (WNYW)
  • Orlando (WOFL)
  • Philadelphia (WTXF)
  • Phoenix (KSAZ)
  • San Francisco (KTVU)
  • Seattle (KCPQ)
  • Tampa (WTVT)
  • Washington (WTTG)

Local NBC affiliates:

  • Boston (WBTS)
  • Chicago (WMAQ)
  • Dallas (KXAS)
  • Hartford (WVIT)
  • Los Angeles (KNBC)
  • Miami (WTVJ)
  • New York (WNBC)
  • Philadelphia (WCAU)
  • San Diego (KNSD)
  • San Francisco (KNTV)
  • Washington (WRC)

Sling Blue also includes FS1. The Blue Sports Extra doesn’t have the ESPNs, but it does have FS2 and NFL RedZone. The latter will let you watch the best parts of all the Sunday afternoon games, especially every scoring drive. That’s all season long, not just during Thanksgiving week, sports fans.

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Sling Orange + Blue

We know, we know, decisions, decisions. Thanksgiving week sports are all over the place, channel-wise. But you can get the best of both worlds by doubling up and getting Sling Orange + Blue. You get 50+ channels, 70+ if you get the Sports Extra for $15 (20 channels means $4 extra over the single plan Extras).

Sling TV Plus an HD Antenna

Which still leaves the problem of Fox and NBC outside the markets listed above, and CBS. Some fans don’t want to miss out on any Thanksgiving week sports, or, at least want to keep their options open. Which is precisely why Sling TV offers this nifty deal: prepay two months, and they’ll give you a free HD antenna. Not a loaner or rental, yours to keep. Set that baby up, and you can get free local networks forever.

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Why Sling?

It’s true that Orange + Blue with the Sports Extra starts to add up. For $70/mo, you may be thinking, you could just get Fubo or one of the other bigger services that includes local networks for Thanksgiving week sports, right?

Not exactly.

Hulu + Live TV has all the ESPNs in its base package, but the base package starts at $76.99/mo — $89.99/mo if you want to cut out the ads. YouTube TV is only a little cheaper. And DIRECTV STREAM makes you get its second-tier-up Choice Package ($108.99/mo) for ESPNU and it’s third-tier Ultimate Package ($119.99/mo) for FS2.

Plus, you can cut that down to $40.00/mo (or $55.00/mo if you want to keep Orange + Blue) by canceling the Sports Extra in the off season (or right after the Thanksgiving week sports are over). You don’t get that option when the base package starts at over $70.

Not to mention, Sling is the only one to offer that awesome antenna deal we just went over.

For more information on Sling TV and its unique benefits, check out our full review.

Wrapping Up

If you want some Thanksgiving week sports instead of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, there’s lots to choose from. To watch for less, go with Sling TV. Save 50% on Sling TV now!

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How do I find information on streaming individual NFL teams?

We’ve created streaming guides for every team in the NFL:

AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West
Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens Houston Texans Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins Cincinnati Bengals Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots Cleveland Browns Jacksonville Jaguars Los Angeles Chargers
New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers Tennessee Titans Las Vegas Raiders
NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West
Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears Atlanta Falcons Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants Detroit Lions Carolina Panthers Los Angeles Rams
Philadelphia Eagles Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers
Washington Commanders Minnesota Vikings Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seattle Seahawks

Featured photo: Photo cropped from Thanksgiving Dinner from FreeFoodPhotos under CC BY 3.0.

Alanna Baker
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