The 2017-2018 NFL season is here as the first game airs tonight and while many people will be watching games on cable or satellite TV, there are likely to be a large amount of people looking to stream the games for their favorite teams on both Android phones and on desktops or laptops, depending on where they are at the time. Of course it's just as likely that a number of users will be looking towards streaming options for NFL games simply because they don't subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite plan, and the good news is that there are now more than a few options for streaming NFL games, whereas just five to ten years ago you more or less needed to have a traditional TV package to watch. If you're an NFL fan and you can't wait for this season, and are looking for alternative ways besides cable or satellite to watch the games, then here are some available options for streaming on both Android and desktop platforms so you can watch at home and on the go.
Sling TV will be one of the easier ways to watch live and recorded NFL games on Android, and the best part about it is there is an Android app for mobile phones, but there's also an Android TV app so you can watch on your TV using an Android TV device if you have it, and then watch other games on the go with your phone if you need to. There are two different Sling TV packages, the Sling Orange and Sling Blue, with the Orange costing $20 a month and the Sling Blue costing $25 a month. Each will have its benefits and each comes with a different collection of channels, but weeding everything else out aside from the NFL-related offerings, Sling Orange will set you up with Monday night games via ESPN, while Sling Blue will set you up with Thursday night games through the NFL Network, as well as Sunday day games and Sunday night games on FOX and NBC respectively.
Keeping this in mind, you will generally get more options with Sling Blue, or so it seems, as some games will have blackout dates and will only be playing in certain cities, meaning you may not get to watch the games you want with Sling Blue. Your best course of action is using Sling TV's game finder tool on the Sling TV website, which can be found at sling.com/gamefinder. This will pull up a list of games week by week, though it will show you both NCAA and NFL, so just uncheck the NCAA box and this will narrow things down. From here, you can see all NFL games playing on Sling TV for the current week, and you will want to enter your zip code in the top right box for things to be narrowed down further to what will be available in your area to watch. Unfortunately, Sling TV's game finder doesn't go out further than a week, so you won't be able to check for the entire season.
PlayStation Vue is another TV package option which will have service apps on both Android and on Android TV, and of course you can watch through the PS4 console hooked up to your TV as well if you have one. With PlayStation Vue, packages start at $39.99, which is the Access package, but you will need to bump up to the next package at $44.99, which is the Core package, to get sports. With PS Vue's Core package, you will get access to games on ESPN and games on the NFL Network, as well as broadcast network games on CBS, FOX, and NBC, though the network games will also be subject to potential blackout dates and only play in certain markets, so those are things you will want to check on before deciding if this is the right service for you.
NFL Mobile From Verizon
If you're a Verizon Wireless customer then NFL Mobile is your best friend, and if you're an NFL fan but not a Verizon Wireless customer, then you may want to consider looking into switching services as NFL Mobile from Verizon has access to Monday night games and Thursday night games online at no cost, as well as Sunday night games and local team games (subject to location), and games on the NFL Network. To get this you will need to be on Verizon's More Everything plan, but that's it. You won't need a cable or satellite subscription or a Verizon FIOS plan to watch. The only caveat is that you will have to watch these games on your mobile device screen, meaning Android smartphones or tablets.
Hulu With Live TV
Hulu is another option for you and if you already have a standard Hulu subscription then you're halfway there. The app will let you watch live sports and it supports Chromecast so you can stream right to your TV, but there's also an app for consoles, and an Android TV app in addition to the website so there are plenty of ways to enjoy games through Hulu. To get Live TV you'll need to subscribe to the $39.99 a month package, and you may not be able to see every single game this season due to markets and blackout dates, but that's really no different than every other option, so double check before you settle on Hulu.
Yet another cord-cutting live TV service which will afford you a way to watch live games through their respective network channels is YouTube TV, but this is a lot more limiting than most as it's newer and only available in select markets right now. That said you can watch games for just under $40 a month and you can watch on your phone or stream to Chromecast, or if you prefer, watch on desktop.
Amazon Prime Video
As it turns out, there's more to being a Prime member than just free two-day shipping and all of the available video content that includes TV shows and movies for Amazon's Prime Video service. Thanks to a deal that Amazon struck with the NFL earlier this year for upwards of $50 Million, it has the rights to stream this season's Thursday night games. There is a caveat though. Even though the first game of the season airs tonight, Prime members won't be able to view the game through Prime Video. In fact, Amazon's deal doesn't kick off (pardon the pun) until the fourth week of the season. The first game Amazon airs will be on September 28th. The games will continue to air on Amazon Prime Video each week of the season all the way up through week 16, skipping weeks 9 and 12 in addition to the first few. If you're planning to use Prime Video to catch the Thursday night games each week, you can find the schedule for which teams are playing at Amazon's website as it has the full list of every game Amazon will be airing.
NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass looks to be open to U.S. residents this year which means this will be one more way that fans will be able to stream games from their favorite teams. NFL Game Pass will be streaming all the content for the 2017-2018 NFL season (accessible through the NFL Mobile app), which includes all 256 regular season games, all preseason games, the playoff games, and the Super Bowl. This means you'll be able to watch every single game that airs. There is a caveat with this service as well though. Although U.S. residents will now be able to stream games with this service - U.S. residents won't be able to stream games live, and will instead have to wait until the game has concluded before the streaming can begin. That's a big caveat, so if you're someone who wants to watch all the action of the games unfold as it happens, you may want to consider another service for your streaming needs. Those outside the U.S. using NFL Game Pass will be able to stream the games live.
NFL Sunday Ticket
If you're only interested in the Sunday games, you can use NFL Sunday Ticket on Android devices, though this will also limit you to just the out of market games, and you will need a DIRECTV subscription to use it. On top of that, there is a cost associated with NFL Sunday Ticket as well and it isn't cheap as you will be looking at spending at least a couple hundred, and prices may vary depending on your market. The app also has Chromecast support so you can stream the games on the TV as well if you'd rather watch on a bigger screen.
If you subscribe to this service already, or if you were planning on checking it out, then this is another option for catching NFL games as this service will let you stream live sports, but it may be more limiting than other options listed, so you will want to double check on which games are available through DIRECTV NOW in your area to ensure that you're actually getting access to the games you want.
Of course, there are many ways to stream the games live and on demand through available services like those listed above, but you can also use the Kodi app on both your Android smartphones and tablets and on Android TV devices to get access to the games you want using third-party add-ons. There are numerous add-ons you can use here, but not all of them will provide live streams of the games. Ones that will include Phoenix, SportsDevil, and ChannelPear to name a few, though there are likely to be others out there as well. All that said, this is a grey area in terms of whether or not this is a legal means of watching the games, so using this method is at your own risk and if you intend to watch the games with Kodi, using a VPN is certainly recommended.
In this day and age, there are lots of options for TV and thankfully most of them are available globally. Not all of the options here will be perfect for everyone, but there are enough options that there should be one that suits every fan, and many of you may already have one of them set up. That said, the first game of the season kicks off tonight so if you're planning on watching figure out which service is going to work for you and get prepared for the big game.