Live Streaming the 2019 NFL Playoff Games on Apple TV

If you're an NFL fan who's cut the cable cord, it can be difficult to watch all the games you'd like via live streaming. National Football League broadcast rights are a lucrative and sought-after prize, fiercely competed for by national television networks including FOX, ABC, CBS, and NBC. Of course, ESPN is in the mix. This is the second NFL season to include live streaming of every game, but which service is able to bring you all these games? It's a dizzying question. Let's narrow the field a little and focus on how to live stream the NFL Playoff games to your Apple TV. We'll check out the NFL Playoff Bracket for 2019 to see which games are broadcast by which networks, then find out how to live stream those networks using services like DirecTV Now and Hulu Live. Let's get started on our live stream NFL Playoffs journey!

Related: Watch NCAA Playoffs with Apple TV: College Football Streaming without Cable

We've already shown you how to watch the 2021 Super Bowl without cable, for more great Apple device tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day. 

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NFL Playoff Bracket 2019

Let's check out the NFL Playoff Bracket to see which games are broadcast by which networks, then we can go about finding streaming providers that offer those broadcasters. Ideally, we'll find one streaming TV provider for all the playoff games!

nfl playoff bracket 2019

Thanks to CBS for this bracket.

Don't Forget the Pro Bowl!

pro bowl

Although not included in the official Playoff Bracket, live tv streamers won't want to miss the Pro Bowl on January 27th—it's airing on ESPN and simulcast by ABC this year. 

Live Streaming the 2019 NFL Playoffs on Apple TV  

The Wild Card Round is split between ESPN/ABC, FOX, NBC, and CBS. Divisional Round is split between FOX, CBS, and NBC. The Championship Round will be aired by CBS and FOX, and the Superbowl goes to CBS this year. So to see all the games remaining, including the Pro Bowl, we need FOX, CBS, NBC, and ESPN/ABC. Let's get searching!

NFL Games on fuboTV

Compatibility: Fourth or fifth-generation Apple TV

Cost: $39.99 a month for the first month.

Pros: 30 hours of free DVR, free replay for games that aired within the last three days.

Con: All Playoff games not available.

nfl games on fubo

This TV streaming service has a heavy focus on live sports. The basic package, fubo Premier, offers more than 100 channels of content, although availability varies by area. Depending on your location you can access FOX, CBS, and NBC, but no matter where you live, your fubo subscription won't include ESPN. This isn't a huge deal as you'll only miss one Wild Card game if you live in an area where the other three networks are included. 

Live Stream NFL Games with CBS All Access

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV

Cost: $5.99 a month plus tax, $9.99 a month plus tax for the commercial-free package.

Pros: Seven-day free trial period with no commitment. 

Cons: Not available in all areas, NFL games are not available via CBS All Access on mobile phones.

nfl games live streaming

Apple TV owners can subscribe to CBS All Access for a very reasonable price, and catch one of the four Divisional Round games, one Championship Round game, and of course, the Super Bowl. Here's a link to find answers about getting and installing the CBS All Access app on your Apple TV.

NFL Playoffs Streaming on DirecTV Now

Compatability: Fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TV 

Cost: $40 per month

Pros: Seven-day free trial period. Streaming included for AT+T Wireless Customers.

Cons: NFL game access blocked for smartphones.


DirecTV Now is DirecTV's streaming offering, and I was super excited to find that its lowest cost plan includes ABC, CBS, NBC, and ESPN! Then I looked at the small print to the right of each channel and noticed small boxes indicating Live, Vod, or both. Live is pretty obvious, live streaming is available, but Vod? That stands for video on demand, and if only Vod is offered, you won't be able to live stream games from that network. For DirecTV viewers in my area this means that CBS and ESPN are live streamed, ABC, Fox, and NBC are not. Channels offered may not be the same in your area, check with DirecTV Now for details. If you decide to go with this option, here's a tutorial on how to set up DirecTV Now on your Apple TV.

Stream NFL Playoffs With Sling TV 

Compatibility: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV

Cost: Sling TV Orange Plan, $25 per month, Blue Plan, $25 per month, Orange and Blue, $40 per month

Pros: Seven-day free trial period with no commitment.

Con: Channel availability varies by region

live football streaming with fubo

Sling TV is an a la carte, streaming TV service that allows viewers to pay far less than a cable subscription would cost. Customers can choose Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or both. As an added bonus, Sling offers a Cloud DVR option for $5 a month.  This way you can record games and watch them later if you have work or family plans to accommodate. Digging around the website reveals that ESPN, NBC, and Fox are available if I purchase Sling Orange and Blue. However, with this streaming service as with so many others, offerings vary from region to region. If I type in my zip code Sling reveals that no NFL football games are available this week. Be sure to check which networks are available in your area before subscribing to avoid disappointment!

Here are step-by-step instructions to help you find and install the Sling TV app on your Apple TV. 

Live Streaming NFL Playoffs on Apple TV with PlayStation Vue

Compatability: Fourth or fifth-generation Apple TV running tvOS 11.0 and up

Cost: Five-day free trial, then $44.99 per month

Pros: Stream on up to five devices at once 

Cons: Some channels are restricted outside of your home network, not all games are available to view on your iPhone

live streaming nfl games with playstation vue

You don't need a PlayStation to subscribe to PlayStation Vue, a live-streaming TV service that includes cloud DVR and the ability to stream on five devices at once. The least expensive package, Access, includes ESPN and rings in at $44.99 a month. After researching PlayStation Vue's offerings, I must conclude, although I never believed this before, that living in Iowa may have drawbacks. When I enter an LA zip code everything I want is right at my fingertips, and at the lowest package price, too! NBC, ABC, Fox, and ESPN are all there. All that needs doing is to add CBS All Access, and for around $50 a month every Playoff game, the Pro Bowl, and even the Super Bowl are available to live stream! But in Iowa, the options are bleak and limited. ESPN, ABC on demand, Fox on demand, NBC on demand. No CBS of course. No NFL live streaming, zero playoff games. 

If you're one of the fortunate individuals who can access the full offerings of PlayStation Vue, click here to learn all about setting it up on your Apple TV.

Watch NFL Playoffs with Hulu Live on your Apple TV

Compatibility: Fourth or fifth-generation Apple TV

Cost: Seven-day free trial, then $39.99 a month

Pros: Watch on two devices at once

Cons: Channel availability varies by region

live stream nfl playoffs apple tv

Hulu makes the jump and joins the live-streaming TV game with their Hulu Live offering, which includes access to the entire Hulu streaming library. If you live in the right area, $39.99 a month will get you ABC, NBC, Fox, ESPN, and even CBS! All the games, one live streaming service. If you live in an area where Hulu Live is at full capacity, you can learn how to set it up on your Apple TV here

YouTube TV

Compatability: Fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV

Cost: $40 a month

Pros: No contract, up to six accounts per household.

Cons: Not available nationwide.

nfl live playoff games on youtube tv

YouTube TV launched in 2017, and with 74 channels it's another great option for NFL fans. Though not available countrywide, for those in full-service areas, YouTube TV offers ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, and lots of other sports extras. The TV streaming service includes cloud DVR with no storage limits so you can save your favorite shows and movies for later viewing at no extra cost. 

Live Streaming the 2019 NFL Playoff Games to Your Apple TV

I hope that one of these options will help you live stream the Playoffs to your Apple TV. Think fondly of those of us in rural America as you watch the games. We'll be at a favorite bar, or hanging out with friends who still have cable, drinking a toast to the fine day that live streaming is available for every NFL fan.

Top image credit: Revel Pix LLC /

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.