How to Watch NFL Games without Cable through Apple TV or Online (2024)

What to Know

  • You can watch NFL on Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad with various apps and add-ons.
  • Some of your options include Sunday Ticket, NFL Plus, ESPN+, NFL Redzone, and many more.
  • Many of these Apple TV football options offer a free trial.

If you’re a football fan without cable, figuring out how to watch the NFL season online is important. Whether you want to watch Monday Night Football, the Thursday games, or the NFL Sunday ticket, we’ll cover your options for watching the NFL season on Apple TV without a cable subscription. We'll include how to watch NFL games online, on Amazon, with an over-the-air TV antenna, on Sling TV, and more.

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When & Where to Watch NFL without Cable

NFL games are broadcast Monday nights, Thursday nights, Sunday afternoons, and Sunday nights on different networks: CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network. This can make it hard to see every NFL game you want to without a cable subscription. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for watching the NFL season without cable. For more great Apple device tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day

No cable, no problem! Here's how to watch NFL without cable.

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Over-the-Air TV Antenna

Compatibility: Varies between manufacturers. 
Cost: Prices vary from company to company; I've seen anywhere from $17.99–$149.99. 
Pros: Free content from local broadcasters.
Cons: Some companies charge a monthly fee to use the app associated with their antenna. 
OTA stands for over the air; in other words, an antenna! Yes, it's true; you can legally pick up locally broadcasted channels and stream them to your TV with an antenna. While you might be envisioning the old-fashioned version, there are now lots of OTA options that are sleek and unobtrusive. Some can boost signals, as well, which is really helpful if you live in a rural area. Some OTA options include AirTVHD HomeRun, and Mohu, but there are lots more out there!

NFL+ & NFL+ Premium

Compatible Devices: Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad.

Cost: 7-Day Free Trial, then $6.99/month for NFL+ or $14.99/month for NFL+ Premium

Pros: Watch live games on your mobile devices
Cons: Can't watch out-of-market games
The NFL has finally introduced NFL+, a service that will let you stream live local and primetime regular season and postseason games directly to your mobile device. Whatever game you would be seeing if you turned on a TV to watch, you'll be able to see on your iPhone or iPad with the NFL+ app. NFL Premium Plus members also have access to NFL Red Zone!

Amazon Prime NFL Games

nfl on apple tv free with amazon prime
Compatible Devices: Apple TV, Mac, iPhone, and iPad
Cost: Must be an Amazon Prime member ($14.99/month or $139/year) Student membership is free for the first six months, then $7.49 a month. 
Pros: Free if already an Amazon Prime user.
Cons: Only a limited number of games will stream on Amazon.
Amazon bought the rights to stream the NFL's Thursday night games online. You used to still be able to watch Thursday Night Football on network TV, but now the games stream exclusively on Amazon, so if you want to keep up with Thursday's NFL games, you will want to sign up for Amazon Prime (or find a good sports bar, if you don't want to give money to Amazon directly).

ESPN & NFL Network on Sling TV  

apple tv nfl games on sling with sling season pass
Compatible Devices: Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Cost: Blue or Orange ($40), Blue and Orange together ($55). Prices are half off for your first month, $219 for a four-month Sling Season Pass
Pros: No commitment. Can subscribe only for the NFL season and then cancel.
Cons: Doesn’t carry CBS. You will need to subscribe to both packages for the fullest coverage. Not all local channels are available in all markets.
Sling now offers Sling Season Pass. According to Sling, you can "Prepay for four months of Sling Orange, Blue, or Orange + Blue, and you’ll get the Sport Extra package included at no additional cost! That means you can get channels like NFL RedZone, NBA TV, and MLB Network, plus college-focused channels like SEC Network and Big Ten Network, without spending a dime."  This package doesn't offer CBS, but does offer FOX and NBC in some markets. See which local channels are available in your area.

NFL Game Pass International

Compatible Devices: Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad
Cost: Varies by country, 4 installments of £37.75 in the UK.
Pros: Can replay every single game of the season.
Cons: You will need to use a VPN to simulate an out-of-country IP address.
You can't get NFL Game Pass in the United States any longer. Since Game Pass subscribers outside the US are able to watch live games, some subscribers have resorted to the questionable practice of using a VPN to create an out-of-country IP address. Buying a UK subscription is most frequently recommended. Note that you will need to set up your out-of-country IP address before subscribing to Game Pass.


nfl games on apple tv with fubo

Compatible Devices: Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad
Cost: Seven-day free trial, then from $74.99/month to $99.99/month
Pros: Includes NFL Network, RedZone, ESPN, and broadcast networks
Cons: Costs as much as some cable packages

fuboTV broadcasts live TV over the internet. It offers over 150 channels, including the NFL Network, RedZone, ESPN, CBS, FOX, and NBC, so most of your NFL needs will be covered. fuboTV uses your location to determine which local affiliates to serve you, so, unless you use a VPN, you'll see the same games you would if you were watching your local network stations.

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu plus Live TV

Compatible Devices: Apple TV, iPhone & iPad, Mac
Cost: Starts at $49.99/month with ads for three months, then goes up to $76.99/month thereafter.
Pros: Includes FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, and NFL Network
Cons: No longer offers Thursday night games. 

With Hulu + Live TV, you can keep track of your favorite NFL football teams, record games, and watch live TV broadcasts aired on your local broadcasting channels. Now includes ESPN+ with ads.

Paramount Plus

how to watch nfl on apple tv with paramount plus

Compatible Devices: Apple TV, iPhone & iPad
Cost: first week free, then $5.99/month for Paramount+ Essential, or $11.99/month for Paramount+ & Showtime
Pros: Enoy CBS Sports HQ, Pick Six, NFL Slimetime, Fantasy Football Today, and more
Cons: Not all games will be available in your area

Watch local and national CBS games on Paramount Plus

YouTube TV

nfl games on apple tv with nfl sunday ticket

Compatible Devices: Apple TV, iPhone & iPad
Cost: $54.99/mo for your first 3 months, $72.99/mo thereafter for YouTube TV Base Plan. NFL Sunday Ticket adds $14.99/month
Pros: 100+ Live Channels
Cons: lineup subject to local availability

You can add NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV to catch all the Sunday football games, live! 


  • Can you watch the NFL on Apple TV? At this time, Apple TV+ doesn't stream football, but there are a variety of other ways you can watch NFL games on Apple TV.
  • How do I watch the NFL on Apple TV? You'll need to use an antenna, app, or streaming service to watch NFL games on your Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad.
  • Which app is best for watching football live? That depends on which games and teams you want to watch, but some of the best apps include NFL+, ESPN+, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, and more.

Now you know how to watch football on your Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad! Enjoy the season, and be sure to check back with iPhone Life with all your sports streaming questions. 

Top image credit: Jamie Lamor Thompson /

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Author Details

Dig Om's picture

Author Details

Dig Om

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech