It’s going to top 110 degrees in Phoenix today and 55 million Americans are under heat warnings, but heat domes be damned, it’s time for preseason football!
The 2023 Hall of Fame Game will kick off the 2023–2024 season Thursday night, with the Jets and Browns meeting in Cleveland (which is facing a much more comfortable 81-degree high today). Does the game mean anything? No. Will big-name players, like Aaron Rodgers, take the field? Probably not. Does that make a difference for NFL-starved fans? Not one whit.
This is an appetizer—a single game to ease fans back into the league before next week, when 16 preseason games will be played between Aug. 10 and Aug. 13 (including, yes, one in Phoenix, but State Farm Stadium is, mercifully, an indoor field).
Ready for kickoff? Here’s how best to catch the game.
Which NFL teams are playing this week? And what channels are airing the games?
There’s just one game this week. Next Thursday through Sunday, though, will see all of the teams testing out new players (The home team is listed second.)
Thursday, Aug. 3
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns, 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC
How can I watch NFL games for free—even if I am out of the market?
The best way to watch any sort of network programming for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. And since the Hall of Fame game will be carried by NBC, watching will be fairly simple. To ensure you’re getting the most reliable signal, be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home.
Can I stream NFL games live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?
Yep, there are several options:
NBC’s streaming service will give you access to several games, including tonight’s contest and all upcoming Sunday night matchups. You can get a seven-day free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge. (The free version of Peacock does not include live sports.)
Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ no longer has a free trial, so you’ll have to pay $13.99 per month for all three combined (or $19.99 per month for no ads on Hulu). Including Live TV in the bundle bumps up the price to $70 per month ($76 with no ads).
Hulu with Live TV
The free trial on this service is no longer offered, as well. It will cost you $70 per month.
After up to a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $73. YouTube is also now the home of Sunday Ticket. Prices on that service currently range from $300 to $439 for the season, with the current discounts.
Dish Network’s Sling lower-tiered “Orange” plan will run you $40 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $55 per month. The seven-day free trial has disappeared, but the cord-cutting service is offering 50% off of the first month’s bill.
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you $70 per month and up after the free trial option.
This sports-focused cord-cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $70–$100, depending on the channels you choose.
Can I watch NFL games on Amazon?
Amazon once again has the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football—but that exclusivity has a few caveats. Tonight’s game will not be aired on the streaming service, nor will the Week One game of the regular season. And, like last year, it won’t carry any games on Thanksgiving, though it will on Black Friday. The first matchup on Amazon this year will be the Philadelphia Eagles facing the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 14..
Does the NFL offer any viewing packages to watch the games I want?
A trio of them.
The NFL App will let you stream games that are being broadcast locally in your market on Sundays. If you want to watch an “out of market” game, you’ve got two choices.
Watch live local and out of market games and (with the premium subscription) replays. There’s a seven-day free trial, after which you’re looking at a $30 charge per season. ($80 for premium.)
NFL Sunday Ticket
As mentioned above, YouTube has taken over broadcast duties for this channel, replacing DirecTV. With the current offered discounts, prices on the service (and the optional NFL Red Zone) currently range from $300 to $439 for the season.