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How To Watch the NFL Preseason

Tune in while teams tune up for fall in the 2023 NFL preseason.

Jordan Love

The NFL preseason is underway and with lots to look forward to this season, it’s time to tune in until February. The annual round of almost 50 exhibition matchups featuring all 32 NFL teams is a chance for established players to shake off the rust of summer. Plus, it’s exciting to see new players earn their way into the lineup for opening day.

The best part? You don’t even need a cable subscription to watch the games. Read on to find out your best options for how to watch the NFL preseason live without cable.

Where to watch the NFL preseason

For the 2023 preseason, fans can catch 28 of the 49 games, including the opening Hall of Fame Game, on national TV. Twenty-three of those will air on NFL Network, one will air on Amazon Prime, two will be broadcast on NBC, and one will be televised on Fox. Preseason games that aren’t on the national broadcast schedule may air on regional sports networks or local channels, so be sure to check your local listings to find out.

Streaming services offer a great way to watch the NFL preseason, as you can typically watch from anywhere and don’t have to commit to a lengthy cable contract. The main sports streaming services that offer access to channels airing NFL preseason games are Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, FuboTV, and Hulu + Live TV.

Streaming ServiceCost per MonthChannelsFree Trial
Sling TV$40+31+No
Hulu + Live TV$76.99+90+No

How to watch the NFL Preseason on Sling TV

Sling TV offers three plans with a smaller selection of live TV channels. The Orange plan costs $40 per month and primarily focuses on college football and family programming. While it doesn’t offer the NFL Network, you’ll get access to other popular channels like CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Comedy Central, Food Network, Nick Jr., and Vice.

The Blue plan, which costs $40 per month, offers a different range of channels more suited to those who watch pro football and news. These channels include NBC and Fox (available in select markets), FS1, and NFL Network. 

Finally, the Orange & Blue plan, which costs $55 per month, bundles the first two packages for an all-access plan. With this package, you’ll get access to everything in both plans. However, note that you only need Sling Blue to access most NFL preseason games on NFL Network, NBC, and Fox (if available in your area). CBS is not available on Sling.

Sling TV’s affordable price point sets it apart from the competition. This budget-friendly option will allow subscribers to watch most (but not all) of the NFL preseason games, and it’ll satisfy those looking for the most popular live TV channels covering sports, news, and entertainment. 

How to watch the NFL Preseason on DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM offers four different streaming plans. Although its basic Entertainment plan includes CBS and NBC, it doesn’t include NFL Network, so you’ll need to upgrade to the Choice plan or higher to watch most of the NFL preseason games that are being broadcast.

In the Choice plan, which costs $108.99 per month, you’ll get more than 105 channels, including mainstays like ESPN, FS1, AMC, Cartoon Network, CNN, and Food Network. You’ll also have access to regional sports networks like Bally Sports. The Ultimate plan, which adds another 35-plus channels, runs $119.99 per month. Finally, the Premier plan includes Cinemax, Max, SHOWTIME, and STARZ for $164.99 per month. All plans include local channels like CBS and NBC.

As long as you have DIRECTV’s Choice plan or higher, you can catch every national broadcast of the NFL preseason (except for the Aug. 24 game on Amazon Prime). This streaming platform offers the most cable-like experience in terms of its channel lineup and user interface, but it is the priciest streaming option available for watching NFL games.

How to watch the NFL Preseason on FuboTV

FuboTV offers four different plans: Pro, Elite, Premier, and Latino. Starting with the Pro plan, you get access to at least 160 of Fubo TV’s channels covering sports, news, and entertainment for $74.99 per month. This plan includes major networks and popular channels like ESPN, the Food Network, Hallmark, the Disney Channel, National Geographic, MTV, and beIN Sports.

The next step up is the Elite plan for $84.99 per month, which includes all the benefits of the Pro plan plus 72 extra news, sports, and entertainment channels on Fubo. The Premier package adds nine SHOWTIME channels and SHOWTIME on demand for $94.99 per month.

Last but not least, the Latino plan — best for Spanish speakers — offers 59 channels (including over 100 sporting events) for just $32.99 per month. If you’re unsure which plan will suit you best, you’re in luck because all of them offer a seven-day free trial.

All FuboTV plans — except for the Latino plan — also include Fox, NBC, CBS, and the NFL Network, meaning you can watch 27 of the 28 NFL preseason games that will be aired in 2023. Aside from being a go-to platform for NFL fans, FuboTV covers a wide range of interests, making it worthwhile for families and multi-person households that want a variety of content to satisfy all tastes. Remember that the number of channels offered in each plan may differ by location.

How to watch the NFL Preseason on Hulu + Live TV

The Hulu + Live TV package, now with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, starts at $76.99 per month, with no free trial available. You’ll get access to over 90 channels on Hulu + Live TV, including major networks and popular channels like Discovery, E!, ESPN, and Cartoon Network. Hulu + Live TV also includes Fox, NBC, CBS, and the NFL Network, allowing you to watch all 28 NFL preseason games scheduled to air.

You’ll also get access to an on-demand library with thousands of hours of premium TV shows and movies, including Hulu Originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Only Murders in the Building,” and “Pam and Tommy.” If that’s not enough, this package also includes Disney-owned franchises Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel, and original shows and live sporting events on ESPN Plus. With Hulu + Live TV, there’s an option to upgrade to an ad-free, on-demand library for $89.99 per month. 

As a premium package for viewers who want access to a variety of high-quality channels and on-demand content covering news, sports, and entertainment, Hulu + Live TV is one of our top picks for watching the NFL preseason in 2023.

NFL preseason 2023 schedule 

The NFL preseason kicked off with the Hall of Fame Game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Aug. 3 on NBC. The full slate of preseason games began on Aug. 10, and you’ll need Amazon Prime to watch the match between the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 24. You can find the full NFL preseason schedule on ESPN.com.

Final thoughts

Live TV streaming services are a convenient option for NFL fans who want access to preseason games without the expense or commitment of signing up for cable. DIRECTV STREAM, FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling TV all have straightforward sign-up processes. Some even offer free trials and you can always cancel your subscription with ease.

DIRECTV STREAM, FuboTV, and Hulu + Live TV are showing every NFL preseason game on the broadcast schedule (except for one match on Amazon Prime), making them the best options for football fans who don’t want to miss a minute of the action. These live TV streaming services also have other benefits, such as extensive on-demand libraries and entertainment content.

However, for half the price, Sling TV provides access to most of the live preseason games and a solid lineup of popular TV channels. For those who want to follow most of the preseason and test out live TV streaming, Sling TV’s reasonable offer will be hard to beat.

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