Sat. May 18th, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • More NFL games are moving to streaming services, with multiple games exclusively on platforms like Peacock, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.
  • To stream all NFL games in the 2024-25 season, fans will need to subscribe to at least five services and spend hundreds of dollars.
  • The days of simply using cable TV to watch football are gone, with fans now needing to juggle multiple apps and subscriptions to catch all the action.

Do you miss regular cable TV yet? I certainly do. NFL fans will have difficulty watching games for the upcoming 2024-25 NFL season because many will air exclusively on streaming services. What a mess.

If you thought it was complicated and expensive a few years ago, things are about to get worse. Even with cable or satellite, you’ll have to spend hundreds of dollars on at least four different apps and streaming services to catch all the big games this year.

Sling TV and YouTube TV might be a cable replacement, but they are still fundamentally subscription streaming services. So without a traditional cable or similar you’re up to a minimum of five: YouTube TV or Sling TV, plus Peacock, Netflix, Prime Video, and ESPN+.

Without those core five, you’re in for an even bigger mess. Potentially, you might need up to ten different apps and streaming services just to watch all the games. Here’s why.

The NFL Is All-In on Streaming

NFL only on Netflix for Christmas 2024.
Netflix / NFL

The NFL is officially all-in on streaming services, even if that negatively affects fans. Gone are the days of using cable TV to watch football or getting the NFL Sunday Ticket from DirecTV. The only way to get the NFL Ticket is on YouTube TV, which still, shockingly, doesn’t get you every game.

For example, last season, the only way to watch the Bills vs. Chargers in December 2023 was to subscribe to NBC’s Peacock streaming service. Making matters worse, the NFL doubled down and put the prime time January playoff game between the Dolphins and Chiefs behind Peacock, which costs $5.99 or $11.99 per month, depending on the package you get.

Fans had to sign up and subscribe to Peacock to watch the game, and reports suggest that over 70% of sign-ups didn’t cancel a month later. This means one game costs fans anywhere from $12-$24 to watch, if not more, for those who forgot to cancel.

For the upcoming 2024-25 NFL season, Peacock will again exclusively air the season opener between the Packers and Eagles on September 6th in Brazil, and likely others later in the year.

Then, Thursday Night Football (TNF) airs on Amazon Prime Video, with exclusive rights to air one playoff game. Now, the NFL and Netflix have just announced that if you want to watch the two NFL games on Christmas Day as a family, you’ll only be able to see them by subscribing to Netflix. Yes, Netflix. Plus, ESPN+ will host and air an undecided exclusive as well.

Here’s How Much It’ll Cost to Stream All the NFL Games

Peacock logo
Corbin Davenport / Peacock

Where does that leave the fans? If you want to watch every NFL game this upcoming season, it’ll cost you nearly a thousand dollars and require five different streaming services and apps. So much for cutting the cord; now it’s a requirement.

Most people use a streaming service like YouTube TV or Sling TV instead of cable, and that’s cool. However, then you’ll need to sign up for the NFL Sunday Ticket and subscribe to all the streaming services with exclusive rights to broadcast NFL games. Here’s how that breaks down monthly and throughout the entire season over six months:

  • YouTube TV or similar: $72.99 per month
  • Peacock: $5.99 or $11.99 without ads
  • Amazon Prime Video: $8.99 or $14.99
  • ESPN+: $10.99
  • Netflix: $6.99

If you sign up and subscribe to each streaming service to enjoy the NFL between September and February, you’ll pay over $600 for six months of service. And it’ll cost even more if you choose a higher ad-free plan for Peacock or Netflix. Sure, you could cancel Peacock after those games air or Netflix after Christmas, but they’re banking you’ll forget.

Then, by adding on the NFL Sunday Ticket from YouTube, which is $349, the total comes out to over $980 for one football season. Ouch.

Technically, if you cancel cable and don’t have YouTube TV, the situation gets worse. You’d need to download apps from ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN+, NBC, Peacock, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video, and now Netflix. Just thinking about it gives me a headache.

The old days of watching NFL football are long gone. Even if you still have DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, Cox Cable, or something similar, you won’t be able to watch the games on Peacock or Netflix without downloading the app to your phone or TV, subscribing, and paying another monthly fee. Those games are exclusively airing on those services only.

If you’re looking for the easiest way to watch sports or the cheapest way to stream sports like the NFL, I’m not sure what to tell you anymore. But I can say this. If you’re planning to watch games with friends and family this year, especially at the holidays, you’d better do your research and make sure you’ve got the right streaming app installed on your smart TV or streaming stick first.

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By John P.

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