The New England Patriots are set to face off against the LA Rams, and it’s sure to be an entertaining game. If you’ve cut the cord, don’t fret! You can still tune in and watch the Super Bowl.
There’s nothing quite like watching the Super Bowl—and all the fantastic commercials—in real time. You have a few different options when it comes to watching the Super Bowl if you’ve cut the cord, ranging from completely free to a couple hundred dollars.
Option 1: Watch with an Over-the-Air Antenna
If you want to get all of your costs out of the way up front, grab an Over-the-Air (OTA) antenna and (possibly) a TV tuner. These antennas work the same way they did when you were a kid: plug them into your television or tuner with a coaxial cable, give it a moment to scan the channels, and watch away! You won’t have a monthly bill to worry about, and you should be able to get the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is on CBS, so the important thing is to make sure you buy an antenna that can pick up your nearest CBS affiliate. If you’re not sure, the FCC has a handy tool that lets you enter your address and find out how far away the station is. Then, just buy an antenna that covers at least the distance to that station.
If you want to watch the big game on multiple devices in your home—or you’re using a projector or another display that doesn’t have a built-in TV tuner—you’ll want to get an external tuner like the Amazon Fire TV Recast. This will connect to your home network, and let you stream any programs coming from the antenna to any of your other screens.
Option 2: Watch With a Streaming Service
Services like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV are fantastic for replacing cable for all of your live TV needs, including the Super Bowl. Both services offer free trials for new users—one month for YouTube TV and one week for Hulu—so if you’ve never used either service, you can watch the big game for free. If you like having access to live TV, stay subscribed to each service: you’ll pay $40 a month for either YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. Sling TV and PlayStation Vue don’t include CBS, so you can’t use these services to watch the Super Bowl.
CBS is also allowing CBS All Access Subscribers to watch the Super Bowl live, so you may be able to use one more free trial if you’ve used the other services’ trials already. CBS All Access lets you have a one-week free trial, after which you’ll pay $6 per month if you don’t mind commercials and $10 per month for commercial-free viewing.
One big caveat with using a streaming service is reliability. That’s normally not an issue, but Hulu’s live stream completely crashed in the last moments of 2018’s game. We have to hope that Hulu and other streaming providers have done work to prevent that this year, but there’s no telling what will happen until the game starts.
Option 3: Go to a Public Viewing or a Friend’s House
Simple: if someone else is paying for a way to watch the Super Bowl, it’s probably easier to go to their house or venue and watch it. Be a good friend and bring some drinks for the host, or buy some drinks at your local sports bar to pay for your portion of the electricity. Plus, you get more people with whom to enjoy the awesome commercials!
If you’re outside the United States, don’t fret! The easiest method is to subscribe to NFL Game Pass, which will let you watch any football game. If you’re in the United Kingdom, you’ll be able to watch on the BBC iPlayer or Sky Sports. Failing that, you can sign up for a VPN, set your location to the United States, then use one of the streaming options listed above.
What Not To Do
You may have heard of some shady methods to watch the game that are 100% free. Those will be free, but they’ll also likely be illegal. In addition to breaking the law, the stream will probably cut out some time in the middle of the game. Save yourself the heartache and stick to legal methods.
No matter how you watch the Super Bowl, pop some popcorn, have some drinks, and enjoy the game!