Getting rid of your cable box in favor of streaming everything over the Internet is a great way to save money, but it can cause some pain when you try to watch seasonal content. Football is a Thanksgiving tradition in many households, and thankfully it’s easy to watch even if you cut the cord.
Watch on a Streaming Service
Cable replacement services typically offer access to local channels like NBC, CBS, and FOX, which are the three channels broadcasting football on Thanksgiving. Each of the different services offers a free trial, but the length of the trial will vary. Also, one service may be better for you depending on what hardware you have in your home.
- YouTube TV is available for $40 per month and offers a one-month free trial. It can be used on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast displays (including Google’s Smart Displays), Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, and Samsung and LG smart TVs made after 2016. You can sign up for YouTube TV here.
- Hulu with Live TV is also available for $40, but the free trial is only for a week. You can watch it on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast displays, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Roku, Windows 10, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Samsung and LG Smart TVs and Nintendo Switch. You can sign up for Hulu with Live TV here.
- PlayStation Vue starts at $45 per month for the least expensive plan, but this still lets you watch local channels. PlayStation Vue offers a five-day free trial and can be watched on PlayStation 4, iOS, Android, Chromecast displays, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku. You can sign up for PlayStation Vue here.
- DirecTV Now starts at $40 per month and offers a one-week free trial. You can watch it on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast displays, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, and Samsung smart TVs made after 2017. You can sign up for DirecTV Now here.
- Sling TV starts at $25 per month and offers a one-week free trial. You can watch Sling TV on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast displays, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung and LG smart TVs made after 2016, and certain Xfinity cable boxes. One caveat with Sling is you need an Over-the-Air antenna to watch local channels, which is probably what you’ll watch the football game on. You can sign up for Sling TV here.
Watch on the NFL App
NFL Game Pass lets you watch games at any time for $99 per year. You can get a one-week free trial, and the app is available on iOS, Android, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. There’s a big caveat with this though: there are some games you can only watch on your smartphone. You also won’t be able to watch those games on the big screen with Chromecast or AirPlay. While that’s not a giant deal if you’re the only one watching, trying to get your whole family to watch on a six-inch screen just isn’t going to happen.
Buy an Over-The-Air Antenna
While you can get most content over the Internet, having a good Over-the-Air (OTA) antenna is great for shows and sporting events that are broadcast on local channels. Even the latest smart TVs will have a coaxial input to hook up an antenna, and using an antenna might be even better than trying to stream the game over the Internet: you can stream your game without competing with your kids’ tablet for Internet bandwidth, and you don’t have to worry about the stream ending because someone’s network crashed.
OTA antennas just work, so you won’t need to replace it three years down the line. You can get an antenna for as low as $15, as long as you’re close enough to your favorite stations. Certain OTA antennas will include a free trial to Sling TV, so you can use that to jump-start the rest of your cord cutting.
While it may take some effort to consider which option lets you watch the games you want, you’ll still be able to watch football this Thanksgiving, and still save money from cutting the cord!