How to watch NFL games on Thanksgiving live online for free—and without cable

Yes, Thanksgiving is about family and food and appreciating what you have. But it’s also about watching professional football.

As the smell of roast turkey begins to permeate the house, the fight for a playoff position will continue unabated on the grill. But the chances of being able to watch undisturbed are slim, and this isn’t exactly a day where you can sneak out of your favorite watering hole unnoticed. So whether you’re in charge of preparing dinner or peeling potatoes, you still have the opportunity to watch any of today’s three games. Keep in mind that because it’s a holiday, your usual Thursday night viewing habits will change. Amazon, despite its new contract, will not air the evening game.

Whatever your situation, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at who’s playing today and different ways to watch the games.

Which NFL Teams Are Playing This Week? And on which channels do they broadcast the games?

This is, arguably, the best part about NFL Thanksgiving games: They don’t compete against each other. The NFL has stacked all three so you can watch them marathon (or, at the very least, use them as a vehicle to tune the family in if a political argument erupts before pumpkin pie is served).

Thursday 24 November

Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 PM ET on Fox

New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

How can I watch my local NFL team for free, even if I’m out of business?

The best way to watch any type of network programming for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. And NFL games are some of the easiest to view, as they’re carried on broadcast networks, meaning you’ll be able to watch them even if you don’t have a cable subscription. Best of all? All Thanksgiving games are broadcast by an over-the-air channel. To ensure you’re getting the most reliable signal, be sure to test the antenna at multiple locations in your home.

How do I stream NFL games live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?

You have several options to choose from:


NBC’s streaming service will give you access to several games, including all Sunday night games. You can get a seven-day free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge. (The free version of Peacock doesn’t include live sports.)


The CBS streaming service will give you access to games broadcast on that network. You can get a one-week free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge.


Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ no longer comes with a free trial, so you’ll have to pay $13.99 a month for all three combined (or $19.99 a month for no commercials on Hulu). The inclusion of live TV in the package raises the price to $70 per month ($76 ad-free).

Hulu with live TV

The free trial of this service is also no longer offered. It will cost you $70 a month.


After up to a two-week trial, you can expect a $65 monthly charge.

Sling TV

Dish Network’s lowest tier “Orange” plan will set you back $35 a month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan increases the cost to $50/month. You’ll get a seven-day free trial first, and right now the cord-cutting service is cutting your first month bill in half.

DirecTV stream

Previously known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow, and AT&T TV, this oft-rebranded streaming service will set you back $70 a 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 to $100, depending on which channels you choose.

Can I watch NFL games on Amazon?

Here’s where it gets a little confusing. Amazon holds the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football for 2022 and the following 10 seasons. However, there is an exception for the Thanksgiving game this year. So while you’ve made it a habit to tune into Amazon Prime Thursday night, tonight’s game won’t be there. It will air on NBC instead.

Does the NFL offer viewing packages to watch the games I want?

It offers three, in fact.

NFL application

The NFL application it will allow you to stream locally broadcast games in your market on Sundays. If you want to watch an “off-market” match, you have two choices.

NFL game passes

There are a couple of hitches with this service. You can’t use it to watch live matches, but you can watch anything once the main broadcast has finished. There’s a seven-day free trial, after which you’re looking at a $100 per season charge.

NFL Sunday Ticket

DirecTV customers have access to it, but if you’re not a subscriber and live in an area where it’s not available, you can watch any NFL game live, online or on TV for $73.49 a month or $293.36 for the entire season.

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