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How to Watch the Super Bowl Without Cable TV

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Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.
Photo: David Eulitt (Getty Images)

It’s that time of year again.

You’d be forgiven for forgetting what month it is, but it is somehow already February, which means the Super Bowl is once again upon us. For folks with cable, streaming the Big Sports Event—which will begin Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS and will see the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—should not be an issue. But for cord-cutters, and particularly those with limited streaming subscriptions, you’ll want to make sure you have a decent wifi connection and access to the right apps and services ahead of time so you’re not left scrambling at kickoff.

Stream on CBS Apps

Super Bowl LV will be streamable for free through a number of CBS channels. The easiest and most straightforward option will be to stream it, but you’ll also be able to watch it on the CBS Sports app, which is available in the App Store and Google Play. Subscribers to CBS All Access will also be able to watch the game through that app as well, though it typically costs $6 per month with ads or $10 per month without ads after a seven-day trial.


Stream on Yahoo Sports App

The Yahoo Sports app, which is free and available on the App Store and Google Play, will also stream the Super Bowl.


Stream on ESPN Deportes

ESPN Deportes will be the exclusive home for Spanish-language coverage of the game, per an agreement with the NFL and CBS. Coverage can be accessed through ESPN Deportes TV and on the ESPN App.

Stream on NFL App

The official NFL app, available for iOS and Android, will also offer free coverage of the game. The NFL app is additionally supported on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Xbox One.


Additional Streaming Services

Outside of these primary channels, the game will also be able to be streamed through paid over-the-top services including Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, FuboTV, and Sling TV. All of these services offer free trials to new subscribers, so if you’ve been considering taking the leap with a live TV streaming service, now is a great time to take one of these on a test run.

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Photo: Catie Keck/Gizmodo

What to Buy to Stream the Super Bowl

Right now, there are more streaming services to choose from than any one person needs. Whether you go with an Apple TV, Nvidia Shield Pro, or a budget Roku or Fire TV device, for example, will depend on what you plan to use it for.


Personally, I typically advise anyone on the hunt for a budget streaming device to go with the Chromecast with Google TV ($50). I love the interface and recommendation system, and it’s a lot cleaner than some of the other devices in this price range. If most of your devices are made by Apple, I might suggest getting an Apple TV 4K ($150)—though that one’s significantly more expensive than a lot of streaming devices available right now. For gamers, I typically recommend the Nvidia Shield TV.

For a side-by-side comparison of these devices, check out our buyer’s guides for the very best streaming device and the best streaming sticks and dongles under $50.


...And If You Need a TV

The best TV for streaming the game is the one you already have in your home. But in the off chance that you might be in the market for a new display, consider the Sony X900H or the TCL 6-Series—both of which ranked high in our recent 4K TV face-off. If it’s an OLED you’re looking for, definitely consider either the LG CX or the Vizio OLED. Both of these will be fabulous picks for live sporting events.


Keep in mind that 2021's new TVs will be heading to market in the months to come, though. So if you want the latest and greatest tech in your display, you may want to hold off for a few months before buying.

May We Also Recommend an Air Fryer?

Many of us will be watching the Super Bowl this year with a significantly smaller number of humans than in years past, thanks to lockdown and social distancing measures in place to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Because the bar’s probably out of the question, please allow us to recommend something that might make your Big Game event feel a little more, you know, normal. Even if you’re streaming solo this year.


Friend, may I recommend an air fryer? If so, consider this one from Ninja. It won’t break the bank, but it will upgrade your food experience.