As the NFL postseason begins today, we’re in a period where fans can access all of the games on computers (desktop and laptop), mobiles, set top boxes and tablets. In most cases, viewers will be required to login using their cable or satellite accounts, but for the network that is carrying the most postseason games including Super Bowl 50, fans will not have to authenticate.
Let’s take a look at how you can watch the games online in case you can’t be in front of a television.
The only way to watch the NFL on smartphones is through Verizon. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and other non-Verizon customers are out of luck. Verizon customers can watch every NFL Postseason game on the NFL Mobile app. In addition to the live games from CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC, NFL Mobile provides real-time scores and stats along with highlights.
CBS is the only network that doesn’t require viewers to use their cable or satellite accounts to login to watch NFL games. With CBS carrying the most postseason games, one AFC Wild Card playoff contest tonight, two AFC Divisional Playoff windows next week, the AFC Championship and then Super Bowl 50, fans will be able to access all the games on computers and connected TV devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One) and tablets (Androids, iPads and Windows 10). Viewers can access the games through CBSSports.com on computers and tablets. Thus far, the NFL is not accessible through the CBS app where the linear feed of participating local affiliates and network programming is available live.
For the Super Bowl, CBS will stream the game live and the commercials will be seen at the same time as the TV feed. CBS sold the Super Bowl on TV and online as one package.
ESPN’s feed of this afternoon’s Kansas City at Houston Wild Card game as well as the Pro Bowl on January 31 will be available on computers on WatchESPN.com, connected TV devices and tablets through the ESPN and WatchESPN apps. You will need to have a valid cable or satellite TV account to access the ESPN and WatchESPN apps.
Fox has one game in each of the Wild Card, Divisional and Conference Championship Weekends. You can watch them on FoxSports.com on computers or Fox Sports Go on tablets for customers of “participating pay-TV providers” meaning you have to sign in with your cable or satellite account.
The NFC postseason games will also be available on Amazon Fire TV and Android TV platforms.
NBC has one Wild Card game and one Divisional Playoff game. Both are available on computers at NBCSports.com, tablets through the NBC Sports Live Extra app and through connected TV devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku. You will need to login with your cable or satellite accounts.
You can also access NFL.com to find out which devices will stream the games.
ESPN, Fox and NBC also have dedicated Spanish language feeds of their games through the online sites of ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes and NBC Deportes. The Spanish language feed for NBC’s Wild Card game will be seen on TV through NBC Universo.
CBS does not have plans for Spanish language feeds for their AFC playoff games, but did outsource Super Bowl 50 to ESPN Deportes.
All of the games will be broadcast nationally on terrestrial radio through Westwood One and SiriusXM satellite radio. The SiriusXM feeds are available as follows:
- Westwood One feed (SiriusXM NFL Radio – Sirius 88/XM 88)
- Home Team radio broadcast (Sirius 82/XM 225)
- Visiting Team radio broadcast (Sirius 83/XM 226)
So there are plenty of platforms for fans to access the NFL playoffs online. Yes, authentication is required for most of the games, but certainly not for the one everyone wants to watch, Super Bowl 50. The Big Game will be open to all through CBS’s platforms.