The Super Bowl typically involves some serious prep. There are dips to make, chips to buy, and the oil on the fryolator needs to be at exactly the right temperature. What most people don't think about is how they will watch the big game.
Maybe those people are going to a friend's house or a local bar. Maybe they have a cable or satellite subscription. But if you live among the 25 percent of U.S. homes without pay TV, you don't have to go knocking on a neighbor's door. There are many ways to watch the Super Bowl without cable. Here, in no particular order, are ways you can be Super Bowling without cable.
1. Get an Antenna
Anyone planning to cut the cable TV cord should look into getting an HDTV antenna. Having an antenna isn't the ugly eyesore it used to be and there are models made for indoor and outdoor use. Antennas Direct, Mohu, and Amazon all make great antennas, which allow you to get all sorts of TV channels absolutely free—and many of them in high-definition.
If you have an antenna, you can watch the game on your local FOX affiliate. Just make sure to check out TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.org to see what networks are available in your area, as well as where you'll need to point that antenna. (Also, a compass makes finding the necessary coordinates a lot easier.) In my little New England town, my rooftop Antennas Direct antenna can pick up channels in either Boston or Providence, Rhode Island, depending on which way it's pointing.
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2. Use Your Mobile Device
Earlier this year, FOX Sports announced that they would offer a live, non-authenticated stream of Super Bowl LI though the network's mobile app. This type of service is usually a perk that comes with pay TV, but not this year.
FOX Sports GO will offer the entire event, including ads, to everyone with the app. It's free for Android, iOS, Windows, and Amazon tablets.
NFL Mobile is another free app for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. Other features include stories, photos, video highlights, stats, and video-on-demand. Just know that live games (including the Super Bowl) are exclusive to Verizon Wireless customers.
If you're willing to pay a little, Sling TV can stream all sorts of major networks to Android and iOS devices, as well as Macs and PCs. The Sling Orange package offers over 30 channels for $20 a month, but if you want the Super Bowl in that streaming mix, opt for the Sling Blue plan. This $25 package does include FOX—but only in selected areas, so make sure to search the site before you sign up.
Another pay option is DIRECTV NOW, a streaming service that AT&T launched late last year. For $35 per month, you can stream over 60 channels to Android and iOS devices. It even works with Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari. To get even more channels, you can upgrade that package. However, the basic lineup does include FOX and FOX Sports 1.
3. Use Your Game Console
If you can take a break from playing football games like Madden NFL 17, you can actually watch the Super Bowl through the Xbox One. The console is compatible with Sling TV and FOX Sports GO. To get the goods (and free Super Bowl viewing), Xbox One users can search for either option through the console and add it to their app lineup.
4. Use a Media Streamer
As I already pointed out, FOX Sports GO will be streaming the entire Super Bowl. However, you don't have to hover around a small screen to enjoy the big game. The app is also available for the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Android TV. For this specific event, users won't need to enter any sort of pay TV credentials, but you will need the app.
FOX Sports GO is available for Apple TV in the App Store and Amazon for the Amazon Fire TV. Chromcast users can tap the Chromecast icon in the FOX Sports GO app to stream it to a big screen. And finally, both Roku and Android TV users can download the FOX Sports GO channel from their respective channel stores. Just remember that you may not be able to access all of the content at all times, but the Super Bowl will be streaming for free.
If you're paying for Sling TV or DIRECTV NOW, you can gather friends around the big screen for the big game. Sling TV is compatible with the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, and Roku players. DIRECTV NOW is available on the Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Apple TV, and Chromecast.
Also, you don't have to be a gamer to stream FOX through PlayStation Vue, which is available on the Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku devices, starting at $39.99 per month. However, like Sling TV, not affiliate channels are available in all areas, so you'll want to check the service's website.
Are you ready for some football? Super Bowl festivities are set to begin at 6:30 p.m (ET) on Sunday, February 5, 2017.