The NFL 2017-2018 season is here! However, getting access to every game is not always easy. Although most teams have regional agreements with over-the-air networks to show games locally, the NFL and the major networks work out deals for which games each network and their affiliates are allowed to show, and when. As a result, you might not be able to catch some of the most sought-after games, both in the regular season and even in the playoffs unless you have access to the right sources.
As it stands, the only networks with broadcasting rights are CBS, NBC, FOX, NFL Network, and ESPN, who share the games amongst themselves. The good news is that you can bypass these complex NFL game streaming agreements with a variety of online services. The best and easiest service is Kodi, although we do mention another method at the bottom. Our guide below will help you find where to stream NFL games for free.
For paid services that include better quality streaming, we recommend you check out our guide on How to Watch NFL Games Without Cable.
Disclaimer: This guide is intended to help readers access content they already have purchased the rights to access, but are for whatever reason unable to access either temporarily, or permanently. Flixed.io does not support software piracy, and bears no responsibility for what you decide to do with the contents of this article. Furthermore, please note that Flixed.io in no way hosts, develops, or produces any of the software mentioned within this article. For more information, please see our full disclaimer here.
- 1 Before we Proceed
- 2 Free NFL Online Streaming with Kodi
- 3 Kodi Add-ons to Watch NFL Games for Free Online
- 4 More Live TV Addon Options
- 5 NFL Network Agreements
- 6 Watch NFL Games Online Free With Your Current Provider
Before we Proceed
We highly recommend using a VPN when using Kodi. Kodi users have been known to receive copyright infringement notices for streaming movies, sports, and TV shows through various addons. If you would like to keep your streaming habits private, our recommendation is IPVanish - a complete privacy solution for Kodi users. It's also worth noting that purchasing a 12 month subscription will give you two months free.
Free NFL Online Streaming with Kodi
As mentioned earlier, your best option to stream NFL games free online is through using a streaming application called Kodi. Kodi is a media streaming application. You can download Kodi on almost any device, including the Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, iPhone, Mac OS, Windows, Android TV boxes, and many others.
Kodi can be installed directly from the official Kodi website.
Kodi users can download and install what are known as add-ons onto Kodi. These addons search the web for live TV streams and play them directly from within the Kodi media player. Almost every addon you’ll find is free, and most are designed to help reduce the effort in trying to find live TV streams on your own.
To learn how to download Kodi on the device of your choice, check out our Ultimate Guide to Kodi.
Kodi offers you the chance to access live streams from many local network affiliates. This way, you can stream most, if not all games, including those on ESPN and NFL Network. As NFL playoff games are primarily available on the major networks, you should also be able to stream all NFL playoff games free through Kodi as well. Continue scrolling to learn which add-ons would be best for streaming NFL games.
Kodi Add-ons to Watch NFL Games for Free Online
There are a limited number of good addons for watching NFL games on Kodi. The ones we tested and found worked the best are cCloud TV, Bennu, USTVNow, StreamHub, Made in Canada IPTV, and SportsDevil. These addons carry streams for a variety of different networks with NFL 2017 broadcast rights. After you’ve installed Kodi, follow the linked guides below.
USTVNow is perfect for those that want to keep their NFL streaming on Kodi completely above board. USTVNow is a fully-legal streaming service designed for US expats and military members working overseas, allowing them to still access US TV. However, due to a loophole in their system, anyone with a VPN can access USTVNow’s services. You can sign up for USTVNow for free, and it comes with seven free channels that include the OTA (over-the-air) channels with NFL broadcast rights for 2017.
If you so choose, you can also pay $19.99 a month (for the first three months, then $29.99 after) for 28 channels, which includes ESPN and ESPN2. Given that ESPN has one of the largest broadcast contracts for NFL games in the 2017-2018 season, it’s a great option for anyone that wants a streaming option for TV that comes in far cheaper than a cable plan.
When signing up for USTVNow, it’s important to avoid using the “Sign up with Google” or “Sign up with Facebook” options. If you do either of these, you won’t be assigned a password. Since you need a password to access USTVNow from Kodi, you’ll need to make sure sign up with an email address.
cCloud TV is an excellent option to turn to for your NFL watching needs. We found working links to most of the channels that stream NFL games. The best benefit of this add-on is the fact that there are some local affiliates for the network stations, meaning you’ll be able to watch NFL games from across the country instead of just the ones shown for you locally. cCloud TV provides excess benefits beyond those who just want NFL games on Kodi, so once the NFL seasons is over (or while you’re waiting for games), you’ll find a large amount of great streaming content to enjoy.
To find the right streams in cCloud TV, simply go to the Sports section and scroll to find the streams you want, or go to Search and search for the specific channels that you’re looking for. We highly recommend the Search option as it works well. However, not every channel you’re looking for will show up if you just search. Sometimes, it is better to scroll through the All Channels section as you’ll ensure you don’t miss anything you might be looking for. cCloud organizes channels in the All Channels section by country to make your life a bit easier.
Bennu (Phoenix Reborn)
Named after the Egyptian god of rebirth, Bennu is the spiritual successor to the now-dead Phoenix Kodi add-on. What Phoenix did right Bennu promises to do even better. So far, it’s lived up to that claim, especially when it comes to live TV.
For those looking to streaming NFL games on Kodi, Bennu is possibly a must-have. In the “Bennu Live” section, you’ll find a long list of live TV channels. The focus is mostly centered around US and UK TV channels, which is perfect for anyone looking to stream NFL games. You’ll find working streams to sports channels and working streams to OTA channels that host NFL games throughout the season. While you’ll be a bit hard-pressed to find the more localized OTA stations like you find with cCloud TV, Bennu works well and makes finding the channels you want really easy.
StreamHub is an excellent option for several reasons. First, you can find everything you’re looking for through this addon. All sports channels and OTA channels you want can be located through StreamHub under the Live TV section. Additionally, StreamHub provides multiple streaming options through the addon, which includes P2P streaming and web scrapers. StreamHub also includes a section for Android APIs, which includes Mobdro streams.
StreamHub effectively lives up to its name. It serves as a “hub” for a large number of other streaming services and options, pulled together under one roof. The StreamHub developers also offer a premium paid service for 1080p streams, which you can do if you so choose. However, we recommend against paying StreamHub for higher-quality streams. You can find great quality streams through many of these addons without having to pay up. Additionally, while some of these addons are gray-area for streaming, paying a service like StreamHub to access them may be breaking laws in your country.
To install StreamHub on Kodi, do the following:
- From your Kodi home screen, click on the Gear Symbol on the top left to go to Settings
- Click on the File Manager
- At the bottom left, select Add Source
- Where you see <None>, type in the following web address: http://archive.org/download/repository.streamhub
- Name it as Streamhub at the bottom and click OK
- Return to the home screen and click on Addons
- Click on the Package Symbol on the top left
- Click on Install from zip
- Locate the StreamHub name and click on it
- Click on the .zip file located there. You should receive a successful installation message on the top right in a few seconds.
- Return to the screen where you found Install from zip and then click on Install from repository
- Locate the StreamHub Repository, click on it, and then click on Video addons
- Click on StreamHub and then click on Install
You will find StreamHub alongside your other video addons.
Made in Canada IPTV
Don’t let the name fool you here. Made in Canada IPTV may be “made in Canada”, but it also serves up a rather healthy portion of American TV. That includes a large number of US TV sports options. You’ll find OTA channels that broadcast NFL games as well as a good number of US cable sports channels on here.
Made in Canada IPTV also utilizes AceStream, a P2P streaming option. Anyone who wants to utilize AceStream is advised to use a VPN, as P2P streaming services tend to draw more attention from ISPs, even when used for legitimate streaming options.
We’ve found that the Made in Canada IPTV streams load fast and in excellent quality. This is a great option for anyone looking to find NFL games for the 2017-2018 season. Streams are easy to find in the Live TV section and well organized for easy searching.
SportsDevil is one of our least favorite options, but it IS an option. Why do we dislike SportsDevil? For one, it’s not user-friendly. The streams you’re looking for are there, but they just aren’t easy to find. Instead of categorizing these streams easily for you, SportsDevil simply lists the websites where those streams exist. You’ll need to spend some time up to your elbows in links to find ones that work, and have the games you want.
Speaking generally, you’ll find that SportsDevil does list working links to the major sports networks that carry NFL games. That includes local OTA channels as well. But if you’re going to use SportsDevil, you’re going to have to work for it. SportsDevil serves as the backbone or “dependency” for a large number of other live TV addons that carry sports streams. Those addons typically do a better job of finding streams in SportsDevil. There’s a good chance that you’re going to need SportsDevil installed anyway since so many other addons rely on it find working NFL streams, but we don’t recommend you try to use SportsDevil as a standalone addon to find your streams.
More Live TV Addon Options
Love the sports options and looking for more live TV? We’ve covered a fairly large number of addons that provide not just live sports like NFL games, but all kinds of live TV and on-demand movies and TV streaming. We recommend the following guides:
NFL Network Agreements
We mentioned network agreements a bit in the introduction. These agreements limit which games the major networks can actually play, through which affiliates, and on what days. It’s important to understand how these agreements impact what you watch and where for two few key reasons:
- Network agreements influence which sites we recommend for streaming NFL games online
- Network agreements impact which games you may not be able to easily watch
Here’s a quick summary of NFL streaming and broadcast agreements:
NBC (thought 2022): Some Thursday games, occasional Saturday games, one wild-card playoff game, one divisional playoff game, Sunday night games
CBS (through 2017): Mostly Thursday games, occasional Saturday games, most AFC playoff matches
FOX (through 2022): Mostly NFC Sunday matches, most NFC playoff games, 2017 Super Bowl
ESPN (through 2021): Monday night football, one wild-card playoff match;
NFL Network (through 2022): Thursday night football, at least one Sunday game
Networks pay big for these contracts, with the hopes of capturing significant advertising dollars. When looking for the best places to stream NFL games online, we paid special attention to where you can stream from these networks through local affiliates for when the games you want are not being shown in your area. Most options provide some games, although you will be hard pressed to find every possible game and you will experience some quality issues.
Watch NFL Games Online Free With Your Current Provider
If you already have a cable provider, you can catch a lot of games online for free by logging into the major network websites. NBC, CBS, and FOX all allow you to login to their generic, non-local websites to watch live TV streaming. CBS now includes NFL games through its online live streaming. NBC and FOX both have regional restrictions for their online streaming. Some viewers may need to use a VPN in order to stream NFL games free online through NBC or FOX.
That said, these free online streaming options are only available if you already have a pay TV provider.