Ordinary television shows have sites like Hulu where their content can be viewed online. However, for the NFL, their online content distribution strategy seems less clear.

What is the league's current policy for online content distribution, and are there currently any official online distribution channels for regular season games?

  • 1
    Better...it sounds more like you're asking about how the NFL handles streaming vs. looking for a link to watch the game. Nonetheless, i have reopened and added the "rules" tag.
    – user527
    Sep 7, 2012 at 23:07
  • There have now been a few games streamed online for free (Yahoo, Twitter), and this year Amazon Prime will stream (source) but they are pay. I believe NBC has also freely offered a wide range of streams on their website including multiple angles for their Sunday Night Football. May 25, 2017 at 20:33

3 Answers 3


There is no "legal" way to watch live streaming NFL games online without going through a cable provider. NFL does not allow any websites, even their own, to stream live NFL games. This is due to the huge contracts that the NFL has with CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN. If the NFL were to stream live games online, it would take viewers away from these stations, resulting in a loss of advertisement revenue.

If you want to watch full game replays online, after they have happened, NFL offers NFL Game Rewind. This requires a paid online subscription.

If you have you heart desired to stream a live NFL game on your computer, you can buy a special package with most of your cable providers that allows you to watch live TV on your computer. This doesn't affect the contracts that NFL has with certain stations because it is the exact picture you would be seeing if you were watching on a TV, thus giving CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN their view rankings and advertisement revenue.

In summary:

  • There is no way to watch live NFL games online unless you buy a package from your cable provider.
  • There is no free service which allows you to watch full game replays other then NFL Game Rewind.

There is an "official online distribution channel for regular season games". It's called NFL GamePass but is only available outside the US.

Within the US, games are locked up by the contracts with the broadcast networks with the exception of NFL Network games - these are sometimes available live through NFL.com (or have been in the past).


It appears that this year (2016) at least that some games will be available via Twitter.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.