How to Watch The NFL Preseason 2023
The NFL preseason is a time of anticipation and excitement for football fans. It offers a glimpse of the upcoming season, and it's the first chance to see new players and coaches in action. To make sure you don't miss a single game, we've put together a comprehensive guide on how to watch the NFL preseason 2023. In this article, we'll discuss the channels that broadcast preseason games, the schedule, and the best TV plans and streaming options for watching your favorite teams.
Channels Broadcasting NFL Preseason Games
Most NFL preseason games are broadcast locally on each team's TV affiliate network. These local channels offer coverage of in-market games, allowing fans to watch their favorite teams in action. To access these channels, you'll need a TV plan that includes local networks or an over-the-air (OTA) antenna.
In addition to local broadcasts, several national channels air select preseason games. These channels include the NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video, CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC. To watch these games, you'll need a TV subscription that includes these channels or access to the respective streaming platforms.
NFL Preseason Schedule 2023
The 2023 NFL preseason kicks off with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, August 3, in Canton, Ohio. Preseason matchups continue for the next three weeks, concluding on Sunday, August 27. The fourth and final week of the NFL preseason is a bye week, as college football makes its full return over Labor Day weekend.
Best TV Plans for Watching NFL Preseason
The ideal TV plan for watching the NFL preseason depends on which teams you want to follow. We've broken down our viewing recommendations based on game type, using the schedule provided above as a reference.
For in-market preseason games, an OTA antenna is the best option. This allows you to watch games without a monthly subscription fee. To learn more about OTA antennas and finding the right one for you, refer to our free viewing options section below.
NFL+ (formerly NFL Game Pass) is the only way to watch every out-of-market preseason game, with plans starting at just $4.99 a month. While there are typically device restrictions for live games, you can watch preseason matchups on any device with NFL app support.
To watch national broadcasts on CBS, FOX, and NBC, you can use an OTA antenna. However, for access to ESPN and NFL Network, you'll need a TV subscription. If you plan to watch NFL games beyond the preseason, we recommend YouTube TV as our favorite service for local and national games. YouTube TV is also the new home of NFL Sunday Ticket.
How to Watch NFL Preseason for Free
Get Free Local Channels
By using an OTA antenna, you can watch some NFL preseason games for free. This requires a one-time purchase of an antenna, which allows you to access local NFL team affiliate stations and regional channels that air national games.
Our recommended antenna is the Mohu Leaf 50. This antenna offers a 60-mile range and a slim design. However, you may need a stronger antenna if you live in a rural area. We cover several excellent antenna options in our Best OTA Antennas guide.
Verify Channels in Your Area
Before purchasing an antenna, it's important to verify the channels available in your area. Enter your zip code into the Federal Communications Commission's Reception Map Tool to see which channels you can access. The map will display channel callsigns in your area, and you can click on each one to view the channel's tower distance.
The distance from these towers will determine the type of antenna you need. As mentioned earlier, we generally recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 for its range and design, but you may require a stronger option if you live further away from the towers.
Watching NFL Preseason Games: A Summary
While catching NFL preseason games isn't as straightforward as tuning in to regular-season matches, there are several options available for fans. Most preseason games air locally on affiliate channels, with some nationally televised games on NFL Network and other channels like Amazon Prime Video, CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC.
For local team supporters, an OTA antenna is the simplest way to watch preseason games for free. If your team plays in a nationally televised game, you may need a TV subscription to access channels like ESPN and NFL Network. For fans of non-local teams, NFL+ offers streaming access to out-of-market preseason games. The streaming service also provides national games limited to mobile viewing only.
Author: Dan Anderson