Football season is here again, which means its time to figure out the best way to stream all the NFL action without needing an expensive cable subscription. If you use a streaming device like a Firestick or Android TV box, you actually have more options than ever to watch NFL games live and on-demand.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through how to watch NFL live streams and football content on your Firestick, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield or any other Android TV device. Whether you want to use official NFL apps, live TV streaming services, or even free (but risky) options, we’ve got you covered. Follow along for pro tips to get the most NFL action on your Android TV or Firestick this season!
An Introduction to NFL Streaming
Before we dig in, let’s quickly discuss how NFL broadcasting and streaming works. NFL games air on a bunch of different television channels and streaming platforms due to various media rights deals. This can make finding certain games complicated, but streaming makes access much easier.
Here’s a quick overview of where NFL games air:
- NBC – Sunday Night Football
- CBS and Fox – Sunday daytime games
- ESPN – Monday Night Football
- Amazon Prime – Thursday Night Football
- NFL Network – Assorted Thursday, Sunday and Monday games
This means you’ll need access to these major channels in order to watch all nationally televised NFL action. Fortunately, most major live TV streaming services carry these channels, making them a easy option for cord cutters. We’ll cover these in more detail shortly.
In addition, the NFL offers a few standalone streaming services like NFL+ and the NFL App for watching games and content without needing full live TV service.
Now let’s look at the best way to stream NFL games on your Firestick, Fire TV or Android TV device this season.
Official NFL Apps & Services
Let’s start with the official streaming apps offered directly by the NFL:
The NFL App provides a free way to stream NFL content like highlights, news, and some live national games. While it won’t give you full game coverage, the NFL App is a great complementary streaming option.
Good For: Highlights, News, Some Live Games
Limitations: Limited live game selection
Based on 2021 data, the NFL App averaged 4.6 million viewers during the regular season for its live game streams. While not every game is available, it‘s a superb free option for NFL fans.
NFL+ is the league‘s official subscription streaming service that launched in 2022. For $4.99/month, you get live out-of-market preseason games, live local and primetime regular season games on mobile, live game audio, the NFL film archive, ad-free streaming, and more.
Price: $4.99/month or $29.99/year
Good For: Out-of-Market Games, Audio Streams, Film Archives
Limitations: Mobile only (no native Firestick app)
There are some excellent perks with NFL+ for on-the-go streaming, but limitations around device availability at launch. You‘ll need to screen cast from your mobile device for now.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video provides live streams for the new Thursday Night Football package as part of an 11-year exclusive deal. Any Prime member can access TNF live streams and on demand replays.
Price: Included with $14.99/month Prime membership
Good For: Thursday Night Football
Limitations: Only Thursday games, need Prime membership
This provides Amazon Firestick and Fire TV owners a great way to watch Thursday Night Football at no extra cost if you already pay for Prime.
Peacock is NBC‘s streaming service that will air all Sunday Night Football matchups live this season. You‘ll need a $4.99 Premium account to access live SNF streams.
Price: $4.99/month with ads or $9.99/month ad-free
Good For: Sunday Night Football
Limitations: Need Premium account, only Sunday night games
According to 2021 Nielsen data, Sunday Night Football averaged 19.3 million viewers throughout last season – even more than other primetime matchups.
The main benefits of these official NFL streaming options are reliability, quality, and easy access if you already subscribe to services like Prime or Peacock. Limitations are fewer aired games compared to live TV services.
Next up, let‘s look at full live TV streaming providers for more NFL game coverage.
NFL Streaming with Live TV Services
Live TV streaming services have become extremely popular with cordcutters who want network and cable channels delivered over the internet. Most major services provide CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network and more – essentially replicating a cable package.
Here‘s a comparison of the top live TV streaming providers for NFL games:
Service|Price|Free Trial|Top NFL Channels
fuboTV|$69.99/month|7 days|NFL Network, CBS, Fox, NBC
YouTube TV|$64.99/month|Yes|CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN
Hulu Live TV|$69.99/month|Yes|CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN
Sling TV|$35-$50/month|No|ESPN, Fox (select markets)
DirecTV Stream|$69.99/month|Yes|CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN
I always recommend taking full advantage of the free trial periods to test streaming quality before committing. Also consider channel lineups, DVR availability, number of simultaneous streams, and whether your favorite team‘s games will be available in your region on each service.
Let‘s look at three of the most popular options in more detail:
fuboTV is one of the best live TV streaming providers for NFL fans, offering games on NFL Network, CBS, Fox, NBC and more. An Elite plan with 205+ channels is also available.
Free Trial: 7 days
Limitations: No ESPN networks
Recommended For: NFL Network access and most regional games
YouTube TV provides 85+ popular cable channels, including NFL availability on CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network. Includes unlimited DVR.
Free Trial: Yes
Limitations: Limited customization
Recommended For: Broad channel lineup at a fair price
Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV offers 75+ live channels including NFL games on CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN. Cloud DVR storage and extras like Disney+ bundle available.
Free Trial: Yes
Limitations: 50 hour DVR limit for base package
Recommended For: Hulu users who want live TV
The main benefits of live TV streaming for NFL fans are convenience and the integration of multiple major broadcast and cable channels. Limitations are higher prices than standalone services and regional blackout restrictions.
Watch NFL Games For Free (But Beware Risks)
In addition to official streams, there are some free ways to stream NFL games online through unauthorized third-party apps and sites this 2022 season. These should come with serious caution about quality, safety and legality however.
Some free NFL streaming options that can work, but with big risks:
Free Sports Streaming Sites – Sites like Sportsurge and Crackstreams host user-uploaded live NFL streams, however ads, malware and quality issues are very common.
Kodi Add-ons – Add-ons like The Crew and Rising Tides may have NFL live streams from internet feeds, but reliability varies widely and many shut down quickly.
Free IPTV Apps – Apps like THETA or HD Sports promise free NFL TV channels, but stream stability is usually poor and shutdowns are frequent.
The main downsides of free streaming options:
- Stream quality and reliability is terrible
- Malware and invasive ads are constant problems
- Legality is questionable without broadcast rights
My recommendation is avoiding free streams unless absolutely necessary. While tempting for free access, poor quality and system instability just aren‘t worth the hassle for most fans.
However, if you do want to experiment with any free streaming sources, be sure to use a VPN for privacy and security:
A VPN like Surfshark can help avoid malware, block invasive ads, and keep your streaming activities private from prying eyes.
Overall, while free NFL live stream options do pop up every season, quality and reliability will be subpar. Official sources are best when possible.
Are NFL Streams Legal?
One common question NFL streamers have is whether their streaming habits are actually legal. Here‘s a quick rundown on the legality of NFL live streams:
Official streams from apps like NFL, Prime Video, Peacock, and live TV services are 100% legal under broadcasting rights deals. You can safely stream from any certified provider.
Free third-party streams occupy a gray area legally. Technically they violate copyrights by redistributing content without permission. However, the NFL focuses punishment on the stream operators rather than individual viewers. Fans likely face minimal personal legal risks streaming, but quality concerns remain.
Using a VPN to access any streaming source is fully legal. VPNs simply provide online privacy and security. Some even provide malware protection.
The NFL remains focused on punishing larger pirate streaming sites and services over individual viewers. But quality and reliability will always be in doubt on unauthorized free streams.
Your best bet is using official sources. But if you do use any sketchy free streams, a VPN will keep you safest.
Setting Up NFL Streams on Your Device
Want to get the best NFL streaming experience on your Firestick, Fire TV, or Android TV system? Here are some tips:
1. Get a Good VPN
Sign up for a top-rated VPN like Surfshark to protect your privacy while streaming. VPNs can also help bypass regional blackout restrictions.
2. Download NFL & Live TV Apps
Search your device‘s app store to add apps like the NFL App, Prime Video, Peacock, fuboTV or other services covered above.
3. Sign Up for Free Trials
Take advantage of any free trials available so you can test streaming quality before paying. Most major live TV providers offer 7+ day trials.
4. Get the Best Picture Quality
Adjust your streaming quality settings to maximize picture. Turn off WiFi power saving, use 5Ghz bands, and adjust quality options.
With just a few simple steps, you can be streaming crystal-clear NFL games on your Firestick or Android TV system this season. Enjoy!
NFL Streaming FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about streaming NFL games through Firestick, Fire TV, and other streaming media players:
What‘s the best free way to stream NFL games?
The official NFL App provides some live national game streams for free. Quality is limited, but it‘s a legal free option.
Can I really watch NFL live streams on Firestick and Android TV?
Absolutely! Most major streaming services and NFL apps are available. Just download, subscribe, and start streaming.
Which live TV streaming service is best for NFL games?
fuboTV and YouTube TV offer the most comprehensive NFL coverage across CBS, Fox, NBC, NFL Network & ESPN at reasonable prices.
Is it illegal to watch NFL streams from unauthorized sites?
Technically it violates copyrights, but the NFL rarely pursues individual viewers. Quality concerns and malware risks are more pressing.
Should I use a VPN for NFL streaming?
A VPN provides protection, anonymity and can sometimes bypass regional blackout restrictions. Surfshark is an excellent option.
What‘s the best way to avoid buffering when streaming NFL games?
Use a wired Ethernet connection if possible, disable WiFi power saving, close other apps, and ensure your internet plan meets speed requirements.
I hope this guide helps you enjoy NFL streaming using your Firestick, Fire TV Stick, Nvidia Shield or other Android TV streaming device. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!