The 2021 NFL season kicks off in Tampa Bay on Thursday, Sept. 9 with Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champs hosting the Dallas Cowboys on NBC. It will be the first game in the Buccaneers‘ title defense Brady’s bid for a seventh Super Bowl ring. It will also mark the first game back for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who missed most of last season after suffering a gruesome ankle injury in early October.
Kickoff is set for Thursday, Sept. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET (5:20 p.m. PT) on NBC. Here’s what you need to know to watch without cable.
Most Thursday Night Football games will be broadcast on Fox, NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video. The first Thursday night game between the Cowboys and Bucs, however, is technically part of NBC’s Sunday Night Football schedule. The rest of the Thursday night games in September will be broadcast just on NFLN, with Fox’s and Prime Video’s coverage starting in October.
Check out the full Thursday Night Football schedule here and our recommendations for the best ways to watch NFL without cable throughout the season.
How to stream tonight’s game
US residents don’t need a cable or satellite TV subscription in order to watch NBC — or authenticate an account in order to stream the games on NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app. All of the major live TV streaming services include NBC, and you can use a live TV streaming subscription to log in to NBC Sports livestreams online. Not every service carries your local NBC station, however, so check the links below to make sure it’s available where you live.
If you live in an area with good reception, you can watch NFL games shown on NBC for free just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.
Those who are fine with watching on phones or tablets, meanwhile, can also use the Yahoo Sports app to stream the game for free.
What about Peacock?
All of NBC’s regular-season NFL games will be available to stream on its Peacock streaming service, so long as you pay for one of its “Premium” subscriptions.
There are two of these tiers, a $5 per month “Premium” option that has ads (when watching non-live content) and a $10 per month “Premium Plus” that will stream non-live content ad-free (and download some content to watch offline).
Peacock will show NBC’s full slate of Sunday Night Football games, which includes the first Thursday night game to kick off the season. You will, however, need one of the service’s Premium plans to watch Sunday Night Football live and full-game replays, though highlights are available on the free tier.
The ad-supported Premium plan costs $5 a month, and the ad-free Premium Plus plan costs $10 a month.
Read our Peacock review.
Sling TV’s $35-a-month Blue plan includes NBC. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.
Note: This version of Sling TV does not include ESPN. For that, you’ll need to switch to the similarly priced Orange plan or do the combined $50 per month Orange and Blue bundle.
Read our Sling TV review.
All of the live TV streaming services above offer free trials (except Peacock, which just has a free tier that doesn’t stream live NFL games), allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our live-TV streaming services guide.