The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the United States, with 160 million viewers annually. Whether you’re watching from your phone, Android TV or at a friend’s place, we want to help you watch the Super Bowl. Here’s how to legally watch Super Bowl LII (2018) in the U.S.. Thankfully, it’s a little easier than it was last year.
When does Super Bowl LII air and what channel? Here are the essential details, According to NBC Sports:
- Air date and time: Sunday, February 4th at 6:30PM EST/3:30PM PST.
- Channel: NBC (local NBC affiliate for most people).
- Alternative: NBC Sports app (or website). The website doesn’t ask for login details and shows a “coverage will begin shortly” screen. This may be a free option, but it may also require cable TV login details.
- Compatibility: NBC Sports has a list of supported web browsers, apps, and platforms.
Those are the official spots to watch the game. However, there are a ton of other places to watch as well.
A host of piracy sites will do the job, but they aren’t great and we don’t recommend them for obvious reasons. There are some legal streaming options for Super Bowl LII, though. Here are a few:
- Yahoo Sports – Yahoo will be streaming Super Bowl LII for free through its official sports app via a deal with the NFL and Verizon. The app is available on iOS and Android.
- NFL Mobile – NBC Sports lists the official NFL Mobile app as a viable streaming alternative. We have seen other sites mention it as part of the NFL and Verizon deal. However, we’re not sure if you have to be a Verizon customer, need a subscription, or if it’s all totally free.
- Internet TV services – Internet TV is making a big splash right now. YouTube TV, Hulu TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue are the big dogs. These are all a little spotty for Super Bowl LII coverage, though. They have NBC local affiliate channels, but in most places NBC is listed as “on demand,” which means waiting 24 hours to actually watch the Super Bowl. NBC live streaming is available in some markets and all the services have ways to see what channels are available in your area. Here is Hulu’s. If NBC live streaming is available in your area and you use these services, you’re all set! Otherwise, you may need to look elsewhere to watch the game live.
Streaming services are a good way to watch the game. Most of them are run by huge companies that can handle large streaming audiences. This generally grants a level of stability you don’t get with piracy sites.
Digital TV antenna
The game will also air on local NBC affiliates. Those who live in cities (or close to them) or otherwise have an antenna to get local channels can watch the game for free without doing anything special. Antennas are relatively inexpensive, depending on what range you need. Plus you get free TV all year with them. DTV channels also often air in 720p HD, the same resolution as cable TV.
- Coverage maps: The FTC has a coverage map of DTV services in your area. All you have to do is find out how far the NBC tower is from your house and buy an antenna with enough power. For instance, if the tower is 20 miles away, you need an antenna with at least 20 miles of range in order to pick it up. We recommend going higher, as getting it right on the money can result in a fuzzy picture.
- Where to buy: You have a few options if you don’t already own one of these. Best Buy or your local electronics store is your best bet. These usually run for under $100. If you live outside of the city by a fair distance, a more powerful and more expensive antenna set-up may be required.
The cost for this one is a little larger up front than streaming options. However, this is a one-time purchase and you get TV even after the Super Bowl. We’re not sure why more cord cutters don’t use these for local TV at least.
Here are a few other ideas for those struggling to get these solutions working. They’re roundabout solutions, often-suggested solutions by others, and ideas for those who simply can’t get the game to stream.
- Attend a Super Bowl party: We know, it’s a lame idea, but we’re trying to cover all of our bases here. Obviously, a Super Bowl party has the Super Bowl! We’re so smart.
- Go to a sports bar: Same thing as the Super Bowl party. It could be lame, but at least there will be food and refreshments!
- Follow the event on social media: This one won’t actually show you the game, except in snippets, but following the NFL’s official pages on websites like Twitter and Facebook will get you up-to-the-minute updates. Google Search shows live scores. You can also follow sports blogs, personalities, individual team accounts, and more. They often post short highlight videos or GIFs during the game too. It’s not comparable to streaming, but it’s something.
Again, these aren’t amazing ideas, but we’re covering all of the bases.
Amazon’s Super Bowl ad preview teases new voices for Alexa (Update: full version released)
If we missed any good ways to watch or stream Super Bowl LII, tell us in the comments!