Teams: New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles
Date/Time: February 4th; 6:30 p.m. ET
Can you believe another Super Bowl is around the corner? It seems like just yesterday we were seeing the New England Patriots come back from a 28–3 deficit. Well, the Patriots are back again this year, and they’ll be going against a focused squad in the Philadelphia Eagles.
There’s a lot of history riding on this game, whether it ends up being Tom Brady’s 6th Super Bowl ring or the Eagles’ first ever in franchise history. The game airs on February 4, so it’s time to get serious and figure out how we’re going to watch Super Bowl LII.
To stream the big game, you need to find a streaming service that carries NBC. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of each streaming service so you can decide what the best way to livestream the Super Bowl is for you. Here’s a breakdown of your options.
Live a Little
#1 YouTube TV: Your most reliable way to watch the Super Bowl
What we like about it: Tons of NBC affiliates
Drawbacks: Not available across the country yet
Who it’s perfect for: Sports fans who already watch highlights on YouTube
YouTube TV offers the most NBC affiliates, which means it’s your best bet to stream the Super Bowl online. You can try YouTube TV out and watch the Super Bowl for free (if you time it right) with 7-day free trial.
Prices and plans for YouTube TV
YouTube TV offers only one channel package for $35 a month, and it includes over 55 channels. Compared to other streaming services, $35 is a pretty great price for everything you’re getting. And since you’re here to watch Super Bowl LII, we’ll just go ahead and tell you the best part about YouTube TV is that it carries tons of NBC streaming affiliates, for a great price.
Of course, “chances are” is no guarantee. So first things first: check if Youtube TV offers services in your area. We’re not sure why, but YouTube TV is rolling its service out across the country pretty slowly. Make sure you see your market here, and if you do, you’re good to go.
With that box checked off, we need to figure out if you can stream NBC with YouTube TV in your area. In fact, we have a list to help you out.
Here are the markets that do not stream NBC live with YouTube TV:
- Baton Rouge
- Cedar Rapids
- Colorado Springs
- Des Moines
- Fresno, Ft. Smith
- Grand Rapids
- Greenville (North Carolina)
- Little Rock
- New Orleans
- Oklahoma City
- Springfield (Missouri)
So, if you live in any of these markets, you can’t stream the Super Bowl with YouTube TV. Sorry. But don’t start crying yet—you may be able to watch the Super Bowl online with a different streaming service.
Watching the Super Bowl with YouTube TV
We’ve tested out YouTube TV, and we were pretty impressed with the results. It doesn’t quite have the streaming quality of a PlayStation Vue, but it comes in as a close second. Like most streaming services, we encountered a few instances of buffering, but those moments were pretty rare with YouTube TV. Navigating the interface was easy enough, and the system made legitimately good suggestions on what to watch next.
Here’s something else we really liked about YouTube TV: your subscription comes with YouTube Red and unlimited cloud DVR storage. Let’s talk about YouTube Red first. You know how those annoying ads come up every time you want to watch highlights on YouTube? YouTube Red takes away all those ads so you can just dive right into your content.
Secondly, unlimited cloud DVR is extremely convenient. You can record literally everything and watch it whenever works best for you. You can record the entire Super Bowl and watch it whenever you want. There is one small catch, though—your content deletes after nine months. Still, that should be plenty of time for you to get caught up with all your favorite shows.
YouTube TV Device Compatibility
You can stream the Super Bowl live with pretty much any streaming device, but here’s a complete list just in case.
#2 Hulu with Live TV: Watch the Super Bowl and binge-watch your favorite shows
What we like about it: Lots of on-demand content to enjoy
Drawbacks: Somewhat complicated interface
Who it’s perfect for: Fans who love both live TV and on-demand streaming
If you’re the type of person who needs to unwind with some binge-watching after a stressful game, you’ll really like Hulu with Live TV. You can check out Hulu Live for free with a 7-day trial.
Pricing and plans for Hulu with Live TV
Currently, Hulu Live offers only one channel package with over 55 channels, including NBC, USA, and the Olympics Channel, for $39.99 a month. Hulu Live TV’s huge selling point is that it offers the most NBC affiliates of any streaming service out there. In other words, Hulu with Live TV gives you the best chance of watching the Super Bowl in your area.
To make sure you can stream the Super Bowl in your area, scroll down to where it says “View all channels in your area” on Hulu’s website and enter your ZIP code.
It may not have the cheap price and unlimited cloud DVR YouTube TV offers, but Hulu makes up for it with tons of on-demand streaming options. Along with your live 55 channels, Hulu throws in its entire streaming library. So if you do like the sound of on-demand streaming, Hulu offers a pretty great package. But if you’re not the type who cares about binge-watching shows like Handmaid’s Tale, Seinfeld, or Rick and Morty, Hulu Live TV may not be the best choice to watch the Super Bowl online.
Watching the Super Bowl with Hulu with Live TV
Considering Hulu’s been on the streaming scene for a while, we expected the streaming quality to be pretty good. Well, we’ve tested it out, and we’re happy to say that Hulu Live does indeed offer very strong livestreaming. It isn’t quite as smooth as the service’s on-demand streaming, but it’s pretty close. Of course, the most important factor with streaming quality is your internet speed. Aim for at least 5 Mbps, but we recommend something faster.
Hulu Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR with your subscription. That may sound like a lot at first glance, but trust us when we say 50 hours fills up quickly. If you’re recording games most weekends, you’ll run out of space before too long. Granted, if you can stay on top of your content and delete it after watching, you can make the 50 hours work.
Hulu with Live TV device compatibility
You can watch the Super Bowl online using Hulu Live on pretty much any streaming device.
#3 DIRECTV NOW: Stream the Super Bowl plus tons of other channels
What we like about it: Cheapest price per channel
Drawbacks: No cloud DVR
Who it’s perfect for: Fans who live the channel surfer life
If you’re a Super Bowl fan who wants as many channels as possible, you’ll probably like the sound of DIRECTV NOW. You can try out the 7-day trial, and if you time it right, you can stream the Super Bowl for free.
Pricing and plans for DIRECTV NOW
DIRECTV NOW offers four different channel packages, each one building on the previous. To watch NBC and livestream Super Bowl LII, all you need is the most basic (and least expensive) channel package, the Live a Little. This package offers NBC (with 44 local NBC affiliates streaming the Super Bowl), ESPN, TNT, and over 60 other channels for $35 a month. Yeah, that’s the cheapest price per channel available from any streaming service. Of course, a huge reason why people cut the cord in the first place is to not pay for so many channels, so whether this is an upside or not really depends on what you’re into.
If you are the type of person who’s all about variety, you can always upgrade your DIRECTV NOW channel package to get as many as 120 channels for $70 a month. Again, to watch the Super Bowl, you won’t need to upgrade. But if you want to stream channels like ESPN U, NBATV, or the SEC Network, you can pay more to pick those up. It’s your life.
Watching the Super Bowl with DIRECTV NOW
With DIRECTV NOW, you’ll probably encounter an instance or two of buffering, which can be problematic when it comes to watching the Super Bowl. The last thing you want is to have the stream bug out right before a game-winning play. But if your internet speed is around 12 Mbps, you shouldn’t run into many issues. Considering that and the fact that DIRECTV NOW’s interface is probably the easiest to navigate, it’s a decent choice for watching the Super Bowl.
Now here’s a bit of bad news—DIRECTV NOW doesn’t offer any cloud DVR at the moment. We’re confident it will roll out with cloud DVR sometime this year, but it certainly won’t be before the Super Bowl airs. If you want to watch the Super Bowl live anyways, the lack of DVR shouldn’t be a problem. Just know if you are thinking of DIRECTV NOW in the long term, it may be a while before you get cloud DVR storage.
DIRECTV NOW device compatibility
If you like the sound of DIRECTV NOW, you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding a compatible device that lets you stream the big game.
#4 PlayStation Vue: Watch the Super Bowl with excellent streaming quality
What we like about it: Smoothest stream around
Drawbacks: A little on the expensive side
Who it’s perfect for: Fans with a PlayStation console
Don’t be confused by the name—you don’t need a PlayStation console to stream the Super Bowl with PlayStation Vue. But do keep in mind it’s the only live TV streaming service that’s compatible with PlayStation consoles. You can try out PlayStation Vue with a 5-day free trial.
Pricing and plans for PlayStation Vue
You’ve got a few package options with PlayStation Vue, but to watch the Super Bowl, you can go with the cheapest option: the Access package. It includes NBC, ESPN, FS1, and over 50 other channels for $39.99 a month.
Compared to services like DIRECTV NOW or a YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue costs a few more bucks than we’d like. But at least PlayStation makes up for it by offering top-notch streaming quality. You’ll just need to decide if the better streaming quality justifies the five extra dollars every month.
Remember that the Super Bowl streams on NBC. Make sure you can stream NBC in your area by entering your ZIP code by clicking the pin icon next to where it says “Subscribe Now.”
Watching the Super Bowl with PlayStation Vue
Like we mentioned, PlayStation Vue offers the best streaming quality around. With all the testing we’ve done with the major streaming services, PlayStation Vue maintained the smoothest stream for the longest amount of time. Where other streaming services would buffer mid-stream, PlayStation Vue stayed strong.
Keep in mind, we tested every streaming service with the same internet connection.Speaking of which, most of a streaming service’s quality rests on your internet speed, so our experience might vary a bit from yours. We suggest making sure your internet speed is at least 5 Mbps (but it probably should be higher).
Another thing PlayStation Vue has going for it is the unlimited cloud DVR. Let’s get real—sometimes life happens, and you just might not be able to be ready to watch the Super Bowl once it starts. Ideally, our schedules would revolve around football, but on the off chance something comes up, you can record the game and watch it when you can. Keep in mind that your content deletes after 28 days, so make sure to stay up to date with your recordings.
PlayStation Vue device compatibility
You can stream the Super Bowl with PlayStation Vue using pretty much any device, including PlayStation consoles.
#5 fuboTV: Watch the Super Bowl at a low price if you get NBC in your area
What we like about it: Cheap promotional price
Drawbacks: Weak NBC affiliate coverage
Who it’s perfect for: Fans who love football and soccer
If you happen to live in an area where fuboTV offers NBC coverage, it’s definitely the cheapest way to livestream the Super Bowl. You can try out fuboTV and watch the Super Bowl for free with a 7-day trial.
Pricing and plans for fuboTV
fuboTV offers just one channel package, and it includes NBC and over 60 other channels, with lots of soccer-related channels thrown in. You can get it for $19.99 a month, but that price lasts for only the first month of your subscription.
$19.99 a month to watch the Super Bowl sounds tempting, but unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that. Unless you live in a big city, chances are you won’t pick up NBC using fuboTV. In fact, fuboTV doesn’t have any kind of ZIP finder where you can see what local channels you get in your area, either. Your best bet to confirm whether or not you can stream the Super Bowl with fuboTV is to take advantage of the free trial. If you don’t see NBC in your guide, you know you’ll need to watch the Super Bowl elsewhere.
Watching the Super Bowl with fuboTV
Assuming you can watch the Super Bowl with fuboTV, you should enjoy a pretty smooth streaming experience. Granted, fuboTV isn’t quite as smooth as PlayStation Vue or Hulu with Live TV, but it’s certainly good enough. If you do go with fuboTV, we suggest having an internet speed of around 25 Mbps or more, or else chances are you’ll run into a few moments of buffering mid-stream. Hopefully nothing flares up when the game is on the line.
Along with your fuboTV subscription, you get 30 hours of cloud DVR storage. That’ll be more than enough to record everything in the Super Bowl, but trust us when we say those 30 hours will fill up quickly. You can also upgrade to 500 hours of cloud DVR storage for an extra $9.99, which is actually quite the bargain compared to other streaming services.
fuboTV device compatibility
You can stream the Super Bowl with most of the streaming devices out there.
#6 Sling TV: Almost à la carte streaming with weak NBC coverage
What we like about it: Smaller channel packages
Drawbacks: Weak NBC local coverage
Who it’s perfect for: Fans with a minimalist approach to channels
Sling TV makes our last recommendation for watching the Super Bowl online. You can try out Sling TV and watch the Super Bowl for free with a 7-day trial.
Pricing and plans for Sling TV
Sling TV offers two channel packages, but only one carries NBC, so really you have only one option if you want to watch the Super Bowl.
The Sling package that includes NBC is called Sling Blue, and it carries over 40 channels for $25 a month. The price sounds great, but there is a pretty massive catch—Sling carries only 11 local NBC affiliates. In other words, only 11 markets can stream NBC with Sling TV. Thankfully, Sling TV makes it easy to find out what local channels you get in your area. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code, and you’ll see if you can stream the Super Bowl in your area with Sling TV.
If you want more channels than the 40 Sling Blue offers, you can upgrade your package to combine Sling Orange and Sling Blue for $40 a month. You won’t need to do that to watch the Super Bowl, but if you want to add channels like ESPN, you’ll need to add Sling Orange to the equation. That’s why we say it’s almost à la carte TV.
Watching the Super Bowl with Sling TV
After all the hours we tested Sling TV, we were pretty impressed with the experience, considering how cheap it is. Sure, we noticed a few moments where the stream would fall a few seconds behind the live action, but that happens with streaming. That’s not always a deal-breaker, of course. But if you like using Twitter while watching sports, things may get spoiled with the delay. Hopefully this is an issue Sling TV fixes soon.
Nobody likes paying extra for things, but unfortunately Sling TV’s cloud DVR access costs an extra $5 a month. Then again, you probably want to watch the Super Bowl live, so it’s up to you if you’ll even need the cloud DVR.
Sling TV device compatibility
You can stream the Super Bowl with Sling TV on Apple TV and the majority of streaming devices.
#7 Wildcard: Antenna is a simple solution to watching the Super Bowl live
What we like about it: One-time purchase
Drawbacks: Only local channel access
Who it’s perfect for: Fans close to a broadcast tower
Sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. Do you remember growing up with an antenna back in the day? Well thankfully, antennas have progressed over the years, and they don’t look like massive rabbit ears extending from your television. Digital antennas nowadays are easy to slap discreetly behind your TV, and depending upon your location, they can give you local channels. The quality of the picture you get depends heavily on how close you are to a broadcast tower. Find out what channels you can get in your area by entering your ZIP code.
Of course, with an antenna, you’ll be stuck with purely local channels. But if you just want to watch the Super Bowl, an antenna makes things super easy. And before you ask, yes, we have a recommendation for the best antenna to watch the Super Bowl. You’re welcome.
#8 Wildcard: Watch the Super Bowl anywhere with the NBC Sports app:
What we like about it: Works with streaming services
Drawbacks: Potentially not as smooth of a stream
Who it’s perfect for: Fans without an NBC affiliate station nearby
If your streaming service of choice doesn’t carry an NBC station in your area and the antenna isn’t working, it’s time to download the NBC Sports app on your phone. In order to use the app, you’ll need to enter some cable or streaming credentials. Don’t worry—all of the streaming services we recommended here authenticate the app.
That being said, the NBC Sports app might not deliver the best stream around. Currently, the app has an average customer rating of 2.2 on the Apple app store, which isn’t great—especially considering the app will be pushed to its limits with so many people watching the Super Bowl at once. Still, if you don’t have any other options, the NBC Sports app can be a lifesaver when it comes to livestreaming the Super Bowl (especially if you’re on the go).
NBC Sports app device compatibility
The NBC Sports app is available pretty much anywhere you can download and stream apps.
It’s almost time for kick-off
Super Bowl LII is coming up, and you’ve got to make sure you have a plan to watch it. We’ve laid out the best options for livestreaming the Super Bowl, so now all you need is to decide what works best for you. Whether you’re a New England Patriots fan or a Philadelphia Eagles fan, let’s all root for an entertaining game.
Now we have some questions for you. What streaming service did you go with to watch the Super Bowl? What was your experience like? Please let us know in the comments below, and we’ll keep it in mind for future recommendations.