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Funny Money: How to Watch NFL Football for Little or No Money

If you’re an NFL addict, the cable companies know you’ll pay through the nose to get your football fix. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are three ways to catch most NFL games for a fraction of the cost of expensive all-access cable sports packages.


NFL Map

Like any addiction, the NFL comes with built-in costs that can only truly be known by the addicts themselves, as well as their friends and family. Fans set aside business obligations, yardwork and family time to yell at the screen for hours on end. Social costs aside, though, there are also financial ones.

Although some games technically air for free on Sunday afternoons, you have to live in a well-covered area to receive signals. Most people need to pay to watch their favorite millionaires injure each other. There’s a reason 22 NFL teams are worth more than $1 billion. It’s because the league becomes increasingly clever at sapping money away from its fans.

You don’t need to contribute to those overflowing coffers. Here are three ways to keep the NFL from running up the score on your wallet.

Cheap NFL Sunday Ticket

If you have an NFL-fan friend with DirecTV, you no doubt have fantasized about punching him in the face because he won’t stop talking about how amazing NFL Sunday Ticket is. It allows him to watch every NFL game in full for the low, low cost of a severed arm, leg and naming rights to his firstborn child.

Thanks to a marketing loophole, now you’re the one whom he’ll want to punch in the face. For some inexplicably amazing reason, a year of Sunday Ticket Max — the version that lets you watch the games on phones, computers and tablets — comes with Amazon’s $100 anniversary edition of the game Madden NFL 25.

Since NFL Sunday Ticket Max normally costs $300, the discount here is remarkable. Bear in mind that before you sign up for the offer, you’ll have to click a box that assures DirecTV that you are unable to subscribe to its service. As this helpful Kotaku article explains, it’s all a legal hoop the lawyers are making you jump through to get the goods. Feel free to brag to your friend about how you paid a third of what he did for Sunday Ticket. And don’t forget to duck when he swings at you.

Score the NFL Network for free

Longtime readers will remember how we talked about just how insecure cable companies are, willing to cough up free HBO and Showtime for those who are bold enough to ask.

In my experience, cable companies are even more giving with their sports packages, which are considerably cheaper than premium network subscriptions. Just call up customer service and mention that you’re thinking about switching to satellite because they offer cheaper packages that include the NFL Network. It may take a couple calls, but eventually you’ll find a service rep who is willing to give it to you for free in exchange for retaining your subscription.

Sports bar exploits

Why pay a cable or satellite company to pipe all the games you want to your TV when you can get a sports bar to do it for you? Join the throngs of jersey-wearing, waiter-irritating fanboys who pile into sports bars, take advantage of appetizer specials and nurse drinks through entire games.

With the right game plan, you can get through an entire day of football watching for $10 or less. Sure, you’ll have to fend off annoyed “Is there anything else I can get you guys?” at increasingly frequent and terse levels, but take comfort in the fact that most others around you are doing the same type of freeloading.

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About Phil Villarreal

Phil Villarreal writes Funny Money weekly for Money Under 30. He lives in Tucson and works for the Arizona Daily Star. He's also an author, blogger and Twitterer.

Comments

  1. please make one of these for soccer.

    MLS
    EPL
    Bundesliga
    La Liga

    etc.

    thanks

  2. Your tip about Madden 25 coming with free NFL Sunday Ticket is brilliant. My wife and I are huge football fans (she for the Seahawks and me for the 49ers) and we will certainly be looking into this. I am also a big gamer and even though I don’t usually go for sports games I will spring for this one.

  3. If you already have NFL Sunday Ticket, call and ask for $100 dollars off. That’s what they offer people who threaten to cancel their service.