How to Watch the Super Bowl Without Cable
This weekend, everyone’s going to be doing exactly one thing. OK, make that two things, because the Puppy Bowl is on. But Super Bowl 50 is coming, and it’s sure to be one of—if not the—most-watched night of television this year. You really want to watch it. But many of you also don’t have cable. Fear not: Here’s a quick and dirty list of things you likely already have that will bring the game to you.
If you have a Roku, Xbox One, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Android TV:
You need to download the CBS Sports app, or the NFL app. You won’t need anything else. Stop reading, close your tab, we’re done here.
If you have a smartphone and a Chromecast:
Download the CBS Sports app for iOS or Android to your tablet or phone and cast it to your TV. You have to be using Wi-Fi, though—if you’re using a cellular data connection, you’ll only be able to stream the game if you’re a Verizon Wireless customers. Sorry, Sunday afternoon bus passengers who have AT&T. Streaming the game on your phone will not work.
If you’ve been gifted someone’s cable login and for some reason the aforementioned app doesn’t work (your phone broke, you lost your phone, you threw up on your tablet), you can opt to use that. Just stream the game live and cast it to your TV. A reminder: A Chromecast costs $35.
If you have Verizon:
As mentioned, you can stream the game via NFL Mobile from Verizon for free. (The stream will include the commercials, too!) If you want (I don’t know why you’d want, but if you want), you can livestream the game via Verizon’s go90 app instead. Verizon tells me it’s a mirrored experience, so one app is not better than the other. Also, livestreaming via the CBS Sports app to a mobile device is only available for Verizon users, so you could just use the CBS app.
Congratulations, Sunday afternoon bus passengers with Verizon: You can stream the game for free!
…And then, if you have a Chromecast and Verizon:
You could stream it from your phone or tablet to your TV. Because again, Sunday is all about time spent staring at an honest-to-god-television.
If you have absolutely none of the aforementioned items:
Wow. OK. You are making this so hard on yourself, but all hope is not lost. One easy option is Slingbox: Slingbox uses what’s called placeshifting tech to…well, basically “sling” TV from one place to another. This solution will require you to have someone’s cable login, so start making some friends or cozying up to your parents this week. You’ll also need a TV with component outputs—but you can get an HDMI to component converter box to solve this (they aren’t terribly expensive). Slingbox is advertising a few Super Bowl deals right now, though, making it an even sweeter option if you were considering dropping some dough to catch the game. Right now, you can save $70 on Slingbox 500, and there are a few other worthwhile price cuts.
If you just want to pick up a regular, run-of-the-mill HDTV antenna, your choice cup runneth over. It’s a relatively affordable investment, and easy to set up.
Now, if any of this is sounding like too much work, you can always call up Comcast to come install cable—but that’s for quitters only. And the Super Bowl is for winners.