Live NFL games are the most watched programs on TV. As the new season approaches, many fans want to know how to watch their favorite teams for the most affordable price.
Football fans may compare NFL+ vs. Sunday Ticket and wonder which service is best for their needs. This guide shares our thoughts after testing the two services to help you decide which is best to watch live NFL games.
What’s the Difference Between NFL+ and Sunday Ticket?
There is one key difference between NFL+ and NFL Sunday Ticket. The former lets you watch local and primetime games on a mobile device, while the latter allows you to watch all out-of-market Sunday games.
NFL+ is best for fans who travel a lot, don’t want to deal with an antenna, or don’t mind watching games on a mobile device.
NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV is best for avid fans who don’t want to miss their favorite NFL team on Sundays.
However, there are other key differences you may want to keep in mind if you are looking to stream NFL games.
NFL+ vs. Sunday Ticket: Pricing
When you compare NFL Sunday Ticket vs. NFL+, the cost is the other significant difference you will see.
Here is a pricing breakdown of the two services.
|Plan||Cost||Free Trial? (Y/N)||Pre-Season Games? (Y/N)||Try|
|ST + YouTube TV||$349/Yr.||N||Varies|
|ST + NFL RedZone + YouTube TV||$399/Yr.||N||Varies|
|ST w/out YouTube TV||$449/Yr.||N||N|
|ST w/out YouTube TV + NFL RedZone||$489||N||N|
NFL+ offers a seven-day free trial to test the app. This type of offer isn’t available for Sunday Ticket. Fortunately, YouTube regularly runs money-saving deals to attract new subscribers.
What Can You Watch on NFL+?
The NFL Plus streaming service is an excellent option for hardcore football fans. It’s not for casual fans who are happy watching games on their CBS or FOX local broadcast affiliates.
Here is what you can watch on the streaming platform if you have the base plan.
Live out-of-market preseason games: You can stream preseason games on your mobile device. For example, if you are a Dallas Cowboys fan who lives in Oregon, you can watch their preseason games.
Live local and primetime regular and postseason games: You’re able to stream all local games via the NFL streaming service. It’s also possible to watch Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, and Thursday Night Football on the platform.
You can only watch live games on your mobile device. If you have an over-the-air antenna, you’re already able to watch games available in your local TV market. This means that you may not need the service.
Live game audio: If you cannot watch games, you can listen to live game audio for every game of the season. This can be particularly helpful for frequent travelers or people who want to listen to out-of-market Sunday games.
NFL library programming: A subscription to the app lets you watch NFL Network live on your mobile device. You also receive access to the NFL’s library of on-demand content ad-free. This includes shows like Hard Knocks, A Football Life, and more.
If you get the NFL Network through your live TV streaming service, you already get most, if not all, of the content.
When you opt for NFL+ Premium, you receive everything from the base plan, plus several other perks. These include:
- Condensed, full-game replays you can watch across devices, including your TV
- All 22 Coaches Films
- The ability to watch teams outside your market soon after their game is over
If you don’t need live games and are fine with replays, the Premium option could be for you.
NFL RedZone: If you select the premium upgrade, you get access to NFL RedZone. This is an affordable way to get the popular network.
What Can You Watch on NFL Sunday Ticket?
NFL Sunday Ticket is the best choice for fans who want to watch NFL games without a TV provider.
It lets you watch all out-of-market Sunday games. This means if you’re a Los Angeles Chargers fan who lives in Minnesota, you can watch all of their games.
The sports streaming service airs no other games. If you don’t have access to your local broadcast affiliates, you cannot access those games.
Furthermore, if you have no way to stream ESPN, you will miss Monday Night Football. If that doesn’t matter to you, the package is a fantastic way to get out-of-market NFL games.
You may not have access to other games if you only have Sunday Ticket via YouTube Primetime channels. However, if you subscribe to it with your YouTube TV membership, you can watch local regular season games and any pre-season games airing on the live TV platform.
You can even add a subscription to NFL RedZone to either offering.
If cost is not a concern and you need to watch NFL games live, Sunday Ticket is the better choice.
NFL Sunday Ticket vs. NFL+: Interface
The user interface is often important to many cord-cutters. Differences in cost with NFL+ vs. Sunday Ticket can partially be attributed to the discrepancy between interfaces.
NFL+’s user interface isn’t very robust. It looks more like a website than what you’d expect from sports streaming services. Additionally, many pages were slow in our testing of the app.
You can access the app through the standard NFL app. On a phone, you’ll see a top menu with three sections, including Home, Shows, and NFL+.
On a TV, you’ll see a top menu with four sections. These include Home, Games, Teams, and NFL+.
One nice thing about the app is that it doesn’t show you scores as a default. This is helpful if you can’t catch the live game coverage and are watching a game after completion.
In the upper right corner, you will find a profile icon. This is where you go to update your account and notification settings.
If you want to see replays of games, you can click the Games tab. This brings up games for the current season. You can also go back as far as the 2009 season to watch old games.
Read our NFL+ review to learn more.
The NFL Sunday Ticket platform is a bit more robust, but it won’t be available to access until right before the regular season begins on September 7, 2023.
We will update this post then to provide a more in-depth analysis of the Sunday Ticket user interface.
Sunday Ticket vs. NFL+: Features
Features are essential to consider when you cut the cord on cable TV. This is particularly true when you compare video streaming services that carry live sports.
Here are several of the top features that most NFL fans want to know about.
What Devices Can You Watch the Services On?
You can watch both NFL+ and Sunday Ticket on a wide variety of supported devices, along with an internet connection. It’s possible to access either on streaming media players like:
- Amazon Fire TV devices
- Apple TV
- Gaming consoles
- Roku devices
- Smart TVs
- Tivo devices
Essentially, if the device has a screen, it’s likely you can use it to watch NFL games on either platform
Many fans want to watch football on as many screens as possible. Neither platform disappoints in this regard.
NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV allows you to stream on unlimited screens from two locations. If you want to watch the NFL with minimal limitations, Sunday Ticket is a terrific choice.
NFL+ allows for five simultaneous screens. This isn’t as generous as Sunday Ticket, but is still a decent offering.
Video quality is important to many sports fans. While YouTube TV does offer a 4K add-on, games don’t broadcast in 4K.
Video quality depends largely on the distribution partner. In this case, that tops out at 1080p. The same is true for NFL+.
However, the NFL doesn’t disclose that your experience varies depending on the resolution and frame rate of the airing.
Being able to watch multiple shows simultaneously is something more cable alternatives are adding. YouTube TV tested the ability to have up to five Multiview games during March Madness 2023.
The platform claims they will be rolling that out en masse for the 2023 NFL season. In our testing, the Multiview largely worked seamlessly and allowed us to enjoy multiple games at once.
This feature is not currently available through NFL+.
While it doesn’t give you the NFL live stream, NFL+ has many features. In addition to being able to watch local games in your TV market via mobile devices, you can also get other game coverage, including audio replay of games.
You can also stream NFL preseason games. This capability is not available via Sunday Ticket. If you subscribe to YouTube TV plus Sunday Ticket, you may get some preseason games, but not all.
Additionally, you can access playoff games through NFL+, with the same restrictions as regular season games. This is not available via Sunday Ticket.
Additional features aside, avid NFL fans may not be satisfied with NFL+.
Who Should Choose NFL+?
NFL+ is an attempt by the NFL to offer a cheaper alternative to Sunday Ticket. It’s not a perfect fit for everyone, but it does work for some fans.
If you are a frequent traveler or don’t need live coverage of out-of-market games, it could work for you. Or, if you worry that you may not be able to watch all nationally televised games when they air, the service could meet your needs.
Additionally, their extra features make the affordable service worth considering.
However, if you use an antenna or subscribe to a live TV streaming service with local networks, it won’t be worth the expense. It’s best to look for other ways to watch NFL games without cable and save your money.
Who Should Choose NFL Sunday Ticket?
Sunday Ticket is the premier choice for fans who want to watch NFL games online. It gives you access to all out-of-market Sunday games. This alone makes it worth the steep expense for avid fans who don’t live near their favorite team.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you access Sunday Ticket via YouTube Primetime channels, you may not have access to the multiview feature. In addition, despite how you access it, Sunday Ticket only gets you Sunday games during the regular season.
If that’s all that matters to you, it can be worth the cost.
Cable TV is no longer necessary to watch the NFL online. NFL+ and Sunday Ticket are solid choices for NFL fans, but which is best depends on your viewing habits.
If you can afford it, it’s hard to argue against Sunday Ticket. Otherwise, if you’re not a huge NFL fan, you might be satisfied with nationally televised games and what’s available in your local market.
What’s your preferred way to watch NFL games without cable?