It used to be a real pain to stream NFL football games. Now, it’s easier than ever, but there are still some problems to avoid to make sure you’ll get to enjoy your game instead of wanting to throw your TV on the street.
Also: Best live TV and video streaming services for cord-cutters
These days most of the services will work with any streaming device. Many, however, isn’t all. Before putting your money down for any streaming service, make sure it will work with your device of choice.
The prices of streaming services can vary depending on how you subscribe to them. Be sure to shop around. You can find some real deals out there.
- Watch Thursday night games on Prime Video
- Amazon Prime membership costs $119 per year
I sure don’t think about Amazon Prime when I think football, but you can watch Thursday night games on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime is available on essentially all streaming devices and PCs.
AT&T NOW (Formerly DirecTV Now)
- No longer offers NFL Sunday Ticket, RedZone, or NFL Network
- $40 for a minimum package, which includes ESPN and local network stations.
AT&T Now comes with four different service levels. The entry-level package is $40 a month. It includes ESPN and some local network channels. But the service may not support the networks you need. For example, from my home in Asheville, N.C., I can watch Sunday Night Football on NBC, but I can’t get CBS or Fox, so I can’t watch the games on those networks.
You can find your local stations from this web page.
CBS ALL ACCESS
- Starts at $5.99 a month; carries local affiliates’ games
- NFL games come with advertisements
CBS All Access, a ZDNet-related service, is available in many, but not all, markets. It carries CBS’s Sunday afternoon games, a traditional Thanksgiving Day game, a game played in London, the AFC Playoffs, and the AFC Championship Game. This streaming service costs $5.99 a month. There’s also a version without ads for $9.99. NFL games, however, come with ads on both streams.
FOX SPORTS GO
- Watch Fox live games — if you pay for Fox
If you already have a pay-TV subscription, cable, satellite, or some of the streaming services mentioned here, you can watch the game with the Fox Sports Go app or from your web browser. This is ideal when you want to catch a game away from your home.
- Base price: $54.99
- NFL Redzone and other sports networks: An additional $8.99.
FuboTV, as the name hints, carries a lot of sports, but it doesn’t offer ESPN. On the other hand, it does come with the NFL Network, and, as always, depending on where you live, your local affiliates. Fubo’s the only streaming service that offered all three of the national networks showing NFL games: CBS, Fox, and NBC.
HULU WITH LIVE TV
- $44.99 a month
- Games on local network affiliates may be available,
Hulu with Live TV’s plan is $44.99 a month. It comes with 50+ live channels. Depending on your market, your local NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS live channels may be available to you. You must check your live channels to make sure. For example, unlike AT&T Now, I can watch the locally broadcast Fox games, but I can’t watch the NBC and CBS games. It also doesn’t offer the NFL Network.
NFL APP and YAHOO SPORTS
- Requires Android or iPhone device and Yahoo account.
The NFL app or Yahoo Sports app for Android or iOS gives you a free way to watch your local team’s games. Besides live regular-season games, you can also watch the playoffs and the Super Bowl with it. However, you can only view the games on your phone or tablet. You can’t screencast from your device to your television. Darn it!
NFL NETWORK APP
- Requires Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone
The NFL Network app, like the name says, enables you to watch NFL Network programming and NFL RedZone on your tablet and mobile device. The big win here is it covers the Thursday night NFL Network games. But access to NFL Redzone requires you already have a subscription to a programming package that includes NFL RedZone
- $99.99 a season
- Watch all NFL games the day after they air
NFL GamePass is an all-football, all-the-time option. For $99.99 a season, you can watch all NFL games… the day after they’re played. You also can’t watch local games on it. So, for instance, where I live, I can’t see the Carolina Panthers.
To sweeten the deal, GamePass includes live NFL game radio broadcasts and access to NFL Originals, with football shows such as previous seasons of Hard Knocks, A Football Life, and Mic’d Up.
NFL SUNDAY TICKET
- $73.49 a month
- Available only if you can’t get DirecTV satellite service
The most comprehensive package for Sunday NFL games is DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. It doesn’t show every Sunday afternoon game, but it comes close. You can’t watch your local team games, or some games played out of the US. And, there’s a catch: NFL Sunday Ticket is only available for cord-cutters if they can’t get DirecTV satellite service.
Sunday Ticket comes in two forms: NFLST.TV To Go and NFLST.TV Max.
The To Go package shows live games. It costs $73.49 per month for the four months of the regular season, or single payment of $293.96. With Max, you also get NFL RedZone and DirectTV Fantasy Zone. Red Zone lets you watch every Sunday afternoon touchdown. Fantasy Zone, like the name suggests provides fantasy football stats and analysis.
Max will cost $395.99 for the season or $99 per month. For an additional $50, you can get NFL Game Pass. This service streams live pre-season games and reruns of regular-season games. If you’re a college student, you can get a great deal with the NFLST.TV U package. For $24.99 per month for four months or $99.96 for the season, you get the full Max package.
Maybe it’s time to go back to school?
- Starts at $49.99 a month for local channels.
- Core, $54.99, includes some local channels and the NFL Network.
With PlayStation Vue, you don’t need a PlayStation. You can watch it on pretty much any device. Like the other internet-streaming TV packages, its live channels depend on where you live. In my case, I can get Fox and NBC, but not CBS.
- Requires two Sling TV packages for $40 a month
- GameFinder feature lets you search for specific games
With Sling TV, things get a little complicated. NFL fans need at least two packages. These are Sling TV Orange for $25 and Sling TV Blue for $25. The better deal is to get both for $40 a month. The Orange package includes ESPN 1 and 2, while FOX, FS1, FS2, NBC, NBCSN, and NFL Network live on the Blue package.
NFL Redzone is available on Sports Extra Pack Blue, which costs $10. CBS games are not available. To see what channels are available on which of Sling TV’s many packages use Sling TV’s Explore Channel page.
Sling TV also boasts a unique feature: Game Finder. This allows you to search for broadcasts featuring specific teams, locations, and games near your home. If you can’t see the game on their services, it’ll tell you that, too.
- Costs $49.99 a month.
- It carries CBS, NBC, ESPN, and Fox games.
Google’s YouTube TV now runs $49.99 a month. It comes with over 70 channels. For NFL fans, the good news is it includes CBS, ESPN, NBC, and Fox. The bad news is that it doesn’t cover the NFL Network or RedZone.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It’s not as easy to watch the NFL over the internet as it is with a top cable or satellite package, but we’re getting there, and cord-cutting is cheaper than its competition. That said, the streaming services prices keep going up and up. In the past year, most services cost $5 more a month. Still, I’ll be rooting my Steelers on to victory by streaming the games this fall.
Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.
Toyota foils leakers by offering an official image of the 2022 Tundra
Earlier this week, leaked images were going around claiming to show the next generation 2022 Toyota Tundra. Automakers never like leaks, and often they simply deny that the images are of their vehicle or ignore the leak altogether. However, Toyota used a different tactic when images of its 2022 Tundra leaked, choosing to release an official image of the truck.
2022 Tundra TRD Pro
With Toyota’s move, talk of the 2022 Tundra has moved from the leaked images to Toyota’s official image. However, it’s worth noting that Toyota only offered a single image of the TRD Pro version of the Tundra and offered no details on the truck. Last month, SlashGear posted a review of the 2021 Tundra TRD Pro, highlighting that it was the last hurrah for the current generation of the truck.
However, it does offer a nice opportunity for us to compare the exterior of the 2021 model to the 2022 model. What we see is significant changes on the exterior of the truck. While the overall profile remains virtually the same, the 2022 has a completely new front end that closely resembles the style used on the Tacoma and 4Runner SUV. That means a large black grille with hexagonal openings and bulky Toyota branding on the grille.
It’s unclear if non-TRD Pro versions will have the same front-end treatment. Another interesting tidbit that is easily seen from the official Toyota photograph is that the truck is equipped with an LED light bar underneath the Toyota logo in the grill and what appear to be LEDs underneath the grill on the front black portion of the bumper. The headlights are much smaller and appear to be LED.
The truck has modest black fender extensions and rolls on very attractive black wheels. We also note that the truck has integrated sidesteps to make it easier to get in and out. Unfortunately, there’s no indication of what changes might have been made to the interior or under the hood of the truck at this time.
Ford to purchase Electriphi for integration with Ford Pro services for EV fleets
Ford has announced it will purchase Electriphi, a California-based provider of charging management and fleet monitoring software for electric vehicles. Ford intends to integrate Electriphi capabilities with its Ford Pro services to develop advanced charging and energy management experiences for commercial users. Many large commercial fleet operators are actively transitioning from combustion-powered vehicles to electric vehicles, and managing charging is a significant challenge.
Ford believes that the acquisition of Electriphi will help spur the adoption of the new F-150 Lightning Pro and E-Transit van by fleet operators around the country and the world. The automaker also notes that the acquisition is part of its plan to invest more than $30 billion by 2025 to enable it to lead in electrification for both commercial and retail customers.
Ford Pro is a new global business within Ford designed to help improve commercial customer productivity and develop advanced charging and energy management services. Charging infrastructure and managing charging capabilities for large fleets of electric vehicles is seen as one of the biggest challenges to the adoption of electric vehicles by commercial users. Ford Pro estimates that the depot charging industry will grow to over 600,000 full-size trucks and vans by 2030.
Ford Pro expects to have over $1 billion in revenue from charging by 2030. Ford’s full-electric E-Transit van is currently scheduled to begin shipping later this year, and the F-150 Lightning Pro will begin shipping in the spring of 2022. Electriphi had a team of over 30 employees, and the software they developed is designed to simplify the electrification of fleets, save energy cost, and track critical metrics like the real-time status of vehicles, chargers, and maintenance services. Ford expects to close the acquisition this month at undisclosed terms. Ford Pro will begin for customers in North America, but it will launch in Europe later.
2021 Volkswagen Jetta Review: Sober Value
Volkswagen would probably call the 2021 Jetta “pragmatic,” and rationality certainly is the name of the game for one of the most affordable cars on the market right now. A mainstay of the compact sedan segment since 1979, the Jetta always promised a balance between the playful Golf and the grown-up Passat. These days, though, the Jetta may have matured a little too far.
Much as with the Golf in the US, VW has pared back the Jetta configurations to a single engine. In fact it’s the same engine: a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, with 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The cheapest 2021 Jetta, the S trim from $18,995 (plus $995 destination), comes with a six-speed manual. So, too, does the $22,795 Jetta R-Line.
Otherwise you get an eight-speed automatic, with front-wheel drive across the board. In the case of my 2021 Jetta SEL Premium – the swankiest Volkswagen offers – it pushes pricing to $28,045 plus destination. Part of that is the Cold Weather Package, which is $500 on lesser trims, and the equally priced Driver-Assistance Package.
All Jetta get LED front and rear lights, and R-Line and above upgrade the 16-inch alloy wheels to 17-inch versions. SE and above have heated side mirrors and a panoramic power sunroof. SE and above get dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats; cars with the Cold Weather Package have a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. Only the SEL Premium has actual leather upholstery, though.
On the safety side, automatic post-collision braking is standard across the board, while SE and above get forward collision warnings with emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts. SEL and SEL Premium cars throw in adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance.
The Jetta may have the same engine as the 2021 Golf, but the end result still feels fairly different. The Golf has, of course, near-sublime chassis tuning, and is altogether more eager with its 147 horses. Even with the same platform underneath, the Jetta plays things a little more grown-up. It’s surprisingly zippy from a standing start, easily pulling away, but corners see more body roll and the steering is dialed in light.
I suspect that’s what Jetta owners like, though, and certainly it’s a relaxed and unchallenging experience from behind the wheel. The Jetta GLI promises a few more thrills, thanks in no small part to its active damping, but this regular car is unlikely to get your heart rate up.
The same could be said for the cabin, which is dark and sober enough that you could assume Volkswagen is going through its goth phase. Matte black plastics sit alongside gloss black plastics, and the sprinkling of dark silver trim around the clusters of controls isn’t enough to lift the interior out of its somber monochrome.
The switchgear feels good, but the rest of the plastics are only middling, and all the button blanks around the transmission shifter are a reminder that even in SEL Premium form you don’t get a huge number of toys. The 8-inch touchscreen on SEL and SEL Premium trims now runs MIB3, a newer version of VW’s infotainment system; S, SE, and R-Line cars get a 6.5-inch touchscreen and the older MIB2. So, too, the two highest trims pack the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, with a screen replacing the analog gauges.
MIB3 is clean and easy to use, though VW’s graphics don’t stray from the pallid aesthetic of the rest of the interior. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a wireless charging pad, and both SEL and SEL Premium cars get a 400 watt Beats Audio system with eight speakers and a subwoofer. There’s a surprising degree of bass from that, along with two USB-C ports.
Where the Jetta does stand out – including against the Golf – is in economy. The EPA says you’ll get the same 29 mpg in the city, but highway driving is rated for up to 39 mpg (versus the Golf’s 36 mpg) for a single point advantage at 33 mpg combined. In practice, it’s not difficult to meet those figures either, not least because the Jetta doesn’t especially encourage profligate manners behind the wheel. Highway driving in particular feels tuned for steady plodding rather than anything approaching urgency.
Practicality tips things back in the Golf’s favor, with the Jetta offering 14.1 cu-ft of trunk space versus its hatchback cousin’s 17.4 cu-ft. Still, it feels bigger than that, there’s a 60/40 split rear seat, and adult passengers back there only had a slight dip in headroom to complain about. A four-year/50,000 mile warranty is a little more generous than what many in the category are offering.
2021 Volkswagen Jetta Verdict
I’ve said it before: VW’s attentions seem to be on its electrification strategy and the ID range, and that leaves cars like the 2021 Jetta out in the shadows. The compact sedan isn’t a bad car, just an unmemorable one, and the problem there is that it finds itself with competition that rival automakers are taking a lot more seriously.
The new 2022 Honda Civic Sedan, for example, is similarly priced but has a fantastic cabin and is more rewarding dynamically. The Mazda3 has beguiling looks and is far more enjoyable to drive than the Jetta. There’s not really anything objectively wrong with Volkswagen’s car, and those on an extreme budget might find its lesser-equipped trims appealing, but even those who think of their vehicles as appliances will find more to appreciate elsewhere.
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