Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screen

Explaining NFL Blackout Rules for Hulu, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, & DIRECTV NOW

Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screenRecently there seems to be a lot of confusion about the NFL’s blackout rules for your favorite streaming service.

No matter what live TV streaming service you have — Hulu, DIRECTV NOW, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, fuboTV, or others—they all have the same blackout rules.

So I wanted to take a moment to break down two of the most important blackout rules all streaming services have to deal with.

Mobile Streaming Blackouts

Years ago the NFL sold streaming rights on mobile devices such as phones to Verizon. Now only Verizon has rights to stream NFL games on mobile devices.

So remember your favorite streaming service won’t be able to stream to your phone because of NFL rules.

Thursday Night NFL Blackouts

This year Thursday night games on CBS and NBC will only be streamed on Amazon Prime. This is a new deal similar to the Twitter deal last year. This means that NFL games will be blacked out on all devices for everyone but Amazon Prime members.

So if you want to stream Thursday night NFL football on CBS and NBC starting next week you will need an Amazon Prime membership.

There you go… the two most important NFL blackout rules you need to know. These rules apply to all streaming services.

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25 Responses to Explaining NFL Blackout Rules for Hulu, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, & DIRECTV NOW

  1. Avatar
    Jan Jasiński September 18, 2017 at 7:24 am #

    Wow! That Amazon Prime rule is a real dick move for anyone who doesn’t have Prime.

    • Avatar
      Bob September 18, 2017 at 7:33 am #


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        Spencer Karter September 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

        The Holy Bible said “Money is the Root Of All Evil”. Greed is NOT Common Sense. I don’t like The New Normal because New Normal is NOT Common Sense either.

        • Avatar
          disqus_SYcLsWx6zw September 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

          Money is NOT the root of all evil. The bible says “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”

          What about broadcasts on OTA? How are these affected?

          • Avatar
            Spencer Karter September 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

            Getting Free TV OTA is always free, but not all Over-The-Air signals created equal. Some live in bad over-the-air reception areas like mountains and hilly terrains and have no choice but to subscribe to Cable or Satellite. But Retransmission Consent and Blackouts thanks to 25 year old law is still cancer to Pay-TV industry. It needs reform or abolished completely. The NAB is a joke too.

    • Avatar
      Vegas Steve September 18, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      Money. All about money.

    • Avatar
      BloodLust September 18, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

      Amazon is a dick company, So it all fits.

  2. Avatar
    Kravimir September 18, 2017 at 7:30 am #

    If you don’t want to get an annual Amazon Prime subscription, you can get Amazon Prime Video for just $8.99 a month (or all of Amazon Prime for $10.99 a month) during the NFL season.

  3. Avatar
    Rick Rude September 18, 2017 at 7:59 am #

    I was able to watch the Phila Eagles game on Facebook

  4. Avatar
    Michael Smith September 18, 2017 at 8:03 am #

    The Thursday Night Games aren’t broadcast on the NFL Network on the streaming services?

    • Avatar
      davehuze September 18, 2017 at 11:53 am #

      NFL Network has 7 exclusive games this year which are available on a streamed NFL Network. The have 3 Thursday night games (Weeks 2,3,and 9), 1 Sunday game in London (Week 8), and 3 Saturday games (Weeks 15,16). The rest of the NFL Network games on their schedule are a “simulcast” and won’t be seen on the NFL Network on streaming services.

  5. Avatar
    Chris September 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

    What happened with last nights snf game? I have ps vue and couldnt watch it through the nbc sports app.didnt even show up for me.

    • Avatar
      Michael Smith September 18, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

      Was it blacked out on DTVN, Hulu Live, fubotv & Sling subscribers too?

      • Avatar
        Chris September 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

        Idk but i was able to watch last weeks snf game with my ps vue credentials just fine.

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        iSRS September 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

        No. I watched in NH on DirecTV Now. Of course, we have CBS, ABC, and NBC locals.

  6. Avatar
    Spencer Karter September 18, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    I know Sports Blackouts are controversial. It should be illegal IMHO. As of today, my mom joined Hulu (not LIVE TV) and we already got NETFLIX and Amazon Prime. Almost Cord Cutters despite still being DIRECTV subscribers for 8 years.

  7. Avatar
    iSRS September 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    So I will have to use the Amazon Video app to watch? Anything special I need? A special “Amazon Channel” or something?

    ANd hurry up, Amazon. Get that Apple TV app out!!

  8. Avatar
    BrianH1972 September 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

    So if you have CBS “All Access” you really don’t have all access? It should be called CBS “Some Access”.

    • Avatar
      Fg September 19, 2017 at 10:24 pm #

      Yeah, this seems kind of counter intuitive. I am surprised CBS and NBC gave up the streaming rights to their Thursday Night games.

  9. Avatar
    Respected Citizen September 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Tonight’s MNF Spanish version on ESPN2 is available on youtubeTV but not DirecTV Now. But you can use your DTVN credentials to watch the ESPN2 Spanish version on watchESPN.

  10. Avatar
    Fg September 19, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    When does the Verizon contract expire?

  11. Avatar
    Chris Zook September 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

    It doesn’t make sense to me that you won’t be able to get the CBS/NBC Thursday night games via an OTT Live TV service, like Vue, DTV Now, Hulu, Sling, etc., if they aren’t blacked out on cable/sat TV as well. Those services are just a form of online cable/sat TV. Will it be blacked out on streaming TV bundles offered directly by cable companies too? I have Prime, but I don’t know that I’ll load up the app just to check in on the game.

  12. Avatar
    Bill Eastman September 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    Verizon is NOT all mobile devices. Only PHONES. You CAN watch on tablet or laptop. Of course Tablo is another option for ota NFL on all devices.

  13. Avatar
    Steve Walker September 22, 2017 at 7:44 am #

    I don’t see much talk here about Youtube TV, which is what I use. And it wasn’t mentioned with regard to NFL blackouts. What is the deal with Youtube TV and the NFL?

  14. Avatar
    Phillip Weeks November 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    this post is not entirely correct. I’ve been watching Thursday night football all season on PS Vue until last night, so you don’t need an Amazon Prime subscription. I don’t know what I need for last nights game (AZ vs SEA) as it was blacked out…it was not aired on CBS or NBC in conjunction with NFL Network and I’m guessing thats the reason…if it’s ONLY on NFL Network then it’s on twitter or some other dumb reason