Everything to Know About Streaming the NFL on ESPN Plus

ESPN Plus is one of the few sports-centric streaming services that brings live sports directly to your fingertips. You’ll receive live broadcasts from college sports, MLB, MLS, NHL, and the UFC. In addition to live sports, ESPN+ hosts a number of video-on-demand (VOD) original series and commentary shows, like analysis from Daniel Cormier and Peyton Manning and a “lite version” of NFL Primetime. You’ll also have access to the much-beloved 30 for 30 sports docuseries and classic NFL games and highlights.

But the real question that brings you here — can you watch the NFL and Monday Night Football on ESPN Plus? The short answer, unfortunately, is no. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get plenty of original NFL content on ESPN+. To catch the NFL on your ESPN Plus app, here’s what you have to do.

What is ESPN Plus?

It seems like every popular network is creating an exclusive streaming app, and who is ESPN to be left behind? The all-sports network launched the subscription based ESPN+ in 2018. Users can pay per month or sign up for a year at a time. You can stream content on the go on a variety of mobile devices, or log in to a TV service such as Roku to watch ESPN+ content on your full-size TV. 

The app is not exactly the same as having access to the regular network. Instead, you can stream some sports live — including soccer, combat sports, tennis and hockey — and view highlights from other major leagues. The app also offers original content that you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re a sports documentary junkie, the library of docs available in the app may be enough to justify a subscription.

ESPN Plus Plans Compared

Did you know that ESPN Plus is part of the Disney Plus bundle? That’s right, along with Hulu, you can receive all 3 services for the price of $13.99/mo.. This bundle provides a direct pipeline to family entertainment, popular comedy titles, as well as sports for less than, say, the cost of HBO Max ($14.99/mo.).

Outside of the Disney+ bundle, ESPN Plus is available for subscription all on its own. For $6.99/mo. or $69.99/year (a savings of 15% for an annual membership), you’ll get all the live coverage and original series in the ESPN Plus catalog. Just keep in mind that ESPN+ is not the same as the normal ESPN Channel. This means you won’t be able to stream full episodes of series from the cable network, like SportsCenter. Instead, there are shortened, more streamlined versions of popular series. To watch full versions of ESPN’s most popular series, you’ll need to get a cable subscription or sign up with a streaming service that offers ESPN in its channel lineup.  

The only notable feature you need to pay extra for is access to the UFC pay-per-view (PPV) events. But, if you’re no stranger to boxing and mixed martial arts, then you know that PPV costs are part of the sporting economy. Currently, PPV events are priced at $64.99 in addition to your monthly fee. Luckily, Fight Night events on the UFC’s Fight Island will be included in your monthly service with no extra fees.

Can I Stream Every NFL Game on ESPN Plus?

Many national sports organizations have pre-existing deals with national broadcasting conglomerates and local markets. For you, that translates into an intricate schedule that restricts events from appearing on certain networks. For instance, you’ll find that most NFL games are available on regional sports networks (RSNs), like CBS Sports, FOX Sports, and NBC Sports. But sometimes, games will be blacked out in local markets and made exclusively available on national networks, like ESPN.

So what NFL games are on ESPN Plus? Unfortunately, the ESPN Plus app doesn’t broadcast live NFL events. But since the NFL doesn’t even provide live broadcasts on its own NFL Game Pass service, it’s no surprise that it’s not available on ESPN’s app. However, what makes ESPN Plus useful to NFL fanatics is its live commentary coverage. Every week during the regular and post-season, live commentary begins on Sunday nights and is available through Wednesday.

A lot of users ask “can you watch Monday Night Football on ESPN Plus?” Unfortunately, this isn’t possible as of right now. As you have probably figured out already, if you want to watch Monday Night Football, you’ll need to watch it on regular old ESPN. If you have a cable subscription, you can stream the games using ESPN’s regular app or by going to ESPN.com and logging in using your cable credentials. 

Now, if you’re thinking about cutting the cord, then we recommend fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, or Sling TV to tune into ESPN. If you’re uncertain where to begin, each service offers some kind of free trial period. And the best part, there are no contracts, and canceling your subscription can be done online without talking to anyone. 

What Other Types of NFL Content Can I Stream?

With live and recorded NFL commentary series on ESPN Plus, you’re not just getting an analysis, but professional breakdowns from the most qualified minds in the business. NFL Primetime delivers the best highlights from around the league, every week. The show’s iconic host, Chris Berman, is accompanied by Booger McFarland every Sunday, who provides his expert perspective.

If you’re a fantasy football connoisseur, you’ll appreciate Matthew Berry’s The Fantasy Show, along with features like Auction Value Generator, Free Agent Recommendations, and Lineup Optimizer. Peyton Manning even has his own series, Detail, which takes an in-depth look with other quarterbacks like Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Tom Brady.

While modern games are not streamed in real-time, you’re able to access top moment’s in the league’s history with the NFL archives. You can see highlights, the best on-mic moments and other insights into some of the most talked about NFL plays and players. 

With an ESPN+ subscription, you can also access thousands of articles and daily radio programs. Catch up on the NFL with articles from writers including Buster Olney, Mel Kiper, Jr, Matthew Berry and other top pens. ESPN+ radio shows are hosted by personalities that include Max Kellerman and Jorge Ramos. 

How Do I Stream NFL Content From ESPN Plus Across Devices?

Once you have ESPN+, it’s pretty easy to access the highlight reels and fantasy football content you crave. If you don’t already have the ESPN app, download it for free from the Apple app store or Google Play for Android, depending on your device. Just use your ESPN+ account credentials to log in to the app in the Settings tab. 

If you’re rooting for a particular NFL team — and of course you are — add it to your favorites in the Preferences section of the app. You can also add the NFL as your favorite league and tag specific players to watch. This will trigger ESPN+ to serve you relevant content in the app. You’ll never miss trade news about your top team again.  

Does ESPN Plus Have On-Demand content?

Yes. In fact, all NFL content on ESPN Plus is available on-demand. You can log in from anywhere with internet access to view highlights and analysis. When it comes to live content, you can also rewind footage or replay the live event later. ESPN Plus allows you to view content on up to 3 devices at once. You can watch a 30 for 30 episode in one room while someone else is watching an NFL primetime show down the hall. 

Which Devices Can I Stream NFL Content On? 

ESPN+ is supported by most game consoles, smartphones, smart TV, and tablets. And if you don’t have the app, then you can always opt to stream directly from web browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. 

If you’re streaming ESPN Plus on a full TV, content is available in HD. 

Here are all the devices compatible with ESPN Plus:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android devices
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • iOS devices
  • Oculus Go
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku
  • Samsung TVs
  • Web browsers
  • Xbox One

Keep in mind that ESPN Plus requires updated software to operate on most devices. For instance, if your iPhone is running an outdated iOS, you may lose the ability to stream content on your ESPN app. Some Roku devices have also been archived as “legacy.” This means they no longer receive operating system updates and may not be able to run ESPN Plus. Legacy Roku devices include Roku LT 2450X, Roku HD 2500X and Roku Streaming Stick 3400X.

The Final Cut 

Even though you can’t stream live NFL games on ESPN Plus, NFL commentary and other programming are abundant with ESPN’s app. Such live shows are essential for any true NFL fan, as well as fantasy football gurus. When ESPN+ first launched, it offered a 30-day free trial length that quickly reduced to a 7-day period. Now, it sacked its remaining free trials, meaning you’ll need to pay for at least a month to experience the action. But for about the same price as a party-size bag of gameday chips, you can get a month’s access to ESPN Plus.

If you’re curious about the most economic way to watch the NFL, we recommend trying a digital antenna like HDHomeRun. For a 1-time cost, you’ll gain access to all games that appear in your local market. Just note that available RSNs depend on where you live and don’t bypass blackouts. On top of sports, you’ll get 4K access to local news channels and also be able to record live TV.