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You No Longer Need Cable to Watch the NFL Network

Sling TV is the first streaming service to add the NFL Network, making it dangerously close to the cord cutting ideal for football fans.

by Chris Brantner
Aug 10 2016, 7:40pm

Image: Erik Drost/Flickr

A couple months ago, VIDGO said it would be offering NFL Network without cable when they launched. Then PlayStation Vue announced it had come to a deal with NFL Network and would have it live by the beginning of the 2016-2017 season. But despite the promises of other services, Sling TV delivered today.

As of this morning, subscribers to the Sling Blue package now have a live stream of NFL Network available in their guide, making Sling TV the first service to offer NFL Network without cable. On top of that, you can add the Sports Extra add-on package for an additional $5 per month and get NFL RedZone, another big first for cord cutting NFL fans.

Now you can watch the majority of the NFL Preseason live with Sling TV. As for the regular season, you'll be able to see all of Thursday Night Football (which means you won't have to try and decipher which games Twitter is streaming). You'll also get all the NFL Network exclusive programming and coverage. Not to mention every single touchdown with RedZone if you upgrade with the Sports Extra add-on.

"Watching NFL action has never been more affordable," Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV told Motherboard. "And with Sling TV's customizable packaging, personalizing your TV experience has never been easier."

It's a huge step forward for Sling TV in closing the NFL gap for cord cutters. Now their service covers Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football, as well as Sunday games for those living in NBC and FOX local markets.

What's missing? First and foremost is CBS. Since it has its own streaming service, CBS All Access, it's anyone's guess if CBS make a deal with Sling TV or anyone else. Although, at this point NFL Games will be blacked out on All Access (not that it wouldn't want the rights to stream the games, but no deal has been reached).

Of course, cord cutters still have the option to watch using an antenna, but that's only going to get you the Sunday games in your region, as well as some Thursday Night Football games. And those who were hopeful that the upcoming ESPN standalone streaming service would carry Monday Night Football are going to be sorely disappointed, as the service will only be offering alternative content.

Is Sling TV the perfect standalone solution for those wanting to watch NFL without cable? No, but it took a giant leap forward today.