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What channel is the color crew on?

Football season is finally here! As fans gear up for kickoff, one of the most frequently asked questions is “What channel is the game on?” With multiple broadcast partners and streaming services in the mix, finding where to watch your favorite team can get confusing. This guide will help explain the various television and streaming options for NFL games this season.

Broadcast Television

The NFL has contracts with several major broadcast networks to air games throughout the season. Here’s a quick rundown of which channels carry NFL games:

  • CBS – AFC Sunday afternoon games
  • Fox – NFC Sunday afternoon games
  • NBC – Sunday Night Football
  • ESPN – Monday Night Football
  • NFL Network – Thursday Night Football (some weeks simulcast on Fox)

CBS and Fox alternate coverage of the Super Bowl each year. So if your favorite team is in the AFC, you’ll need to check CBS for most of their games. NFC fans will want to look at the Fox broadcast. Sunday night and Monday night games have consistent homes on NBC and ESPN thanks to those exclusive national broadcast rights.

Thursday Night Conundrum

Thursday Night Football has moved around a bit more. After airing mostly on the NFL Network for years, Fox picked up the rights in 2018. Games now air on both Fox and NFL Network, but viewing availability depends on your location. If you don’t get NFL Network through your TV provider, you may need to rely on streaming (more details below!).

Playoff and Championship Broadcasts

The playoffs and championships have a similar rotation to the regular season. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Wild Card Weekend – NBC, CBS, ABC/ESPN
  • Divisional Playoffs – NBC, CBS, Fox
  • Conference Championships – CBS, Fox
  • Super Bowl – CBS, Fox alternating years

Consult the full schedule on closer to playoff time to see which network has each game.

Streaming Services

In addition to traditional broadcast and cable television, the NFL offers streaming access to games through multiple services:

Service Games Available
NFL+ Premium Live out-of-market preseason + live local & primetime regular season + playoffs
NFL+ Basic Live out-of-market preseason + on-demand replays
Paramount+ Premium Live CBS games + on-demand CBS replays
ESPN+ Live Monday Night Football simulcast with ESPN
Prime Video Thursday Night Football
NFL Game Pass (International) Replays of all games (live for international audiences)

NFL+ offers the most comprehensive streaming access to live games, especially for out-of-market fans who want to follow their favorite team. Paramount+ and ESPN+ provide streaming options for CBS and ESPN telecasts respectively. Amazon Prime Video is the exclusive streaming home of Thursday Night Football.

Local Broadcast Restrictions

One important caveat about live streaming services – they are subject to local broadcast blackout restrictions. If you are located in the same TV market area as the teams playing, the game will be blacked out on any streaming service to protect the local broadcast partner. For example, if you’re trying to stream a Dallas Cowboys game in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, it will be blacked out on NFL+ or Paramount+ due to local broadcast rights. The only option would be watching on the local CBS or Fox affiliate.

Is the Game I Want Available?

We know that was a lot of information! The good news is the NFL offers an easy lookup tool to find out exactly which channel and streaming services are carrying a particular game. Simply go to, select the week and match-up you’re looking for, and toggle between the “Broadcast” and “Streaming” tabs. This handy tool makes it easy to know where to tune in on any given Sunday!

Solving the Color Commentary Conundrum

One other common fan question surrounding NFL broadcasts – who are the network announcers and commentators for a particular game? Each network has their own “A-team” announcers who call their biggest games. But they also have a stable of secondary broadcast teams that cover additional games each week. Here’s a quick cheat sheet on the announcing teams for each network:

Network Top Announcers Other Commentators
CBS Jim Nantz, Tony Romo Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Fox Joe Buck, Troy Aikman Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
NBC Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth Mike Tirico, Drew Brees
ESPN Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick N/A
NFL Network Joe Davis, Kurt Warner Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth

Again, the NFL website makes it easy to check who is calling a particular game. Just consult the broadcast details on the schedule. Of course the announcing teams can change late depending on COVID protocols and other factors, but this table gives an idea of the primary teams for each network.

Personalizing Your Viewing Experience

With so many viewing options available, NFL fans have more ways than ever to catch games this season. Our recommendation is to take full advantage by personalizing your setup based on your needs and preferences:

  • If you closely follow a specific team, invest in NFL+ so you can catch all their games.
  • Complement it with Paramount+ or ESPN+ if you want streaming access to CBS or ESPN games.
  • Check the NFL broadcast schedules each week for the announcers and productions you most enjoy.
  • Use an antenna to access local broadcast channels like CBS, Fox and NBC for free over-the-air.
  • If at a local bar or friend’s house for a game, use NFL+ on your mobile device to tune into your favorite team’s out-of-market game.

The bottom line – with so many viewing options, being an NFL fan has never been easier or more customized to your personal preferences. As long as you know where and how to tune in, you should never have to miss a minute of the action. So get your game day snacks ready and enjoy the season!


In summary, determining what channel NFL games are on can be complicated, but resources like the NFL broadcast schedules, announcer cheat sheets, and streaming services like NFL+ make it easy to customize your perfect football viewing experience. With broadcast TV, cable, streaming, and audio options, fans can follow their favorite team and announcers all season long. So what are you waiting for? Get your remotes, devices and radios ready and see you on the couch for kickoff! Football season is here!