Who’s ready for football? The 2020 NFL season kicks off tonight with defending Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. The first game of Week 1 kicks off at 8.20pm ET on NBC but build-up starts at 7pm ET. Here’s how to stream the season opener online, or watch it on TV, from anywhere in the world.
Want to watch live NFL for free? US viewers can sign up to a 7-day free trial of FuboTV, which provides live NFL games without the need for cable. Canadian viewers can do the same by signing up to a 7-day free trial of DAZN sports. For more consistent viewing, an NFL Game Pass ($99/£143.99) makes excellent value. It’s cheaper in some countries than others. Make sure to use a VPN when trying to watch with your Game Pass while abroad.
Seven months after Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a thrilling Super Bowl victory, the NFL returns with a thrilling matchup between the Chiefs and the Texans, led by a similarly elite quarterback, Deshaun Watson.
Mahomes and Watson are two of the highest-paid players in the NFL. Mahomes, the son of former Major League Baseball pitcher Pat Mahomes, recently signed a 10-year deal making him the first ‘half-a-billion-dollar player’ in NFL history. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson isn’t doing badly, either. Days ago he signed a 4-year contract extension worth $177 million.
When their respective teams met in last season’s Divisional round of the playoffs, the Chiefs fought back from a 24-0 deficit to win 51-31. Tonight, the Chiefs are 9.5-point favourites to win, having added talented LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to their roster. Worse still, Houston’s Arrowhead stadium will be mostly empty in accordance with social distancing measures. Could the lack of home support spell disaster for Texas? All will be revealed in a matter of hours when the National Football League season gets underway in some pretty strange circumstances.
Here’s what you need to know about the 2020 NFL season…
The 2020-2021 regular pro football season will be played over a 17-week schedule. So far, over 60 players have chosen to opt out of the season over coronavirus safety fears including Patrick Chung of the Patriots, Devin Funchess of the Green Bay Packers and Marquise Goodwin of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The season will also play out against ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. The Washington Football Team (formerly the Washington Redskins) have changed their name and in August elected former running back Jason Wright as team president. Wright becomes the NFL’s first black president.
Each of the NFL league’s 32 teams will play a 16-game schedule, with one by week for each team. The season concludes with a full slate of 16 games on 3rd January 2021, all of which are intra-division matchups. The playoffs are scheduled for the 9th January, with Super Bowl LV set to take place on 7th February 2021 at the Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida.
Due to the pandemic, limited numbers of fans will be allowed into certain stadiums, while other games will be played behind closed doors. According Forbes, limited fan capacity will cost NFL teams a combined $5.5bn in revenue.
The London games – due to be played at Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur FC – have been officially cancelled, but Sky has launched a dedicated NFL channel. Sky Sports NFL promises to be a “round-the-clock home of the NFL on TV in the UK and Republic of Ireland”, from the regular season through to the playoffs and Super Bowl.
Want to see every throw, from the first to the last? Read on to find out the best ways to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Houston Texans live stream on your TV or mobile device wherever you are…
Watch the Chiefs vs Texans anywhere in the world using a VPN
We’ll look at the best ways to live stream the Chiefs vs the Texans for UK and USA-based NFL fans below, but even if you have subscribed to the relevant services, you won’t be able to use them when outside your own country. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
ExpressVPN three months free with a year-long plan
You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.View Deal
Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the match. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one that is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.
You can find a full list of national and international broadcasters with rights to show the live NFL playoffs here.
Watch the Chiefs vs Texans live in the UK
Sky is a great place for UK fans to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Houston Texans. The broadcaster will screen the NFL Kickoff Game on new Sky Sports NFL channel in HD, as well as through the Sky Go app.
Sky Sports NFL will feature 100+ live games this season, plus NFL RedZone and regular contributions from the likes of Jeff Reinebold, Cliff Avril and Takeo Spikes.
If you’re an existing Sky customer, you can add all the sports channels to your package for £39 per month (Sky Sports Complete Pack). If you’re a casual NFL fan, or don’t want access to all the Sky Sports channels under the sun, purchase a Sky Sports pass from Now TV. Daily, weekly and monthly passes cost from £9.99 to £33.99.
Now TV Sports day passes from £9.99
Want quick access to Sky Sports NFL? A day pass for Sky Sports on Now TV costs £9.99, with a weekly pass at £14.99. A monthly pass typically costs £33.99 but, occasionally, Sky offers good discounts.View Deal
Sky Sports NFL and Sky Sports Main Event channels are also available on Virgin Media as part of the Bigger + Sport TV bundle. It’s £65 per month but it comes with all the other Sky Sports channels and all the BT Sports ones too, including BT Sports Ultra HD. All of that brings access to just about all the televised sports action you can imagine, including Premier League, Champions League and Europa League football.
If you’re already a Virgin Media TV subscriber, then it may be a case of upping your package by just a few pounds per month.
If you prefer to stream games online and want comprehensive coverage, NFL offers the brilliant International NFL Game Pass. Access to the Pro version costs £143.99 a year or £36 per quarter, but that covers all 250+ games live and in HD, including the Super Bowl on 7th February 2021.
As ever, a handful of ‘blackout’ games are not streamed live in the UK and Ireland. Instead, they become available 24 hours after completion. You can find details of these ‘blackout’ games here.
The Game Pass app is easy to use and available on Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as Google Chromecast, Apple TV, PS4 and Xbox One.
Watch Super Bowl LV in 2021 live on the BBC
The BBC’s NFL Show will return on Saturday nights and feature live coverage of the 55th Super Bowl in Florida on 7th February 2021. In the meantime, the show will screen NFL highlights and pick over the big stories in the company of charismatic Super Bowl winners Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell.
The NFL Show kicks off on Saturday 12th September at 9pm on BBC Red Button One and BBC iPlayer.
If you’re outside the UK, you can still catch the BBC’s popular NFL Show. Just get yourself a VPN. We’ve listed all the best VPN options above.
Watch the Chiefs vs Texans live in the USA
NFL fans in the United States are spoilt for choice when it comes to live, over-the-air football games. Problem is, NFL has spread the rights across a number of channels including NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, NFL Network, NFL Redzone. The NFL will also broadcast 11 games on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, starting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Chicago Bears on 8th October 2020.
Tonight’s Kickoff Game is on NBC but those wanting to see the 2020 NFL season in its entirety will need to buy into all of these networks and streaming platforms.
A better option would be to cut the cord and go for an NFL Game Pass. At just $99 for a season, it’s a bargain. But there’s a catch: the Stateside version of the NFL Game Pass only allows you to watch replays of games. To watch the games live, you would need a VPN and the Pro version of the International NFL Game Pass (£143.99/ $180 per season).
The third option for US fans is to opt for a live TV streaming service. But which one is best?
FuboTV offers all available NFL channels, so it’s the best option for US NFL fans. It costs $60 per month for its Family plan and includes NBC – broadcasting tonight’s Chiefs vs Texans Kickoff Game – plus Fox, CBS, ESPN and the NFL Network. For an extra $11 per month, the Sports Plus add-on gets you NFL RedZone too. What’s more, you can try it free for 7 days if you’ve not previously subscribed.
Sling TV’s combined Orange and Blue package ($45 per month) provides access to NBC, Fox, ESPN and NFL Network. You don’t get CBS or RedZone or NFL Network though. On the upside, SlingTV packages are discounted for the first month.
YouTubeTV ($65 per month) carries NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN – nearly all of the networks showing NFL games live. It’s only available in selected US cities, though. Punch in your zip code to see if its available to you.
Hulu with Live TV ($55 per month) grants access to NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN. Just like YouTubeTV, the NFL Network and RedZone are not available.
Need to know when your local NFL team is playing, and on what channel? Click here for the complete schedule.
Watch the Chiefs vs Texans live in Canada
DAZN is the new home of football in Canada. It has the rights to broadcast live NFL games and live Champions league soccer games. Even better, you can grab a free 7-day trial of DAZN here.
Watch the Chiefs vs Texans live in Australia
New streaming platform Kayo Sports is a great place to catch live NFL games in Australia. It carries ESPN, too. The premium package costs AU$35 per month – you can grab a free 14-day trial here and enjoy Week 1 of the NFL season for free!
How to watch Hard Knocks: Los Angeles for free
HBO’s acclaimed NFL docu-series Hard Knocks: Los Angeles is a must-see for any NFL fan. It charts the highs and lows inside an NFL training camp and is best described as the craziest sports soap opera you’ve never seen.
US fans can stream Hard Knocks via the HBO Max streaming service, which is just $14.99 a month. However, you can grab a free 7-day trial here. Amazon Prime subscribers can also use the free 7-day trial of HBO Max here, and watch Hard Knocks without paying a penny.
UK viewer? Hard Knocks: LA recently debuted on the Sky Sports NFL channel.
NFL Week 1 schedule 2020
Kickoff times in BST (British Summer Time)
Friday 11th Sept
*NFL Kickoff Game* 1.20am – Houston Texans vs Kansas City Chiefs, live on Sky Sports NFL
Sunday 13th Sept
6pm – Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons
6pm – Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens
6pm – Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team
6pm – Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
6pm – Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions
6pm – New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills
6pm – Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars
6pm – Las Vegas Raiders vs Carolina Panthers
6pm – Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
9.05pm – Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals
9.25pm – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints
9.25pm – Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49-ers
Monday 14th Sept
1.20am – Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Rams, live on Sky Sports NFL
Tuesday 15th Sept
1.15am – Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants, live on Sky Sports NFL
3.20am – Tennessee Titans vs Denver Broncos, live on Sky Sports NFL
Click here for a full list of 2020-2021 NFL games.