Let's go over live-streaming options so you can choose what's best for you this NFL season. Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad. This can make it hard to see every NFL game you want to without a cable subscription. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for watching the NFL season without cable. Advertisement After these free streams thursday night football directv, what you choose will depend on which games you want to watch, how much you are willing to spend, and whether you are willing to wait to watch some games until after they have ended.
The countdown clock counts down the minutes and seconds until the start of the game coverage. Eastern the RedZone program begins, and immediately dives into live look-ins across the league. Host Scott Hanson gives a brief introduction of the day, highlighting key developing stories, as teams are typically already lining up for opening kickoff.
When the first kickoff takes place, Hanson will say "Seven hours of commercial-free football Coverage is normally shown in full-screen, with one particular game as the primary focus for the moment. The coverage is a direct simulcast of the CBS or Fox broadcast feed and commentary, with only occasional and usually brief voice-over comments by Hanson as needed.
Coverage sometimes switches to split-screen , with two, three, four "quad-box"  , five "Penta-box" , or as many as eight "Octo-box"  game feeds being shown simultaneously.
Producers in the studio monitor all game feeds in-progress, and decide which game to feature at any given moment. NFL television rules are exempted for RedZone, and live look-ins of games that are subject to blackout are still allowed to be aired in all markets.
Whenever a team enters the red zone , the coverage will switch to a full-screen live look-in of that game's television broadcast. It will attempt to cover a potential scoring result touchdown or field goal.
Meanwhile, the other games continue to be monitored, in case the need arises to switch to another feed at short notice. Field goal attempts from outside the red zone are sometimes shown, either live or in replay, if they pose significance to the outcome of the respective game.
As the games enter halftime, the coverage shifts over to games still finishing up the second quarter, even if there are no teams in the red zone. Some noncompetitive games that would otherwise not be looked at may take the attention for a few minutes, in order to fill the broadcast with as much live football coverage as possible.
As soon as better games start returning for the third quarter, second half kickoffs typically take a priority. If there are no teams in the red zone at a given moment, the focus may shift to a team on a strong offensive drive, or an otherwise important game of the day.
Despite the channel's moniker, a team does not have to be inside the red zone for the focus and coverage to shift to that game. During the latter portion of the season, extra sidebar attention may be given to teams fighting for playoff berths, and the respective status thereof. The "Game Rewind" feature is sometimes used to replay a significant play that resulted in a particular team entering the red zone.
Hanson rarely takes any kind of rest break during RedZone's seven hours on the air  , and since the early years of the channel he has purposefully planned out his eating and drinking schedule during the regular season to avoid any need for a restroom break, having boasted on Twitter on December 10, that year's Week 14 about his first restroom break in four years of NFL RedZone coverage.
Despite an effort made by producers to air all touchdowns live , some scoring plays are actually aired after a very brief time shift — ranging from as much as 30 to 60 seconds — sometimes because another scoring play is unfolding elsewhere.
In those cases, the coverage is aired plausibly live with no mention that the coverage is slightly behind real time though Hanson often tries to introduce the switch with some kind of segue, such as 'while we were watching that play As the 1 p. When the "early" games are in the fourth quarter, attention begins to focus on one-possession games games within 8 points.
Likewise, early games that go into overtime are usually prioritized, but neither at the expense of missing touchdowns in other games that just started. At which time there is only one game left being played, coverage will switch to full-screen and see out its conclusion, irrespective of its competitiveness.
When each game is concluded, a final score alert will flash on the bottom corner of the screen to inform viewers. This is especially important for games that have not had a live look-in for many minutes.
During the entire day, RedZone features a ticker at the bottom of the screen, updating scores and stats throughout the league.
On occasion, technical difficulties could prevent RedZone from showing certain touchdowns live. Despite the network's commercial-free commitment, commercials are not completely avoided as sometimes the network coverage may take a break faster than expected, causing the first second or two of a commercial to air, before RedZone quickly cuts to another game, which usually includes Hanson jokingly playing off the brush with the accompanying commercial with some kind of snark.
Additionally, broadcast network promotions of their programming most notably CBS and Fox promoting their Sunday night primetime lineups will be shown as a natural part of the coverage. If all games being held at a given moment are on a commercial break or in halftime, coverage will revert to the studio for brief commentary, replays, or statistical analysis by Hanson.
In the "late" timeslot when there are fewer games to choose from , highlight packages of selected "early" games may be shown during down times. At the conclusion of the coverage, an edited montage of every touchdown scored throughout the afternoon is aired. If the RedZone signs-off with inadequate time for the touchdown montage which can vary from 5—10 minutes in duration , it will be posted online instead.
At the onset, the total number of touchdowns for the afternoon by type offensive, defensive, and special teams is listed on a graphic, with a running tally for the entire season also shown.
The montage is shown in a prominent square with audio, while the game still being played is shown in a lesser square in the corner of the screen without audio. This is done particularly when the game still being played is a nationally-televised game — a situation in which most viewers in most markets across the country per NFL television rules could simply switch to CBS or FOX to watch the game to its conclusion.
During week 1 of the season, the Detroit Lions - Arizona Cardinals game went to overtime and extended past the deadline. RedZone remains dark until the following Sunday. During the week, as well as during playoffs and off-season, a generic title card advertisement is shown, accompanied by music from NFL Films.
However, cable providers may overlay their own tie-in title card. Providers are disallowed from using the channel space for other purposes during its off-time.
While the RedZone channel is only utilized for Sunday afternoon games, in the unique instance in which Christmas falls on a Sunday and the full slate of Week 16 afternoon games is switched to Saturday , the RedZone is utilized for that Saturday afternoon schedule.
RedZone is not on-air during Thursday night , Sunday night , Monday night , and any stand-alone Saturday night games, nor for NFL International Series games which are scheduled in an early Sunday morning timeslot. It also does not cover Thanksgiving games or postseason games.
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During seventeen selected Sunday afternoons in the spring and early summer, all seventeen weeks of the regular season as seen on RedZone were re-aired. They were edited for length and content, and had commercials inserted.
Preseason[ edit ] Through , during select nights of the preseason , special "whip around" coverage aired on the primary NFL Network. It followed the same style as RedZone and utilized the same production team and host. Starting in , preseason "whip around" coverage moved to the RedZone channel itself.
On four selected nights in August RedZone aired as part of a free preview of the service for all providers.
Week 1 Friday , weeks 2—3 Saturday , and week 4 Thursday of the preseason featured the familiar "whip around" coverage. ET In , RedZone aired a free preview during the preseason for five selected nights, and during Week 1 of the regular season.
In , RedZone aired a free preview on four selected nights during the preseason starting August 11 and during Week 1 of the regular season. In , RedZone aired only once during preseason.
Availability[ edit ] The RedZone Channel is available on most providers carrying the NFL Network,       and is presented in both standard and high definition; availability of the channel depends on the service tier.
Some carriers might carry NFL Network available on their main digital tier, while RedZone might be relegated to a digital sports tier at an additional cost. Access to the network is available through the Watch NFL Network mobile app via a subscriber's TV Everywhere credentials if offered by their provider, one of the few exceptions where some form of access to NFL games is offered beyond Verizon Wireless subscribers due to that provider's mobile rights exclusivity.
Criticism[ edit ] RedZone has generally received favorable to positive reviews,   and its product has been referred to as a form of new media.
Furthermore, many fans still prefer to watch complete games. During the Sunday afternoon games, The Sunday Drive monitors all games in progress across the league.
Any time a team enters the red zone, they will cut-in to the team's live local radio broadcast to cover potential scoring action. Until , this audio was also carried on NFL Network during Sunday afternoon games, overlaid with textual scores and stats to avert any form of competition with the league's broadcast partners; in the past it featured more of a "carousel" type of format where reporters at the game would check in via telephone with the basic score, scoring plays and statistics for the game.