It’s that most wonderful time of the year when millions of Americans watch their only football game of the season because it’s an excuse to eat too much and watch overproduced commercials. That’s right folks, Super Bowl LVI is almost upon us.
This year’s edition of the NFL championship game is an odd one. In one corner you’ve got the Los Angeles Rams, a team many expected to be here because of a string of recent successes (they were in the Super Bowl just three seasons ago) and a roster loaded with big-name veterans. Across from them are the…Cincinnati Bengals?! Yes, the team with the most underrated uniforms in sports and a history largely steeped in irrelevance has shocked the world, and gotten to the big game on the backs of a bunch of ultra-talented cool guys who are all like 25 years old, love smoking cigars, and don’t care in the slightest what anyone thinks about them.
The Bengals may not traditionally be a big TV draw, but trust me, you’re going to want to tune in and watch them take on the Rams to potentially win their first championship ever. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC on Sunday, Feb. 13.
Here’s how you can check it out without paying for cable.
Since the game is on NBC this year, the trick to watching it without cable is exactly the same as it is for the Winter Olympics: Pay $5 for Peacock Premium and stream it from your streaming device of choice.
Peacock Premium comes in either $5/mo or $10/mo plans, with the latter getting rid of ads in on-demand content. The Super Bowl is the live event to end all live events so that’s not relevant here. The $5 tier gets you access to a livestream of the game, so simply go with that one.
It’s tempting to end the article right here because of how comically easy it is to just pay for Peacock and call it a day. But if that’s not your style, there are a couple of other ways to catch the Super Bowl.
Cable-like streaming services
There are a bunch of different streaming services out there that replicate the cable experience by bundling dozens of channels together for a monthly fee that’s usually not that big of a discount compared to just getting cable. Sure, you won’t have to deal with contracts or installation or deactivation fees, but $70/mo is still $70/mo.
Anyway, here are a few of those that carry local NBC affiliates:
To be clear, while those are all a great deal more expensive than Peacock, they also come with lots of other channels. Hulu with Live TV also comes with, well, Hulu, so that’s a nice bonus. But still, Peacock is going to be the easiest option compared to these.
If you really want to kick it old school, there are lots of HD TV antennas that you can plug into an HDMI port, attach to a wall or window, and hope that it picks up the over-the-air broadcast of your local NBC affiliate. These usually cost anywhere from $20 to $40 and have the benefit of not requiring any kind of regular subscription. Buy it once and that’s it. However, channel selection and signal strength can vary heavily depending on your location, so it can be a bit of a gamble. If your home internet isn’t up to the task of streaming the Super Bowl, this could be a way around that. Otherwise, it’s probably wise to just give Peacock a whirl.
Super Bowl LVI isn’t the matchup most (or any) football fans expected to see back in September, but that’s why they play the games instead of just predicting them and calling it a day. The Rams and Bengals feature plenty of explosive talent on both sides of the ball, so fingers crossed it isn’t a blowout or a low-scoring snoozefest.