This Sunday, NRG Stadium in Houston will host the country’s biggest annual sporting event: the Super Bowl. This year, Super Bowl LI (that’s 51, for those who don’t study their Roman numerals) will feature the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, in what promises to be a high-octane contest that pits the top offense in the NFC (the Falcons) against the top offense in the AFC (the Patriots).
This year, Fox has exclusive rights to the live broadcast, and the network will give fans — including those without a cable subscription, or even a TV — several options for watching the big game in high definition. Whether you plan to tune in using your smartphone, tablet, computer, or TV, we’ve got you covered. Even if you’re just tuning in for the commercials or the spectacle that is bound to be Lady Gaga’s halftime performance, keep reading to find out how to watch Super Bowl LI in style.
As previously mentioned, Fox owns the rights to this year’s Super Bowl, which means you’ll want to navigate to whichever channel Fox is on at 3:30 p.m. PST. The exact channel depends on your location and your cable or satellite provider, but this is the preferred option for the best quality and stability — not to mention unhindered access to those oh-so-important commercials.
If you’re not a cable customer but you can grab a digital antenna, enter your address on this page to find out which channel Fox is currently being broadcast over in your local area. The antenna option may not be as stable as cable, but in some cases the broadcast digital HD signal may even be higher quality than what your satellite or cable provider serves up. You can find an excellent list of digital antennas here.
This year, Fox is offering live HD streams of the game at FoxSportsGo.com, even if you don’t have a cable subscription. This means that every major browser — including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari — should have no problem displaying the stream, assuming your software is up to date. The football gods are benevolent, and, apparently, they want you to glue your eyes to the field on Sunday.
Tablets and set-top streaming devices
Last year, most everyone with a tablet or set-top streaming device was able to watch the game for free using CBS’s Sports app. This year, the names have changed, but the method stays the same. Instead of CBS Sports, you’ll want to download the Fox Sports Go app on your iOS or Android device. Fox will be integrating local and national advertisements into the broadcast, so don’t worry about missing those hilarious Super Bowl commercials.
Most big-name devices, including the Apple TV, Chromecast, and various Roku devices are compatible with the app, and you won’t need to pilfer your parents’ login information to gain access. Every bone-crunching tackle and each close-up of Tom Brady looking bored are yours for the viewing — no strings attached. Below is a list of compatible devices.
|iOS||Requires iOS 8.0 or later|
|Apple TV||Requires 4th Generation Apple TV running tvOS 9.0 and above|
|Android devices||Requires OS 4.2 or later|
|Android TV||Requires NVIDIA Shield, Sharp TV, Sony TV (BRAVIA 4k 2015 / SVP–DTV15 and BRAVIA 4k GB/BRAVIA_ATV2), or Nexus|
|Chromecast||Requires a Chromecast device running firmware 1.1 and above|
|Kindle Fire devices||Requires HD 3rd Generation or later devices running Fire HD OS 126.96.36.199 and above|
|Kindle Fire TV||Requires Kindle Fire TV or Kindle Fire Stick|
|Roku||Requires a Roku Streaming Player or Roku TV running firmware 7.2 or higher.
Requires Roku XD/S, Roku 2500, Roku 2 XS, Roku 3, or Roku 4.
|Windows desktop||System Requirements:
Operating System: 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 10
Processor: 1 GHz or faster
Supported Processors: 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64)
Memory: 1GB of RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Resolution: 1024 x 768 minimum
|Windows Mobile||All Windows Phone 10 devices are supported|
|Xbox One||Requires an Xbox One running firmware 10.0 and above|
Although fans can watch the game via the Fox Sports Go app on tablets, smartphones are a different story. Due to Verizon’s exclusivity agreement with the NFL, the only way to stream Super Bowl LI on your smartphone is by downloading the official NFL Mobile app — and even then, you’ll need to be a Verizon customer.
The small screen certainly isn’t ideal, but for fans unable to find their way to a living room or dive bar, it might be the only option. Just keep an eye on your data usage.