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How to watch Raiders vs. 49ers NFL preseason game

San Francisco 49ers
(Image credit: Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While it can no longer be described as a battle for the Bay, the Las Vegas Raiders (formerly of Oakland) will travel to the home of their old neighbors, the San Francisco 49ers, for both teams’ third and final game of the 2021 NFL preseason. Even though both teams have picked up and moved in recent years — the 49ers actually play in Santa Clara, Calif.— they’ll always have the Bay Area as a connection.

The Raiders vs. 49ers preseason game is taking place on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m. ET, airing nationally on the NFL Network. It is one of five games taking place on the final day of the 2021 NFL preseason, all of which will be on national TV. The other games include the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Dallas Cowboys; Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals; New England Patriots vs. New York Giants; and Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons. The full schedule for week three of the 2021 NFL preseason is available right here.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to tune in for the Raiders vs. 49ers game.

Raiders vs. 49ers matchup preview

Despite many of its top offensive players sitting out both preseason games so far this year, the Las Vegas Raiders depth players have led them to a 2-0 record. Derek Carr, Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs have not taken a snap thus far in the preseason, and head coach Jon Gruden hasn’t revealed as of publication whether or not that would change in the final preseason matchup. Never hurts to get your depth pieces some valuable playing time, but it’ll be interesting to see how the starters then react when the games begin to matter in the regular season if they have no actual game time beforehand. 

The 49ers, meanwhile, have followed a similar pattern to the Raiders, choosing not to play many of their starters for the first two preseason games. But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has already confirmed that all of his starters will play in the final preseason game. For how long will be the question. Another interesting thing to watch will be if rookie quarterback Trey Lance will get any work with the first-team offense during the game. The rookie was the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and while Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to be the starting quarterback for the Niners to start the season, it’s definitely possible Trey Lance could see playing time at some point during the 2021 regular season.

How to watch Raiders vs. 49ers

Come 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) on Aug. 29, fans across the country wanting to tune into the Raiders vs. 49ers game will need to make sure they have access to the NFL Network. Many traditional cable providers offer the NFL Network as a premium cable option, so if you’re signed up with a cable service to check if your plan already has it or how you can add it. Another option for watching the live game broadcast is through a vMVPD service, with Fubo TV, Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV all carrying the NFL network (depending on plan). 

If you’re a viewer living in the San Francisco or Las Vegas TV market, the game will actually be on local TV, not the NFL Network, which any of the above services will work for you, as well as a TV antenna. In San Francisco the game will be on KPIX 5, while the team will also stream it for in-market fans via their app or Las Vegas viewers can tune into Fox 5 KVVU-TV to catch the game.

Cord-cutters have another option to watch all NFL preseason action this season live and without cable — NFL Game Pass. NFL Game Pass is a subscription service ($100 for a contract that runs until July 31, 2022) that is providing live streaming of all 2021 NFL preseason games, as well as on-demand replays of either the full game broadcast or a condensed version with just the action. When things shift to the regular season, subscribers will have access just to the on-demand replays of the games. With NFL Game Pass, subscribers can watch via iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

There’s another way to watch the Raiders vs. 49ers, or any preseason game, that can be particularly handy if you’re abroad, a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer. 

ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.

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Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.