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How to watch NFL games on Paramount Plus

The NFL on Paramount Plus
(Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

The ability to stream live sports is a big question mark when it comes to streaming services. Some have 'em, and some don't. And if you're new to Paramount+, it's a fair question to ask. The answer? Yes, you can watch live sports on Paramount+. But let's narrow things down a little bit. Yes, you can watch live NFL games on Paramount+.

And it's starting to sound like we'll be able to watch more NFL games on Paramount+ than we initially thought. When the latest set of rights agreements were reached, ViacomCBS announced that "Paramount+ has been granted new and expanded rights for the streaming service." We don't know just how many games we'll be able to watch, but we do know that they'll be available on the $9.99-a-month ad-free (for on-demand content, anyway) Paramount+ plan, as well as the $4.99-a-month plan that goes into effect in June 2021.

That last part is important because the less-expensive tier does not include a live stream of your local CBS affiliate. So this will be NFL games in addition to that.

MORE: Read our Paramount Plus review

All that said, here's everything you need to know about watching the NFL on Paramount+. (And while you're at it, be sure to check out the best movies on Paramount+!)

How to watch the NFL on Paramount Plus with a subscription

The key to watching NFL games on Paramount+ is CBS. That's where you'll find regional AFC games, and who you get to watch depends on what part of the country in which you live.

Paramount+ comes in to play because along with all the on-demand series and movies you'll get access to your local CBS affiliate. So come Sundays when the NFL is in season, you'll be able to stream your regional NFL game. (Blackout rules may still be in effect, though. Some things never change.)

To watch the NFL on Paramount+, all you need to do is sign in and head to the Live TV section.

Along with the usual Paramount+ price — $4.99 a month with ads, or $9.99 a month for the premium tier without ads — you'll get access to all sorts of great on-demand series and movies. That includes the entire Star Trek library, from the Original Series to the new exclusives like Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard. It also includes shows from the MTV world, and the Smithsonian channel.

And you'll be able to take all of this for a spin — for free — thanks to the Paramount+ free trial.

How to watch the NFL without a Paramount Plus subscription

If you used to log in to CBS All Access with a cable subscription to stream NFL games online, things are going to change a bit from here on out.

Paramount+ no longer allows you to authenticate with a cable or satellite subscription. Instead, you'll have to head to the new CBS app (or the CBS website) and then sign in — and that will get you access to your local CBS affiliate. And then you can watch whatever regional NFL is available that week. 

That really doesn't change what you get in terms of content. (CBS All Access didn't give you the on-demand content unless you had a subscription with the service.) The big difference is just where you'll go to do it.

MORE: Check out the best shows on Paramount+

Watch the NFL on Paramount Plus outside of the United States

One other little nugget worth mentioning is this: If you've found yourself outside of your usual Paramount+/CBS viewing area but still want to get your NFL on, you can potentially use a VPN to make things right. 

A virtual private network allows you to route all of your internet traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country. (Say, the United States.) And from there you can use your Paramount+ login (or cable or streaming login) to get to the live CBS section of things — and that's a great way to be able to watch your NFL games on Paramount+.

The one caveat here is that you need to be able to trust your VPN provider, because all of your traffic — encrypted as well as unencrypted — is going to be going through that VPN. For that, we've long been fans of ExpressVPN.

The best VPN for Paramount+

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.

And ExpressVPN is a great way to make sure you can continue to watch everything on Paramount+, no matter where you are in the world.View Deal