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Diehard NFL fans who want to catch the NFL Draft can stream it online in a few different ways this year. Cordcutters are in luck, because multiple networks have full coverage. The 2019 NFL Draft airs on ABC, ESPN and its sub-channels, and the NFL Network as well as on nfl.com and the NFL app.
There are a lot of options for streaming all three nights of content and updates. Live and on-demand access to ESPN’s pay-TV content and NFL Network is easy to add through most skinny bundle streaming services like Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and DirectTV Now.
Watch every round of the draft from start to finish with this handy schedule.
|Round 1||Thursday April 25th - 8pm ET||NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, and ESPN Deportes|
|Rounds 2-3||Rounds 2-3 Friday April 26th - 7pm ET||NFL Network, ABC, ESPN/ESPN2; and ESPN Deportes|
|Rounds 4-7||Saturday April 27th - 12pm ET||NFL Network, ABC, ESPN; and ESPN Deportes|
The easiest and cheapest way to watch the 2019 NFL Draft is on your local ABC affiliate, which you can watch free with an over-the-air antenna. ABC is airing draft coverage for the first time, anchored by Robin Roberts with help from Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, and Lee Corso from ESPN.
If you haven’t taken the leap to watching over-the-air TV with an antenna, you’re missing out. You’ll get an HD signal with better picture and sound quality than the compressed signal you have with a cable provider. Modern antennas are small, easy to install, and cost less than $50.
Most people who live near a major urban television market can access local network broadcasts from ABC for free. See what channels you receive by entering your home address at NoCable. Your free report will show a list of stations, antenna recommendations, and directional tips for setting up your device.
Viewers can also watch it on the ABC app, WatchESPN app, and NFL app. It’s available to those with pay TV authentication on the CBS Sports app (requires authentication) or with a subscription to ESPN+.
Sling TV subscribers can watch the draft with the Orange package which includes ESPN, ESPN2, and local channels in some locations. Viewers can also add the NFL Network subscription for $5/month as an Extra. Sling TV works with all of the most common streaming devices, and the Air TV player allows users to connect a USB key for use as a free DVR.
Sling TV costs $25 per month after a three-month introductory rate of $15. The service has the most subscribers in the skinny bundle world, most likely due to the aggressive introductory pricing. There’s no long-term contract nor are there any hidden fees.
The sports-centric fuboTV streaming service is $54.99 per month and carries the NFL Network but not ESPN or ESPN2. Current subscribers can watch ABC using an over-the-air antenna. Unrelated to the draft, baseball fans should consider this service because fuboTV is the first streaming service to provide an ultra-high-definition 4K stream for MLB games.
The skinny bundle live TV service boasted more than 2 million US subscribers at the end of 2018. The service includes more local channels than any other low-priced skinny bundle streaming service, so there’s a good chance you can watch the draft on your local ABC affiliate. Subscribers can also watch portions of the draft on ESPN and ESPN2.
Hulu + Live TV works with all of the most common streaming devices, like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Viewers can download shows and movies to watch without an internet connection. The service includes a cloud-based DVR with 50 hours of storage and unlimited access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library for $44.99/month.
Just last month YouTube TV became widely available to television markets across the country for $49.99 per month. YouTube TV includes an unlimited DVR, 70 channels, and provides local ABC, Fox, NBC, and CBS in 90% of U.S. markets. Sports coverage includes ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten, and CBS Sports and for baseball fans, it’s the only streaming service that carries MLB Network for no extra charge in its base package.
Subscribers of DirecTV Now can watch sports on ESPN and ESPN2 in the base level package which costs $50 a month. The service has pretty good coverage of most local channels, but some are only available in select markets. Before subscribing, check to see what channels are covered in your area.
DIRECTV NOW lost 83,000 subscribers in the 1st quarter of 2019 and no longer carries the NFL Network or REDZone as of April 15th, so subscribers will miss the network’s coverage of the 2019 Draft.
The streaming service is facing some dramatic changes after staggering 4Q2018 subscriber losses and a late 1Q2019 price hike. Hulu and Netflix have reported strong growth in the same timeframe. Hulu now has over a million live TV subscribers and Netflix added over a million new subscribers just in the U.S. in 3Q2018.
In related football news, the league is moving away from DirecTV satellite service as the sole provider of NFL Sunday Ticket at the start of the 2020 season. NBC News reports that the company is shopping the NFL Sunday Ticket to Amazon and Disney. The price for the regular NFL Sunday Ticket package for the 2018 season was $293.94. It’s unclear how this will affect subscribers of the streaming-only version which was available on a limited basis.
Cordcutting has completely transformed the way we watch TV, with a wide variety of options for streaming the NFL Draft this year. Full coverage airs on ABC, ESPN and its sub-channels, and the NFL Network as well as on nfl.com and the NFL app. Viewers can also watch it on the ABC app, WatchESPN app, and NFL app. It’s available to those with pay TV authentication on the CBS Sports app (requires authentication) or with a subscription to ESPN+.
For those who prefer to watch it on the big screen, ABC is covering the draft for the first year so viewers can see it with an over-the-air antenna. Live and on-demand access to ESPN’s pay-TV content and NFL Network is easy to add on the streaming services Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirectTV Now.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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