Panthers vs 49ers

Panthers vs 49ers: The Carolina Panthers and Tampa Buccaneers look to pick up their first win of the season Thursday night in an NFC South showdown. Make no mistake about it, these two teams don’t like each other. Last year, Carolina won, 42-28, at home in Week 9. Quarterback Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns, while running back Christian McCaffrey added two more scores on the ground. Tampa Bay returned the favor with a 24-17 victory four weeks later.

After a fairly dull Vikings win over Washington on Thursday, an almost fully packed slate of NFL Week 8 action should bring some better games Sunday. The 13 games on the docket include the undefeated Patriots taking on the underperforming but talented Browns and the red-hot Packers heading to Arrowhead Stadium to face the injury-depleted Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

With a busy schedule across the league, here’s how fans can catch all the action without cable — as well as the rest of the NFL games this season on Thursday and Monday nights.

Buccaneers vs. Panthers

Date: Thursday, Sept. 12
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NFL Network
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)

How can I watch my local team’s NFL games?

For teams in your local market — Jets fans in New York and New Jersey, Pats fans in Massachusetts, and so on — you’ll be able to watch your local team’s games on a major local network channel.

Games are typically broadcast on CBS and Fox on Sunday afternoons. National broadcasts are shown on NBC on Sunday nights, ESPN on Monday nights and the NFL Network on Thursday nights. Most of the Thursday night games are simulcast on Fox, Amazon Prime and Twitch. (Note that CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

There is also NFL RedZone to consider, a channel that springs to life each fall and shows live coverage from around the league with the promise to show you every touchdown from every Sunday afternoon game. It’s a great way to watch out-of-market action and essential viewing for fantasy football GMs.

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Sarah Tew/CNET
Which live TV streaming services are best for NFL fans?
The short answer? PlayStation Vue is our No. 1 overall pick for streaming live NFL football.

Read more: Best ways to watch football live without cable

The longer answer: Many live TV streaming services — including Vue as well as AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV — carry one or more local networks (namely CBS, Fox and NBC), so they’re the best bet for cord cutters who don’t want to use an over-the-air antenna.

The catch is that not every service carries every local network, so check each one using the links below to make sure it carries the network you want in your area.

AT&T TV Now
FuboTV
Hulu with Live TV (click “View channels in your area”)
PlayStation Vue (choose your location)
Sling TV Blue
YouTube TV

Other stuff to know about live TV streaming services:

You’ll need a solid internet connection.
You can watch any of them on TV as long as your smart TV has the service’s app. You can also watch on your TV using a media streamer, such as a Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or Chromecast.
You can also watch on iPhones (See deal), Android phones, tablets and computer browsers.
You can sign up and cancel anytime, no contract required.
All of them offer free trial periods, so you can sign up to watch and then cancel.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue offers all the networks that show NFL games, and you can add the NFL RedZone channel for $10 a month extra. The $55 Core plan is the cheapest option that includes the five channels NFL fans need — CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network — and the $10-a-month Sports Pack will get you NFL RedZone. The Core plan is currently discounted to $45 a month for the first two months.

Sling TV
Sling TV splits its live NFL options across its $25-a-month Blue plan and $25-a-month Orange plan, which forces NFL fans into a tricky decision or encourages them to spring for both at $40 a month.

Sling Blue includes Thursday and Sunday games on NBC, Fox and the NFL Network. Sling Orange includes Monday night games on ESPN. And if you want to add the NFL RedZone, you’ll need Sling Blue. Blue — but not Orange — subscribers can add the $10-a-month Sports Extra package, which includes NFL RedZone. Sling TV does not offer CBS, which typically carries AFC games on Sunday afternoons.

Sling’s packages are discounted 40% for the first month.

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