Update, February 1, 2020: Crisis averted! If you own a Roku-based TV, or use a Roku-based streaming device, you won’t need to make any extra arrangements to watch Super Bowl LIV for free after all. Late on Friday, January 31, Roku and Fox resolved their carrier dispute. That means the Roku Fox Sports and Fox Now apps will continue to work and will show Super Bowl LIV for free in 4K.
In a blog post, Roku offers some other alternatives to watching the Super Bowl for free on its devices, although none of them will support 4K resolutions:
- The NFL Roku app will also stream the game for free.
Original article, January 20, 2020: The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the United States, with an average of 160 million viewers annually. Whether you’re watching from your phone, Android TV or at a friend’s place, we want to help you watch the Super Bowl. Here’s how to legally watch Super Bowl LIV (2020) in the US between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
When and where
Super Bowl LIV airs all over the Internet, but here are the basics of where and when. As an interesting point of fact, FOX plans on airing the Super Bowl in 4K resolution, the first time that’s ever happened.
- Air date and time: Sunday, February 2nd at 6:30PM EST/3:30PM PST.
- Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida.
- Channel: FOX Network and local FOX affiliates. It will not air on FOX Sports channels but it will air on the FOX Sports official app.
- Alternative: The official FOX NOW app (iOS link). You need a cable subscription to use the app to stream. However, you do get it in 4K resolution if you stream the game.
- Compatibility: FOX has a list of compatible devices and web browsers here. It works on all major platforms, including Android, Apple, Roku, FireTV, Android TV, Xbox One, and Samsung Smart TVs.
- Price: Believe it or not, FOX is allowing people to stream the event for free on the official website and official app. Simply head to one of them, create an account, and you’re ready to go.
- How to watch the Super Bowl in 4K – FOX is streaming the event live in 4K from the website and the app. You simply need to download (or visit) those resources to stream it in 4K. You will, however, need a device that supports 4K, a TV that supports 4K, and an Internet connection fast enough to stream 4K.
Those are the official spots to watch the game. However, there are a ton of other places to watch as well.
A host of piracy sites will do the job, but they aren’t great and we don’t recommend them for obvious reasons. There are some legal streaming options for Super Bowl LII, though. Here are a few:
- FOX NOW and FOX Sports – This is the first, most obvious, and easiest choice. FOX is actually streaming the event for free so you don’t need any additional software or subscriptions to view the game.
- YouTube TV – One of many good Internet TV apps. This one has support all over the US and it should have your local FOX affiliates as well. Check here to be sure, though.
- Hulu TV – Hulu is airing the Super Bowl this year through local FOX channels. You can make sure those channels are available in your area by clicking here.
- Sling TV – One of the original Internet TV sites is still a reasonably decent service for watching the Super Bowl. Sling is battling with FOX Sports right now, but the Super Bowl is airing on the regular FOX channel which is still available on Sling TV. You can double check availability here.
Streaming services are a good way to watch the game, especially this year with FOX streaming the game for free and in 4K.
Digital TV antenna
The game will also air on local FOX affiliates. Those who live in cities (or close to them) or otherwise have an antenna to get local channels can watch the game for free without doing anything special. Antennas are relatively inexpensive, depending on what range you need. Plus you get free TV all year with them. DTV channels also often air in 720p HD, the same resolution as cable TV.
- Coverage maps: The FTC has a coverage map of DTV services in your area. All you have to do is find out how far the FOX tower is from your house and buy an antenna with enough power. For instance, if the tower is 20 miles away, you need an antenna with at least 20 miles of range in order to pick it up. We recommend going higher, as getting it right on the money can result in a fuzzy picture.
- Where to buy: You have a few options if you don’t already own one of these. You can pick one up locally at your nearby Best Buy stores or buy one on Amazon. They are almost always under $100 and usually under $50. This one is a decent pick if you need a recommendation.
The cost for this one is a little larger up front than streaming options. However, this is a one-time purchase and you get TV even after the Super Bowl. We’re not sure why more cord cutters don’t use these for local TV at least.
Here are a few other ideas for those struggling to get these solutions working. They’re roundabout solutions, often-suggested solutions by others, and ideas for those who simply can’t get the game to stream.
- Attend a Super Bowl party – We know, it’s a lame idea, but we’re trying to cover all of our bases here. Obviously, a Super Bowl party has the Super Bowl! We’re so smart.
- Go to a sports bar – Same thing as the Super Bowl party. It could be lame, but at least there will be food and refreshments!
- Follow the event on social media – This one won’t actually show you the game, except in snippets, but following the NFL’s official pages on websites like Twitter and Facebook will get you up-to-the-minute updates. Google Search shows live scores. You can also follow sports blogs, personalities, individual team accounts, and more. They often post short highlight videos or GIFs during the game too. It’s not comparable to streaming, but it’s something.
- Attend official watch parties – There is an official watch party at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Those in Florida can definitely try that since it’s free to the public.
Again, these aren’t amazing ideas, but we’re covering all of the bases.
If we missed any good ways to watch or stream Super Bowl LIV, tell us in the comments!