Come February 8, the NFL will have a new champion.
Super Bowl 50 (no more roman numerals!), featuring the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, kicks off Sunday at 6:30 pm EST / 3:30 pm PST on CBS.
“Wait a minute,” you say incredulously. “I thought the Super Bowl was only broadcast on Fox, NBC or ABC.”
Well it is, sometimes. But not this year. Every year the network rotates in order to spread the wealth amongst the top three biggest broadcast stations.
But just because ABC’s running the show, you don’t need cable to watch it: Check down below for ways to watch the biggest game of the year with – or without – a cable subscription.
Pre-game: Opening night on the NFL Network
Super Bowl 50 festivities begin Monday night with an opening night event to be held at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on Feb. 1.
The action starts at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA where the two teams will address the media for the first time after flying out to the San Francisco Bay Area.
This is the first time the NFL has ever broadcast the opening media events and, due to the slightly limited scope of two teams talking about football instead of playing it, the Super Bowl 50 Opening Ceremony will only be broadcast on the NFL Network channel or online at NFLNetwork.com.
If you have the channel available, it’s absolutely worth tuning in for. There’s your standard smacktalk, of course, but also a plethora of strangely dressed people that do on-the-spot interviews on who they think will win.
If that’s not up your alley, the NFL Network will broadcast the events leading up to Super Sunday that are happening all around the Bay Area from 3 pm PT – 10 pm PT every day this week.
Game day: Where to watch Super Bowl 50
So what happens when you’ve stuffed yourself with pre-game activities and are ready to move on to the main course? When Sunday rolls around, things become slightly more complicated.
If you’re on a PC or tablet, the only place you need to know is CBS Sports – which is offering a livestream to the game via this link: Super Bowl 50 livestream
If you don’t want to watch it from a computer chair and would rather watch it instead from the comfort of your living room couch, CBS has a dedicated channel/app on the Roku 2, Roku 3, Roku 4, Roku Streaming Stick, Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox One and Windows 10.
“Wait,” here we go again. “If it’s so simple why don’t we do this all year round?”
CBS, like ABC and NBC, typically locks this section down during the NFL season, requiring you to enter in your cable provider information to get anywhere close to the gridiron. Everyday of the season, that is, except Super Bowl Sunday.
Now, what about those of us trying to watch from a mobile device like, say, a new iPhone 6S or Samsung Galaxy S6? Unfortunately, as powerful as it is, even CBS has to bend a knee to Verizon come Super Sunday.
If you’re on a mobile device, the only way to watch the game is through the NFL mobile app, which is only available to select Verizon customers. By “select customers” I mean those who subscribe to Verizon’s signature “More Everything Plan.” The plan, for the most part, isn’t costly ($45 a month for individuals and family plans for $140 a month), but unless you’re the biggest fan of football in the world, upgrading your plan just to watch the game is a bad call.
Finally, should you and your guests like to watch the game with Spanish commentary, ESPN Deportes is offering a Spanish-language telecast of the game. The best option to watch that without cable would be to subscribe to Sling TV, and then tack on “The Best of Spanish Live TV” package for an additional $5 per month.
Super Bowl 50 will be held in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Sunday, Feb. 7. The Super Bowl 50 Pregame show starts at 3 pm PT / 6 pm PT with the kickoff at 3:30 / 6:30. The half-time show will be headlined by Coldplay and will also star Beyonce.