Tablo Blog

Is Your Cord Cutting Setup Ready for NFL Pre-Season Football?

We hope you enjoy the following guest post from Chris Brantner, the cord cutting expert behind


The NFL football season is rapidly approaching. Whether you’re a casual or diehard fan, there's nothing quite like the thrill of a great gridiron matchup.

The NFL pre-season will be the first opportunity to watch your favorite team shake the cobwebs off and prepare for the road to the Superbowl. If you don’t have cable, your first step is ensuring your cord-cutting setup is ready to go. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the ideal cord-cutting setups for catching NFL pre-season action.


NFL preseason


Combine an Antenna and a Tablo DVR
The best option for watching NFL pre-season and regular season games is combining an antenna and a Tablo DVR. The antenna will pick up Over-the-Air broadcasts from network channels that broadcast NFL games like ABC, CBS, FOX and the CW.

The only pre-season games you’d miss would be the few airing on ESPN.

During the regular season, nearly all of your local team’s games can be viewed with an antenna including Sunday broadcasts and Monday Night Football simulcasts. This year an added bonus is that many Thursday Night Football games will be available via an antenna as well, meaning Over-the-Air broadcast TV provides nearly full coverage of the NFL.

Aside from the initial investment for the antenna, watching this content is absolutely free and is delivered in perfectly crisp HD quality.

When you combine an antenna with the Tablo DVR, you can take this cord cutting setup to the next level. Tablo has all of the traditional features of cable DVRs which means you can record the game to watch it later, rewind the live action to catch a play again, or pause it to run into the kitchen for a beer. Additionally, because Tablo connects to your home network instead of a single TV, it also lets you to watch recordings or live TV on your laptop, phone or tablet away from home as long as you have an internet or 3G/4G connection.

Tablo screens 


Watch ESPN NFL Games on Sling TV
If you have an Over-the-Air HDTV antenna, the only gap in NFL coverage is those games broadcast on ESPN. Thankfully Sling TV can provide those. Sling TV is a subscription-based streaming service ($20 per month) which provides more than 20 other popular cable channels (like ESPN2, TBS, TNT, AMC, and CNN) live.

Sling TV’s channel lineup gets you tons of live TV and sports that aren’t available with an antenna, including a handful of pre-season and regular season NFL games. Sling TV’s channels can be streamed on phones, tablets, computers, or on your TV with via streaming set-top-boxes like Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast.

Combining Sling TV with an antenna and Tablo DVR lets you watch just about as much as cable subscription would, including all the great NFL action.




Long story short, you really don’t need cable or satellite to watch your favorite TV shows and live sports. Check out the NFL schedule to see exactly which games you can watch Over-the-Air or via Sling TV.


Chris BrantnerChris Brantner runs, a blog dedicated to helping people find legal cable TV alternatives. Follow him on Twitter @CutCableToday and like him on Facebook at



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