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Here are 4 free ways to watch the Super Bowl without cable

Here are 4 free ways to watch the Super Bowl without cable
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 10:15:43-05

The Super Bowl is the biggest televised event of every year. But this year’s matchup, pitting reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers, promises to be bigger than ever — potentially big enough to break a few records.

Unless you’ve been fully hibernating, you’re likely aware of the fact that Taylor Swift has shown up to Kansas City Chiefs games this season to cheer on her boyfriend, tight end Travis Kelce — who made Swift-style heart hands after scoring in a playoff game. The pop star billionaire’s presence at the games has supercharged viewership numbers for the NFL, and (assuming Swift attends the Super Bowl) she’ll likely mean a boon for the this year’s big game on Sunday, Feb. 11.

In order to break Super Bowl viewership records, the number to beat this year is 115.1 million viewers, which is the record set by Super Bowl LVII in 2023. If Swift gets the viewership over this line, it will take another record away from last year’s big game to become the most-watched telecast ever tracked by Nielsen.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Swift will be flying to Las Vegas from Tokyo, where she has a concert to perform on Saturday Feb. 10, but she is likely to show up for the game because if there’s one thing Taylor Swift loves to do, it’s break records.

As for the actual football teams, the 49ers haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995, and the last time they made it to the Super Bowl was in 2020, in an identical matchup to this year with the Chiefs. So, both teams are ultra-determined to win: The Chiefs want to defend their title and the 49ers would probably like to stop being the underdogs and taste Super Bowl victory for the first time in the 21st century.

Beyond the game, what else can we expect to see on the field at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders? This year’s halftime performer is Usher, and the national anthem will be sung by Reba McEntire.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

MORE: Super Bowl tickets are still available!

Here are the stats you should know ahead of this year’s Super Bowl:

  • What: Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers
  • When: Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024; kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada (and televised to living rooms everywhere)

Whether you’re watching for the football or the love story (Taylor’s version), there are a number of ways to access the big game this year, some of which won’t cost you any extra money and don’t require cable or another subscription.

1. Watch Via Over-The-Air For Free

The original way to watch the Super Bowl remains the most cost-effective and reliable. With an over-the-air digital antenna, you can watch the Super Bowl without cable or any other kind of TV subscription. Since the game always airs on either CBS, Fox or NBC — three of the major over-the-air broadcast networks — it’s totally free for anyone with a TV and antenna to watch on their local affiliate.

This year, CBS is broadcasting the game. If you’ve already got your over-the-air antenna set up and your local CBS affiliate is already scanned into your channel lineup, simply flip to that station on the day of the game and enjoy the coverage from start to finish, fee-free, including CBS’s pre- and post-game shows, all the commercials and the halftime show.

If you don’t have an over-the-air antenna, check out this guide on finding the best one for your needs, then install it and run a scan for channels on your TV. Your local CBS affiliate should be among the ones you receive and that’s where you’ll want to flip on game day. Indoor and outdoor antennas are available at many price points, depending on your needs and budget.

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2. Stream It With A Live TV Subscription

Many people these days have a subscription to at least one of the on-demand streaming services (i.e., Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video) but that won’t help you watch the Super Bowl since the game is obviously a live program. However, you can stream the game through services like YouTube TV, Fubo and DirecTV Stream, each of which carries CBS and gives you access to live content.

Each of those services also offers a free trial period if you’re a new customer, though you’ll have to pay for the services beyond the free-trial window. So, you could theoretically sign up for a free trial that covers the Super Bowl and then cancel before you’re billed, but if you miss the window — which many people do — you’ll face an automatic charge, which could be pricey, depending on which service you’ve used.

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3. Stream It On Paramount Plus

Since CBS has the 2024 Super Bowl, the broadcaster is simulcasting the big game on its streaming app, Paramount Plus (previously known as CBS All Access). This offers you another way to watch the Super Bowl without cable or a live TV streaming subscription.

To watch the Super Bowl on Paramount Plus, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription to the app, and you can start with a one-week free trial. If you’d rather not keep it after the Super Bowl, simply cancel the trial. To get started, visit the Paramount Plus website and click on the blue box that says “Try It Free.”

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4. Go To A Bar

Finally, one of the most common ways people watch the big game is to head to a sports bar — or pretty much any spot that has TVs — to see it with a crowd. It may not be a free option, exactly, since you’ll likely run up a tab on drinks and food, but it might be worth it to experience the highs and lows of the game alongside dozens of fellow fans.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

As you can see, there are more ways than ever to watch the Super Bowl but using an over-the-air antenna to catch it on your local CBS station still makes the most sense. You won’t have to worry about server issues, Wi-Fi strength or recurring payments. However you watch, here’s to a good game.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.