Super Bowl 50 is set to take place on February 7, and if you haven’t already loaded up on the various mobile apps to keep you updated on breaking news and developments, now’s the time to do so. We’ve rounded up a list of the best Super Bowl and NFL-related apps – plus we’ve thrown in some helpful information on how you can watch the big game online if you don’t have access to a TV.
How to Watch the Super Bowl Online for Free
The days of clearing your weekend plans so you can be home in front of the HDTV for the Super Bowl are long gone. Mobile users on the go and cord cutters alike can watch the action live through a variety of online resources that ensure you don’t miss a single play. According to an official NFL press release, Super Bowl 50 will be streamed live (for free) across smartphones, tablets, desktops, and other platforms like Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. There are some limitations, though, so read on for the details.
Watching On Your Smartphone
First, the bad news for non-Verizon smartphone customers. If you’re not with Verizon, you won’t be able to watch the game for free on your smartphone, officially. If you are a Verizon subscriber and an NFL fan (and you’re into the idea of watching the full game on your tiny handheld screen), you’re golden. If this news is enough to compel you to jump ship, there’s still time – and the good news that Verizon now offers $650 to “unstick” yourself from your existing carrier. Verizon smartphone users will be able to watch Super Bowl 50 live via the previously mentioned (and free to download) NFL Mobile app on iOS, Android, or Windows Phone.
If you’re going to be away from home and you’re not interested in joining Verizon for the sake of a single game, there are other options to consider. Although it doesn’t exactly qualify as free, you can always use Slingbox (starting at $200) and the appropriate app to “sling” your TV signal to your smartphone (or use a friend’s). Dish customers with Dish Anywhere should be able to do the same. Other cable companies offer similar TV streaming features with their respective apps, Xfinity TV comes to mind, but popular channels are often limited to in-home streaming. This very likely includes CBS and the Super Bowl broadcast. This also applies to CBS All Access, the CBS subscription streaming service, which blacks out NFL games. Sorry, you’re out of luck here.
For those interested in more creative approaches to getting around the Verizon smartphone monopoly on Super Bowl 50, there are two additional avenues to pursue. The first is dialing in to your home computer via remote desktop app, launching the free stream, and watching the action remotely on your smartphone. Depending on the capabilities of the remote desktop application, however, you may not be able to get the audio portion. We recommend testing this rig out in advance. You could also use your phone’s hotspot feature to connect a Wi-Fi-only tablet or laptop and stream the game through a browser. Just be careful and watch your data consumption. The broadcast will likely top four hours, and it will likely consume a few GB of data.
And then, of course, there’s the Periscope solution. This “hackaround” poses a couple of logistical challenges, not the least of which is recruiting some willing soul to aim their smartphone at their TV or computer screen for the duration of the game and broadcast it out via Periscope. The good news is that Periscope has no limitations on the length of video feeds. Just make sure the broadcasting source and the receiving end are plugged into power, otherwise rapid battery drainage will become an issue. Needless to say, it won’t be the same as being in the room with your buddies and experiencing it all in HD quality – but sometimes a fan’s gotta do what a fan’s gotta do.
Free Streaming on Your Computer, Tablet and Other Devices
Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and Windows 10 streaming devices can each watch the game live via their respective CBS Sports apps. All streaming formats will include halftime entertainment courtesy Coldplay and Beyoncé, and the famous commercials. That’s right, CBS will stream the entire production in its entirety, just as if you were watching a traditional broadcast. Lovers of more traditional, retro methods can watch Super Bowl 50 on their television sets on CBS. The broadcast – no matter how you tune in – starts at 6:30 PM Eastern Time and 3:30 PM Pacific on February 7. That’s a Sunday, in case you didn’t know.
The Best Super Bowl Apps for iOS and Android
The natural place to start is by downloading the official apps for the two teams headed to Super Bowl 50: the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Both are available for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phones. Each comes with loads of features including breaking news alerts, team stats, video-on-demand clips, and photo galleries. The NFL has a variety of official apps to choose from, for both iOS and Android devices (Windows is covered, too). NFL Mobile lets you track stats, read articles, see video highlights, and more. It’s free for iOS and Android users, but comes with additional in-app purchases that unlock deeper content. Android users can add NFL RedZone for $1.99 per month, which gets you highlighted video coverage of all Sunday games throughout the season. iPad users that are also subscribed to AT&T U-verse, Charter, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Optimum, and Verizon FiOS (among many providers) get RedZone free. Verizon customers running iOS or Android also have access to live game action for Super Bowl 50. If you’re planning on being in the Bay Area for Super Bowl Sunday, NFL Road to 50 for Android and iOS brings you a schedule of major game-related events happening in the area, location based alerts, transportation information, maps for exploring the town while you’re there, and check-ins and badge collection opportunities. The crowner is the chance to win Super Bowl 50 tickets when you register for Fan Mobile Pass.
Designed expressly for the die-hard football fan who’s not too proud to geek out, NFL Emojis enables you to communicate your sporting passion via text or social media in uniquely team-themed manners. Available for iOS and Android, the app also bundles in custom stickers for the entire roster of NFL teams. The NFL partner app Madden NFL Mobile by EA Sports puts the user in the playmaker’s seat and renders Fantasy Football boring in comparison. Available as a free app for iOS and Android, Madden NFL Mobile lets you assemble a dream team of NFL luminaries, plan game strategies on the individual play level, and test your mettle in live head-to-head competition with other users. The NFL isn’t the only source of awesome Super Bowl apps. Third party designers have gotten in on the action, too. ESPN is among the most highly visible, with a free iOS and Android app that packs scores, news, live video and audio, and video highlights and analysis into a user-friendly platform. Like ESPN, Team Stream by Bleacher Report caters to fans of all sports – not just NFL football – and brings you scores and news, with the added bonus of sending push notifications to your mobile device whenever there are breaking headlines. It also lets you share the details with friends across social media, email and text message. Team Stream is available free for iOS and Android. theScore isn’t just for football fans – users can get live scores and stats for a variety of sports – but its ability to be customized to only feed you data you care about makes it an essential inclusion for Super Bowl followers. Available as a free download for Android and iOS, theScore lets you enable push notifications to your mobile device. There’s even support for Apple Watch wearers.