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The world’s most popular gamer will host America’s most popular sport.
If you’re a Twitch streamer, this week will present another way to spice up your NFL watching habit. That’s because Ninja, one of the world’s most popular gamers, will host Twitch’s live stream of Thursday Night Football when the Chargers face the Chiefs tonight. And you can watch it for free.
Ninja, who said he earns as much as $500,000 a month for playing Fortnite on Twitch in front of his more than 12.5 million subscribers, will co-stream the game on his channel along with other Twitch stars like Jericho, TimTheTatman, and GoldGlove. That will allow Ninja to give his own football commentary on the contest between Kansas City and Los Angeles, two of the best teams in the NFL.
“Playing video games is just one of my passions. I’m also a lifelong NFL fan, which runs in my family,” Ninja said in a statement. “It’s cool to be able to co-stream and commentate a Thursday Night Football game for my Twitch community and connect with them over other interests like this.”
Thanks to the NFL’s partnership with Amazon Prime, Twitch has hosted a plethora of Thursday night games this year—the Chargers vs. the Chiefs will be the 11th and last of the season—and it couldn’t be easier to watch the game on the streaming platform.
Here’s all you need to know to watch Thursday Night Football on Twitch.
How to watch Thursday Night Football for free on Twitch
Though Twitch and Amazon Prime are partnering together to bring the NFL to the live streaming platform, you don’t need an Amazon Prime account to watch. All you need is to click on the link on any of the streamers listed above, or you can visit twitch.tv/primevideo. The stream will work on any desktop or mobile device, and you can watch anywhere in the world except for China.
There are plenty of other ways to live stream the Thursday night game (sadly, Ninja won’t be commentating on the game if you watch it anywhere besides Twitch).
How to watch Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime
If you don’t already have Amazon Prime, what are you waiting for? It costs $120 per year (or $12.99 per month), and you’ll easily recoup on your investment with free two-day shipping and access to Amazon’s on-demand library of originals, documentaries, 4K movies, thrillers, and alien movies.
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How to watch Thursday Night Football on NFL Network
Cost: $39.99 for your first month and $44.99 per month thereafter (with a seven-day free trial)
FuboTV is a sports fan’s ideal streaming service. It’s loaded with niche channels that will ensure you always have a game to watch, especially if you’re a fan of international soccer.
FuboTV’s basic plan boasts 85 channels and includes NFL Network. For $44.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only thing noticeably missing is ESPN.
You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which will allow you to stream NFL RedZone, in addition to the Pac 12 network, a collection of Fox College Sports channels, and Fight Network. Your monthly total would come out to $53.98, which is pretty good considering everything that you’d be getting.
2) Sling TV
Cost: $25 per month (after free trial)
One of the leading names in live TV streaming, Sling TV offers three different packages: Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange + Blue. While Sling Orange + Blue offers the best of both basic packages, truth be told, if you’re looking for NFL football games, you really only need Sling Blue, which costs $25 per month and includes NFL Network, along with FS1, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3.
To make the most of Sling TV, you’ll want to add the Sling Blue “Sports Extra” package, which costs an extra $10 per month and allows you to watch NFL RedZone online, along with NBA TV, NHL Network, and NBC Golf, among other sports channels.
For more information, check out our comprehensive Sling TV guide.
Cost: $49.99 a month
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to own a PlayStation to use PlayStation Vue. The live TV streaming service is available at four levels of packages. To watch NFL Network live stream, you’ll need the Core package or greater, but to be honest, everything above the Core package is just filler. Core packs in everything you need for live sports—Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPN News, ESPNU, NBC Golf, MLB Network, NBA TV, and SEC Network—in addition to PlayStation Vue’s basic 45 channels. (Here’s a complete rundown of PlayStation Vue channels.)
From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks.
For more information, check out our comprehensive PlayStation Vue guide.
4) DirecTV Now
Every DirecTV Now package starting with its Just Right collection now lets you watch NFL Network online. For $55 per month, you get more than 85 channels to stream, and plenty of sports options: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, FS1, MLB Network, NBCSN, SEC Network, and more. There’s just one drawback: You can’t add NFL RedZone. But at the price point—especially when you consider you can add HBO for just $5 per month—DirecTV is tough to beat.
Don’t worry: Signing up for DirecTV doesn’t have all the strings attached that you’re used to with cable companies. You don’t need a satellite or an annual contract. You just sign up online and start streaming.
For more information, check out our comprehensive DirecTV Now guide.
5) The NFL app
Cost: Depends on provider
How to watch Thursday Night Football on Fox
Fox acquired the over-the-air broadcast rights to Thursday Night Football for the next five years. For the 2018 season, Fox was scheduled to show 11 Thursday Night Football games—the Chargers vs. the Chiefs is the last one. If you don’t have an HD antenna, fear not: All of the major live TV streaming services carry Fox. That means all of the services listed above—PlayStation Vue, FuboTV, Sling TV, and DirecTV Now—will allow you to watch Fox online, but there are two more options to consider. Note: In case it’s not obvious, these two options don’t provide a way of adding NFL Network.
Cost: $39.99 per month (after free trial)
The best part about Hulu with Live TV is that it automatically includes access to Hulu’s on-demand library, which means you can catch up on all of your favorite shows when there’s nothing to watch on TV. That’s a $7.99 value per month, but if you spend $4 more a month, you can upgrade to Hulu with No Commercials. Hulu’s also the only streaming TV service available on Nintendo Switch, and it allows you to add HBO and Showtime.
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2) YouTube TV
Cost: $40 per month
In many ways, YouTube TV is an ideal sports network, which shouldn’t be surprising given how much it’s invested in sponsoring the World Series. In addition to the basic channels you’ll need to watch primetime games, you’ll get ESPN, ESPN 2, SEC Network, Big Ten Network, Fox Sports, FS1, FS2, and NBA TV, among others. YouTube TV also comes with unlimited DVR for up to six accounts. You won’t, however, gain access to YouTube Premium, which allows you to have an ad-free experience on YouTube.
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New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, Sundance TV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, AMC, FX, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Golf Channel, Syfy, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, PBS, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, TLC, HLN, A&E, Animal Planet, the Weather Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports.
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.