The Super Bowl is fun to watch for some, but if you're not pumped about the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams, you may be more interested in the big game's fluffier versions also happening on Sunday: The Puppy Bowl and the Kitten Bowl.
The best part about these delightful broadcasts is you don't need a cable subscription to watch. Below, we've explained how you can stream both of them online for free, but if you do want to check in on the Super Bowl from time to time, like maybe to see those crazy-expensive ads, go here for information about how to watch that online.
This is ZDNet's guide to streaming all the furbeast Bowls.
When is the Puppy Bowl?
The Puppy Bowl XV starts Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 at 3pm ET. It's slated to be a two-hour event.
This year's Puppy Bowl has a starting lineup that includes 39 puppies, with Team Ruff going up against Team Fluff. In total, 93 little floofs will compete from 51 shelters across the US, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico. Like past years, all the puppies featured are adoptable. If you're looking to adopt, Animal Planet has recommended using Petfinder.
You need a cable subscription that includes Animal Planet to watch the Puppy Bowl the traditional route. However, there are skinny streaming packages available that offer a cable-like experience for less. Many even have free trials, so you can sign up on Sunday, watch the Bowl in real time, and then cancel the subscription before you get charged.
Here are some popular services that offer free trials along with access to Animal Planet.
The Live a Little plan offers the live Animal Planet channel. It costs $40 a month. We recommend taking advantage of the free 7-day trial. In our experience, signing up from the website is easiest. You can cancel your trial at any time.
The DirecTV Now app is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TV, and Roku. You can also Chromecast it to your TV using the iOS or Android app, or from a PC or Mac, if you visit DirecTVNow.com using the Chrome browser.
If you already have Hulu, you really should check out the service's live TV option. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial, and if you choose to stick with it, a subscription goes for $39.99 a month. It offers over 50 channels, including Animal Planet.
The $50 Core plan and the $45 Access plan both have live Animal Planet. Again, we recommend taking advantage fo the free trial, which lasts five days in this case. You can cancel your trial at any time -- even if it's the day after the Bowls.
The Kitten Bowl IV starts Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 at 2pm ET. It will re-air at 5pm ET.
It'll feature rescued critters from all across the country. And they'll be competing for the "National Championship of Feline Football" trophy. If you're looking to adopt one, check out the North Shore Animal League of America's website.
If you don't have a cable subscription that includes the Hallmark Channel, you can still watch the Kitten Bowl online. With one of the streaming services below, you can sign up for a free trial and watch the Bowl live on either a smart TV, streaming media device, mobile phone, or desktop. You can cancel at any time or keep your subscription, no strings attached.
Not only does it offer Animal Planet, but the Live a Little plan includes the Hallmark Channel, too, for just $40 a month. Be sure to take advantage of the service's free 7-day trial, and check out above for more details about which devices support DirecTV Now and whether you can Chromecast it to your TV from a mobile app or from DirecTVNow.com via Chrome.
Hulu's live TV option also comes with the Hallmark Channel for $39.99 a month. Join using the 7-day free trial, and then you can access the service directly from the existing Hulu app on your streaming media device, smart TV, or mobile phone. You can also Chromecast Hulu Live to your TV using the Hulu app for iOS or Android, or from a PC or Mac.