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How to watch Super Bowl 2020 free and without cable as it streams in 4K for first time

The best way to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV is by streaming. And the only way to watch the game in 4K HDR is through streaming. There are numerous other ways to watch the big game by streaming, too.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are meeting in Miami for Super Bowl LIV. If you can't afford to go -- the "average" price is $9,590 -- you'll need to watch the game on your television like the rest of us. The best possible way to watch the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes' fearsome passing attack versus the 49ers' tough defense is through streaming.

That's because Fox will broadcast the big game in 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) via FOX Sports App and FOXSports.com. You literally can't get that quality of video anywhere else. Over-the-air (OTA), cable, and satellite TV all max out at 1080p high-definition. For the best possible viewing experience, you must stream it.

What you need to stream Super Bowl 2020 in 4K HDR

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page. ZDNet and the author were not compensated for this independent review.

To stream the Super Bowl and its pre-show in 4K HDR, you need just the right setup. 

4K HDR TV and HDMI cable

For starters, you need a 4K HDRcompatible TV.  Use the biggest and best possible screen you can get. For $4,999, I personally suggest the 77-inch LG C9 OLED TV. Look at this way: That's still almost half of what one single Super Bowl ticket will cost you.

That, in turn, needs to be hooked up to the internet via an HDMI cable. Don't believe people who tell you need to pay big bucks for a fancy cable. Ten dollars is all you need to spend to get a good 4K HDR-compatible HDMI cable. For 8K and beyond, you'll need an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable, but that's still years away. 

Good home internet

You also need a lot of internet bandwidth to watch the game. To watch 4K HDR without glitches, Netflix recommends at least 25Mbps and so does Fox Sports. With a good home internet connection, you should be good to go. 

If you're going to try to watch it on a smartphone or tablet via 4G LTE… well, good luck. The telephone companies can deliver the speed you need, but there will be a lot of other people competing for that bandwidth. And, if you're in, say, Wyoming, where the average download speed is just under 20Mbps, you're not going to be happy. 

Even with OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren smartphone with its AMOLED 6.67-inch display, are you really going to even seen or appreciate the game in 4K HDR? I don't think so. 

Streaming media player

You'll also need the right streaming device. For the full 4K HDR experience, you'll need an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube via the Fox Sports' app. After a last minute fight distribution fight between Fox and Roku, you will be able use a a high-end Roku as well. For Roku, my recommendations are the Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Streaming Stick+, or Roku Ultra 4K/UHD TV models with Roku OS built-in. My pick is the Roku Ultra 4K

Also: Google's lovely Super Bowl ad shows how sad the future will be 

You can watch Chiefs and 49ers battle with an AppleTV 4K, too. But, while this will give you 4K quality, its colors, contrast, and brightness will top out with the Standard Dynamic Range (SDR).

Fox Sports account

Finally, to get Fox's top-of-the-line streaming experience, you must create a Fox Sports profile. No profile, no 4K HDR.

Alternative ways to watch Super Bowl 2020


If you don't have what you need for the fancy way of streaming the game, there are many other alternatives. For example, you can simply watch the big game on your computer by streaming it from the Fox website. No need to sign up for anything or to subscribe to a streaming service. Just turn on your PC and head to the game.

Live TV streaming service

If you're a cord-cutter, you can watch the Super Bowl on Fox via a live TV streaming service. 

You can use pretty much any streaming device or smart TV. Fox specifically lists:

  • AppleTV (tvOS 12 or above)
  • Roku
  • Amazon FireTV
  • Android TV
  • Xbox One
  • Samsung Tizen Smart TVs (2017 through 2020 Smart TV models)
  • iPhone / iPad (iOS 11 or above)
  • Android Phone/Tablet (OS 5.1 or above)

But -- and this is important -- not every service carries every local network channel. Check to see if your service in your location is streaming Fox -- and therefore showing the game -- using the links below:


AT&T TV Now costs $65 per month and includes Fox. Enter your ZIP code to see what local networks it offers in your area. 


FuboTV costs $55 a month and includes Fox. FuboTV claims it will support streaming the game in 4K. To see if Fox or other local networks are offered in your area, check the Fubo local channel listing

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes Fox. Enter your ZIP code to see what local networks it offers in your area. 

Sling TV

I like Sling TV a lot, but it's $30-a-month Blue package includes Fox is in only 17 markets. To see it's available in your neighborhood, check Sling TV's local channels.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes Fox. Enter your ZIP code to see if Fox is offered in your area in the field at the bottom of the page. 

Don't have any of these? You can try them with a free trial for at least a week. My favorites are Sling TV and YouTube TV. 

Yahoo and NFL apps

You can also stream the game from Yahoo on its Yahoo and Yahoo Sports apps. You can also watch it on the NFL app. But, darn it, you can't cast the game with these apps to your TV or another large display.


Finally, if you have an antenna, and there's a Fox channel in range, you can watch the Super Bowl the way your grandpa did. 

So, ready for some football? The game starts on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 6:30pm ET. For what it's worth, I think the Chiefs, 50 years after winning their first Super Bowl, will be hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Enjoy!

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