If you’re like me, you’ve wasted plenty of time searching for live streams of NFL football games and college football games online. You’ve thought to yourself, There’s got to be a better way to watch a high-definition football game in China, right?
Thankfully, there is. During the 2020-2021 American football season, you can experiment with a number of these excellent paid and free ways to watch NFL in China.
Below you’ll find a list of the best ways to watch NFL football in China, starting with the easiest (usually paid) to the most troublesome (often free).
- Watch with NFL Gamepass (recommended)
- Watch with TV Streaming Services
- Watch via Amazon Prime or ESPN
- Watch NFL on Tencent
- Find NFL Streams Online (warning)
If you think I’m missing an option, please let us know in the comments below!
1. NFL Gamepass (Best China Option)
If you’re looking for the easiest way to watch high definition NFL football games in China, the NFL Gamepass is it.
This is the method that I use and I LOVE it.
Not only can I watch any live NFL game I want (since I’m outside the U.S.), I can also watch recorded games, watch on my phone (they have an very nice NFL app!), watch condensed versions of the games (30 minutes instead of 2 hours) and – here’s the best part…
…it doesn’t require a VPN.
NFL Gamepass sometimes gives a 7-day free trial before you’re required to pay for a year, so give it a try this week to see what you think. I’m pretty sure you’ll fall in love with the quality and ease-of-use like I have.
2. Paid TV Streaming Services
The next best option to stream an NFL football game in China is to use a paid TV streaming service like Hulu, YouTube TV or Sling.
There are plenty of them out there (see my list below), so you’ll have to do your research to find out which channels and programming appeals to you more.
The upside to using these services is that you not only get access to NFL games, you can also watch a number of other programs and channels that NFL Gamepass won’t get you.
The downside to using TV streaming services is twofold:
- You can’t watch every NFL football game (so your team might not be available to watch one week, which sucks);
- You need a VPN in China to use these streaming services.
I recommend the following paid TV services based on which country you would like to stream from:
- United States: Your best bets will be YouTube TV (my personal favorite), Sling TV or USTVNow. Each offers a unique package of programs and channels from the U.S. and may require you to be using a US-based VPN server just to visit the website.
- United Kingdom: Those of you from the U.K. will enjoy Now TV, which will give you not only NFL games, but also a solid stream of soccer (“football”), rugby, cricket and F1.
- Canada: NFL rights in Canada are held by DAZN, a service that is primarily known for streaming MMA and boxing matches.
When using a VPN, you can theoretically connect to a server in any country to stream from any of these services.
I use and highly recommend ExpressVPN. It’s all a matter of preference – and checking out what other sports come with the streaming packages!
Note: Because of censorship, you may run into problems setting up your VPN to watch these streaming services. Thankfully, there are still ways to install a VPN from within China.
3. Watch via Amazon Prime or ESPN
For many people, watching the NFL in China is as easy as using their existing cable or Amazon Prime accounts.
In a deal that has been going on for a couple seasons now, Amazon has purchased the rights to stream all Thursday Night NFL football games, which means that if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you already get a high-quality stream for free every week.
As with the TV streaming services above, though, you will need to use a VPN to watch.
In other cases, if you or your family have a cable subscription back in the US, you may not realize that you already have access to streaming ESPN to your mobile devices.
Download the ESPN app and input your cable TV subscription information to get started.
4. Watch NFL in China via Tencent
Starting three years ago (2017), the NFL struck a 3-year deal with Tencent, China’s largest internet entity to stream live and on-demand NFL games in China.
The upside to this is that such streams should theoretically be easily-accessible (Tencent is the parent company of platforms like QQ and WeChat) and will not require a VPN to watch.
The downside is that the broadcast is all in Mandarin Chinese and will include the terribly annoying Chinese advertisements.
5. Find Live NFL Streams Online
As a last resort, if you refuse to pay for legitimate options to watch the NFL in China and you really don’t care about the quality of the stream, you can always look for free live streams online.
My suggestion is to search the Reddit NFL Stream sub. Sometimes I get lucky here but most of the time I run into websites that require me to “Create a Account” or ask me to download some sort of software in order to watch the game.
DON’T DO IT. Just keep looking until you find a free stream. Good luck, my friend.
Final Thoughts | Watch NFL in China
There are plenty of ways to watch NFL in China or anywhere in the world.
Some of these are also the same methods you can use to watch the NBA in China (although it’s slightly more popular locally than American football). Most of the time you’ll need to pay for high quality and often you’ll need to invest in a good VPN, which is why I recommend ExpressVPN.
Either way, enjoy your NFL football in China and don’t wake up your neighbors at 3am in the morning!