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49ers 2015 schedule can help you cut the cable cord

The San Francisco 49ers schedule could make it easier to cut the cable cord in 2015. The four primetime games line up quite nicely.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers will be featured in primetime four times this season, which means national coverage for those of us outside the San Francisco Bay Area. The 49ers open the season ESPN, facing the Minnesota Vikings in the second half of the Week 1 MNF doubleheader. They then face the New York Giants on NBC's Sunday Night Football in Week 5. That is followed by a Week 7 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, airing on CBS and simulcast on NFL Network. Finally, they face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15 on Sunday Night Football.

I recently moved back in Washington, D.C. (I had lived across the river in Crystal City), and I am looking into some cable options. I recently tried out Sling TV, and am looking at other options before figuring out my next step. I am in a building on the historic registry, so I cannot get a satellite for DirecTV, and thus no Sunday Ticket. However, in recently looking at the 49ers schedule, it might provide an opportunity to save a few bucks on cable.

If you live in the Bay Area, you'll get the 49ers on local TV with relative ease. However, for those of us outside the Bay Area, we are stuck trying to figure out how best to watch them. When they have appeared on NFL Network games, we are forced to go with some cable package that includes the NFL's station. We can consider other illegal means, but that is not to be discussed in here because it is BAD.

However, this year's primetime schedule only includes one TNF game, and the timing of it means you don't need to have NFL Network. The first seven TNF games of the season will be broadcast nationally by CBS and simulcast by NFL Network. The 49ers-Seahawks game is in Week 7, so we are covered there.

That leaves only the MNF opener on cable, with ESPN broadcasting it. If you have not tried Sling TV, it could be a worthwhile option if you want to avoid spending too much on cable. Sling includes ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, AMC, and others. The cost is $20 a month, but they also offer a free seven day trial. If they are offering that trial in September, you could try it out to cover that initial MNF game.

I tried out Sling for a week, and the streaming was solid from my Internet connection. It did not have any buffering or other issues. The user interface is not ideal, but I imagine it will improve as the product is further developed. It's worth checking out, even if just to try out the free week of service. For a full review, check out this one from The Verge (one of our sister sites).

This is not a long-term solution since the 49ers will probably end up on more NFL Network games in the future. And really, if you enjoy watching Thursday Night Football in general, this does not help you for the second half of the season when the games are broadcast on NFL Network and only simulcast on CBS in the two competing teams' local markets. However, if you are looking to mix things up a bit and save a few bucks, the 49ers schedule sets up well to experiment with cutting the cable.