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How to watch first three 49ers preseason games without paying

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Nobody should have to pay to watch preseason football on television. It’s absurd the prices they charge for tickets to preseason games, but there’s nothing I can do about that. However, for this year’s preseason, I can help at least a little bit.

I mentioned earlier this week that Sunday’s game will air on NFL Network, and is available on Gamepass. It turns out the Week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers will also be on NFL Network. So if you live outside the Bay Area and have NFL Network, that’s two games you can watch.

Sling TV

If you do not have NFL Network, Sling TV recently added NFL Network to their stable of channels. Sling TV is an option for people wanting to cut the cord and not pay for cable anymore. As some of you have pointed out, they offer a seven-day free trial, so you can use it this week for the Texans game, or two weeks from now for the Packers game.

NFL Gamepass offers Gamepass, which broadcasts preseason games live and makes them available on archive, while also providing archived regular season games. If you live in the market of either team playing in a given game, Gamepass will be blacked out for you for that game. More importantly for now, you can get a free seven-day pass with your first sign up. If you sign up for Sunday’s game, you’ll get Sunday and then the following Saturday against the Broncos. If you sign up that Saturday, you’ll get that and the following Friday’s game against the Packers. And if you sign up that Friday, you’ll get that and the following Thursday’s game against the Chargers to close out the preseason. So no matter what, you can get two games in a Gamepass seven-day trial.

Someone pointed out a mention that NFL Network games would not be archived for three days. That is strictly related to watching the game after the fact. On Thursday, I was watching the Saints-Patriots game on Gamepass at the same time it was airing live on NFL Network.

You can’t get all four games of the preseason, but given how little starters play in the fourth game, you can use Sling for Sunday (if you don’t have NFL Network), and then Gamepass the next two games, or vice versa.