clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How to watch 49ers preseason games for free in 2019

New, comments

The quick down and dirty to it.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The 2019 preseason schedule is officially underway. A big slate of games got going Thursday and Friday and now we have the 49ers getting set for their first preseason game today.

We won’t see a lot of the starters in Week 1, but that will progressively increase until most starters get the night off in Week 4. The lack of most of the starters playing reminds us that nobody should have to pay to watch preseason football on television. The prices charged to go to the games (or forcing season ticket holders to buy those tickets along with their regular season games) is beyond ridiculous, but the NFL is the NFL. However, I can help you save a few bucks while still being able to watch some or all of the San Francisco 49ers preseason games.

The San Francisco 49ers play four preseason games, and two of them will be broadcast on national television in some form or fashion. Here is a rundown of the full schedule (all times pacific).

Week 1 (Aug 10): vs. Dallas Cowboys, 6 p.m. - NFL Network
Week 2 (Aug 19): @ Denver Broncos, 5 p.m. - ESPN
Week 3 (Aug 24): @ Kansas City Chiefs, 5:00 p.m. - KPIX (no national coverage)
Week 4 (Aug 29): vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 7 p.m. - KPIX (no national coverage)

All four games will be broadcast locally in the Bay Area on CBS, but only the Cowboys game will be nationally broadcast on NFL Network.

For those of you, well most of you outside of those markets, you’re going to have to find a different way to watch the games.

Sling TV

If you do not have NFL Network, Sling TV includes it in their stable of channels. Sling TV is an option for people wanting to cut the cord and not pay for cable anymore. They offer a seven-day trial.

DirecTV Now

This year, DirecTV has dropped NFL Network from their DirecTV Now packages. This is in retaliation to the NFL looking at other options beyond the monopoly DirecTV has on the Sunday Ticket service among other things (ironic, I know). I have been able to use NFL Network using a DirecTV account, but that may be because I have the actual service at home and not the streaming service DirecTV Now provides. If someone can confirm, I’ll update the post.

NFL Gamepass

NFL.com 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.

This has been my go-to for a few years now. And here’s why:

I would recommend signing up for Sling TV for the first game, and then signing up for GamePass after that.

Keep in mind,if you got the trial last year, you aren’t going to get it this year. You’ll need to create a new email and possibly get a different credit card number if you want to get another week of GamePass. It sounds like a lot of work, but when the NFL is going to do a cash grab for preseason games, it really doesn’t matter.

A few years ago, the NFL charged $20 for full preseason access and it was easy to purchase that without a second thought. Now with GamePass required at its ridiculously high cost, I’m curious how much money the NFL has lost or what the numbers are on their current system.

Keep in mind, pasting links to streams in the comments is prohibited. Don’t do it.