How to watch the NFL Draft live online for free—and without cable

There might not be pro sports right now, but we can look to the future.

How to watch the NFL Draft live online for free—and without cable

The NBA hasn’t played a game since March 11. Major League Baseball has yet to have its opening day. And the NHL has been in cold storage for over a month. So, for sports fans, the start of the NFL Draft on Thursday could be as big a draw as the Super Bowl.

This year’s NFL Draft was originally supposed to be a glitzy production emanating from the Las Vegas strip, with players being ferried through the Bellagio fountain on boat. Those plans, of course, are out the window now and the draft will be more of a virtual affair, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the first-round picks from his basement.

Last year, nearly 50 million people watched the NFL Draft, and that number could be considerably higher this year as people remain sports starved. Aware of that audience, the league is also hosting a Draft-A-Thon to raise money for charities.

Obviously, you’re not going to be out and about when the draft airs this year, but there are plenty of ways to watch from your couch.

When does the 2020 NFL Draft take place?

This year’s NFL Draft will begin Thursday, April 23 and run through Saturday, April 25. Round one picks will be announced Thursday. Rounds two and three are announced Friday. And Saturday will air the final four rounds.

What time does the 2020 NFL Draft start?

That depends on which day you’re watching.

  • Thursday’s coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET.
  • Friday’s coverage will start at 7:00 p.m. ET.
  • Saturday’s coverage will begin at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Which network or networks are airing the 2020 NFL Draft?

You’ve got lots of options. ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network will each air all of the 2020 NFL Draft.

How can I watch the NFL Draft for free?

The best way to watch any sort of network programming for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. And with ABC airing the draft this year, that means you’ll be able to watch even if you don’t have a cable subscription. To ensure you’re getting the most reliable signal, you’ll want to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home.

Can I watch the 2020 NFL Draft online?

There are loads of online options to watch the 2020 draft—some completely free and others with free trial periods. If you’re not near a TV, you can log on to the ABC app, the WatchESPN app, the NFL app, or the NFL Network app.

Prefer another option? Here are a few alternatives:

This free service lets you watch local broadcast channels with no monthly fees or contracts. The hiccup is: It only services part of the country.

Sling TV

Dish Network’s Sling is one of the OG cord cutter options. The lower tiered “Orange” plan will run you $30 per month. That will get you ESPN, but you might want to add a few more channels with Sling’s “Blue” plan, which bumps the cost to $45 per month. You’ll have a seven-day free trial first.

Sling is also offering free access to the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, with no credit card required. Sign up for the Sling Happy Hour and you can use the service for free from 5 p.m. through midnight.


Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T’s streaming service will run you $65 per month and up after a seven-day free trial.

Hulu with Live TV

You can try the service free for a week. Once that’s up, you’ll pay $45 per month.

YouTube TV

After a seven-day trial, you can expect monthly charges of $50.

Fubo TV

This sports-focused cord cutting service comes with a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $55.

Does the NFL offer any service for me to watch the 2020 NFL Draft?

Kind of.


The will let you stream games that are being broadcast locally in your market on Sundays. If you want to watch an out of market game, you’ve got two choices.

There are a couple hitches with this service. You can’t use it to watch live games, but you can watch anything once its main broadcast ends. There’s a seven-day free trial, after which you’re looking at a $100 charge per season.

DirecTV customers have access to it, but if you’re not a subscriber and live in an area where it’s not available, you can watch any NFL game live, online, or on TV for $73.49 per month or $293.36 for the entire season.

Can I watch the 2020 NFL Draft on Amazon?

Sadly, no. While NFL games sometimes air on Amazon, that agreement does not extend to the draft.

What’s the draft order for selections in 2020?

The order will vary by round, but here’s how things are shaping up for Round One:
1. Cincinnati
2. Washington
3. Detroit
4. NY Giants
5. Miami
6. LA Chargers
7. Carolina
8. Arizona
9. Jacksonville
10. Cleveland
11. NY Jets
12. Las Vegas
13. San Francisco f/IND
14. Tampa Bay
15. Denver
16. Atlanta
17. Dallas
18. Miami f/PIT
19. Las Vegas f/CHI
20. Jacksonville f/LAR
21. Philadelphia
22. Minnesota f/BUF
23. New England
24. New Orleans
25. Minnesota
26. Miami f/HOU
27. Seattle
28. Baltimore
29. Tennessee
30. Green Bay
31. San Francisco
32. Kansas City

Which players are first-round favorites in the 2020 NFL Draft?

Part of the thrill of the NFL Draft is how quickly things can change. Las Vegas odds makers, though, say these are the players most likely to go quickly, in this order:

  • Joe Burrow, LSU – The Bengals are expected to make the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback their first pick.
  • Chase Young, Ohio State – The Redskins are favored to grab the defensive end who boasted 16.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles last season.
  • Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State – The cornerback is a 4:5 odds favorite to join the Lions.
  • Jedrick Wills, Alabama – The offensive tackle is expected to be an early pick, putting the Giants in a prime spot to grab him.
  • Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama – The Crimson Tide quarterback and Oregon’s Justin Herbert are both high on odds makers lists, but Tagovailoa is slightly favored by bookmakers.

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4 ways to prepare your career to recover from coronavirus

Make sure you're ready whenever the economy bounces back.

4 ways to prepare your career to recover from coronavirus

With layoffs in the U.S. climbing to levels not seen since the big recession more than a decade ago, unemployment in the stratosphere, and more uncertainty ahead, no one’s career is safe from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you’re still working in the same job as before the virus struck, that might change. As of the first nine days of April, more than a third (35%) of employers were considering furloughs within the next 60 days, according to a Mercer survey of more than 400 companies, while about one-fourth were planning layoffs.

The same study says that 48% of employers now have hiring freezes in place. Dept. of Glass Half Full: That means, of course, that a little over half are still trying to fill job openings. And, although no one can predict when the economy as a whole will bounce back, everyone can agree that it’s going to happen.

When it does, will you be ready? Here are four ways to prepare now for the recovery that’s (eventually) coming:

1. Start learning some new skills

One way to figure out which skills your industry will need in the future is to study the requirements in job ads. Since companies try to hire for tomorrow as well as today, keep a list of “which skills employers ask for, over and over again,” says Alison McLean, a career counselor at online coding school Springboard.

Look, too, at what might have changed at the company where you work now. The pandemic has reshaped the landscape for so many businesses that this is the moment to “think about how the business model of your industry has changed, and is likely to continue changing over the next six to twelve months,” says Nicholas Wyman, CEO of the nonprofit Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation. He adds that almost everyone “needs to upgrade their digital literacy, and master the platforms their companies use now.” Luckily, classes in virtually every tech skill employers want are available online, at sites like Coursera and edX.

2. Get in touch with recruiters and former employers

Right now is a good time to contact recruiters in your field because, pandemic or no, they need to “keep building their ‘pipeline’ of potential candidates,” says Alison McLean at Springboard, a former recruiter herself. “Make sure they know who you are, with a clear, concise idea of what you’d like to find in your next opportunity.”

That next gig might well turn out to be at a company where you worked in the past. “As an economic rebound starts up, organizations will need people who can be productive quickly,” says James Sinclair. That means alumni, who already know the ropes, often have an edge.

Sinclair is CEO of a firm called Enterprise Alumni. As the name suggests, EA creates and manages alumni networks for employers like Google, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, and Marriott. One of his biggest clients is already preparing for a recovery by contacting former employees, including recent retirees, and asking if they’d consider returning. “If you’ve ever worked for a company that you loved,” Sinclair says, “they may want you back.” It’s worth asking.

3. Expand your information-gathering network

Already stepped up your virtual networking game since social distancing started? Great! Now do more of it. When it comes to being ready for an economic recovery, says Alison McLean, “I really can’t stress networking enough—especially if you now take the time to set up informational interviews with people on LinkedIn and elsewhere who can refer you to others” who know where hiring is happening, or seems poised to recover.

Another way to keep an eye on who’s hiring now, and who will be adding headcount as time goes on: Check out this LinkedIn newsfeed. Another site, called Candor, keeps a crowdsourced, alphabetized tally of companies that shows who’s hiring and who’s got a freeze on—for now.

Staying in touch with people you already know matters a lot, of course, but McLean also recommends seeking out ways to explore new groups who share your interests. A global list of Slack communities, for instance, could introduce you to contacts in a wide variety of specific fields, industries, and regions.

4. Accept the idea that the future will be different from the past

Hard as it is to contemplate, the “new normal” may not seem normal at all—especially if a job loss means having to move on to a different role, or even a whole new career.

Virginia Buckingham, author of a new book called On My Watch, knows firsthand what that’s like. She was head of the Massachusetts Port Authority (including, crucially, Boston’s Logan Airport) on September 11, 2001. In the aftermath of the terror attacks, Buckingham lost her job and, over the next several years, “had to rewrite my story, and apply my core skills in entirely new situations,” she says.

“Let go of any preconceived idea of what your [post-recovery] career will look like,” suggests Buckingham, now vice president of corporate affairs at Pfizer. “It may well look completely different.” If that turns out to be the case, she adds, “Be patient with yourself. Your path forward will come at its own pace.” Good to know.

More must-read careers coverage from Fortune:

——How Fortune 500 companies are stepping up during the pandemic
—3 ways to put your best foot forward on a —Everything you need to know about furloughs—and what they mean for workers
—An internship during the coronavirus pandemic is a crash course in adaptability
—WATCH: 401(k) withdrawal penalties waived for anyone hurt by COVID-19

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