Fans will get their first look at the 2018 Cincinnati Bengals in action on Thursday, as the team is set to take on the Chicago Bears at Paul Brown Stadium.
The game is scheduled to start at about 7 p.m. ET. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, here’s a rundown of all your live stream options, depending on whether the game is in your market or not:
If The Game is Televised in Your Market
First, check to see what local channel the game is on in your area–it will be either ABC, CBS, CW, Fox or NBC. Then, if you sign up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services, you’ll be able to watch a live stream of one, some, or all of those channels, depending on the service.
Here’s a rundown of all the streaming services, what they include, and how to sign up and watch:
(Note that local channels are available live in select markets)
Local channels included: CBS
If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch all CBS content (both live and on-demand) via the CBS Amazon Channel, which also comes with a 7-day free trial.
Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can then watch a live stream of your local CBS channel on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
Local channels included: ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC
In addition to its massive Netflix-like library of on-demand movies and TV shows, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, which includes ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of any of those channels on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch the game live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
Local channels included: CBS, CW, Fox, NBC
A streaming service that is largely tailored towards sports fans, FuboTV includes CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of those channels on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch the game live, FuboTV also comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch games and shows up to three days after they air even if you forgot to record them. The main FuboTV channel package also comes with NFL Network, which will air a replay of every preseason game.
Local channels included: Fox, NBC
Fox and NBC are both included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of either channel on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on. “Sling Blue” also comes with the NFL Network, which will air a replay of every preseason game, so you can also watch that way if you miss it live.
If The Game is Not Televised in Your Market
You can watch every out-of-market preseason NFL game online via NFL Game Pass, which costs $99.99 for the season (or four installments of $29.99). Once signed up, you can watch games on your computer via the Game Pass website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the NFL app.
The last time the Bengals played the Bears was during Week 14 of last season. The Bengals suffered a merciless 33-7 loss, and had their record dropped down to 5-8, which all but eliminated their chance to make the playoffs.
Fortunately, the team has since made a few major acquisitions. Cordy Glenn and Billy Price have replaced Cedric Ogbuehi and Russell Bodine at left tackle and center, respectively, and they also signed free-agent Preston Brown, who will be a huge upgrade for a linebacking group that was a major weakness for them last season.
The Bengals released their first depth chart for the season on Monday, and among the players listed are Bobby Hart as the starting right tackle and Trey Hopkins as the starting right guard. These were two of the biggest questions for the team heading into training camp, but depending on Hart’s play, the right tackle position could be a bit of a revolving door.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is optimistic about the team’s chances for success. “We had areas of need to get addressed in the offseason,” he told Bengals.com. “And I thought the people did a great job addressing those areas I felt were the biggest and that was big. We have to right the ship.”
The Bears are also trying to find their groove, as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky enters his second season with a new offense to learn. They’ve struggled at times during training camp, but 247Sports says they’ve vastly improved over the course of their last three practices.
“I think we’re playing fast. The last time we talked we weren’t playing so fast,” said tight end Trey Burton. “We were getting a lot of stuff thrown at us. Now the coaches are kind of toning back a little bit on the installs. We’re getting lined up quick, making our reads quick, and completing balls.”
Beats head coach Matt Nagy also touched on what he hopes to see from his players on Thursday. “In our case we’ve got five preseason games,” he said. “So you’ll see there’s some spots within the team that you’ll see maybe change more than others. But over time you start kind of building this picture of each guy individually and where they’re at… let’s just continue to keep getting better there.”