Can You Watch Monday Night Football on Regular TV? (No, but..)

Monday is here and you are looking to watch the last NFL game of the week.  Your favorite team may be playing or you are wanting to watch your fantasy players compete.  If you don’t have cable, you may be wondering if you are going to be able to watch.  Can you watch Monday Night Football on regular TV?  

No, you cannot watch Monday Night Football on regular TV.  The game is currently only televised on ESPN, and if you have regular TV you won’t have access to ESPN. 

This can be very frustrating if this is the case for you.  The good news is there are a few options for you. In this article, we will discuss some other options that you can use to watch the game, along with a brief history on Monday Night Football telecast.

Can You Watch Monday Night Football Without Cable?

As we discussed above, Monday Night Football is not available on regular TV. Monday Night Football is aired on ESPN, so you will need to have some way to access ESPN, whether it be by cable, satellite, or streaming.

But you do not have to be subscribed to cable or satellite to get Monday Night Football. Streaming has become a staple in the entertainment industry over recent years, and there are ways to stream Monday Night Football. Let’s take a look at the options you have to stream MNF.

Streaming Monday Night Football


When it comes to streaming Monday Night Football, your first thought may be to try and stream ESPN, but there are a few issues. 

First, understand this: ESPN offers both a “WatchESPN App” and “ESPN+”. These are NOT the same thing.

The WatchESPN app will give you access to Monday Night Football, but to use the WatchESPN app, you need to have an already-established subscription to ESPN with a service provide, like a cable or satellite company, or a different streaming service like Sling TV.

So that sort of defeats the purpose when it comes to watching Monday Night Football, because if you already had a subscription, you likely would not be reading this.

What about ESPN+? Unfortunately, ESPN+ does not carry Monday Night Football. So don’t go sign up for ESPN+ and think you can watch the game. ESPN+ is a different entity all together from the WatchESPN app – they are NOT the same thing.

ESPN+ is a stand-alone streaming service offered by ESPN that gives users access to unique content, and access to live sports not available on ESPN or ESPN2, but it DOES NOT give you access to live programming on ESPN or ESPN2. So getting an ESPN+ subscription will not solve your problem.

The good news is as of 2018 there are a few free solutions that might be an option for you to watch Monday Night Football.

Free Apps

If you are looking for a free way to stream Monday Night Football without having cable service, you have two options that debuted in 2018:

  • The NFL App
  • The Yahoo Sports App

The NFL has made all local games and national televised games free to stream using their app.  This app is free to download on your Apple or Android devices. 

Your second free option is downloading the Yahoo Sports app.  This app also allows you to stream the Monday Night Football games for free, along with regional games in your area (source).  The Yahoo app is also free to download.

Streaming Services

There are also on-demand TV subscription streaming services that work as cable or satellite substitutes.  The most popular are HULU and Sling TV.

Both of these subscription services offer ESPN as one of their channels, so if you don’t want to get cable or satellite you can look into signing up for one of these services. 

Both of these services allow you a lot more flexibility on what channels you purchase, so check out each service and the packages they offer.  If you are just wanting to add a service that will allow you to watch Monday Night Football, these services will likely be able to offer you access to ESPN for much cheaper than cable or satellite services.

There are also more options to stream such as PlayStation Vue, YouTube, Roku, and Amazon Fire.  These services are likely to be more expensive options but if you don’t want to get cable and like these services you can get ESPN and other sports live streamed through them as well.

If you have cable or satellite and the signal is down, but you still have access to your internet, most cable or satellite companies offer free subscriptions to online streaming applications. 

So in the case that you have access to internet and your cable is down, look into the possibility of being able to get ESPN plus for free.

Other Options for MNF

A possible last resort option to watching the game is going out to a local sports bar or bar-and-grill.  The vast majority of these places will have the game on or allow you to turn one of their TV’s to the football game. 

Often times these establishments will have food and drink specials to entice consumers to come watch the game there.  Keep in mind, if you want to do this option the popular establishments will likely be very busy.  So if you want to get a seat quickly or in a spot where you can see the game clearly, I would suggest getting there early.

Monday Night Football TV History

If you are certain that you used to be able to watch Monday Night Football on regular TV, you are correct. ABC started broadcasting Monday Night Football in 1970. 

This telecast wasn’t as popular as Monday Night Football is today, but this telecast is likely what started the ball rolling for the NFL to be as popular as it is today.  Since airing Monday Night Football became such a hit, it paved the way for all the games to eventually be broadcast on television. 

The game has seen many broadcast faces come and go, but it continued to be the most watched weekly NFL game.  ABC continued to telecast Monday Night Football up until 2005 when parent company Disney decided to switch it over to their primary sports channel ESPN. 

The game has remained on ESPN to this day, although there are now many online streaming options that allow you to watch the game.  Those options were detailed above.

Joshua Lloyd

Joshua is lead content creator for basketball and golf at Sports Fan Focus. Golf is a passion of his and he enjoys both playing and watching golf in his spare time. To read more about Joshua, visit the SFF About Us page.

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