Best alternative programming to the Super Bowl 2023

Puppy Bowl 2020
Puppy Bowl 2020 (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

The Super Bowl airs today, Sunday, Feb. 13, starting at 3:30 p.m. PT or 6:30 p.m. ET. This is going to be the biggest television event of the night, with the Los Angeles Rams facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals. This is fairly significant, as the Bengals haven't been in the Super Bowl since 1988 when they went up against the San Francisco 49ers. But if football just isn't your thing, there are other things you can watch on the TV instead.

From puppies to dramas to reality television, here are the best alternative programs to watch instead of the Super Bowl LVI on your Apple TV or device of choice. If you do want to watch the game though, check out our Super Bowl Apple TV guide.

Animal Planet, 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET)

The Puppy Bowl

Puppy Bowl

Puppy Bowl (Image credit: Animal Planet)

The best alternative to the Super Bowl is no doubt The Puppy Bowl. After all, who doesn't like cute animals? Seriously, no one. Everyone loves puppies!

With The Puppy Bowl, you can watch Team Fluff and Team Ruff tough it out in an all-out brawl of cuteness, fur, and fluff. The Puppy Bowl will start at 11 a.m. PT or 2 p.m. ET, but you can also catch it on repeat throughout the day on Animal Planet.

ION, starting at 5 a.m. PT (8 a.m. ET)

NCIS or NCIS: New Orleans

Ncis Banner

Ncis Banner (Image credit: Belisarius Productions, Inc.)

If you're more in the mood for a crime drama, then you can check out NCIS or NCIS: New Orleans. Both of these series are on a marathon loop throughout the day on the ION network. While NCIS is in its 19th season, during Super Bowl Sunday, you can catch season 14 and 15 throughout the day. For NCIS: New Orleans, while it's in its seventh season currently, you can watch season four reruns today.

In NCIS, you'll be following a fictional team of special agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which combines military and police genres together in one. It's an interesting mix and definitely entertaining.

Comedy Central, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT (12-9 p.m. ET)

The Office

The Office Banner

The Office Banner (Image credit: NBC)

For those who love comedy, you can't go wrong with The Office. Comedy Central will have an all-day marathon of The Office, starting in the third season at the time of the Super Bowl. Laugh and cry as fan-favorite characters like Michael Scott, Jim and Pam, and Dwight go through the various office shenanigans that have become worldwide meme sensations.

Nickelodeon, 12-5 p.m. PT (3-8 p.m. ET)

The Loud House

The Loud House Banner

The Loud House Banner (Image credit: Nickelodeon)

If you have younger children, then The Loud House on Nickelodeon may be worth putting on. This animated series follows the chaotic daily life of Lincoln Loud, a middle child who is the only son out of 11 children.

While The Loud House will play for about two hours from the start of the Super Bowl, you can catch Spongebob Squarepants afterward, from 5 p.m. PT.

The Food Network, 2-7 p.m. PT (5-10 p.m. ET)


Chopped Banner

Chopped Banner (Image credit: The Food Network)

Do you consider yourself a foodie? If so, then you may have heard of this little show called Chopped on The Food Network. It's a reality-based cooking television game show that has four chefs competing against each other for an opportunity at $10,000. Each episode has the four aspiring chefs going through three rounds, and they may need to incorporate some interesting combinations of ingredients in their dishes, which are evaluated by three judges.

The episodes that will be shown during the Super Bowl feature Bobby Flay, where the contestants will see if they're better chefs than Flay himself. Now that's a spicy competition!

Alternative things to watch on streaming services

Apple TV+ Apple TV interface

Apple TV+ Apple TV interface (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

These days, not everyone has access to the local and cable channels because most of us have streaming services. These include Apple TV+, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and more. Here are a few recommendations of movies and series that you can put on while everyone else is watching the big game.

On Apple TV+, you can't go wrong with Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, and Acapulco. With Netflix, there's Squid Game, Ozark, and that movie everyone keeps talking about, Don't Look Up. Hulu subscribers should check out McCartney 3,2,1 if they're fans of McCartney and The Beatles, as well as original programming like The Handmaid's Tale. Disney+ fans can't go wrong with any of the Marvel television series like Loki and WandaVision, as well as Star Wars live-action like The Mandalorian. And if you want a fun Disney movie to check out, there is always Encanto. HBO Max has Harley Quinn, Close Enough, and a ton of movies to pick from.

With all of these alternative programming and streaming services, there should be no issue finding something else to watch besides the Super Bowl. Just make sure you have the best Apple TV, or use your favorite Mac, iPad, or iPhone to watch all of this on.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.