NFL Draft 2020 live stream: When it starts & how to watch it from anywhere

Nfl Draft
Nfl Draft (Image credit: NFL)

The 2020 NFL draft is just 24 hours away, and for the first time ever it's going to take place as a virtual, online event. That's right, the first-ever virtual draft will kick off on Thursday, April 23 at 8 PM ET, when the 32 first-round picks will be submitted. Rounds 2-3 will take place on Friday, April 24 at 7 PM ET, and the final rounds, 4 through 7, will begin at 12 PM ET.

That means there's going to be plenty of new wrinkles and quirks in the draft this year. No booing Roger Goodell (I mean you can boo at home by all means), no guest picks, no live audience, and more. The NFL is working with Microsoft to make it happen and will use a modified version of Microsoft Teams for communication between GMs, the league, and prospects. Reports of technical difficulties as late as Monday of this week and the fact that this is the first time the NFL draft will take place virtually means that there are bound to be some hilarious, or perhaps tragic slipups. As Pat McAfee proclaimed at the start of the week, "there is going to be must-see television on Thursday."

Even without virtual shenanigans, this offseason has been one of the most exciting in NFL history, in part thanks to Tom Brady's departure from New England and his arrival in Tampa Bay, and his reunification with Rob Gronkowski. A lock for the number one pick in every mock draft out there, Joe Burrow enters the league off the back of one of the most prolific seasons in college football in which he led LSU to a National Championship.

How to watch NFL Draft live stream from anywhere with ease

The NFL draft will be available on all of the usual channels in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. If you don't live in one of those countries, your best option is a VPN, which can help you get around pesky geographic restrictions on coverage by changing the IP address of your devices. We recommend ExpressVPN, because it works on iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Fire TV Sticks, Roku and even games consoles. If you sign up right now, you can get 49% off and 3 months FREE with an annual subscription. There's even a 30-day money back guarantee.

How to watch in the U.S

If you live in the US, the draft will be available on ABC, ESPN and the NFL network. If you don't have cable, these are your best options:

  • Hulu with Live TV - $55 per month - Hulu with Live TV gives you access to ABC and ESPN but not to the NFL Network. The service also includes its own Hulu Originals and supports a wide variety of streaming devices.
  • Sling TV - $20 for first month - While Sling TV doesn't give you access to ABC, the service's Orange plan includes ESPN and its Blue plan includes NFL Network. Alternatively, you can bundle the two plans together for $45 to have even more options to watch this year's NFL Draft. The service also lets you watch on three screens simultaneously and record live TV with its Cloud DVR.
  • YouTube TV - $49.99 per month - YouTube TV gives you access to ABC and ESPN as well as over 70 other TV channels and a free 14-day trial is available.
  • AT&T TV Now - $65 per month - AT&T TV Now may be more expensive than the competition but in addition to ABC and ESPN you also get access to HBO with your plan. The service allows you to watch over 45 live TV channels and you can also record up to 20 hours of content using its cloud DVR.
  • fuboTV - $54.99 per month - fuboTV's standard plan includes NFL Network as well as over 90 other live TV channels but unfortunately you won't get access to ABC or ESPN. You also get the ability to watch two streams simultaneously and record up to 30 hours of content using the service's cloud DVR feature.

You can also try Sling TV, which lets you stream 50+ channels free between 5pm and midnight ET, so you'll get most of the draft at no cost!

Oh, Canada

The best place to tune into the draft in Canada is TSN. But to stream the draft online, your best best is DAZN for just $20 a month, or $150 a year. It also has a one month free trial.

Across the pond

The NFL draft will be broadcast live on Sky Sports action and on the Sky Go app. If you're not a Sky subscriber, you can buy a Sky Sports Week Pass for NOW TV for just £14.99, which will let you stream on a wide range of devices including computers, smartphones, TVs and gaming consoles.

How about down under?

The NFL draft is being shown on Foxtel via ESPN, and coverage will kick off at 10am on Friday. The best alternative is Kayo Sports, which is showing the draft and costs $25-$35 a month depending on the package you choose.

As mentioned, between the coronavirus pandemic and an historic offseason, this NFL draft is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory, so make sure you get your streaming solution in order with plenty of time to spare!

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9