This year fans who want or need to hear Super Bowl LI on the radio can listen in to the usual suspects, at least in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. There are all sorts of good reasons to listen to the game, whether you’re driving, at work, or are visually impaired.
While not as popular as the television broadcast, in 2012 (the last year radio ratings were reported) 23.1 million people in the U.S. tuned in on the radio. That’s why every year we compile this guide.
U.S. Terrestrial Radio
Westwood One is the exclusive radio network of Super Bowl 51, with enough affiliates that nearly everyone in the continental U.S. can probably find the game on their local dial. However, NFL games, including the Super Bowl, are usually not broadcast online by Westwood One affiliates.
U.S. Internet Radio
Update 2/5/17: A reader emailed to let us know that WJQX-FM is streaming the game right now via their website and iHeartRadio.
If you’re somewhere without good terrestrial radio reception, but have an internet connection, the game is carried on TuneIn Premium’s NFL station, which is part of TuneIn’s subscription service. You get a 7-day free trial if you sign up, so if all you want to get is this Sunday’s big game you could conceivably hear it for free.
The NFL also has it’s own GamePass streaming service, which also has a 7-day free trial.
However, each team’s home station will have special coverage that’s different from the national Westwood One feed, featuring their own local sportscasters. Because of this, I’ve found these stations usually don’t black out their internet feed of the Super Bowl, potentially making them good streaming radio choices. The only hiccup is that this isn’t guaranteed, and you won’t know the situation until game day.
FOX television is also streaming the game online for free, but only to computers and tablets. Verizon customers can also stream it to their smartphones. Of course this is a video feed, which you can listen to, but isn’t as good as radio is you’re not in a situation where you can watch, like if you’re driving or doing other visual work. That’s because radio sportscasters will describe much more of the action than TV, where they expect you can see more for yourself.
Unfortunately, all of these links below are dead on Super Bowl Sunday 🙁
I received an email from a radio office on a container ship currently at sea, where they have internet, but can’t use any browser plug-ins or extensions. He asked how they might listen to the Super Bowl on Sunday. Assuming that the local radio feeds in Boston and Atlanta will not be blacked out, my recommendation is to try the WBZ or WZGC on TuneIn, which I think has a non-Flash player option. Also, I was able to discover links directly to these stations’ streams that will open a play natively in Chrome. Here they are:
SiriusXM satellite radio subscribers can hear Super Bowl LI over the internet service or via their satellite radios, both in the U.S. and Canada. You can hear the Westwood One national feed, the Atlanta or New England home feeds, or hear the game called in Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Hungarian or Flemish. SiriusXM offers a 30-day free trial. So, again, you might be able to hear the game for free if you don’t want to stay subscribed for more than 30 days.
Canada Terrestrial Radio
Canada’s TSN network is that country’s Super Bowl carrier. In years past the TSN Radio network has carried the Super Bowl, but this year I haven’t been able to find any explicit mention of it.
BBC Radio 5 will broadcast Super Bowl 51 on FM and DAB radio across the U.K. This should include Radio 5’s internet stream for listeners in the U.K.
The irony is that it’s easier to watch the Super Bowl on TV in the rest of the world than it is to hear it on the radio, even though radio is the less expensive technology. Of course, outside the English speaking world the added cost of having the game called in other languages may be just cost prohibitive enough, whereas on television the ad revenue is likely sufficient to justify the expense.
In the four years I’ve been charting Super Bowl radio broadcasts I haven’t found any outside the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Please do let us know if you find one.
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