Saints vs Chiefs and the 2013 Preseason: How to Watch on TV

Chris Graythen

Some fans may be scrambling to catch all of the New Orleans Saints exhibition games this August.

August has arrived.

Europe is closed for the month. Shop owners in the Vieux Carré are hoping Decadence brings good weather and enough business to get them through the September doldrums of the tourist industry. For some, August means winding down, and trying to keep cool in the heat and humidity.

For many of us, though, August means something else. August means taking stock of the fan gear: the bags and the flags, the eye black and the paint, the black-and-gold jackets, scarves and gloves. August means jersey rituals: laying them out, wondering which games will get the black or the white jerseys, and considering whether or not to buy another one this year. August means making plans for where to watch those big games, and which parties get the gumbo, the crawfish, or the oyster grill-outs. August means football is finally here!

NFL preseason football, at least. The games might not mean the same in August as they do in September, but that’s not going to stop us from watching our boys take the field for the first time since December.

A lack of viewing options might stop some of us, however.

For Saints fans lucky enough to reside in the New Orleans area, viewing options are numerous … from the living room to the Superdome, or the countless bars in between. But what about those fans who don't currently live anywhere near New Orleans?

Many of us have already made plans to hit our favorite watering holes, and to make sure that nobody else is trying to lay claim to our screens this football season. Unfortunately, many fans across the nation are bound to be disappointed on Friday evening… when they arrive at their regular football hangouts, only to discover that the only preseason game available is New England @ Philadelphia. Don’t give your bartender grief for not looking hard enough. Chances are good, if you aren’t near the heart of the team’s market, that your local establishment won’t be able to get the New Orleans Saints preseason game. Not live, at least.

Even if they told you they could.

I have personally talked to a few bars which had guaranteed my little group that we would be able to watch the Saints game at their establishments on Friday evening. Yet after I asked them a couple of questions about their television providers and pushed them to be absolutely sure of their claims, I found them surprised to be proven incorrect. So why are bars confident that they can get whatever game we want, yet unable to actually do so? Mainly because they subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV; and their employees are accustomed to being able to pull up whatever NFL games the patrons want to see.

But alas, the NFL Sunday Ticket doesn’t include preseason games. And the twenty dollar preseason package offered by the NFL ($14.99 if you input "directv" into the promo code box) only offers preseason games via live streaming on computers and tablets. So for many fans hoping to catch the game on television, the only option may be watching it on the NFL Network long after the game has finished.

For some of us, however, there is still hope. Cox Communications, the third largest cable television provider in the United States, has its own sports network:

Cox Sports Television, the exclusive regional sports network home of the NFL's New Orleans Saints and national college power LSU Tigers.

So – if you live in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Virginia or Missouri – find your nearest friend or watering hole with a subscription to Cox Cable, and see if they have CST showing the Saints preseason games. Particularly since it's not exactly the most popular sports channel on television, there’s a chance anyone with a Cox cable subscription already has the channel, even if they don't realize it. One Cox subscriber was absolutely certain he didn’t have it, until doing a search for "Saints" on tvguide.com and turning to the listed channel to be sure. After a bit of looking around, he discovered that he somehow had CST, ESPN, and even NFL Network without realizing it. That said... after multiple phone conversations with Cox representatives, I have discovered their information is about as reliable as some of Cox's scheduling information on their own website, which has conflicted with both tvguide.com and some of the programming Cox was actually broadcasting at the time. So while I plan to watch the Saints this Friday night, about a thousand miles away from the Superdome, that plan may require a last-minute subscription for live streaming through a laptop to the television set.

For those Saints fans who don't live in an area where watching the games live on television is a possibility, you have two options to watch the games for preseason weeks 1, 2, and 4. The week 3 game vs the Texans will be showing nationally on Fox. For the other games, however, you may have to stick with live streaming, or catch the games when they play on the NFL Network. The dates and times each preseason game will be available are listed below:

[All times listed are for the Central time zone]

Friday August 9th at 7pm – Kansas City Chiefs @ Saints
Live Broadcast: Fox 9 (NOLA), Cox Sports Television
NFL Network: Saturday at Noon; Monday at 7pm; Wednesday at 9am

Friday August 16th at 7pm – Oakland Raiders @ Saints
Live Broadcast: Fox 9 (NOLA), Cox Sports Television
NFL Network: Friday at 11pm; Sunday [Sat. Night] at 3am; Thursday at Noon

Sunday, August 25th at 3pm – Saints @ Houston Texans
Live Broadcast: Nationwide on Fox
NFL Network: Wednesday at 7pm

Thursday, August 29th at 6:30pm – Saints @ Miami Dolphins
Live Broadcast: Fox 9 (NOLA), Cox Sports Television
NFL Network: Saturday [Fri Night] at 2am

Although I did my best to research options, both online and by calling television providers around the country, I admit I may have missed something. So in the interest of getting the information out there to fellow Saints fans, feel free to add comments with any other information about how to legally watch the Saints preseason games.

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