Forget that sideshow in Vegas. For millions of people, today’s must-see game is the Puppy Bowl.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Super Bowl-adjacent annual spectacle will once again see Team Ruff and Team Fluff face off for the Lombarky trophy.
More than just alternative programming and a chance for viewers to collectively smile and say “aww,” the event raises awareness about pet adoptions.
After setting a record last year with 122 dogs on the field, the game is raising the bar once more, with 131 puppies from 73 shelters and rescues across 36 states and territories. This year’s game also features the smallest player of all time (the 1.7 lb. Sweetpea) and the largest, Levi the Great Dane, weighing in at 70 lbs.
And while not setting any size record, we would be derelict in our duties if we didn’t make you aware of Patrick Mabones, a hound mix from Iowa, and Bark Purdy, a Chihuahua from Sacramento.
So whether the Chiefs-49ers is a blowout, you just need a break from the game for a moment or … well, just want to look at some really cute dogs, here are all the details you’ll need to see the Puppy Bowl 2024.
What channel is airing the 2024 Puppy Bowl?
Animal Planet is the permanent host of the exhibition—and it makes the most of the event. Between the pre-game, the actual Puppy Bowl, and repeats of this year’s event, we’ll see nearly 24 hours of Puppy Bowl programming this year.
While the channels simulcasting the event aren’t quite that dedicated to it, you can also catch this year’s game on TBS and Discovery Channel as well as Max and discovery+.
What time does the 2024 Puppy Bowl begin?
You won’t need to sit and stay to catch Puppy Bowl programming this year. Puppy Bowl XX itself will span three hours and begins airing at 2:00 p.m. ET. The official pre-game show will kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET. But Animal Planet will begin airing Puppy Bowl-themed programs, from a “Where Are They Now” documentary to “Training Camp Condidential,” starting at 6:00 a.m. ET.
Who’s the referee for the 2024 Puppy Bowl?
Dan Schachner, who has served as referee for the past 12 years, is back, but with this many pups on the field, he decided he needed help. So joining him will be Whistle, a Bichon Frisé/poodle mix, as his assistant ref.
Sportscasters Steve Levy and Taylor Rooks will handle the play-by-play calls and will decide when to go to features such as the water-bowl cam and cut away to the kitten spectators in the Temptations Sky Box. (Odds of one of those having a Taylor Swift-themed name? 1,000%.)
Can I watch the 2024 Puppy Bowl for free over the air?
Alas, no. The Puppy Bowl is a cable exclusive.
How can I stream the 2024 Puppy bowl live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?
Animal Planet (and the other channels carrying the game) is carried by multiple streaming services. If you don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, here are a few suggestions to try. (Also, as mentioned, Max and discovery+ will both carry the game.)
The one-time HBO Max doesn’t have a free trial—and if you want to flip over to the Super Bowl, you’re out of luck. But if Puppy Bowl is your priority, subscriptions start at $9.99 per month.
Here’s a rarity: You actually can try Discovery+ for free. New subscribers get up to 7 days to see what the service has to offer. After that, plans start at $4.99 per month.
Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ no longer has a free trial, so you’ll have to pay $15 per month for all three combined (or $25 per month for no ads on Hulu).
Including Live TV in the bundle bumps the price to $77 per month ($90 with no ads).
Hulu with Live TV
The free trial on this service is no longer offered. It will now cost you $77 per month.
After up to a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $73. YouTube is also now the home of Sunday Ticket, but that won’t help as the Puppy Bowl, inexplicably, is not part of Sunday Ticket coverage.
Sling’s lower-tiered “Orange” plan will run you $40 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $55 per month. The seven-day free trial has disappeared, but the cord-cutting service is offering 50% off of the first month’s bill.
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you $75 per month and up after the free-trial option.
This sports-focused cord-cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $75 and up, depending on the channels you choose.
Can I adopt a dog during the Puppy Bowl?
Yes—and that’s the best part of the game! Throughout the program, shelters will feature the puppies, all of which are up for adoption. Just beware that they go fast—and in some cases are already gone. (Seven dogs have already been adopted by the crew that puts the Puppy Bowl together, including one by the network president.)