College football is in the air and if you dislike cable television as much as I do, then the number one question on your mind is probably “How do I watch college football without cable?”

The good news for you is that it has never been easier for cord-cutters to tune into college football without an expensive cable bill, and today I am going to discuss every option available.

 

College Football Channels

Before we get into how exactly you can watch college football without cable, let’s talk about the television networks that you’re going to need access to. With a few exceptions, you’ll find that most college football games air on the following stations:

  • ABC
  • NBC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN 3
  • ESPNU
  • SEC Network
  • ACC Network
  • BTN (which stands for Big Ten Network)
  • Pac-12 Network.

Now that you know where the action is, let’s take a look at how to watch college football online and over-the-air.

 

College Football TV Schedule

There are a lot of schedules online but the best one I have found is produced by NCAA.com. Click here to see a complete TV Schedule of upcoming games. ESPN also has a good schedule available.

 

Watch College Football with an Antenna

One of the cornerstones of your cord-cutting college football setup is going to be the over-the-air antenna. With an OTA antenna, you will be able to pick ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. OTA antennas are cheap, there are no monthly fees, and everything you watch will show up in 1080i HD.

Typically, you’re going to see prime times games airing on ABC and Fox. For your SEC fix, CBS is going to be your go-to destination; and for all things Notre Dame, NBC is where you want to be. Sometimes what you want to watch will depend on where you are and occasionally there will be blackouts, so be sure to check which game airs a few days prior to kickoff.

Here is a link to an article on NCAA.com that seems to keep a pretty good list of upcoming games, along with what channels they will air on.

Keep in mind that antennas ONLY cover games on NBC/FOX/CBS/ABC. For games airing on ESPN and all the other college football channels, you’ll need another option – find out more below.

 

7 Ways to Watch College Football Online

Online streaming services are a great way to watch college football online. In recent years the rise of live television streaming has given way to previously cable-only channels, like ESPN, to become part of the live streaming lineup.

Because college sports are a lot more fragmented than the professionals, it’s going to be difficult to catch EVERY single college game. Aside from the physical limitations of watching every game on Saturday, different services will simply offer you access to different NCAA conferences.

To help you out with your search for that perfect college football friendly streaming service, here’s a quick rundown of the available live television streaming services that are good to watch college football without cable.

1. College Football on Sling TV

Sling TV (free trial) has is a budget-friendly online streaming service that offers a good way to watch college football games online. It offers two primary subscription plans; Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Both are available for $25 per month. You can also get both for $40 a month and get all of the channels included in the Orange and Blue plans.

Here are some of the most important college football channels that you get with each plan:

Sling TV Orange
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN 3
  • ACC Network
Sling TV Blue
  • FOX Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Network (in select areas)
  • Local FOX Sports stations (in select areas)
  • Local NBC Sports stations (in select areas)
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • NBC Sports Network

In addition to the two plans, you can pay $5 extra for a sports add-on and get additional channels that air college football. What channels come with the sports add-on will depend on which main plan you’re subscribed to, however, there is a bit of overlap.

Here’s what the sports-add on looks like for both plans.

Sports Extra Orange
  • SEC Network
  • SEC Network+
  • ESPNU
  • ESPNEWS
  • ESPN Goal Line
  • PAC-12 Network
  • LHN (Longhorn Network)**
Sports Extra Blue
  • PAC-12 Network
  • BEIN Sports

**This is technically not included in the subscription, but you can access LHN content through the WatchESPN app using your Sling TV credentials.

The bottom line is this: Sling TV is the most affordable way to watch college football games without cable. Technically an antenna is cheaper, BUT, antennas offer fairly limited coverage of CFB as they don’t include ESPN channels.

Click here to try a free 7 day trial of Sling TV.

 

2. College Football on Hulu Live

Hulu Live is the streaming giant’s attempt at breaking into the live television streaming market with this cable TV alternative. Currently, there is only one plan available and it costs $40 a month.

Here are the relevant sports channels included in the plan:

  • ABC (in select areas)
  • CBS (in select areas)
  • NBC (in select areas)
  • FOX (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN 3 (via WatchESPN App)
  • ESPNU
  • ESPN Goal Line
  • ESPN College Extra
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • SEC Network
  • NBCSN
  • Big Ten Network

Hulu is perhaps the most complete way to watch college football without cable. It includes many of the most important channels you’ll need to keep up, all in one package. Not only does it cover ESPN’s network of channels, but it offers NBC, FOX, CBS and ABC in most areas. While Sling and other similar services do offer these channels in some areas, nobody currently has as good of coverage as Hulu Live TV.

And while it’s more expensive than Sling TV, Hulu still offers excellent value. This is particularly true if you consider the fact that Hulu Live TV comes with the original Hulu, which is a huge on-demand library of thousands of entertainment options (similar to Netflix).

Click here to try Hulu Live TV free for 7 days!

 

  1. College Football on DirecTV Now

Not to be confused with the satellite service Direct TV, DirecTV Now (free trial) is much more like our previously mentioned online streaming services. DirecTV Now is a bit more robust as it gives you a larger number of channels overall.

There are several channel packages available. Here’s what each plan has to offer you:

Live a Little – $40 monthly
  • ABC (in select areas)
  • CBS (in select areas)
  • NBC (in select areas)
  • FOX (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • NBCSN
Just Right – $55 monthly
  • ABC Network (in select areas)
  • CBS Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Network (in select areas)
  • FOX Network (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • NBCSN
  • BTN (Big Ten Network)
  • ESPNU
  • SEC Network
Go Big – $65 Monthly
  • ABC Network (in select areas)
  • CBS Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Network (in select areas)
  • FOX Network (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • NBC Sports Network
  • BTN (Big Ten Network)
  • ESPNU
  • SEC Network
  • CBS Sports
  • Fox Sports Network
  • FS2

There is one more subscription plan called “Gotta Have It” for $75 a month, but none of the additional channels will increase your ability to watch college football.

Overall, DIRECTV NOW is a great way to stream college football without cable TV. It’s more expensive than some options, but also offers a very impressive lineup of channels.

Click here to try DIRECTV NOW free for 7 days.

 

4. College Football Online with YouTube TV

YouTube TV (free trial) is another option. There’s only 1 plan, but it offers a good selection of channels to watch CFB games without cable. This is a new service that’s still ironing out some kinks, but it’s definitely worth considering.

YouTube TV has only one package. For college football streaming, here are the important channels offered:

  • ABC (in select areas)
  • CBS (in select areas)
  • NBC (in select areas)
  • FOX (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • NBCSN
  • CBSSN
  • Big Ten Network
  • SEC Network
  • FOX Sports
  • FS1
  • FS2

YouTube TV offers a solid all-around selection. It’s useful for watching college sports online, as well as keeping up with news, TV shows, etc.

Click here to try a free trial of YouTube TV.

 

5. College Football with PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue has four different plans you can subscribe to, but we really only need to focus on the first three since the most expensive plan only adds on a few premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime. The three plans you need to familiarize yourself with are the Access, Core, and Elite subscription plans (though all of these plans are a bit pricey in my opinion).

Here are the relevant sports channels that you get with each plan:

Access – $45 monthly
  • ABC Network (in select areas)
  • CBS Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Network (in select areas)
  • FOX Network (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • BTN (Big Ten Network)
  • CBS Sports Network
  • NBC Sports Network
Core – $50 monthly
  • ABC Network (in select areas)
  • CBS Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Network (in select areas)
  • FOX Network (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • BTN (Big Ten Network)
  • CBS Sports Network
  • NBC Sports Network
  • ESPNU
  • Local FOX Sports stations (in select areas)
  • SEC Network
Elite – $60 monthly
  • ABC Network (in select areas)
  • CBS Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Network (in select areas)
  • FOX Network (in select areas)
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • BTN (Big Ten Network)
  • CBS Sports Network
  • NBC Sports Network
  • ESPNU
  • Local FOX Sports stations (in select areas)
  • SEC Network
  • Fox College Sports (in select areas)

If you have the Core plan or above, you can pay an extra $10 a month to get the Sports Pack; which includes ESPN Goal Line. FOX Sports Networks, FOX College Sports, Stadium and LHN (Longhorn Network) and more.

Overall, Vue is a good option, but it doesn’t really offer anything unique to set it apart from the competition – especially considering its higher price tag.

Click here to try a free 5 day trial of PS Vue.

 

6. College Football on fuboTV

fuboTV (free trial) is an online streaming service designed primarily for fans who want to watch sports without cable. Although those fans tend to be soccer fans, there is a decent collection of college football to be found and it is one of our cheaper options. There are several different subscription plans, but you really only need to pay attention to the $45 a month fubo plan; as the others are primarily dedicated to international sports.

Here are the relevant sports channels that you get with fuboTV:

  • ABC Network (in select areas)
  • CBS Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Network (in select areas)
  • FOX Network (in select areas)
  • NBC Sports Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • BEINSports
  • BTN (Big Ten Network)
  • PAC-12 Network

For an additional $9 a month, you can get the Sports Plus add-on, which includes the following:

  • PAC-12 Network: Arizona, Bay Area, Oregon, Washington, Mountain, Los Angeles, and more, plus FOX College Sports: Atlantic, Central, Pacific, and Stadium 1, 2 and 3

Keep in mind that fuboTV does NOT carry ESPN or any ESPN-owned networks. This is a notable downside for college football fans. That said, it’s still a good option for sports fans in general, and a decent way to watch college football without cable.

Click here to try fuboTV free for 7 days.

 

7. College Sports Live

College Sports Live (free trial) is an online streaming service dedicated to providing you with complete coverage of all college sports from 50 schools across the nation. This is a great service for people that follow smaller schools or just want a little extra coverage. The only catch is that it airs non-televised events, which means if your school is playing on ESPN, you can not stream it on College Sports Live.

You can either pay $10 a month for College Sports Live or you can pay $100 for the entire year. If you love other college sports besides basketball, this is definitely worth a look. It’s far from a complete solution, though.

 

Listen to College Football

If all else fails, and you just can’t find the game you’re looking for, or you are really strapped on cash then you might want to turn to the radio. Most games will have live audio coverage, and more often than not schools will stream the radio broadcast online on the team’s website.

Barring that, you can always use online radio apps, such as TuneIn, to find local broadcasts of the team you’re looking for. TuneIn has one of the widest selections of terrestrial radio stations and best of all, its free.

You can search by location, language, topic, and more. It’s super easy to find everything and you don’t need an incredibly fast connection in order to stream. If you’ve got a little imagination, it’s the perfect penny-pinching cable TV alternative.

 

Watching College Football Without Cable

Sometimes watching college football without cable can seem tricky, but with help from today’s guide, you should have no problem finding the game of your choice at a price you can afford to stomach.

What’s your favorite NCAA conference? SEC? Big Ten? Or maybe something a little smaller? Let us know in the comments below or sound off on social media!

Want to watch college football online while also keeping up with NFL? See our guide on how to watch NFL games without cable.

Comments

comments