You can watch college football games live without cable with one of the following options: Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, Playstation Vue or YouTube TV. In this article, we’ll help you decide which streaming option is best for you. Let’s get started!
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Hulu with Live TV‘s major selling point is its huge on-demand catalog. When there’s nothing interesting on live, you can choose from thousands of TV episodes and movies. Another nice thing about this service is that it has good college football channel coverage.
Hulu’s main subscription plan comes with over 60 other cable TV staples. The cost is $45/month.
|Hulu + Live TV|
7-Day Free Trial
2 simultaneous streams
ESPN and Disney
For more information about Hulu with Live TV’s plans, click here.
From family entertainment to sports to local broadcast networks, Hulu with Live TV has a lot to offer college football fans. Channels that broadcast college football that come with Hulu with Live TV include ABC, ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN2, ESPN3, SEC Network and Big 10 Network. However, none of the Fox College Sports channels are available. Hulu with Live TV doesn’t carry ACC Network or PAC 12 Network, either.
Click here to see the full list of Hulu with Live TV channels.
Hulu with Live TV has above average support for TV devices. Whether your have an Amazon Fire TV or Roku, you’ll likely find a Hulu with Live TV app.
- Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain Samsung and LG televisions as well as some devices based on Amazon Fire TV or Roku.
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
- Game consoles: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
- Desktop browsers: Most browsers.
Click here to learn more about devices that work with Hulu with Live TV.
Hulu with Live TV DVR
If you hate commercials, you may want to consider buying Hulu with Live TV’s DVR upgrade. Without it, you’ll have to sit through repetitive advertisements when you watch your recordings.
Click here to learn more about Hulu with Live TV’s DVR.
Hulu has one of the largest libraries of on-demand content on the internet. Hulu with Live TV subscribers can watch Hulu originals and all the other shows and movies for free.
Learn more about Hulu with Live TV’s on-demand library here.
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If you like the idea of creating your own TV channel lineup, you may want to look into Sling TV. Sling TV was one of the first streaming services to hit the market and it’s still the leader when it comes to customization. It’s a great way to catch college football action and all kinds of other sports, as well.
Sling TV offers three options for new subscribers. You can choose between two base plans or get both base plans for a discounted price. Both base plans cost $25. After you get a base plan, you can expand your entertainment options by purchasing channel add-on packs.
Free Roku Deal
Free Roku Deal$25.00/ month
Sling Orange + Blue
Free Roku Deal
To learn more about Sling TV pricing, check here.
Sling TV carries all the ESPN channels, SEC Network, ACC Network and Pac 12 Network. However, it still hasn’t signed many local ABC affiliate stations– so you may need to use your TV antenna when ABC is broadcasting the college football game you want to see. Another downside is that Sling TV doesn’t carry Big 10 Network or any of the Fox College Sports regional networks.
To learn more about Sling TV channels, check here.
Sling TV has great device support:
- TV streaming media players: Apple TV (4th gen and up), Amazon Fire TV (all versions), Chromecast, Roku (LT and up), AirTV.
- Smart TVs: LG TV (Web OS 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0, as well as select 2016-2018 models), Samsung TV (2016 through 2018 models), Android TV (4.4 and up), Roku TV, Mi TV.
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android (4.4 and up), iOS (11 and up), Amazon Fire (tablets).
- Game consoles: Xbox One.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome is recommended for use with Mac and Windows.
Check here for more info on Sling TV’s supported devices.
With Sling Blue, you get three simultaneous streams. That’s more than industry standard (which is two streams), and more than you’d get with Sling Orange (only one stream).
To learn more about Sling TV’s simultaneous streams, click here.
Sling TV doesn’t come with a free DVR, but you can add recording functionality for $5/month extra. You can’t record any Sling Orange channels, though.
To learn more about Sling TV’s DVR, check here.
Sling TV does have an on-demand content library, but it’s somewhat limited compared to some streaming services.
Click here to learn more about Sling TV’s on-demand library.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue is a full-featured cable replacer with a deep channel menu, apps for all the most popular TV devices and excellent perks. It has all the ESPN channels, ABC and regional Fox College Sports channels. However, it doesn’t carry ACC Network, Big 10 Network or Pac 12.
There are four different plans to choose from: Access, Core, Elite and Ultra. Prices range from $45 to $80.
For more information about PlayStation Vue’s plans, click here.
The best PlayStation Vue plan to get if you’re a football fan is Elite. It comes with lots of channels that air college football games, plus NFL Network.
Click here to see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels.
Unless you need a streaming service for Xbox, you’ll likely find a compatible PlayStation Vue app:
- TV streaming media players: Apple TV (4th gen and up), Android TV (all gens), Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick (all gens), Chromecast (1st gen and up) and Roku (firmware 8.0 and up).
- Smart TVs: Amazon Fire TV (all gens), Android TV (all gens) and Roku (firmware 8.0 and up).
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android OS 5.0 and up, iOS 9 and up, and Amazon Fire HD6 tablets and up.
- Game consoles: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge are recommended (most recent versions will work).
Click here to learn more about devices that work with PlayStation Vue.
One of the best things about PlayStation Vue is its generous account sharing policy. You can use one account to stream to five different screens at once.
Click here to learn more about PlayStation Vue’s account sharing features.
In addition to the generous five-stream simultaneous stream limit, PlayStation Vue users get unlimited DVRs. This combination makes PlayStation Vue very competitive when it comes to features.
Click here to learn more about how PlayStation Vue’s DVR works.
PlayStation Vue has some on-demand content. Many of the titles it has are recently aired TV shows. Most TV shows expire after a few weeks. There is a small selection of movies in the library, too.
Click here to learn more about PlayStation Vue’s on-demand library.
If you don’t have a TV antenna, YouTube TV could be your best option for cutting the cord. One of the best things about Google’s YouTube TV is the fact that it has great support for NBC, FOX, CBS and ABC. However, the fact that the menu doesn’t include several college sports channels that air college football games may be a turnoff for some.
YouTube TV recently raised its subscription rates. The base subscription now costs $50/month. It comes with around 70 channels.
To learn more about YouTube TV’s pricing options, click here.
The base subscription comes with all the ESPN channels that air college football games, plus ABC and SEC Network. However, you can’t get ACC Network, Big 10 Network, PAC 12 Network or any of the regional Fox College Sports Channels through YouTube TV.
To learn more about YouTube TV’s channel list, click here.
Now that the YouTube TV app is back in the Amazon app store, YouTube TV has excellent TV device support:
- TV streaming media players: Apple TV (4th gen and up), Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku (most models).
- Smart TVs: Android TV (select models), Samsung TV (2016+ models only), LG TV (2016+ models only), Vizio (select SmartCast models), Hisense (select models), Sharp (select models).
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android (5.0 and up), iOS (9.1 and up).
- Game consoles: Xbox One (all versions).
- Desktop browsers: Most Mac and PC browsers.
Click here to learn more about YouTube TV supported devices.
YouTube TV supports three simultaneous streams.
To learn more about YouTube TV’s simultaneous streams, click here.
YouTube TV’s has an unlimited cloud DVR. You don’t have to pay extra to use it, either.
Click here to learn more about YouTube TV’s DVR options.
YouTube TV has an above-average on-demand library compared to other similar services.
Click here to learn more about YouTube TV’s on-demand library.
How to Watch College Football on Amazon Fire TV
You can watch college football on Amazon Fire TV with one of these streaming services: Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, Playstation Vue or YouTube TV. Free trials will let you find out how you like each service. Just download the apps from the Amazon app store to get started.
How to Watch College Football on Roku
You can watch college football on Roku with one of these streaming services: Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, Playstation Vue or YouTube TV. Go to Roku’s app store and download the app that meets your entertainment needs.
How to Watch College Football on Apple TV
You can watch college football on Apple TV with one of these streaming services: Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, Playstation Vue or YouTube TV. Apple’s app store has all the apps. They all have free trials, so you could even install them all on your Apple TV if you want to compare them.
Channels that Broadcast College Football Games
Obviously, ESPN is king when it comes to college football.
A glance at this ESPN’s college football schedule reveals that ESPN will broadcast 18 different college football games this Saturday across its various channels. Each game lasts about 3 hours, so that’s 54 hours of college football to digest. If you still want more after watching all that football, then you might want to seek the help of a trained professional.
The main ESPN channel is crucial if you want to watch the most important NCAA football games, so be sure that whatever service you go with has it.
In addition to airing marquee matchups on Thursday nights, ESPN also broadcasts the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl as well as the Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl Classic and the College Football Playoff National Championship.
With ESPNU, you can tune in to watch various college football matchups on Thursdays during primetime, Saturdays at noon, Saturday afternoon and on Saturday during primetime.
ESPN2 is not as essential as the main ESPN channel and ESPNU, but you’ll be able to watch more games throughout the week if you can get it. With ESPN2, you can watch college football teams square off on Sundays, Fridays and sometimes on other days.
ESPN3 is the best way to watch low-profile college football games – but it’s different from the other ESPN channels. Basically, ESPN3 is a special “bonus” internet channel for cable TV subscribers and subscribers of some (but not all) cable replacement services. You can find a ton of college football coverage during the season via ESPN3, including lots of small market college football games. Check out ESPN3’s full college broadcast schedule to see everything you can get with ESPN3.
- Tip: If you access WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN or ESPN mobile application via an on-campus (.edu) or on-base (.mil) network you can get ESPN3 content for free.
The other network that broadcasts national college football games is ABC. Most (but not all) ABC games are also carried by ESPN. You can either get ABC through your TV antenna or through an internet-based cable replacement service that carries your local ABC affiliate.
It’s a good idea to make sure that ABC is available in your area before you sign up with any cable replacement plan. Most cable TV replacement services provide a way to find out exactly what you’ll get before you buy on their official websites.
If you follow a specific team, you may want to check its conference’s website to find out if you can watch games online. There are 11 I-A college football conferences, and some have set up their own TV networks.
Some conferences give away content for free, but others make you pay for access. Still others won’t let you watch at all unless you buy a cable TV subscription and log in with TV Everywhere.
Here is a brief summary of what 4 of the major college football conferences have to offer in the way of live streams.
The ACC Network has partnered up with ESPN, so if you get a cable replacement service that lets you log into watchESPN you can watch live ACC college football games there. You can also watch live games for free via the ACC website or via the free ACC app.
Big 10 Network
You can get online access to the Big 10 Network without cable by buying a single team “School Pass” ($80 for the season, $10 monthly) or with a “Conference Pass” ($120 for the season, $15 monthly). If you have cable, you may be able to log in for free with your TV Everywhere credentials.
Pac 12 Network
The Pac-12 Network is stingy when it comes to its content. The league does have a streaming service, but there is no internet-only subscription option. You need a cable subscription to log in with TV Everywhere via the Pac 12 app or on the web via pac-12.com/live.
The SEC Network has also partnered up with ESPN, so if you get the right cable replacement service you’ll be able to watch SEC college football games on watchESPN or via the SEC Network’s official site.
Fox College Sports
Fox airs Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 matchups across 3 cable channels: Fox College Sports Central, Fox College Sports Atlantic and Fox College Sports Pacific.
Why you may have to rely on your TV antenna for local broadcasts
Most cable replacement services offer local TV, but they’re still working out deals – so local TV coverage is spotty in rural areas. If whatever internet-based cable replacement service you decide to get hasn’t worked out a contract with the affiliate in your area, you’ll have to use your TV antenna to catch local broadcast games.
You can’t opt to get local TV from somewhere else
If you follow a well-known team like the Longhorns or Notre Dame, there’s a big chance that most of the games will be televised nationally and you’ll be able to tune in via the web via ABC and the ESPN channels. However, if you follow a lesser-known team and you live far away from wherever that team is located, you’re going to miss some games.
The exact set of local channels you’ll get when you subscribe to a cable replacement service is totally dependent on your physical location. Unfortunately, all the cable replacement services force you to accept whatever regional channels are available in your particular locale.
Why Isn’t There an Official Streaming Service for NCAA Football?
In 1984, the NCAA football teams went to court and won the right to negotiate their own TV contracts. The landmark ruling ushered in a new era in college sports at the time. However, the web of business deals that sprung up in the wake of the decision seems to be standing in the way of the establishment of a single go-to college football streaming site.