NCAA basketball offers hours of entertainment each year, with players who are often more passionate about the sport and their teams than you’ll find in the NBA. Unfortunately, it can be a hassle to figure out where to watch your favorite college basketball teams due to the complexity of NCAA broadcast contracts. Let’s explore how to watch NCAA Basketball without cable, including which services carry different regional conferences.

Where Can Watch I NCAA Basketball Without Cable?

Unlike professional sports, where different broadcasters are allowed to pay millions (and billions) for wide-ranging broadcast rights, NCAA basketball and other college sports have a far more complicated rights structure.

While many games can be found on top channels, like ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports Network, you won’t be able to find every game from every team on any one channel.

You’re going to need access to more than a dozen different broadcasters if you want to watch games from the 30+ NCAA basketball conferences. Most likely, you’ll find it’s best to try to follow just a few teams, as your viewing options can get extremely complicated.

Based on our research, you’ll need access to the following broadcast networks to watch NCAA basketball without cable from the largest conferences:

  • ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU: A10, ACC, American, America East, Atlantic Sun, Big 12,  Big South, Big Sky, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, MAAC, MEAC, MVC, MWC, NEC, OVC, Pac-12, SEC, SoCon, Southland, Summit League, Sun Belt, SWAC, WAC, WCC
  • Fox/FS1/Fox Sports Network: Big East, Big Ten, and Pac-12, ACC, Big 12, Big East
  • ACC Network: ACC (including ACC tournament)
  • CBS/CBS Sports Network: ACC, American, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC,  Mountain West Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Atlantic 10 Conference, American, Northeast Conference and Patriot League, and NCAA Tournament
  • Stadium: Atlantic 10, American, Big South, CAA, Conference USA, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, OVC, Patriot, SoCon, Southland, WAC
  • Pac-12 Network: Pac-12
  • SEC Network: SEC
  • Big Ten Network: Big Ten
  • NBCSN: Atlantic 10 Conference
  • beIN Sports: Conference USA
  • Big Ten Network: Big Ten

For smaller conferences, check here to locate the correct channels carrying games throughout the season.

No one streaming service is going to carry every channel you need for every game. Not even traditional cable would give you absolute coverage for college basketball. Here are your best options to get as many NCAA basketball without cable.


fubotv ncaa basketball without cable
Source: fuboTV

For those who want as much NCAA coverage as possible, fuboTV is a good option. This sports-streaming-focused service has a large number of the networks you’re going to want, with one huge exception

Channels and packages

There are two key streaming packages available through fuboTV: a base “fubo” package with over 80 channels in most locations, and “fubo Extra”, which has over 100 channels in most areas.  

The lower-cost “fubo” package is going to be all you need to get most of what you want out of the NCAA. For $44.99 per month, fuboTV’s “fubo” package offers Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and beIN Sports. That’ll get you coverage of most NCAA basketball games.

If you want more options, however, you have two choices. You can add the Sport Plus add-on package for $8.99 per month, which throws in 4 Stadium channels, 5 Pac-12 Network channels, and 3 Fox College Sports channels. Alternatively, you can opt to pay $49.99 per month for “fubo Extra” and get the additional Stadium channels included in that price.

You’ll still need to pay $8.99 for the Sports Plus add-on to get the other channels offered through that add-on, however, so your best option may be to go with the base package and purchase the Sports Plus add-on.

In all, you’ll have access to over a dozen channels that broadcast NCAA basketball without cable. The biggest downside here, however, is the glaring lack of ESPN channels. Although fuboTV has wide coverage, it’s lack of ESPN may make it a poor option for some college basketball fans.

Features and extras

fuboTV is one of the best options for those who like a service with features. For the cost, you’ll get a cloud DVR with a 30-hour storage limit, 2 simultaneous streams per account, and a 72-hour playback feature that lets you view most channels’ content within three days, even if you didn’t hit record on the DVR.

You can spend an extra $10/month to increase that DVR limit to 500 hours (the biggest storage limit in the market at this time). There’s also the option to add a third device stream for $6/month.

fuboTV provides a 7-day free trial period for new subscribers, which is a good amount of time to test out all of the features and the NCAA channels. You can stream this service directly from the web, or on dedicated apps for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and iOS or Android phones and tablets.

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Sling TV

sling tv ncaa basketball without cable
Source: Sling

Sling TV is going to be a great, low-cost option for college basketball fans. It offers a huge list of channels, although getting access to all of them might be a bit complicated.

Channels and packages

There are three base streaming packages available through Sling TV.

Sling Orange
Free Roku Deal
$25.00/ month

34 channels


Free Roku Express

1 simultaneous stream.

Sling Blue
Free Roku Deal$25.00/ month

49 channels


Free Roku Express

3 simultaneous streams

Sling Orange + Blue
Free Roku Deal
$40.00/ month

56 channels


Free Roku Express

4* simultaneous streams

* You get 1 stream for Sling Orange channels and up to 3 simultaneous streams for Sling Blue channels.

Sling Orange and Sing Blue are each $25/month and come with a slightly different lineup of channels. Sling Orange carries ESPN, ESPN2, and ACC Network among other channels. Meanwhile, Sling Blue carries regional Fox Sports networks, national Fox Sports networks, national NBC Sports, and regional NBC Sports networks.

Sling TV additionally offers a few add-on channel packages for $5/month, including a “Sports Extra” package that carries SEC Network, beIN Sports, Pac-12, SEC Network, and Stadium. Sports Extra can only be added to Sling Orange, however.

Your best option may be to go with the $40 per month  Sling Orange+Blue package. This option combines both Sling Orange and Sling Blue channels and allows you to tack on any of the add-on options, including Sports Extra.

The only difficulty here is that Sling Blue and Sling Orange channels don’t exactly share features, making things a little complicated.

Features and extras

Sling TV’s features are a bit run-of-the-mill, but they’re available at a low cost. Sing TV does not come with a cloud DVR as part of the package, but you can add one in for $5/month extra. That’ll grant you a 50-hour storage limit.

The simultaneous devices are where things are a bit confusing. Sling TV Orange channels can only be streamed on one device at a time, while Sling TV Blue channels can be streamed on up to 3. This doesn’t change even when you combine the two packages under Sling Orange+Blue. You also can’t increase your streaming limit.

That said, if you want to get the most out of Sling TV, you’ll probably end up walking away with a monthly bill of around $50, which includes Sling Orange+Blue, cloud DVR, and the Sports Extra addon. That’s about the same you’d pay for fuboTV, but with a noticeably more complicated package arrangement. You’d get ESPN out of the deal, though, which may make it worth it.

You can try Sling TV with its 7-day free trial, and stream the app from a large number of devices, including directly from your web browser, or through apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android Devices, some smarts TVs and more.

Hulu with Live TV

Source: Hulu

Hulu with Live TV is one of the best cord-cutting services on the market and a decent option for those who want NCAA basketball without cable (although it’s far from perfect).

Channels and packages

Unlike fuboTV and Sling TV, you’ll get one channel package available through Hulu with Live TV, as well as a minimal number of add-ons.

This service offers over 50 channels for $39.99 per month. That line-up of channels comes with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, CBS, CBS Sports, NBC, Fox Sports 1 and 2, SEC Network, and Big Ten Network. As stated, that’s pretty good coverage, though you’ll miss out on some smaller conferences.

Features and extras

If you find Hulu’s NCAA coverage a bit lacking, its features may make up for that.

You’ll get 2 simultaneous streams through this service, as well as a very reasonable 50-hour cloud DVR. Both of those can be increased with add-ons. You can use the Unlimited Screens add-on to get an unlimited number of device streams on the same WiFi network, and up to 3 off-network. You can also up your DVR storage limit to 200 hours. Both of those add-ons cost $14.99/month extra, but you can combine them for $20/month.

Hulu’s device coverage is among the best on the market, as you’ll be able to stream on most of the expected devices (Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, web browser, iOS and Android devices), but you can also stream on apps for Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.

Hulu offers a 7-day free trial to for new subscribers.

YouTube TV

Watch ncaa basketball without cable youtube tv
Source: YouTube

YouTube TV has been gaining some notable market share as it expands into new regions. It’s currently a good option for college sports, including NCAA basketball.

Channels and packages

YouTube TV entered the market after Hulu with Live TV and takes a page out of Hulu’s playbook. You’ll find just one streaming package of channels at roughly the same price ($40 per month).

The channel package lineup is somewhat similar to what’s available from Hulu with Live TV with some variations. YouTube TV advertises 60+ channels, which includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox, Fox Sports, CBS, CBS Sports NBC, NBC Sports, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and NESN, which covers some ACC content.

This line-up makes YouTube TV a reasonable choice, with a caveat: it’s not available nationwide. Unlike the other options on our list, YouTube TV is only available in a limited number of markets. It has coverage over most of the US, particularly in urban areas, but many rural areas are still out of the mix.

Features and extras

YouTube TV’s coverage comes with some of the best features on the market.

This service provides users with up to 3 simultaneous streams per account, and an unlimited DVR with a 9-month expiration date on recordings. Neither of those can be expanded through add-ons, but it gets better.

You get 6 individual user profiles per account, and each user gets their own unique settings, as well as access to their own cloud DVR, which makes sharing one account a total breeze.

Device coverage is also good, as you can use this service natively over the web, or through apps for Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and several smart TVs. Unfortunately, there is no native support for Amazon Fire TV.

You’ll find a free, 7-day trial available if you want to give this service a try.

PlayStation Vue

playstation vue ncaa basketball without cable
Source: PlayStation Vue

Also known as PS Vue for short, PlayStation Vue has a somewhat small number of channels carrying NCAA basketball, making it a less-preferable option.

Channels and packages

There are four key channel packages available through PlayStation Vue:

  • Access: 45+ channels, $45/month
  • Core: 60+ channels, $49.99/month
  • Elite: 90+ channels, $59.99/month
  • Ultra: All Elite channels plus HBO/Showtime, $79.99/month

The “Access” package will get you a small number of major sports networks (Fox Sports 1 and 2, ESPN, ESPN2, NBC Sports) as well as local TV broadcast networks that might carry college basketball games.

However, if you want as many options as possible, the “Elite” package is going to be your best option. Elite offer everything found through Access but also includes Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPNU, and Stadium.

All told, PlayStation Vue is not a particularly great source for NCAA basketball without cable, but it does provide what you need for the largest conferences and most popular games.

Features and extras

Although it falls short on college basketball coverage, the features might give you a reason to consider it.

This service offers a rather impressive 10 individual user accounts, each of which gets its own settings and DVR. You’ll get a rather short 28-day DVR with PS Vue. On a positive note, though, you get unlimited storage in that four-week window, so as long as you keep up with your shows every month, it’s a good feature.

You can also stream on 5 devices at the same time through this service, which is the most of any other option out there.

PlayStation Vue has a 5-day free trial period, and you can stream on multiple devices, including PlayStation 3 or 4, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, web browsers, and several more.

DirecTV Now

directv now ncaa basketball without cable
Source: DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now is actually one of the worst options on the list, with a huge lack of college sports channels and an unimpressive set of features. It’s an okay option if you just need coverage of the most major NCAA conferences, though.

Channels and packages

If you’re exploring DirecTV Now, you’ll be able to pick from 4 channel packages:

  • Live A Little: 65+ channels, $40/month
  • Just Right: 85+ channels, $55/month
  • Go Big: 105+ channels, $65/month
  • Gotta Have It: 125+ channels, $75/month

If you want to get the most out of DirecTV Now for college basketball purposes, you’re going to need to “Go Big”. That package offers all of the sports networks available through DirecTV Now, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Fox Sports 1 and 2, and SEC Network.

Like PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now has a large number of channels but is not nearly as focused on sports as fuboTV, or even Sling TV with its much lower number of channels.

Features and extras

We don’t really recommend DirecTV Now for NCAA basketball viewing, and not just because it’s mostly lacking in channel options. The features are also among the worst in the market for this type of service.

You’ll get 2 simultaneous streams, which is standard in this industry, and you can add a third for $5 per month extra. But the cloud DVR is among the most limited we’ve seen. You can record up to 20 hours of video per account, and those videos have a 30-day limit on them.

On a positive note, DirecTV Now has wide device coverage. Almost any device you want to use will have a native app for it, to include the major streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, as well as several smart TVs.

DirecTV Now offers a 7-day free trial period for new subscribers.