Navigation

How to Watch College Football Without Cable: 10 Great Options

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. Read our disclosure to see how we make money.

You can watch college football without cable and save big money. Here are 10 options to stream college football games without a cable or satellite contract.

The college football season will soon be upon us. Want to cut the cord but wonder how to watch college football without cable? You have options.

No-contract streaming providers make it possible to stream college football games without a hefty bill.

If you want to know how to legally watch college football without a TV provider, our guide shares all the best choices.

Channels Needed to Stream College Football Games

 

Before choosing the best way to watch live college football games, it’s essential to know the channels that carry the action. Here are the channels you need to get live football games:

  • ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC
  • ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ESPNU
  • Fox Sports 1 (FS1), Fox Sports 2 (FS2)
  • ACC Network
  • Big Ten Network (BTN)
  • Pac-12 Network
  • SEC Network
  • The Longhorn Network (LHN)

Thankfully, most of these channels are available with different streaming providers. You might not catch all of the games, but you will definitely get most of them.

How to Watch College Football Without Cable or Satellite

 

The average cable bill is currently over $200. There’s no need to pay that to watch your favorite college team. Here are the best platforms to get college football without cable.

ServicePriceTrial Length
Hulu Live$557 days Free Trial
Sling TV$30-$453 days Free Trial
fubo$65+7 days Free Trial
Vidgo$40+3 days Free Trial
ESPN+$5.99N/A Free Trial
AT&T TV Now$55+7 days Free Trial
YouTube TV$657 days Free Trial
CBS All Access$67 days Free Trial
College Sports Live$9.99N/A Free Trial

 

1. Hulu with Live TV

 

Hulu with Live TV is one of the top replacements to cable, and it’s affordable. For $54.99 per month you receive nearly 70 channels. Hulu Live is a terrific option if you want to live stream college football without a contract.

It carries the full suite of ESPN channels, FS1 and FS2, and the ACC, BTN, and SEC networks. You also get other live sports channels and local networks.

Most college football fans want a DVR to record games. Hulu Live covers you there, with a base 50-hour capacity DVR.

You can upgrade to 200 hours for an additional $9.99 per month if you wish. Hulu lets you stream on two devices at once.

Read our review of the Hulu Live channels here to learn more.

Cost: $54.99 per month

Channels included: locals, ESPN family of channels, FS1, FS2, ACC Network, BTN, SEC

Free trial: 7 days

Sign Up

 

2. Sling TV

 

If you’re price-conscious, Sling TV is an excellent way to watch college football games without cable. Sling has two base packages – Orange and Blue, and each one costs $30 per month.

The difference between the two lies in what each offers. Orange carries ESPN networks and Blue carries Fox Sports channels. If you want access to both, you can choose the combined Blue + Orange for $45 per month for 50+ channels.

Sling offers Fox and NBC in select markets, but not CBS or ABC. Sling does offer the ACC, Pac-12, and SEC networks, as well as LHN, but you must purchase their sports add-on for an additional $10 a month to receive them.

A drawback to Sling TV is the DVR. The base DVR includes just ten hours per month. You can upgrade to 50 hours for an additional $5 per month.

Orange lets you stream on one device, where Blue lets you simultaneously stream on three devices. The combined offering lets you stream on four devices at once.

Read our review of the Sling TV channels here to learn more.

Cost: $30 for either Orange or Blue, or $45 for the combination

Channels included: ESPN family of channels, Fox Sports, Fox and NBC in some locations. ACC, Pac-12, SEC and LHN when you purchase the sports add-on.

Free trial: 3 days

Sign Up

 

3. fuboTV

 

Another way to watch football games without cable, fuboTV carries up to 200 channels, but it’s also one of the pricier options. Its base plan starts at $64.99 per month.

Cost aside, the streaming provider is a good option to watch college football. The base package includes the full suite of ESPN channels, Fox Sports, the BTN, and locals in many, though not all, locations.

Hulu offers locals in more locations and is $10 cheaper per month.

You can get the ACC, Pac-12 (including regional options), and SEC networks, but that requires the “Sports Plus” add-on for an additional $10.99 monthly.

If you like niche sports, fuboTV is worth considering as it offers various add-on packages to get access to sports like biking and tennis. Its cloud-based DVR lets you record 30 hours of content.

You can upgrade to 500 hours for an additional $9.99 per month.

Read our review of fuboTV channels here to learn more.

Cost: $64.99+

Channels included: ESPN family of channels, Fox Sports, BTN, and locals in some locations. ACC, Pac-12, and SEC networks require the “Sports Plus” add-on.

Free trial: 7 days

Sign Up

 

4. Vidgo

 

Vidgo is a newer streaming service. Youth aside, it’s a suitable choice if you want t0 watch college football games live.

Vidgo is cheaper than other platforms, with the base package costing just $40 per month. This gives you access to all of the ESPN Networks, Fox Sports, ACC Network, the Pac-12 Network, LHN, SEC, and the BTN.

You can upgrade to the Plus package for an additional $10 per month and receive all of the regional Pac-12 channels.

There are two drawbacks with Vidgo. You only receive ABC and Fox, and there is currently no DVR. If you purchase a digital antenna, this will take care of local channels, but not having a DVR may be an issue for you.

Read our Vidgo TV review here to learn more.

Cost: $40+

Channels included: ESPN family of networks, Fox Sports, ABC (select locations), Fox (select locations), ACC, BTN, Pac-12, SEC, and LHN

Free trial: 3 days

Sign Up

 

5. ESPN+

 

ESPN+ offers an interesting way to watch college football without cable for just $5.99 per month. If you sign up for a year, it’s discounted to $49.99. The app is not a replacement to ESPN, but is a standalone service that provides live, and on-demand content.

The platform tends to show games from lesser known conferences. And, during the 2019 season the service aired games from several Power 5 schools, including Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Syracuse.

Think of the app as similar to what is typically available for streaming on ESPN3.

In addition to college football games, ESPN+ has loads of content, from other collegiate sports, niche sports, and a wealth of on-demand content, including the popular series 30 for 30.

Read our review of ESPN+ here to learn more.

Cost: $5.99 per month

Channels included: N/A

Free trial: N/A

Sign Up

 

6. AT&T TV Now

 

Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now is another option to watch college football games without a cable provider. The platform has several packages to choose from, starting at $55 for 45 channels.

However, it’s easy to spend even more as the higher-end packages run over $100 per month.

If you want more than ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1 you must choose the “Max” package that costs $80 per month, but also includes a subscription to HBO Max.

As a part of the “Max” package you get the ACC, BTN, LHN, and SEC networks. You also receive ESPN News, ESPNU, and FS2 with this package.

Another drawback to AT&T TV Now is locals are only available in some locations, but do not include ABC. AT&T TV Now makes up for that with a robust cloud DVR of 500 hours.

The pricing of the packages makes AT&T TV Now a tough recommendation for college football. Most people will be better served by considering Hulu Live or Sling TV.

Read our review of AT&T TV Now here to learn more.

Cost: $55+

Channels included: ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS, Fox, and NBC in some locations

Free trial: Try free for 7 days

7. YouTube TV

 

YouTube TV is a terrific option for college football fans. The streaming service offers the full suite of ESPN channels plus the complete Fox Sports offerings. It also streams the ACC, BTN, and SEC networks.

YouTube TV also carries all local channels and has an unlimited DVR that lets you keep content for nine months.

This is perfect for the college football fan who wants to catch, and record, all of the action.

There is one significant drawback to YouTube TV – cost. It has one package that recently increased to $65 a month. The service has a lot going for it, but the cost is a detractor as you can get much of the same with Hulu Live for $10 less per month.

Read our review of YouTube TV here to learn more.

Cost: $65 per month

Channels included: ESPN and Fox Sports family of networks, ACC, BTN, SEC networks, and all local channels

Free trial: Try free for 7 days

8. Digital Antenna

 

If you want to know how to watch college football games for free, an antenna is your only real choice.

An antenna is the cheapest way to get football games or any network show. After an inexpensive one-time cost, you get all local content, in HD, for free.

Here are some of the best digital antennas on Amazon to consider if you want to cut the cord, with 1byone, Wsky, and Antennas Direct being among the best. If you simply want to watch games broadcast in your area, an antenna is a terrific solution.

Cost: affordable one-time cost

Channels included: local networks

Free trial: N/A

9. CBS All Access

 

CBS All Access is a standalone service for fans of the network. With the service you can watch content from CBS on-demand, and live stream shows – including college football games airing on the network. This also provides you access to the CBS Sports Network

*Related: Love sports and want to cut the cord? Check out our guide on how to watch ESPN without cable and save $50+ per month!*

The service is good for people who may not want to deal with an antenna, or solely want locally-aired games. It costs just $5.99 per month and offers access to other CBS-owned networks like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and the Smithsonian Channel.

If you prefer a commercial-free experience, you can opt for their $9.99 monthly option that eliminates commercials for on-demand content.

Cost: $5.99 per month

Channels included: N/A

Free trial: Try free for 7 days

10. College Sports Live

 

The final way to watch college football online is College Sports Live. The budget streaming service airs football games, as well as other college sporting events, from select schools.

Like ESPN+, College Sports Live is best for smaller conferences. However, the app does have agreements with schools like Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State, and USC to air games. College Sports Live is an affordable $9.99 per month.

*Related: Love the NFL? Check out our guide on how to watch NFL games without cable to catch all the action without a pricey contract.*

The app lets you watch full-length games of partner schools, plus other events.

Cost: $9.99 per month

Channels included: N/A

Free trial: N/A

FAQs

 

Do you have other questions about how to stream college football games without cable? Here are answers.

Can I watch college football for free?

A digital antenna is the only way to watch college football games for free. After an affordable, one-time cost you can watch any game broadcast on your local networks.

If you do an internet search on how to watch football games for free you will find sites that promise the ability to do so. Those sites are often full of spam, or illegal.

The best way to watch games without a contract is through a streaming service like Hulu Live or Sling TV.

Can I watch live college football on Amazon Prime?

While the NFL simulcasts some Thursday Night Football games, there is no similar arrangement for college action. Some of the services on this list work on Amazon Prime, but there is no way to watch games directly on Amazon Prime.

Do any of the above options require a contract?

None of the above services require a contract. Cable replacement services offer the benefit of getting cable channels without needing to sign a contract.

The best way to save money is to pick a service right before the season, then cancel once it’s over. You can do this each season so you’re not paying for service when the season is not in action.

Can I stream local channels on streaming services?

Not all streaming services offer local channels. Local channels and sports networks are among the most expensive to offer, and each market is different.

If you want a streaming provider that carries local channels, Hulu Live and YouTube TV are your best options. Most no-contract services tell you on their website if they carry the local networks in your area, after you provide your zip code.

If you don’t want cable channels, a digital antenna is a good solution.

Summary

 

Thanks to growth in the streaming space, it’s not difficult to watch college football games without cable. There’s no longer a need to stay in an expensive contract to watch your favorite schools.

You can pick a platform you like best, use it for the season, and cancel when the season is over to maximize savings and catch all the action.

 

How do you watch sports without cable? What streaming services have you tried and liked? 

The following two tabs change content below.

John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

2 Comments

  • Marc @ Vital Dollar says:

    For the past few years I’ve used Sling for watching college football. I cancel it after the season is over because otherwise I never watch it. It’s a great option for the price, and I’ve also upgraded a few time to get the package with ESPNU for an extra $5 per month.

    • John Schmoll says:

      We’ve done the same thing as well Marc. It’s hard to beat for the price and is a good way to get the sports you want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *