Watch College Football Online without Cable (Updated for 2018)

watch college football online

College football is like a religion in many homes. Whether you pull for teams in the Big 10 or the SEC, or your hometown favorite, nothing beats the excitement of a college football game. If you no longer have cable TV, you need to know how to watch college football online without cable. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to stream college football games legally, and we’ll show you how!

Before we get started, if you want to stream college football without cable, you’ll need a device to stream the games on. Most of the streaming services we discuss below can be accessed just like Netflix or any other video app, meaning you can watch using your phone, tablet, computer, or TV with a connected streaming player (e.g. Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, etc.). Now, you’re ready to go! Read on to learn about the best ways to watch college football online.

 

Which College Football Channels Do You Need?

Before we dive into the streaming services that will let you watch college football without cable, let’s breakdown the key college football channels you need and which streaming services offer them.

The most important thing to realize is that the ESPN family of networks covers about 80% of all college football TV coverage. So, if you don’t have those, you’re going to miss out on most college football games that are on TV. Of course, if you’re only interested in following a specific conference (e.g. Pac 12) or team, you might be able to get away with not having those channels.

Here’s a full overview of the college football channels carrying games in 2018:

Hulu Live Fubo TV Sling TV DIRECTV NOW YouTube TV PlayStation Vue
ABC Yes

(143 markets)

No Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

Yes

(71 markets)

Yes

(96 markets)

Yes

(31 markets)

CBS Yes

(139 markets)

Yes

(71 markets)

No Yes

(82 markets)

Yes

(96 markets)

Yes

(104 markets)

FOX Yes

(177 markets)

Yes

(98 markets)

Yes

(17 markets)

Yes

105 markets)

Yes

(95 markets)

Yes

(64 markets)

NBC Yes

(145 markets)

Yes

(80 markets)

Yes

(11 markets)

Yes

82 markets)

Yes

(94 markets)

Yes

(40 markets)

ACC Network Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

 

No Yes

 

Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

  Hulu Live Fubo TV Sling TV DIRECTV NOW YouTube TV PlayStation Vue
Big Ten Network Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
CBS Sports Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
ESPN Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
ESPN2 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
ESPN3 Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

No Yes

 

Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

Yes

(via WatchESPN app)

ESPN U Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
ESPNews Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
ESPN Goal Line Yes No Yes No No Yes
  Hulu Live Fubo TV Sling TV DIRECTV NOW YouTube TV PlayStation Vue
Fox College Sports No Yes No No No Yes
FOX Sports Regionals Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FS1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Longhorn Network No No No Yes No Yes
NBCSN Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pac 12 Network No Yes Yes No No No
SEC Network Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stadium No Yes Yes No No No

You can see a full TV schedule here for more details.

 

Hulu Live Offers a Complete Way to Watch College Football Online

With the most local network coverage and key national and regional sports channels, Hulu Live makes it easy to watch every snap

Hulu

Price: $40/month+ (free 7-day trial)

Key Channels Included: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, Big Ten Network, ACC Network, FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports, CBS, CBS Sports Network

What’s Missing?: Pac-12 Network, Stadium, FOX College Sports

College Football Games You Can Stream: National regular season games, local games in many markets, bowl games, college football playoffs and national championship

App Authentication: WatchESPN, FOX Sports Go, NBC Sports, BTN2Go, CBS Sports,

Device Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, and more.

Hulu Live is a great service for watching college football without cable because it offers a little bit of everything — the widest coverage of local broadcast channels across the US, key national and regional college football channels, and more. With Hulu Live, you’ll have access to just about every college football broadcast in your area, with very few exceptions (Pac 12 Network being the main one).

 

More Locals, More Content

The limited availability of local broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) has always been a drawback to live streaming services. But here, Hulu Live excels, offering more than 600 markets covered across the country for the 4 major networks.

That’s not the only area where Hulu separates itself from the others. Included in your Hulu Live subscription is full access to the classic Hulu on-demand, Netflix-like service that’s loaded with hit TV shows, Hulu Originals, and more.

  • $40/month for 50+ channels, the Hulu on-demand service, and tons of excellent features
  • No contract. No hidden fees. Cancel any time you want.
  • The most local network coverage of any streaming service
  • Stream on practically any device — Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, Android, iPhone/iPad, etc.
  • Record and store up to 50 hours of content with included Cloud DVR service
  • Try Hulu with Live TV free for 7 days

 

Stream College Football Live on Sling TV

Save money while getting the college football action you crave

sling tv

Price: $25/month+ (free 7-day trial)

Key Channels Included: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line, SEC Network, Pac-12 Network, ACC Network, FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC, Stadium, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC

What’s Missing?:  Longhorn Network, Big Ten Network, CBS, a few regional sports networks (e.g. Root Sports)

College Football Games You Can Stream: National regular season games, local games in many markets, bowl games, college football playoffs and national championship

App Authentication: WatchESPN, FOX Sports Go, NBC Sports,

Device Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox One, AirTV, Android TV, iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, and more.

Another easy and affordable option for college football streaming is Sling TV. This service, a product of Dish Network, offers several options for to stream college football conferences all across the U.S.

Key college football channels available on Sling TV include NBC/FOX in some markets (app authentication can let you access games even if you don’t live in a market where the channels are available live), FOX and NBC regional sports networks in select areas, and nationwide coverage of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (access ABC games and more this way), ESPNU, SEC Network, FS1, FS2, Pac 12 Network, and much more. Sling TV also carries ESPN’s Goal Line channel which bounces around from game to game all Saturday long with live look-ins across every conference, similar to the popular NFL RedZone channel.

There are various packages available, so be sure to choose the best ones for your needs.

 

The Budget-Friendly, Customizable Option

Sling TV is different than most live streaming services for a couple of reasons: 1) It has a low starting price point; 2) It’s the closest thing to a la carte TV available today.

Plans start from just $25 per month, and you can also add more channels to your lineup with genre-specific add-on packages that are very affordably priced. This lets you customize your channel package to your exact tastes while spending as little or as much as you’d like.

  • Starts at $25/month
  • Great for budget-conscious streamers
  • A la carte type plans let you pick and choose channel bundles to create your perfect package
  • No contracts — pay monthly and cancel any time
  • Combine Orange and Blue base packages for a discounted rate of $40 to get the best selection to watch college football online
  • Non-sports channels include AMC, TNT, TBS, HGTV, and much more.
  • Available on numerous streaming devices (Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, AirTV, etc.), iOS and Android phones and tablets, select smart TVs, and computers
  • Cloud DVR can be added for $5/month so you can record shows and events
  • The only streaming service to have ESPN3 included directly in their interface, so no need to use the WatchESPN app
  • Try Sling TV free for 7 days

Check out our Sling TV review for more info. If you’re in need of a streaming device, it’s a good idea to check here for special device deals that may be running.

Watch college football games online free for a week by starting with a FREE 7-day trial of Sling TV today.

 

Get a College Football Live Stream and Much More on DIRECTV NOW

Get a deluxe experience with huge channel packages and big features.

Price: $40/month+ (free 7-day trial)

Key Channels Included: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, ESPNU, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, Big Ten Network, ACC Network, FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports, CBS

What’s Missing?: Pac-12 Network, Stadium, FOX College Sports, locals (NBC, CBS, FOX) in some markets, few regional sports networks (e.g. Root Sports)

College Football Games You Can Stream: National regular season games, local games in many markets, bowl games, college football playoffs and national championship

App Authentication: WatchESPN, FOX Sports Go, NBC Sports, BTN2Go, CBS Sports,

Device Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, and more.

DIRECTV NOW is a popular online streaming service brought to you by AT&T. It’s a true alternative to cable TV, and one of the premier live streaming services on the market. It’s also another great way to get an NCAA football live stream all season long.

This service is ideal for the person who is looking for big channel packages, similar to what cable offers. DIRECTV NOW’s packages range from 60 to 120+ channels, so you really do get it all with this streaming service. Now, it’s worth noting that these big packages do come at a price that might be a little higher than other services, with bundles starting at $40 a month up to $75 a month.

Fans of college sports will be able to access college football streaming through various avenues on the service. Key channels include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, SEC Network, ACC Network (through WatchESPN), BTN, and NBC/FOX/CBS/regional sports networks in select areas. Take a close look at the different packages – depending on which team(s) you like to follow, you might want to go for one of the larger packages.

 

Get It All with More Than Just College Football

directv now

DIRECTV NOW has the biggest channel packages of the live streaming services out there. So if you’re someone who loves the big packages cable TV offers but hates the long-term contracts, hidden fees, and other shady dealings of cable companies, this streaming service might be a good choice.

Here are some highlights of the DIRECTV NOW service:

  • No satellite needed
  • Prices start at $40 and go up to $75
  • Enjoy up to 120 channels
  • No contract — pay monthly and cancel whenever you want
  • A great option for those who want the most channels possible and don’t mind spending a little money
  • Watch college football with all of the ESPN networks, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, FOX Sports, and much more
  • Record programs and live sports with included cloud DVR service (20 hours of storage)
  • Stream on 2 devices at the same time (add a third simultaneous stream for a small fee)
  • Watch on all your favorite devices — Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, more
  • Try DIRECTV NOW free for 7 days

You can learn a whole lot more about this service by checking out our DIRECTV NOW review.

Want to try it out? Check DIRECTV NOW out for free with a FREE 7-Day Trial! It’s a great way to watch college football online free for a week.

 

Stream College Football Games Without Cable via fuboTV

Get more regional sports channels than any other service

fuboTV logo

 

Price: $40/month+ (free 7-day trial)

Key Channels Included:  FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC, CBS, CBS Sports, Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Network, Stadium, beIN Sports, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports, other regionals

What’s Missing?:  ESPN networks,  ABC, Longhorn Network, ACC Network

College Football Games You Can Stream: Some national regular season games, local games in many markets

App Authentication: FOX Sports Go, NBC Sports, CBS, BTN2Go

Device Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, and more.

fuboTV is a premium sports streaming service that works over the internet. Starting at $40 a month for your first month and then $45 a month thereafter, you’ll get access to over 75 channels, most of which revolve around sports. fuboTV provides access to NCAA football live stream via a number of key channels. Most notably, fubo offers FOX, NBC, CBS, CBSSN, FS1, BTN, and regional sports networks – all of which provide college football live stream for games. Note that some local and regional channels are only available in select areas.

Of course, the main drawback to using fuboTV for NCAA football is the lack of ESPN-owned networks. That means you aren’t getting ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ABC, ESPN U, ESPNews, or SEC Network. So if you’re really into getting the most college football streaming action, fuboTV might not be your best bet.

 

The Most US and International Sports Coverage Overall

While fuboTV might not be the most complete option for streaming college football, its overall sports coverage is hard to match. No other streaming service carries as many sports channels.

  • The most regional sports networks of any service — FOX Sports regionals, NBC Sports regionals, MSG, NESN, SportsTime Ohio, and more
  • Great selection of international and niche sports channels — Eleven Sports, Chelsea TV, Primeira Liga TV, One World Sports, and more
  • League channels — NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and more
  • $40 for your first month, $45 a month thereafter
  • Cloud DVR w/ 30 hours of storage included (can be upgraded to 500 hours of storage for small fee)
  • Live sporting events have the least delay of any streaming service, so you don’t have to worry about your stream being minutes behind and getting spoilers for big plays
  • Available on Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, desktop, and more
  • Try fuboTV free for 7 days

Check out our fuboTV review for all the info.

Want to watch college football online free for a week? Try out a FREE 7-day trial of fuboTV!

 

YouTube TV Offers a Great Way to Stream College Football on the Go

Watch what you want, where you want

YouTube TV Review

Price: $40/month+ (free 7-day trial)

Key Channels Included: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, ESPNU, SEC Network,  Big Ten Network, ACC Network, FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports, CBS, CBS Sports Network

What’s Missing?: Pac-12 Network, Stadium, FOX College Sports, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line

College Football Games You Can Stream: National regular season games, local games in many markets, bowl games, college football playoffs and national championship

App Authentication: WatchESPN, FOX Sports Go, NBC Sports, BTN2Go, CBS Sports

Device Availability: Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, and more.

YouTube is a name we all know, but what many people don’t realize is you can now get a full package of cable channels with YouTube TV. The Google-backed streaming service has a great selection of channels, including expansive coverage of local broadcast networks (though still trails Hulu Live and Vue here) and many of your favorite national channels.

 

Lots to Love, Some Room for Growth

youtube tv menu

YouTube TV is the newest service mentioned in this article, but it has quickly become very popular for good reason. The service has been rolled out very carefully, only to markets where at least 3 of the 4 big broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) are available. The service is now available in the overwhelming majority of the country, but there are still a few markets where you can get it.

Perhaps what we love most about YouTube TV is it arguably has the most user-friendly mobile app, making streaming on the go a breeze.

  • $40/month — pay monthly and cancel any time
  • Solid selection of popular channels, including many of the most important college football networks
  • Missing some popular entertainment and lifestyle channels (e.g. HGTV, Comedy Central, Discovery, etc.)
  • Cloud DVR with unlimited storage
  • Available on Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, Roku, Apple mobile devices, Android mobile devices, and more (no Fire TV at this time)
  • Try YouTube TV free for 7 days

For more info, see our YouTube TV review or try it free for 7 days.

 

Watch College Football Streaming Live with PlayStation Vue

More simultaneous streams means everyone in the family can watch what they want

PlayStation Vue review

Price: $45/month+ (free 5-day trial)

Key Channels Included: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC/ESPN3, ESPNU, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC, regional FOX Sports, regional NBC Sports, CBS

What’s Missing?: Pac-12 Network, Stadium, few regional sports networks (e.g. Root Sports)

College Football Games You Can Stream: National regular season games, local games in many markets, bowl games, college football playoffs and national championship

App Authentication: WatchESPN, FOX Sports Go, NBC Sports, BTN2Go

Device Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PS3/PS4, Android TV, iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, and more.

PlayStation Vue is Sony’s live streaming service and offers yet another way to watch college football without cable. It starts at $45 per month with live local access to NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX in many markets (though not as many as Hulu Live covers), and also includes the ESPN family of networks, FOX Sports national and regional stations, conference networks, and more. Of course, the $45 a month starting price point does make it the most expensive option in the list, and you may have to go up to higher packages to get certain channels.

 

The Whole Family Can Stream Live TV

playstation vue action shot

The great thing about Vue is that it offers more simultaneous streams at no extra charge than any other service. Up to 5 people can stream Vue at the same time, making it a great choice for large households where everyone has something they want to watch on their own. There’s also the option to setup personalized profiles on the cloud DVR to better organize each person’s recordings.

  • Starts at $45/month
  • 5 simultaneous streams is more than any other service offers without extra fees
  • Great selection of channels for streaming college football
  • Available on numerous devices, including Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 3&4, Nvidia Shield, mobile devices, and more
  • Try PlayStation Vue free for 5 days

Check out our PlayStation Vue review, or click here to try a free 5-day trial.

 

Other Niche Streaming Services for NCAA Football

While the above services are all more or less complete solutions for streaming college football games online, there are some other niche services that are worth knowing about.

 

Watch College Football Online with CBS All Access

cbs all access review

Price: $5.99/month+ (free 7-day trial)

Key Channels Included: CBS

What’s Missing?: ESPN networks, FOX Sports Networks, CSN, regional sports networks, etc.

College Football Games You Can Stream: Saturday afternoon SEC games

Device Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, PS4, Xbox, iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers, and more.

For some games, you can stream college football on CBS All Access, the stand alone package from the network.

It is only $5.99 per month and also gives you access to a huge library of popular CBS shows on demand, and most importantly for those who want to watch college football online, you get the CBS live stream in 90% of markets across the country. Remember, CBS airs a couple of SEC Network games each Saturday.

It is currently available in over 150 markets, which covers roughly 90% of the county, and it is still expanding. You also get live streaming of your local CBS affiliate to watch your favorite shows right when they air. Here’s our review of CBS All Access to learn more.

CBS All Access can be viewed on a variety of mobile and streaming devices, so it is super convenient to watch college football games online with the service. Of course, this only works for games aired on CBS, so it’s a pretty limited option.

Start with a FREE Trial today!

 

ESPN+ to Stream 100+ Exclusive College Football Games This Season

espn+

Price: $4.99/month+ (free 7-day trial)

Key Channels Included: ESPN+

What’s Missing?: regular ESPN networks, FOX, FOX Sports Networks, NBC, NBC Sports, CBS, ABC, regional sports networks, etc.

College Football Games You Can Stream: 100+ exclusive games throughout the season

Device Availability: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, iOS devices, Android devices,  and more.

ESPN+ is a new streaming service offered by the sports giant. Let’s get one thing out of the way — no, this does NOT give you access to the regular ESPN channels. ESPN+ is its own channel with exclusive content. So, no, you will not be able to stream college football games that are airing on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc. with this service.

However, ESPN+ does offer a lot of live college football on its own. According to ESPN Media Zone, ESPN+ will stream more than 100 games this NCAA football season. For the most part, these don’t seem to be major conference showdowns, but still, if you’re someone who craves the most college football live streaming as possible, this may be worth a look.

 

College Football Streaming Guides by Team

Alabama South Florida
Auburn Stanford
Clemson Tennessee
Florida Texas
Louisville USC
LSU Virginia Tech
Michigan Washington State
Ohio State West Virginia
Oklahoma State Wisconsin
Penn State

 

So, that is what we know about how to watch college football live stream without cable. More questions? Ask us below in the comments section. And check out our overview on how to watch sports online for more useful info.

Chris Brantner

Chris Brantner

Chris Brantner follows the streaming video industry closely and has reported on it for years. He's also the editor in chief for Streaming Observer. Email him at [email protected]
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Chris Brantner