How do I watch college football games without cable TV? For years, cable TV subscribers have hesitated to cut the cord. One primary reason is sports coverage, which has been notoriously difficult to stream. College football—a popular favorite among sports fans—remained elusive until recently, when a few major deals with streaming providers paved the way for comprehensive game day coverage. While the landscape of college football still looks like a kaleidoscope of piecemeal options, it’s now possible for cord cutters to get comprehensive coverage for most conferences. We’ll detail each option for watching the big game without a cable TV subscription, then specify costs and limitations of the college football streaming services.
Line-up Local Coverage with an Antenna
Limitations: Major Networks Only
You can pick up most of your local networks with an old-fashioned antenna, but you’ll be stuck with whatever they decided to dish out. ABC has the most college football coverage, but you can also catch a few games with NBC, CBS, and FOX. Once that antenna brings all your favorite hard-hitting action right into your living room, you’ll never see this small piece of unsightly metal the same way again.
Stream Sports with SlingTV
Limitations: ESPN, Major Networks
Dish offers SlingTV, a streaming service that is changing how cord cutters watch sports. Grab a monthly subscription and stream selected networks and channels to any device or on your TV. ESPN offers around 50 percent of all college football games, so you’ll be guaranteed a good chunk of coverage even with Sling’s lower-end package. You can stream with other services like Playstation Vue, but Sling offers the best coverage for a cheaper price.
Check Out Your Mobile Carrier for Coverage
Cost: $11.99/month, plus data charges
Limitations: Mobile Only
A few mobile carriers, like Sprint and T-Mobile have begun to offer sports packages that include ESPN and Fox College Sports, but they come with a few caveats. You’ll pay a monthly fee, standard data charges, and you’ll only be able to view the stream on your mobile devices. However, for mobile game day coverage, it’s the only way to go.
Get the Games You Want with Conference Apps
Limitations: Mobile Only
If you’re interested in game highlights, scores, and coverage summaries, many of the college conferences have their own apps and websites you can utilize. The NCAA is obviously the largest and most sought after source of coverage, and they offer both mobile coverage and plenty of repackaged video online. It’s a cheap and convenient way to watch the clips you want without the cost.
College Sports Live
Limitations: CBS Only
CBS’s College Sports Live website gives you the ability to stream coverage to any device, but it comes at a cost. While the upfront fee is small, you’ll only get access to a fraction of the games; so depending on the teams you follow, it may not be worth it. Consider carefully whether or not they’ll have the college football you want before handing over your credit card.
If you’re going to stream sports coverage reliably, you’ll need plenty of internet speed. Check out our how much speed tool to determine how much speed you’ll need to stream to multiple devices in HD, then use our provider tool to find an internet service provider that offers plans in your area.
Find and compare Internet Service Providers in your area.