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College football fans are a different breed. College football fandom is a lifestyle, and die-hards will do just about anything to watch their team in action. Fortunately, paying for cable doesn’t have to be one of those things — at least not if you know how to watch college football without cable. Below, we’ll go over all the ways you can watch college football online or for free over the air with a TV antenna. With the 2021 season underway, it's high time that you caught up with top teams like Georgia, Iowa, and Alabama!

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream college football:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$69.99 – $139.99 65+ None

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$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

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$64.99 – $79.99 220+ 7 days

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$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

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$6.99 – $13.99 N/A None

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$4.99 – $99.99 N/A 7 days

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What Channel Is College Football On?

Before we figure out how to get live college football without cable, we’ll need to know which channels it’s on. The channels you’ll need will depend on which games and teams you want to watch, so keep the below list in mind as we discuss the services and techniques you can use to watch college football without cable.

  • ABC, like ESPN, is owned by Disney. Check out ABC for prime-time games on Saturdays, which are usually marquee matchups.
  • CBS has a bunch of big-time college football games, and you can see some each Saturday during the season. CBS has an SEC deal, so it’s the channel to turn to for SEC action.
  • FOX has a deal with the Big Ten, so you’ll want a FOX subscription if you’re a fan of a Big Ten team. FS1 and FS2 — FOX’s sports-specific channels — also provide some coverage.
  • NBC and Notre Dame have a deal, and the channel airs Fighting Irish home games. Some games also air on NBCSN.
  • ESPN airs college football on its flagship channel, as well as on sister channels such as ESPN2 and ESPNU. You’ll also find games on ESPN Plus. Finding a way to watch ESPN online is a must for fans who like to watch a variety of matchups.
  • Regional sports networks may air your local teams, depending on where you live. Regional sports network coverage varies from region to region with the services we’ll talk about below, so check out the specifics on the services’ websites or grab a free trial to see what’s available in your area.
  • Lots of conferences now have their own TV channels, which may be fully independent or serve as brands that span several channels. You’ll find Big Ten Network, SEC Network, ACC Network, and others on our list below.

How to Watch College Football Online and Over the Air Without Cable

If you want to watch the channels above live without paying for cable or satellite, then you have two main solutions: free over-the-air TV and “skinny bundle” live TV streaming services.

“Skinny bundles” are a special kind of streaming service that offers network TV channels — the same channels you already know from cable or satellite. Skinny bundles let you stream these channels online, often at a lower price than cable.

Our list includes plenty of these options, plus details on free over-the-air TV and other options for streaming the best college football this season. Let’s dive in!

Stream college football for free with DIRECTV Stream

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DIRECTV Stream is a live TV streaming service full of must-have channels for college football fans. Turn to any package for national sports networks such as ESPN and major networks such as CBS, or upgrade to the Choice package and snag regional sports networks.

Stream college football for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu + Live TV’s straightforward skinny bundle includes plenty of great ways to watch college football online. There’s ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, plus BTN, SEC Network, FS1, FS2, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN College Extra. Hulu + Live TV also includes access to the streaming service’s on-demand catalog.

Stream college football for free with fuboTV

Free Trial

As we pointed out in our fuboTV review, fuboTV’s live TV streaming service puts a lot of emphasis on sports, which is great news for college football fans. The service has lots of live channels, including FS1, FS2, ESPN, and more. fuboTV also provides ACC Network, SEC Network, and the Pac-12 Networks.

Stream college football with Sling TV

Try It

Sling TV lets you build the perfect skinny bundle. Choose one (or both) of Sling TV’s two base bundles, and then add “extras” to build your ideal bundle. Picking your own groups of channels on an a la carte basis will help you save money compared to other skinny bundles, which typically use tiered pricing structures.

Among Sling TV’s offerings are ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, and SEC Network. Sling TV currently lacks the major networks in most markets, but it does offer NBC and FOX in a few places.

Stream college football with ESPN Plus

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ESPN has poured a lot of energy (and money) into its stand-alone streaming service, ESPN Plus, lately. You can’t watch the traditional ESPN channel here, but it offers live sporting events out the wazoo, including some college football games. Our ESPN Plus review can fill you in.

Stream college football with Paramount Plus

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What is Paramount Plus, and what does it have to do with college football? Well, it’s owned and operated by ViacomCBS, so you’ll be able to watch some CBS college football games on Paramount Plus. The service was known as CBS All Access until early 2021, when it decided to go bigger with both its name and content library. If you’re looking for more information on the service, we’ve got it on our main Paramount Plus plans and pricing page.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV’s channel bundle includes ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, BTN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, and regional sports networks. It’s a great service for college football fans, and it’s brought to you by Google. (Yes, they own pretty much everything.)

Free over-the-air TV

Free over-the-air TV is one of the best ways to watch TV without cable, and that holds true for college football. College football’s biggest games, including many bowl games, end up on over-the-air networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. You’ll need an antenna as part of your over-the-air college football setup, and you may want to consider using an OTA DVR to take things to the next level.

Can I Watch College Football on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

You sure can! The streaming services above work great on these platforms, and you’ll have lots of options for streaming college football on any of the platforms and devices listed below. Let this chart be your guide to all the ways you can watch college football without cable.

Roku Fire TV Apple TV Android TV Chromecast iOS Android Web browser
DIRECTV Stream Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hulu + Live TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
fuboTV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sling TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
YouTube TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Paramount Plus is not in the chart, but it works on every platform listed. ESPN Plus works with all the listed platforms as well, so you won’t have to worry about device compatibility when you watch college football on ESPN Plus.

More to Watch for College Football Fans

Some college football fans watch only college football because they think the sport is better since it involves amateur athletes instead of professionals. There are plenty of college football fans who like any kind of football, though. It doesn’t matter if the quarterback is playing for a scholarship or $20 million a year.

If you fall into the any-football-is-good category, we’d recommend checking out our guide to watching NFL games without cable. The action is just as good as college, except it happens on Sundays. (Well, it also happens on Mondays and Thursdays, but Sunday is the day NFL fans can kick back and watch games all day.)

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