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The coronavirus pandemic has changed the college football season, but we're still here to help you watch every game. For more on the status of your favorite team and the big games during the pandemic, check out our page on COVID-19 sports cancellations and returns.
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! Join us as we go over all the ways that you can watch college football online or for free over the air with TV antenna. Absolutely everything that you need to know is below.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream college football:
Before we figure out how to get live college football without cable, we'll need to know which channels we want live feeds of. Which channels you'll be most interested in will depend on which games and teams you want to follow, so take a quick look at the list below and keep it in mind as we speak specifically about the services and techniques that we can use to watch college football without cable.
If we want to watch the channels above live, but don't want to pay for cable or satellite, then we have two major types of solutions that's we're dealing with: free over-the-air TV and “skinny bundle” live TV streaming services.
Let's talk about that second thing for a moment. “Skinny bundles” are a special kind of streaming service. They offer network TV channels — the same channels you already know from cable or satellite. Skinny bundles let you stream these channels online, and they package them into bundles that are usually smaller and cheaper than the cable competitors (that's where the “skinny” part of the nickname comes from).
Our list includes plenty of these live TV streaming options, plus details on free over-the-air TV and other options for streaming the best of college football this season. Let's dive in!
Stream college football for free with Hulu
Hulu + Live TV's straightforward skinny bundle includes plenty of great ways to watch college football online. There's ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, for starters, plus BTN, SEC Network, FS1, FS2, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN U, and ESPN College Extra. Hulu + Live TV also includes access to the on-demand catalog offered by Hulu's long-tenured on-demand streaming service. You can check out Hulu + Live TV risk-free by signing up for the service's free trial.
Stream college football for free with fuboTV
As we pointed out in our fuboTV review, fuboTV's version of the live TV streaming service puts a lot of emphasis on sports, and that's great news for college football fans. The service has lots of live channels — including FS1, FS2, ESPN, and more. fuboTV can give you ACC Network, SEC Network, the Pac-12 Networks, and more.
Stream college football with Sling TV
Sling TV lets you build the perfect skinny bundle yourself, saving you money by allowing you to pick out groups of channels on a more a-la-carte basis than is allowed by typical tiered skinny bundle pricing systems. Choose one (or both) of Sling TV's two base bundles, then add “Extras” to build your ideal bundle!
Among Sling TV's offerings are ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, FS1, FS2, and SEC Network. Unfortunately, Sling TV is currently missing major networks, so you may want to supplement this streaming option with an antenna.
AT&T TV Now is AT&T's skinny bundle service, and offers lots of great channels with college football coverage. AT&T TV Now is a cost-effective way to watch ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, FS1, FS2, BTN, and SEC Network, among others. You can try out AT&T TV Now for free by taking advantage of the service's free trial offer.
YouTube TV's channel bundle includes ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, BTN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN U, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, and regional sports networks. It's a great service for college football fans, and its free trial is well worth a look!
Free over-the-air TV is one of the very best ways to watch TV without cable, and that holds true in the world of college football. College football's biggest games, including many bowl games, end up on over-the-air networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Be sure to use an antenna as part of your college football season set-up, and consider using an OTA DVR to bring things to the next level!
Stream college football with ESPN+
ESPN+ does not include a live stream of the ESPN cable network, but it does offer live streaming of sporting events. While most big college matchups will be on the cable networks instead, you are likely to find some less in-demand games on ESPN+ throughout the season.
CBS has college football. It also has a streaming service of its very own: CBS All Access, which is a single-channel streaming service that focuses entirely on CBS. CBS All Access subscribers have access to CBS programming on demand, but this is also a live streaming solution: in select markets, subscribers to this service enjoy a live stream of their local CBS affiliate. Regional limitations and blackouts apply, so head over to CBS All Access' website for the dirty details — or just grab a free trial and see for yourself what is available in your particular region.
When the game-day action is big, you want your screen to be big, too. And the best way to get streaming content up onto your biggest, baddest TV is to use a streaming device like a Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast device. So, naturally, our next question is this: can you 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 one of the streaming platforms and devices listed above – plus a few more.
Roku users can check out Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV. Yep, that's every one of the skinny bundles listed above!
Fire TV users can use Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.
Apple TV users can try any of the services we listed: Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.
Chromecast devices support all of our options, too: Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.
Android TV is an option, too. The streaming platform used by the Nvidia Shield and some Sony smart TVs (among other devices) has apps for Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
You can watch college football online on your smartphone or tablet using the Android and iOS apps offered by each of Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.
Computers, including desktops and laptops, are options as well. That's thanks to desktop and/or in-browser apps from Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.
CBS All Access offers robust platform support, too: you can stream CBS live in select markets using CBS All Access' apps for Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, mobile devices, and computers.
As for free over-the-air TV, watching that on your TV is as simple as can be! Just plug your antenna into your TV's coaxial jack and then scan for channels. If you want to bring your over-the-air TV game to the next level, you could also consider using an OTA DVR or a PC TV tuner to time-shift your free over-the-air TV or make it streamable on multiple devices. For more on those techniques, just check out our extensive coverage right here on Cordcutting.com!
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