How to Watch College Football: ESPN+, BTN and ACC
If you want to stream college football games live, the best way to watch roughly 300 games across 12 conferences is with ESPN+.
The number of streaming options has gotten even bigger this year for college football. So there’s a good chance that you may be watching games a couple of different ways.
In this guide, I’ll show you the best way to tap into 12 different conferences, and some Power 5 games that you probably won’t want to miss. I’ll also quickly outline some other options to stream networks that might be important to you, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Big Ten Network, SEC Network and PAC-12 Network.
Just to be clear, ESPN+ is not a replacement for ESPN, and has its own exclusive sports programming.
Given that ESPN+ only costs $4.99 per month, it’s a pretty great deal. That’s especially true if you plan on watching games from Big South, Conference USA, Ivy League, Mid American, Mid Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, Southwestern and Sun Belt.
ESPN+ resides within the ESPN app, and also has coverage of MLB, NHL games and even original programing such as 30 for 30. You can pause, rewind and replay those 300 live football games.
To watch on your TV, download the ESPN app on a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Samsung Smart TVs or Xbox One. If you’re on the go, or not near a television, then the ESPN app on your iPhone or Android smartphone works too.
You can take a look at what live sports are covered on ESPN+ before deciding whether to sign up.
College Football TV Schedule
One of your best resources for tracking down particular games by conference is through the ESPN college football schedule.
On the right hand corner of the schedule, you can narrow down the calendar by conference. You can see what networks you need for upcoming games.
The NCAA college football schedule is another good resource for keeping track of games, and which channel you’ll need to watch.
Watch Power 5 Conference Football on ESPN+
This season ESPN+ will stream five Power 5 games. Here is a quick rundown of those games.
Sat, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. — Syracuse at Liberty
Sat, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. — Stephen F. Austin at Baylor
Sat, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. — Nicholls at Kansas State
Sat, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. — Coastal Carolina at Kansas
Sat, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. — McNeese State at Oklahoma State
Other college football channels
ESPN networks have most of the college football games you want to watch.
Hulu with Live TV has 65+ channels, including some other key networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, ACC Network, FS1 and FS2.
A subscription costs $44.99 per month, and comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR. Keep in mind that you will also get unlimited access to Hulu’s on-demand library of movies, Hulu Originals and TV shows. That’s the same library people usually pay $5.99 per month for. So you’re essentially getting two streaming services for the same price as competing live TV streaming platforms.
You can also use your Hulu Live subscription to activate the ESPN app, and about 37 other TV Everywhere apps. Look over Hulu’s Live TV channel lineup to see what local channels and regional sports networks are in your area. Hulu has apps for Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV,
How to Watch College Football Free With a TV Antenna
Using a TV antenna can get you a lot of free college football games from local ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations.
It’s surprising, but the vast majority of Americans known that over-the-air signals have been broadcasting in digital for about the last 8 years. These signals are often in 1080i or 720p, and look better because they are coming into your home without being compressed.
I have already written a couple of pretty comprehensive guides to that has tips on picking the right hardware depending on where you live in the United States. Read my guide How to Choose the Best TV Antenna and OTA DVR. Then check out the Best Indoor TV Antennas of 2019.
Stream College Football on fuboTV
fuboTV is a popular sports-first platform that carries some key networks for college football.
The basic channel bundle carries 100+ networks such as Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, PAC 12 Networks, FOX Sports, FS1 and FS2.
If you need local NBC, CBS or FOX for games, there’s an excellent chance fuboTV carries those local networks in your area.
The only downside is that fuboTV does not carry any of the ESPN networks that you see on cable TV or satellite. So that means no ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, or ESPNU. And there’s no local ABC. Having ESPN might not mean a lot to you, depending on what football conference or team you follow.
fuboTV subscribers get 30 hours of Cloud DVR. If you miss a game, fuboTV has an exclusive “look back” feature, which has all sporting events that aired in the last 72 hours. The channel lineup is much more than sports. A&E, FOX News, all three Hallmark Networks, National Geographic, CMT, Animal Planet and Discovery are all part of the fubo basic channel lineup.
AT&T TV Now: Stream Longhorn Network, Big 12 Football
AT&T Now carries a number of sought-after networks for watching college football in the Max bundle.
Subscribers get 60+ channels, including Big Ten Network, SEC Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.
Longhorn Network is available in within the network’s coverage area. Look over the channel lineup for your area. On the entertainment front, HBO and Cinemax are included in this package.
AT&T TV Now has apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. You can try out AT&T TV Now free for a week.
PlayStation Vue: Watch College Football Online
PlayStation Vue has ESPN networks in the Core bundle, which costs $55 per month.
The Core package has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and Big Ten Network. There are about 68+ live TV channels total and unlimited Cloud DVR.
PlayStation Vue works on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV devices, and PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial.
YouTube TV: Live Stream College Football
YouTube TV has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Big Ten Network, FS1, FS2, and SEC Network. So there is a lot of college ball to be had. A YouTube TV package has a bunch of local channels too. So you’ll likely be covered for games on ABC, CBS and NBC.
YouTube TV works on Apple TV, Chromecast, PCs and Roku. It doesn’t have an app for Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick. You can try YouTube TV free for a week.
Stream College Football live on Sling TV
Sling TV can be a potential budget option for watching college football without a cable TV or satellite subscription. But it depends on what channels you’re looking for in your lineup.
There are two main channel bundles. Sling Orange is the cheapest option for streaming ESPN live at $25 per month. The Orange bundle has 34 networks including ESPN2, ESPN3 and ACC Network.
The Blue channel bundle carries local FOX and NBC stations in select markets and costs $25 per month. FS1, FS2, NBC Sports Network and regional Fox Sports Networks can be found on Sling Blue.
If you want ESPN networks and networks offered on Sling Blue, then you’ll need to combine those two bundles at a cost of $40 per month.
Sling also has a Sports Extra bundle. Be aware that the channel lineup differs, depending on whether you’re subscribing to Sling Orange or Blue.
The Sports Extra bundle with Sling Orange is 15 more channels for another $10 per month.
SEC Network, SEC Network+, PAC 12 Network, ESPNU, ESPNews and Stadium Plus 1 are among the relevant networks streaming games.
Sports Extra with Sling Blue is 10 more channels for $10 more per month. PAC-12 Network and Stadium are included in this bundle. So depending on what team or conference you follow, you might be able to score a good deal for yourself.
Let’s say you only needed ESPN, ESPN3, some local networks and ESPN+ to watch games from the Big South Conference. That would only put you at $30 per month.
Look into getting a TV antenna (as mentioned above) for free NBC, ABC and FOX stations if you need them.
If you wanted to record games from Sling TV, 50 hours of Cloud DVR costs $5 per month.
It’s all a matter of what channels you need, and what you want to spend. By the way, Sling TV also offers a free 7-day trial.
And if you need a streaming device, Sling TV will either give you a streaming device or give you steep discount on one in exchange for a brief subscription.
What’s the best way to live stream college football?
I just threw a lot of information at you, so let’s recap a few highlights and narrow down your choices.
ESPN+ is carrying 300 college football games this season, and costs only $4.99 per month. It’s definitely worth it if you want to see games from Big South, Conference USA, Ivy League, Mid American, Mid Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Southern, Southland, Southwestern and Sun Belt.
Hulu with Live TV is my top pick for overall college football coverage at $44.99 per month. You’ll get all your ESPN networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU and ESPN College Extra.
Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, FS1, FS2, SEC Network and local NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX stations are there, too. A subscription comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR, and unlimited access to Hulu’s vast on-demand library that people pay $5.99 per month for. So if you already subscribe to Hulu on demand, this option might make the most sense. Sign up for Hulu’s Live TV package or look over the channel lineup.
If you’re on a budget, or only need a small number of channels, take a look at the channel packages for Sling TV. There’s a free 7-day trial, or you can sign up for a brief subscription to get a free or discounted streaming device.
So how are you going to live stream college football this year? Tell fellow readers in the comments below. For more tips on streaming, check out the main page of The Cord Cutting Report.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble