Watch Big Ten Network: 5 Cable-Free Streaming Options in 2024

In 2024, you can stream Big Ten Network without a cable subscription through Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, and YouTube TV. These platforms offer BTN live on Smart TVs and various streaming devices, catering to the growing trend of cord-cutting. For select Big Ten games, a TV antenna is a subscription-free solution for broadcasts on local channels like CBS and NBC. This year brings new, cost-effective choices for Big Ten football and basketball streaming options.

Big Ten Network
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The Big Ten Network (BTN), a key player in college sports broadcasting, is now accessible beyond traditional cable. 

It’s available on DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. My 2024 guide offers a thorough comparison of these platforms, focusing on streaming Big Ten Network affordably.

Once a staple on cable packages like Comcast and Spectrum, BTN’s availability has expanded. Fans of college football and basketball now have multiple avenues to watch Big Ten Network without cable. 

This evolution in broadcasting presents new, cost-effective choices.

For cost-conscious viewers, Sling TV is a practical choice for Big Ten Network access, especially if local channels such as CBS and NBC are available with a TV antenna. DIRECTV STREAM caters to those seeking a more extensive range of sports and entertainment channels, albeit at a higher price point.

DIRECTV STREAM offers a 5-day free trial on any plan, while Sling TV gives subscribers a 50 percent discount on its first month of service. 

In this guide, you will find clear, objective information about streaming BTN. The network covers a range of sports, including tennis, baseball, ice hockey, cross country, and gymnastics. 

Streaming Big Ten Network in 2024

A few years ago, the Big Ten Network channel and a couple of key broadcast channels was all you needed for college football and basketball games from the Big Ten Conference.

Now FOX, NBC, and CBS are bigger players when it comes to streaming Big Ten games. The shift is part of a seven-year agreement that kicked off in July 2023. The result?

Some Big Ten Basketball and Big Ten Football games are now on Peacock and Paramount+, giving you more cord-cutting sports options over cable. 

If you are the “loud budgeting” type, it’s a good time to get a TV antenna to get CBS, FOX and NBC for free and eliminate your costs of added streaming subscriptions.

You shouldn’t be wary of this approach because by using a TV antenna, and an OTA DVR like a Tablo or HDHomeRun, you can get all of your games across Smart TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV devices. You can likewise use smartphones, iPads, iPhones, and gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation to watch live games.

Subscribers to live TV streaming services can enjoy additional perks like the BTN TV app or the FOX Sports app. All these services offer the flexibility of no-contract subscriptions.

The evolving landscape of sports broadcasting may actually be more cost effective for you in the long run. My guide on streaming Big Ten Network without cable breaks down what’s new, and ways to get the cheapest (and more pricey) options in 2024. 

DIRECTV STREAM: Streaming Big Ten Network Without Cable

DIRECTV STREAM presents a comprehensive solution for accessing the Big Ten Network, essential for fans of Big Ten football and basketball. This service includes pivotal channels such as ESPN, and FS1, crucial for a full college sports experience.

Subscribers can get the Choice plan, offering a broad spectrum of over 105 channels. 

This plan includes local broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, and NBC, and sports-centric channels such as ACC Network (ACCN), ESPN2, and SEC Network. The plan comes with unlimited Cloud DVR and a massive on-demand library of 40,000 titles. Priced at $108.99 per month, it suits sports-centric households looking for diverse content.

For more extensive sports coverage, the Ultimate package provides over 140 channels, adding networks like the NHL Network, at $119.99 per month.

The Premier Package offers the most inclusive channel lineup at $164.99 per month, featuring over 150 channels, including premium ones like Max, Cinemax, and Showtime.

DIRECTV STREAM’s flexible no-contract subscription allows users to subscribe on a monthly basis and cancel at their convenience.

Key Takeaway: DIRECTV STREAM is ideal for viewers who seek a wide range of sports and entertainment channels, including Big Ten Network streaming options. While it’s more expensive compared to services like Fubo, it stands out for those who prioritize a comprehensive channel list over cost.


directv stream local channels
(photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia

Fubo: Tailored Streaming for Big Ten Sports Fans

Fubo offers a sports-focused experience for Big Ten Network viewers, particularly those following Big Ten football and basketball. The service has three distinct plans – Fubo Pro, Elite, and Premium.

The Fubo Pro plan encompasses 189 channels, covering news, entertainment, and local stations like ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. This package includes key sports channels such as Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN2, and NBA TV, along with local and regional sports channels.  

Priced at $79.99 per month, it offers value with a broad channel range. New subscribers can sign up for a free trial of any Fubo plan.

Unique to Fubo is its innovative “lookback” feature allowing viewers to access sporting events from the past 72 hours. Subscribers also have a Cloud DVR feature that has 1,000 hours of recording space.

The Elite plan, at $89.99 per month, adds 65 sports, news, and entertainment channels. The Premier plan, for $99.99 per month, further broadens the lineup with 231 channels, including premium networks like Showtime.

Fubo’s ability to stream on three screens simultaneously adds to its appeal for multi-viewer households. However, it’s important to note the regional sports fee, which varies based on the number of regional networks in your area.

For those using 4K TVs, Fubo stands out as the only service providing live streaming of select sporting events in 4K HDR. This feature is particularly enticing for viewers seeking the highest quality viewing experience.

Key Takeaway: Fubo is a strong contender for Big Ten sports enthusiasts, offering extensive sports coverage and unique features like 4K HDR streaming and the “lookback” option. While it competes closely with services like DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo differentiates itself with its sports-centric focus, despite the additional cost of regional sports fees.


(photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
Elite $89.99/month255
Premier$99.99/month264 & Showtime
Device support: Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Xbox One, along with Smart TVs by Hisense, Samsung, LG, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast TV. Android, iPhones and iPads with current iOS.

Hulu + Live TV: Comprehensive Coverage for Big Ten Network Viewers

Hulu Live TV is a strong choice for fans looking to stream the Big Ten Network. With over 90 live TV channels, it includes essential sports networks like ESPN, Big Ten Network, ESPN College Extra, and CBS Sports Network.

Hulu Live TV offers a variety of other sports channels, such as FS1, FS2, MLB Network, and NHL Network. Subscribers can watch live TV on two screens simultaneously.

Hulu Live TV comes with unlimited Cloud DVR storage. The service also provides access to local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC stations nationwide, so you don’t miss local broadcasts.

Priced at $76.99 per month, the subscription includes Disney+ and ESPN+, offering an expansive range of entertainment and live programming. 

Subscribers can activate the ESPN app to get more streaming options from their Hulu channel lineup, and live sports on ESPN Plus.

Key Takeaway: Hulu Live TV is well-suited for those seeking a bundle offering sports, news, and entertainment programming. It offers a wider selection of live streams and programs through Disney+ and ESPN+ compared to more budget-focused options like Sling TV. This makes it a compelling choice for users who value a comprehensive streaming experience.

Hulu + Live TV

(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
Hulu + Live TV$76.99/month90+
Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, VIZIO SmartCast, Sony Bravia, PlayStation, XBox, Xfinity Flex and Xumo TV.

Sling TV: Watch BTN Online on a Budget

Sling TV offers an economical solution for fans wanting to watch Big Ten Network without cable. At $51 per month, it’s the most budget-friendly option to stream BTN online.

The Big Ten Network is available as part of Sling TV’s Sports Extra bundle, which is an add-on to the Sling Blue package. This package is particularly suited for viewers interested in Big Ten football and basketball.

Sling Blue, priced at $40 per month, includes more than 45 channels, such as the NFL Network. Subscribers can stream on three devices simultaneously with the Blue plan.

Adding Sports Extra for $11 more per month brings diverse sports content, including college sports channels. Notably, it includes channels like SEC Network, Longhorn Network, ACC Network, catering to college football fans across various conferences. 

The Sports Extra bundle also offers channels like NFL RedZone, FS2, and PAC 12 Network, alongside Big Ten Network streaming. Sling TV delivers a decent value if you are following different college sports conferences.

Key Takeaway: Sling TV is an ideal platform for those prioritizing affordability in your quest to access Big Ten Network live streams. It’s tailored for sports enthusiasts who prefer a budget-friendly, yet diverse sports channel lineup, as opposed to comprehensive packages offered by services like YouTube TV.

Sling TV

(photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
Blue$40/month41 (Locals included)
Orange + Blue$55/month88
Device support: AirTV Mini, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast along with Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast.

YouTube TV: Streaming Big Ten Network Online

YouTube TV is a compelling choice for those looking to stream Big Ten Network alongside a wide variety of news, sports and entertainment channels. 

Its single base plan, priced at $72.99 per month, includes 128 channels like ESPN, NFL Network, and local stations such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.

Unique to YouTube TV is the NFL Sunday Ticket option, available for an additional $299, catering to avid NFL fans. The base plan has a variety of sports channels, including TNT, TBS, SEC Network, ACC Network, FS1, and FS2. Subscribers also get unlimited Cloud DVR.

Creating up to six profiles per household account allows for a personalized viewing experience for each family member. The YouTube TV app is compatible with a wide range of devices, including most Smart TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, NVIDIA Shield TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast.

Key Takeaway: YouTube TV is an ideal platform for families and households that value a diverse channel lineup, including the Big Ten Network and extensive sports coverage. While it is priced higher than options like Sling TV, its broad selection and inclusive plan make it a suitable choice for those who prefer access to a wide range of content.

YouTube TV

(photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
YouTube TV$72.99/month128
Device support: Android TV, Google TV, Smart TVs by Samsung, LG, VIZIO, Hisense, Sharp and Sony; Chromecast, Google TV, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Google Nest Hub; Android and iOS devices.

Accessing Big Ten Football Without Cost: Free Viewing Options

In 2024, numerous college football and basketball games from the Big Ten Conference are airing live games on FOX, NBC, and CBS

For those looking to watch Big Ten football for free, especially cord-cutters, you don’t need an online option.

A reliable TV antenna is a key solution. This method can provide access to a huge lineup of Big Ten games without any subscription costs.

To explore antenna options, visit the Antennas Direct website. Here, you can enter your ZIP code or address to find broadcast towers in your vicinity and receive recommendations on suitable antenna models.

I also have comprehensive reviews on the best TV antennas that I have tested, along with my top indoor TV antennas

Setting up a TV antenna involves connecting it to the coaxial jack on your TV. Once connected, navigate to your TV’s settings and scan for over-the-air (OTA) or “Air TV” channels. 

This process will enable you to access available local broadcast channels, including those broadcasting Big Ten games.

FAQs: Navigating Big Ten Network Streaming Without Cable

These frequently asked questions provide insights into how viewers can access the Big Ten Network without a traditional pay TV provider.

What is BTN Plus? 

BTN Plus is a subscription-based service distinct from the regular Big Ten Network. It does not feature college football games but offers coverage of other sports, such as women’s volleyball matches.

Which streaming services offer Big Ten Network? 

Five live TV streaming services provide access to the Big Ten Network: DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Each service includes BTN as part of its live TV package.

Can I access Big Ten Network through the Fox Sports app? 

Yes, if you have a subscription to a pay TV service that includes BTN, you can use the FOX Sports app to stream Big Ten Network, along with channels like FS1 and FS2.

Does Peacock stream Big Ten Network? 

Peacock does not include the Big Ten Network channel. However, it does offer Big Ten Basketball games in 2024 alongside a variety of other live sports broadcasts found on NBC.

Is the Big Ten Network available on Amazon Prime Video? 

Amazon Prime Video does not carry the Big Ten Network. BTN is typically available through cable providers and specific live TV streaming services.

Does ESPN+ carry the Big Ten Network? 

No, ESPN+ does not include the Big Ten Network in its offerings. However, it does provide live streams of college sports from various other conferences across the U.S.

The Big Ten Conference comprises 14 member institutions, covering a geographic range from the Atlantic coast to the Midwest. 

The schools include University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

How can I watch Big Ten Network Without Cable in 2024?

Seeking the most efficient way to stream Big Ten Network without a traditional cable subscription? 

For viewers mindful of their budget, Sling TV is a highly practical choice. At $51 per month, it offers affordable access to the Big Ten Network, especially advantageous if you already have access to local channels like CBS and NBC through other means, such as a TV antenna.

Alternatively, DIRECTV STREAM comes at a higher price point, but provides comprehensive coverage, including the Big Ten Network, local channels and key college sports channels without added fees. It’s an all-in-one solution for those aiming to enjoy a broader array of sports and entertainment channels. It also has a no obligation 5-day free trial.

Ready to make the switch and start streaming Big Ten Network? Evaluate your needs, compare the options, and choose the service that aligns best with your preferences for sports and entertainment. At the end of the day, Hulu Live TV or Fubo might be a better fit.

Whether you prioritize cost, channel variety, or both, there’s a streaming solution ready to meet your Big Ten Network viewing needs in 2024.

Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.