How to Watch College Football Without Cable in 2023

By Jim Kimble / Updated October 21, 2023

You can watch college football games on ESPN networks and local broadcast channels through 9 live TV streaming services. 

DIRECTV STREAMFuboHulu Live TVSling TV, and YouTube TV carry the necessary channels to watch college football games live without a cable or satellite TV subscription. 

ESPN PlusPeacock, and Paramount Plus have an expanded roster of games from the Power 5, especially the Big Ten Conference. 

You still need cable channels such as SEC Network and broadcast networks like NBC and ABC. But cord-cutters can still get a good deal and watch their favorite college football teams through a combination of streaming services and by using a TV antenna. 

You can jump down to my summary of how to watch college football, or read through all your latest options for the 2023 NCAA football season.

Only DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, YouTube TV, and Paramount Plus are the four streaming services that have college football games and offer a free trial. But Sling TV is the cheapest option at $51 per month when you add the Sports Extra package to the Orange or Blue package.

How to Watch College Football Live

All you need to start watching NCAA football games live without cable live is a Smart TV or streaming device. 

Sports fans will need a streaming service that has live TV.

ESPNESPNUESPN3ACC Network (ACCN), Big Ten NetworkCBS Sports NetworkSEC NetworkFS1Longhorn Network, and PAC-12 Network cover college games and other professional and college sports.

You can get many of these networks without having to pay for an sports add-on package.

Local channels will matter, too. You will need local broadcast networks such as ABCNBCCBS and FOX to watch NCAA football games in 2023, especially if your favorite college football team is in the Big Ten Conference.

college football
(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)

Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia, Vizio and LG support most live TV streaming services. You can use a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast or Apple TV to stream live TV. Game consoles including XBox and PlayStation support watching TV as well. 

Some of these services have a free trial that lasts a week without any obligation. Just remember to cancel before the trial ends if you decide that the streaming service isn’t for you.

Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV has more than 75 TV channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN College Extra, ACC Network, CBS Sports Network and SEC Network. 

You can watch TV on up to two screens at once.

Hulu comes with unlimited DVR storage so you can record sports, news, movies or whatever else you want. Hulu carries local ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC across the U.S.

A subscription costs $76.99 per month. You get unlimited access to ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu’s on-demand library of movies and TV shows when you sign up for a subscription

College football fans will be able to watch a lot more conferences and games with ESPN Plus. 

There are more than 500 live college football games on ESPN Plus throughout the season. Southeastern Conference, LSU, Auburn, Kentucky, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee are among the teams with select live games.   

Subscribers can activate the ESPN app for ESPNU, ESPN3, and unlock all live sports on ESPN Plus. Hulu no longer offers a free trial. You can look over the channel lineup before deciding whether to sign up.


DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) has ESPN Networks and local channels in three of its channel packages.

You can sign up for a free 5-day trial on every plan without any obligations.  DIRECTV STREAM is offering $10 off the first three months of service on any plan. 

The Choice plan has more than 105 channels for $99.99 per month. Choice subscribers get a wide selection of 40 regional sports channels, including YES Network, Bally Sports networks, NBC Sports and Marquee Sports Network. 

The Ultimate package has more than 140 channels, including locals, and sports channels such as NHL Network. The Ultimate package is $109.99 per month. 

The Premier Package has over 150 channels, including premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax and Showtime. The Premier package is $154.99 per month.

All of these channel lineups are virtually identical to DIRECTV satellite service, but with a slight price difference.

Subscribers can get three months of Max, Showtime, Cinemax and MGM+ for free before the monthly rates kick in.

All subscribers get unlimited hours of Cloud DVR storage and 40,000 on-demand movies and shows. You can watch TV on unlimited screens within your home. 

DIRECTV STREAM works on Smart TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV devices, Apple TV and smartphones and tablets. You can use apps on supported Smart TVs running on Google TV and Android TV. Subscriptions run month to month and so you can cancel whenever you want.

You can look over the different channel lineups before deciding whether to sign up.


fubo (formerly fuboTV) offers three plans, Pro, Elite and Premium. 

The Pro channel package costs $74.99 per month and has 167 channels. You can get a free 7-day trial to any plan. 

The channel lineup includes local ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in most areas of the U.S. ESPN, ESPN2, Food network, Fox News, HGTV, Big Ten Network, Disney Junior, and Comedy Central are part of the Pro bundle.

The fubo Extra bundle adds 59 more channels for $7.99 per month. It includes NBA TV, INSP, Tennis Channel, MTV Live, MTV Classic, FXM, Pac 12 Networks, and ESPNews.

The Sports Plus bundle adds 32 more channels and costs $10.99 per month. It includes NFL RedZone, all four Stadium networks, Sports Illustrated TV, Golf TV English, Golf TV Spanish, PAC 12 Arizona, PAC 12 Bay Area, PAC 12 Los Angeles, PAC 12 Mountain, PAC 12 Oregon, PAC 12 Washington, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Pacific, FNTSY, Fight Network and TyC Sports.

All subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR storage. You can watch TV on 10 screens at once. If you miss a game, you can use fubo’s “look back” feature to watch sporting events that aired in the last 72 hours

The Elite plan is $84.99 per month, and has 65 more sports, news and entertainment channels. The Premier plan has 231 channels, including Showtime, for $94.99 per month

fubo has a library of on-demand content, including movies and TV shows. Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Smart TVs all carry the fubo app.

The fuboTV Elite package adds 60 more channels, including the Pac-12 Network.

Sling TV

Sling TV is the cheapest option to stream college football games across multiple cable channels.

But whether you choose Sling Orange or Sling Blue, you may want to add the Sports Extra package. 

The Sling Orange package includes 32 channels, including ESPN, ESPN2 and entertainment networks like AMC, A&E, Bravo, and History. A subscription to Sling Orange costs $40 per month. 

The Sling Blue package has 40 channels, including Discovery, NFL NetworkFOX Sports 1FOX Sports 2, MSNBC, and Stadium, but doesn’t include ESPN.  

The Sports Extra package adds 15 channels, including ACC Network, ACCNX, NFL RedZone, SEC Network, SEC Network+, MLB Network, NBA TV, and ESPNU for $11 per month.

Subscribers can get half off for the first month by signing up for a plan.

You can combine Sling Orange and Sling Blue for $55 per month and add the Sports Extra package to maximize your channel lineup.

All subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage. 

Sling TV works on just about any streaming device: Roku, Firestick, Apple TV and even an Xbox. It is supported by Samsung Smart TVs and Smart TVs operating on Android TV or Google TV. Sling TV supports mobile apps for iOS and Android.

There are no hidden fees or contracts if you decide to keep the service. You can look over the latest offer Sling TV has for new and returning customers.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV has 128 channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and NBA TV for $72.99 per month.

YouTube TV only has one live TV plan, but has add-ons for sports. 

The YouTube TV base plan carries other key sports channels such as TNTTBS, SEC Network, ACC Network, ESPNews, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, and MLB Network.

You’ll be able to watch CNNGolf Channel and FX. Unlimited Cloud DVR is included with a subscription. And you can create up to 6 profiles for a household per account.

The service works with Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, NVIDIA Shield TV, Apple TV and Chromecast. You can get a free 7-day trial, or look over the channel lineup for your area. 


ESPN Plus is carrying more than 500 college football games during the 2023 season. 

A subscription is $10.99 per month. You can watch live games across Smart TVs, streaming devices and smartphones. 

You can watch live games from the Big 12 Conference, Ohio Valley and many teams within the NCAA Division I Football Subdivision (FBS) and Football Champion Subdivision (FCS). 

college football
(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)

There are 133 schools and 10 conferences in FBS. The FCS has 128 teams.

ESPN Plus streams live NCAA football games from FBS conferences including the SEC, Big 12, American, ACC, CUSA, MAC and Sun Belt.

The FCS schools on ESPN+ include the Big Sky, MVFC, Patriot League, Ivy League, Southern, Southland, MEAC, SWAC, ASUN/WAC, the Big South-OVC Football Association and Pioneer.

You can sign up for ESPN+ for $10.99 per month. But remember, you can also get ESPN+ through two Disney Bundle plans, and Hulu + Live TV. 

You can read more about college football on ESPN+ in one of my latest how-to guides.

Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus is becoming a bigger player in the college football space in 2023. 

College football fans can sign up for a Paramount Plus with Showtime plan to watch 27 games from SEC, Big Ten and Mountain West conferences.

The streaming service combines live CBS station and on-demand streaming. The 2023 NCAA football season on Paramount Plus has 16 SEC games during the 2023 season, including the SEC Championship game.

Paramount Plus with Showtime is $11.99 per month following a free trial. The majority of college football games on Paramount Plus air on CBS. There are only a few games from CBS Sports Network, which is airing most of the 30 Mountain West games for the 2023 season.

You can get a discount from Paramount Plus with Showtime. Get 50 percent off when you pay for an annual subscription and use the code SPORTS. The offer ends on 9/20.

Read more about college football on Paramount Plus in my latest how-to guide.


Peacock kicked off its new Big Ten Football partnership this season adding 14 schools. 

The Big Ten deal complements Peacock’s existing rights to stream Notre Dame football. The Big Ten Football deal with NBC pulls together games from East and West divisions.

East Division Teams include Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, Indiana and Rutgers. Western Division Teams include Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Northwestern. 

The remaining NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football games will be announced during the season with each matchup typically announced 12 days prior to the scheduled game date. You can read more about college football on Peacock and the different plans and bundling options.

NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football package features Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock. This season is the first time ever that Big Ten Football will have a dedicated weekly primetime game on a national broadcast network. There will be nine exclusive games on Peacock.

You can sign up for Peacock Premium for $5.99 per month. 

How to watch college football free with a TV antenna

A lot of people search for ways to stream college football for free. But savvy cord-cutters know that you don’t need a streaming service to watch games on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC without a TV provider.

Figuring out how to choose the best TV antenna for your home takes a little bit of homework. But the payoff is huge, considering how many free games you can watch.

You can start watching Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 football games on ABC and FOX. SEC games are on CBS. Notre Dame games are once again on NBC. ABC also has some ACC and American division games.

You get lots of free sports and TV shows year round without paying for a TV provider or internet service.

If you are new to TV antennas, here is a list of resources that I have written to get you started.

College football schedule 2023-24

The 2023-24 NCAA college football schedule has hundreds of games across 9 streaming services. You can check up on the latest college football games at the NCAA website. 

How to Watch College Football FAQ

Below are more questions that readers often ask when it comes to streaming college football live without cable TV.

Can you watch live college football on the ESPN app?

You can watch live college football by activating the ESPN app.

Subscribers to DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu Live, Sling TV (Orange plan), Vidgo and YouTube TV can activate the ESPN app.

College football games from ESPN’s family of networks, including SEC Network+, ACC Network Extra and Longhorn Network, are available on the ESPN app. But the channels must be part of your TV plan.

Subscribers to ESPN+ can also use the ESPN app to watch more than 500 live college football games throughout the season. Conferences on ESPN Plus include select Southeastern Conference games this season. LSU, Auburn, Kentucky, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee are among the teams with select games.

ESPN+ costs $10.99 per month. Subscriptions run month to month so you can cancel at any time.

Are college football games on ESPN3?

Yes. ESPN3 will stream a number of college football games live throughout the 2022 season.

You can watch ESPN3 without cable once you activate the ESPN app with a live TV streaming service. DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu Live, Sling TV (Orange plan), Vidgo, and YouTube TV to activate the ESPN app.

Where can I watch College Football on TV?

You can watch college football games on DIRECTV STREAMFuboHulu Live TVSling TVVidgo and YouTube TV without cable TV or satellite. 

Only DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo and YouTube TV currently offer a free trial. 

Hulu with Live TV has the most comprehensive bundle and costs $76.99 per month. Hulu includes ESPN+ and Disney+ as part of its subscription. 

ESPN PlusPeacock, and Paramount Plus have an expanded roster of games from the Power 5. There are many teams within the NCAA Division I Football Subdivision (FBS) and Football Champion Subdivision (FCS). 

Sling TV is the cheapest option for college football channels, but is lacking with local networks such as NBC, CBS, FOX and ABC. Antenna users can watch games for free on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. 

For more news on streaming, how-to guides and reviews, head over to the main page of The Cord Cutting Report or follow the CCR on Google News.

This article was published on August 21, 2022, and has been updated.

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.