How to Watch College Football Without Cable

How to Watch College Football Without Cable

Passionate fans. Legendary rivalries. Players who are in it for the pride. The nostalgia of the marching band. Wait, what? That’s right, we’re not talking about the National Football League (NFL). We’re talking about college football. A sport that’s just as exciting — if not more so — than professional football. But you already knew that. What you really want to know is how to watch college football without cable. 

Ready to ditch cable? Find out how to stream sports on DIRECTV STREAM. 

Where Can I Watch College Football? 

Even if you plan to watch college football without cable, it’s still helpful to know the sports schedules of various channels. Different networks have deals with various teams, conferences or sports events, so knowing where to look can save you time.   

  • ESPN, including its affiliates ESPNU and ESPN2, airs a wide variety of college football, including big games like the Orange Bowl and Gator Bowl.  
  • ABC is the home of many prime-time Saturday college football games. 
  • CBS also plays major Saturday matchups and has a deal with the Southeastern Conference. 
  • FOX is the home of the Big Ten teams, and its sports channels FS1 and FS2 also play some games. 
  • NBC and Notre Dame go hand-in-hand, and some Fighting Irish games also air on NBCSN. 
  • Your regional sports network may air your local team, and many conferences also have their own channels.

I Don’t Have Cable, How Can I Watch Football?

Don’t worry — just because college football airs on traditional channels doesn’t mean you need a cable box. Thanks to modern technology, watching college football without cable is easier than ever. Here’s how you can watch: 

Free over-the-air TV 

Free over-the-air TV means using a digital antenna to watch college football without cable. A digital antenna is a device that sits either in the room or on your roof and plugs into the back of your TV. Like the old-school rabbit-ear antennas, it picks up a signal right out of the air and transmits it to your TV. It will pick up local as well as national stations if you’re in range, and you should be able to get many of the major games. The downside? If you can’t get a good signal, you may be out of luck.  

Streaming services 

Some people are still debating cable vs. streaming, but you’ve made your choice: You just want to know how to watch college football without cable. In this case, it’s no secret. Simply buy a streaming device, set it up and subscribe to a streaming service (like DIRECTV STREAM) that lets you connect to network TV channels. As long as you have an internet connection and subscription, you can stream the big game from any TV — and often any device — in your home.  

Smartphone apps 

There are plenty of reasons you’d want to watch a game on your phone. Maybe you’re on-the-go. Or your roommate is hogging the TV. Or you’re just living so inexpensively, you don’t even have a TV. Luckily, there are several conference-specific apps you can use to watch college football without cable, including apps from the ACC, SEC, PAC12 and Big Ten. Subscription fees may vary, and there may be blackout rules, but it’s still a great way to watch games on the cheap. 

What’s the Best Way to Watch College Football Without Cable? 

While you have several options, streaming is often the best choice. You’ll find subscription packages that fit any fanbase and budget, and you won’t have to fiddle with antennas or deal with blackout dates. Here are some of the top streaming services for watching college football without cable. 

  • DIRECTV STREAM carries more live sports networks than any other streaming TV provider. Depending on the package you choose, you’ll get access to ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX and FS1, plus the SEC Network, Big Ten Network and ACC Network.  
  • Paramount+ airs both on-demand and live content from CBS, making it a great choice for fans of the Southeastern Conference. 
  • ESPN+ is a streaming app that is a separate service from ESPN. Some, but not all, college football games that air on ESPN are available on ESPN+.  
  • Hulu+ Live TV has games from ABC, BTN, CBS, ESPN, FOX, FS1 and the SEC Network. You can also bundle it with ESPN+.  
  • Sling TV is a live TV service that offers several bundles for college football fans, including access to ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, FOX and NBC. 

Get More Out of the Game With DIRECTV

If you’re wondering how to watch college football without cable, it doesn’t get any easier than DIRECTV. Whether you choose to connect via satellite or internet, you get many of the most popular college football channels with a reliable, crisp picture that will make you feel like you’re at the game. Are you ready for some football? 

There’s more than one way to DIRECTV. Explore DIRECTV or DIRECTV STREAM to see which one is right for you. 

Add’l subscriptions beyond DIRECTV subscription req’d to watch every pro football game. Req’s CHOICE pkg and high-speed internet-connected Gemini device. Restr’s apply. Local stations/games in some markets may be unavailable due to channel disputes, more info at

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