It‘s college football season once again! From the first kickoff to the final whistle of the National Championship game, here‘s how to watch NCAA football from anywhere online.
Streaming live NCAA football has become more popular than ever in recent years. According to Deloitte‘s 2022 Digital Media Trends survey, 75% of U.S. households now subscribe to a paid streaming video service. And with the ease of watching on any device, it‘s no surprise that streaming has become the go-to viewing option for sports fans.
In 2021 alone, a whopping 29.1 million viewers tuned in to watch NCAA Football games via digital streaming services according to S&P Global Market Intelligence research.
But cutting the cable cord doesn‘t mean you‘ll miss out on any of the action this college football season. Keep reading to learn how to gain access to all the football streaming you need.
Streaming Services for College Football
Die-hard college football fans need streaming platforms that offer a wide variety of sports channels including ESPN, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and various conference-specific networks.
Thankfully, several major live TV streaming services now exist to satisfy your NCAA football binging needs. Here‘s an overview of the top options:
Hulu + Live TV
- Price – $69.99 per month
- Channels – ESPN, ESPN2, ACC Network, SEC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and more
- Features – Unlimited DVR storage, ability to stream on 2 devices simultaneously, access to Hulu on-demand library
Out of all the live TV streamers, Hulu + Live TV provides the most well-rounded package for college football fans. You get both national and regional sports networks that cover the major conferences. Plus Hulu‘s on-demand catalog gives you even more to watch.
The only real drawback is the limit of 2 simultaneous streams. Diehard households with multiple fans may need additional subscriptions.
- Price – $64.99 per month
- Channels – ESPN, ESPN2, ACC Network, SEC Network, CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and more
- Features – Unlimited DVR storage, up to 3 simultaneous streams, multi-view on mobile
YouTube TV offers AMC, FX and other entertainment channels that competitors lack. For just $5 less than Hulu + Live, the 3 simultaneous streams make it more suitable for households with multiple viewers.
Unlimited DVR is especially handy for recording games if you can‘t watch live. The main gap is no NFL Network or NFL RedZone.
- Price – Starting at $35 per month
- Channels – ESPN, ESPN2, ACC Network, SEC Network and more
- Features – 50 hour DVR storage, ability to stream on 3 devices simultaneously
Sling TV splits their service into Orange and Blue packages then offers a combined plan. The Sling Orange plan for $35 per month is all most college football fans need with 30+ channels including ESPN.
Adding Sports Extra for $11 more per month gives you access to key channels like SEC Network, ESPNU, ESPNews and more. One downside is local channels aren‘t included in Sling Orange.
- Price – $69.99 per month
- Channels – CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, FS1, Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Network, CBS Sports Network
- Features – 250 hour DVR storage, ability to stream on up to 10 devices
While one of the more expensive options, fuboTV does offer some unique advantages for sports lovers. That includes hyper-localized regional sports networks based on your location.
If watching in-market college teams is a priority, fuboTV makes it easy and also allows 10 simultaneous streams. No ESPN networks is the main drawback for some fans.
- Price – $69.99 per month
- Channels – ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, TBS, TNT SEC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS, NBC, Fox and more
- Features – Unlimited DVR storage, stream on 20 devices simultaneously
Formerly known as AT&T TV, DIRECTV STREAM offers different channel packages at varying price points. The Entertainment plan covers the basics while Choice boosts sports content.
Unlimited streams make this a solid option for large households. But no NFL Network or RedZone is disappointing. Higher prices after the promotional periods can also be a nasty surprise.
Sports Channels on Major Streamers
|Platform||ESPN/2||SEC Network||Big Ten Network||NFL Network||NBC||CBS||Fox|
|Hulu + Live TV||✅||✅||✅||❌||✅||✅||✅|
|Sling TV Orange||✅||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌|
No single streaming platform has everything. Checking each service‘s website to confirm channel availability in your area is always wise before subscribing.
For the biggest NCAA football fans, combining a couple services can get you access to all the networks and games.
Why a VPN is a Must for Football Fans
AVirtual Private Network (VPN) gives your internet traffic privacy and anonymity by encrypting data and masking your IP address. This opens up some hugely beneficial advantages for streaming sports:
Bypass Blackout Restrictions – Your location often determines which live TV streaming platforms and channels you can access. A VPN assigns you a new IP address from another area to skirt around these annoying blackout rules.
Unlock Regional Games – Certain NCAA football games are only broadcast on regional sports networks in select markets. Connect to a VPN server in that location and you can virtually relocate to stream otherwise unavailable matchups.
Watch Globally – Trying to stream college football from outside the country? Choosing a VPN server in the U.S. lets you access your paid streaming subscription from anywhere in the world.
Enhanced Security – Public Wi-Fi connections aren‘t secure. A VPN will encrypt your data to keep it safe from prying eyes. No more worrying about hackers when streaming games at the coffee shop or airport!
Prevent Throttling – Some internet service providers throttle bandwidth usage which slows down video streaming. But your ISP can‘t see your activity or throttle speeds when you‘re connected to a VPN.
Fastest VPNs for NCAA Football Streaming
You want a VPN that provides reliable connections, is easy to set up on streaming devices, offers servers worldwide and has fast enough speeds to handle HD video. Based on extensive testing, these top-performing VPNs check every box:
1. ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN earns the #1 spot thanks to excellent connection speeds perfect for live sports streaming. Apps for all devices make it simple to set up. Choose from 3,000+ global servers including plenty in the U.S. for streaming.
2. NordVPN – NordVPN comes in a close second with ultra-quick servers and minimal speed loss. The easy-to-use apps offer one-click connection. Access 5,600+ servers across 60 countries while enjoying top-notch security features.
3. Surfshark – Although cheaper than the competition, Surfshark still offers great speeds for streaming, easy-to-use apps and 3,200+ global servers. Connect as many devices as you want with unlimited simultaneous connections.
4. CyberGhost – With over 7,400 worldwide servers, it‘s easy to find a fast nearby connection with CyberGhost. The VPN service reliably unblocks popular football streaming platforms.
No matter which one you select, connecting to a VPN before launching your streaming app opens up a world of sports viewing opportunities.
Bypassing NCAA Football Blackouts
Nothing saps the joy of Saturdays quite like wanting to watch your favorite team only to see the dreaded "game not available in your area" message.
NFL teams are extremely strict about blackouts to maximize ticket sales and TV deals. Unfortunately, college football broadcast rights and restrictions can be similarly agonizing.
Thankfully, this doesn‘t mean you‘re totally out of luck catching regional matchups and unavailable games with a few handy workarounds:
Try Locast.org – Locast is a nonprofit streaming service offering free access to local CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and other local broadcast stations in 35+ markets. Supported by user donations, it‘s a legal option for getting around blackouts.
Use Streaming Service Trials – Major platforms like fuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM offer 7-day free trials. Sign up to catch blacked out games then cancel before getting charged subscription fees. Just be sure to turn off auto-renewal to avoid surprise fees down the road.
Switch Streaming Services – Jumping between platforms throughout college football season is totally doable. Watch games on fuboTV during September, catch more on YouTube TV in October, then switch to Hulu + Live TV in November to maximize your access.
Try a Different Device – Blackout rules are often enforced based on your device‘s location services and IP address. Watching through a streaming box, game console or another device instead of your phone can sometimes work around inaccurate location issues.
Connect to a VPN – This is the most reliable method for bypassing NCAA football blackouts. Connect to a VPN server in an approved area and your location will appear local, even if you‘re traveling or streaming internationally.
Streaming services are catching on to VPN "location spoofing" tricks, but reputable options like ExpressVPN and NordVPN still work reliably. Their apps make it easy to connect to a server near you or in another area gaining you access.
Watching College Football Globally
Part of what makes college football wonderful is the spirited tailgating, marching bands, and camaraderie with fellow fans.
But if you can‘t physically attend a game, the action itself still delivers exhilarating entertainment every Saturday. Don‘t let travel abroad make you miss key matchups and moments throughout the season.
Streaming NCAA football internationally is straightforward with the combination of your paid streaming subscription and a quality VPN:
- Select a top-rated VPN like ExpressVPN known for unblocking geo-restricted content around the world.
- Download the VPN app on your computer, smartphone, tablet or streaming device.
- Run the VPN app and connect to a server located in the United States. This assigns you an American IP address.
- Launch your streaming service such as Hulu + Live TV or fuboTV. You should now have access as if streaming from within the U.S.
- Enjoy the games! If you experience any trouble accessing streams, contact VPN and streaming platform support for troubleshooting.
Thanks to modern technology, alumni can cheer on their alma mater, parents can tune in to watch their kids compete and fans everywhere can follow must-see rivalry showdowns each week.
Just be sure to choose a VPN with unlimited bandwidth and fast connection speeds to handle the demands of streaming HD NCAA football.
How to Watch College Football Online: FAQs
With so many streaming options available now, fans understandably have questions navigating the best services and features. Here are some frequently asked questions:
What‘s the best streaming platform for college football?
For overall value and access to major networks, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are your best bets. FuboTV also provides tons of sports content. Check each service‘s website to confirm your local channel availability before subscribing.
Which is better Hulu or YouTube TV?
This comes down to preference. Hulu + Live provides more all-around entertainment value with access to Hulu‘s on-demand catalog. YouTube TV allows 3 simultaneous streams instead of just 2 with Hulu for households with multiple viewers. Both offer unlimited DVR and provide the sports coverage needed.
What‘s the cheapest way to stream NCAA football?
Sling TV offers the most budget-friendly live streaming package. The Sling Orange plan is only $35 per month and provides 30+ channels including ESPN for all the college football action you need.
Can I stream college football games for free online?
There are limited ways to stream NCAA games free. Locast.org offers local broadcast stations for free in certain markets. Social media accounts also sometimes stream games. Otherwise, free trials of fuboTV and DirecTV Stream let you watch for 7 days without paying.
What channel is ESPN college football on?
ESPN airs college football games across their family of networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and the SEC Network. Live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu and Sling TV Orange provide access to ESPN‘s NCAA football coverage.
How many devices can stream college football at once?
This varies based on your streaming platform. Sling Orange allows 1 stream, Hulu + Live TV permits 2 simultaneous streams. YouTube TV and fuboTV lead by allowing 3 and 10 concurrent football streams respectively.
Can I watch NCAA football live online?
Absolutely! NCAA football can be streamed live online through services like Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, fuboTV and DirecTV Stream. Just be sure to have reliable high-speed broadband internet for the best performance.
Let the Games Begin!
As you can see, lack of cable TV no longer means lack of college football. You‘ve got options! Now that you know how to gain access to NCAA football streaming all season, it‘s time to pick your platform, grab some snacks and get ready to cheer on your team.
With the right setup, you can catch every exciting game and unbelievable play no matter where you are. Don‘t let blackout restrictions or traveling get in the way of following your favorite student-athletes and alma mater this season.
Thanks to the power of streaming and VPN connections, enjoy NCAA football from anywhere!