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How to watch college football without cable in 2023

Jun 20, 2023

The 2023 college football season is officially in session. The Week 1 schedule kicks off Aug. 31 and is sure to be a doozy.

This season marks the end of an era — it's the last chance to watch the traditional, regional conferences and rivalries before they see a major shake up. We saw some messy conference scrambling during the offseason, which essentially ended in the dismantling of the PAC-12 and the forming of a "super league" of sorts. Starting next year, USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington are headed to the Big Ten, while Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah are joining the Big 12. That leaves just four schools in the PAC-12. It's also the last year that there will be just four playoff teams. In other words, college football is about to look a whole lot different.

If you want to enjoy the last year before things go haywire, we've got you covered. Keep scrolling to learn how to watch college football without cable in 2023, which channels you're going to need, and the best ways to get them.

The 2023 college football season will be broadcast across an array of local channels, specialty sports networks, and even a couple streaming services. If you don't have cable, you have plenty of options to tune into games, but deciding which works best for you is tricky.

A live TV streaming service or cable replacement like YouTube TV or FuboTV will give you the most comprehensive channel selection, but will also cost you the most money. However, the good news is that you can cancel at anytime, unlike cable. A single streaming service like Paramount+ will give you access to a slim number of games, but will only cost you a few bucks per month. (TL;DR: you get what you pay for.)

Before you decide on which live TV service or streaming app you need to watch NCAA football games, you need to know which networks your team(s) plays on. Below, we've compiled a list of each conference and the channels and streamers that will air games for each conference in 2023. Not sure which conference your team is in? Check out this list over at

American Athletic Conference (AAC) — ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) — ABC, ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+, The CW

Big 12 — ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+, Fox, FS1, Longhorn Network (Texas only)

Big Ten — Big Ten Network, CBS, Fox, FS1, NBC, PeacockConference USACBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+

FBS independents — CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN+, NBC, Peacock

Mid-American Conference (MAC) — CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+

Mountain West Conference (MW) — CBS, CBS Sports Network, Fox, FS1

Pac-12 Conference — ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+, Fox, FS1, Pac-12 Network

Southeastern Conference (SEC) — CBS, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+, SEC Network, SEC+

Sun Belt Conference — ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, ESPN+

As noted above, the best streaming service for college football depends on what team you root for, how many games you want access to, and how much you're willing to pay. The best streaming apps for live sports below run the gamut of pricing — from six bucks per month to a whopping $100 per month. Don't worry; if you want to know how to watch college football live in 2023, we've broken it all down for you. You can also check out the complete broadcast schedule on the NCAA website to plan your viewing.

"Arguably the best premium live TV streaming service out there," according to Mashable shopping reporter Leah Stodart, YouTube TV is a well-rounded cable alternative that gives you access to plenty of college football games. With over 100 live channels included, you can watch games on ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNews, SEC Network, The CW, and more (see full list below). On top of that, YouTube TV is now the exclusive home of NFL Sunday Ticket, so it's the all-around best option for football fans.

And most importantly, the streamer offers an excellent introductory period for newbies. You can watch for 20 minutes with no commitment, then start your free trial, which is generally about 10 days, but often up to 14. Once your trial is up, you'll pay just $64.99/month for your first three months ($72.99/month thereafter).

Note: Hulu + Live TV has a similar channel lineup for a cheaper monthly price, but offers no free trial period or introductory rate.

Channels: ABC, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNews, Fox, FS1, FS2, NBC, NFL Network, SEC Network, and The CW

FuboTV takes sports seriously — although it offers a wide variety of channels, its claim to fame is its commitment-free live sports streaming. With a Pro subscription (the most affordable tier), you'll get access to most college football broadcasts for $74.99/month. But hardcore fans will probably want to upgrade to the Elite plan for $84.99/month, which unlocks access to ESPNU, SEC Network, Pac-12 Network, and ACC Network as well. Either way, you can test the waters for seven days before you pay.

Channels: ABC, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox, FS1, FS2, NBC, NFL Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, and The CW

Another one of our favorite live TV streamers is Sling. Though it offers fewer channels compared to YouTube TV, it's still a solid choice for watching college football. Plus, it's a whole lot cheaper than our other cable replacement picks. Your best bet for NCAA football broadcasts is to sign up for the Orange + Blue package for $55/month ($27.50 for your first month). This gives you access to ABC and ESPN networks in the Orange package and NBC and NFL Networks in the Blue package. If you want even more sports channels, you can also tack on the Sports Extra add-on for another $15/month.

Channels: ABC, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ESPNews, ESPN U, Fox, FS1, FS2, NBC, NFL Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network

What are the best streaming apps for watching college football online this year? Casual college football viewers can enjoy simulcasts from CBS networks on Paramount+ for a very low cost compared to some of the other options on this list. Paramount+ streams games airing on CBS and CBS Sports Network, including nationally-televised SEC and Big 10 showdowns. The Essential tier only costs you $5.99/month and offers a seven-day free trial to get you started. If you commit to an entire year, you can score 50% off and pay just $29.99 (reg. $59.99) for a limited time with the code SPORTS.

Similar to Paramount+, Peacock offers simulcasts of games airing on NBC throughout the 2023 season. Plus, Peacock offers exclusive broadcasts of 10 college football games, which includes the showdown between Notre Dame and Southern California on Oct. 14. Like Paramount+, Peacock Premium also costs $5.99/month.

It's not the best choice if you're hoping to watch every single game, but if you're a casual viewer, ESPN+ covers a handful of broadcasts for a relatively low price. You'll get access to some simulcasts from ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC, plus all of the ESPN+ exclusive games. ESPN+ also gives subscribers access to exclusive original series, premium articles, and more. It costs $9.99/month on its own or can be bundled with Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99/month.

It's also worth nothing that the college football playoffs will air on ESPN, so if you want to enjoy the post-season action, you'll need access to this channel to watch the semifinals and finals in January 2024.

Note: You may need to show proof of subscription to another service, such as YouTube TV or Fubo TV, to stream some of the ESPN or ABC simulcast games.

Channels: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN+

DirecTV Stream (Channels: ABC, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox, FS1, NBC, and The CW) — free 5-day trial, then $99.99/month

Hulu + Live TV (Channels: ABC, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNews, ESPN U, Fox, FS1, FS2, NBC, NFL Network, and The CW) — $69.99/month