Watch College Football Games on TV or Online

Tue Sep 22, 2020 16:43:22PM

Alabama at Arkansas in Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, AR. 10/11/14.By: Brandonrush

Most any college football game can be viewed on the main TV stations of ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX or their sister stations. And all the rest are aired on either regional or conference-specific networks. Included are all the viewing options for every channel airing a NCAAF game during any regular season.

Cable TV Options

Watching cable TV nowadays is a sea of options. You can go the cord-cutting route with internet TV, use satellite television or stick with the more traditional in-home cable TV option.

Internet TV
YouTube TV
Hulu with Live TV

All these services usually offer free trials and don't require a contract, while giving you the freedom of watching on most any streaming device. All of these providers include every ESPN station, ABC, CBS, NBC, NBCSN, FOX and regional and conference-specific networks.

*CBS Sports is not available with any of these services. Regional sports channels and some conference-specific networks are included (or available as an add-on) depending on your location.

Satellite TV
DirecTV's Xtra, Ultimate or Premier plans.
Dish Network's America's Top 200, America's Top 250 plans.

Only two national satellite TV providers carry all the channels airing every single televised college football game, and these plans from DirecTV and Dish Network include every one of them.

*Regional sports channels and some conference-specific networks are included (or available as an add-on) depending on your location.

Traditional Cable TV
Verizon Fios

These cable services are available nationwide, in most major cities. Plans and pricing vary by region. Generally speaking every single cable, local, regional and conference-specific network airing any NCAAF game will be available with any of these providers. Sometimes partnerships have networks dropping certain channels for a period of time.

Channel by Channel

ESPN, ESPN+ and it's sister station offerings

ESPN has exclusive rights to air nearly half (44%) of all college football games. So if you are wanting to watch or stream a NCAAF game, chances are this is the place to go.

ESPN air college football games on ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU and even ESPNEWS depending on the quality of the match-up.

This ESPN schedule will tell you which ESPN channel is airing which game. It includes dates, times and locations, plus you can break the list down by specific conferences.

Online & Streaming
ESPN+ is an additional ESPN streaming service that currently runs $5.99/month. A growing list of college football games will air exclusively on this service.

If you have cable service with ESPN you can gain access to ESPN3 (a streaming-only channel) at no additional cost. ESPN airs a large amount of games on this streaming network throughout the college football season.

WatchESPN and the ESPN app give you live access to all games airing on any ESPN feed, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and also ABC and SEC Network.


ABC is a locally broadcast station that you don't need to have a cable subscription to watch, if you have a quality digital tuner (digital rabbit ears basically). Over-the-air comes free of charge, and most in HD. (1080i/720p typically)

ESPN owns the ABC Sports division so any ABC-aired college football game can be streamed live on WatchESPN or the ESPN app.

A secondary option is Watch ABC Live or the ABC Go app. With a cable subscription, you can view any ABC program including college football games live and on any mobile platform (though streaming access isn't available everywhere).


Want to watch your Notre Dame Fighting Irish? NBC is the place. They have exclusive rights through 2025. Not all games will air on their main channel though. The season opener will. But most others will air instead on NBCSN. NBC and NBCSN will also air a handful of Ivy League conference games.

Most cable providers include NBC and NBCSN, but if you just have local channels you'll only get the main NBC channel.

To watch NBC and NBCSN live and on the go, use the NBC Sports Live app or visit NBC Sports Live. Cable credentials are required to gain access to the live feed.


FOX has first rights to broadcast tier 1 Big Ten college football games and they also air many NCAAF games on their FS1 and regional networks (20+ networks that are included with regional sports packages based on location).

To watch any NCAAF game airing on Fox or its affiliates on the go, use the FOX Sports GO app or visit FOX Sports GO. Must sign in with cable info for access.

CBS & CBS Sports (CBSSN)

The SEC and CBS have a long history of exclusivity. While that's changed a bit with the SEC Network stealing some games away, CBS still gets many SEC games throughout the year. And CBS and CBSSN will be airing more than just SEC games.

CBS TV schedule and their CBS Sports Network. This resource gives you all the info you'll need to watch CBS sponsored college football game.

Now for the streaming info. CBS has it's own standalone streaming service called Paramount+. You can stream any CBS program though it'll run you $5.99/month (or $9.99/month to exclude commercials). They currently offer a free trial.

Conference Specific Channels

All these conference-specific TV networks air non-nationally televised college football games. So if a game isn't on any other channel, chances are good you'll still be covered if one of the opponents is from the SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten or if the Texas Longhorns are playing.

Important to repeat if a game is nationally aired, these networks won't have rights to air that game. Some cable providers include these networks in their plans but most offer them as an additional service.

Big TenBig Ten NetworkFOX Sports GOFox Sports
Pac-12Pac-12 NetworkPAC-12 LivePac-12 NOW
SECSEC Network, SEC+Watch SECESPN app
*Texas LonghornsLonghorn NetworkLonghorn NetworkESPN app

Big Ten also has a standalone streaming-only service called BTN+. You can subscribe monthly or yearly. Cheaper rates are available if you just want to stream content from one school within the conference.

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