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How to Watch College Football: Cable, Streaming, and Over-The-Air

The 2021 college football season begins September 1. We’ve researched TV deals to give you the best options for catching the collegiate sports action.

Best overall

Plan: Spectrum TV® Silver
Price: $74.00/mo.
Sports channels include: ESPN, FS1, and Pac-12 Networks

Best for streaming

Plan: Elite
Price: $79.99/mo.
Sports channels include: CBS Sports Network, ACC Network, and ESPN

Best value

Plan: Sling TV Orange & Blue
Price: $50.00/mo.
Sports channels include: ESPN and FS1

Best longterm savings

Product: Mohu Leaf antenna
Price range: $20.00–$60.00 (one-time purchase)
Sports channels include: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Spectrum TV’s Silver plan is your chance to see this season’s college football games, as well as all kinds of sports content throughout the entire year. Its more than 175 channels give the whole household plenty of content choices.

fuboTV’s Elite plan really comes through as the best streaming choice for sports fans. It includes fuboTV Extra, which gives you a total of 48 more channels, many of which are for those who like to feast their eyes on competitive play. It’s great for fans of live TV streaming.

Cable, satellite, and streaming plans and packages—as well over-the-air TV—offer the many channels you’ll need to watch a slew of the regular season and bowl games this season.

An over-the-air antenna doesn’t give you the channels that cable and live TV streaming options do, but it’s a one-time purchase that saves you a regular monthly fee.

We’re going to break it down for you with more details on the channels, followed by details about our top recommendations.

College football channels

While college teams challenge each other for on-field domination, their games are scattered around a hearty amount of TV channels.

Our list below gives you the complete list of channels needed to take in the college football action. We’ve paired that with our recommendations so you can see what each package has to offer.

Price
ABC
ACC Network
ACC Network Extra
BTN
CBS
CBS Sports Network
ESPN
ESPN3
ESPNU
FOX
FS1
NBC
PAC-12 Networks
SEC Network
SEC Network +
Spectrum TV Silver plan fuboTV Elite plan Sling TV Orange & Blue plan Over-the-air TV antenna
$74.99/mo. $79.99 $50.00 $20.00–$60.00 (one-time purchase)

What is ESPN+?

ESPN+ is an on-demand streaming service that features live events, including some of this season’s college football games. It’s available for $6.99 a month, and if you buy it directly from ESPN, you’ll save some money paying for the whole year at once for $69.99. It’s supported on a number of devices—both Android and Amazon.

Best ways to watch college football

Best overall: Spectrum TV Silver

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ProviderPlanPriceCollege football channels
Spectrum TVPlan: Spectrum TV Silver
Channels: 175+
Features: Free HD, free Spectrum TV app, premium channels like HBO® and SHOWTIME®
$74.99/mo.ABC, ACCN, BTN, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPNU, FOX, FS1, NBC, Pac-12, SECN, SECN+View plan
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Price increases after the first year.

Spectrum’s Silver package is a dream for sports lovers, especially ones who enjoy soaking up tons of TV shows and movies between games. Maybe others in the household want to watch something that isn’t a sporting event in the other room—no one has to compromise. This robust channel package offers a slew of TV and movie selections.

This plan has nearly all of the 13 channels broadcasting college football games, and some of the other sports channels you get include MOTOR TREND, NBA TV, NFL Network, and TUDN.

Kids will appreciate options like Disney Junior, Cartoon Network, SHOWTIME® FAMILY ZONE, Universal Kids, and Animal Planet.

Spectrum has a number of international add-ons that range from $4.99 a month to $29.99 a month that allow sports fans to catch games, news, and highlights from teams competing around the world.

You could go with a comparable streaming provider like fuboTV—which we think has a long list of benefits—but the add-ons, the large channel count, and the volume of sports channels make Spectrum a winner.

Best for streaming: fuboTV Elite

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ProviderPlanPriceCollege football channels
fuboTVPackage: Elite
Total channel count: 155+
Features: 1,000-hour cloud DVR, Sports Plus add-on package ($10.99/mo.)
$79.99/mo.ABC, ACCN, BTN, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, FOX, FS1, Pac-12, SECNView plan
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

fuboTV’s Elite plan boasts 10 of the channels needed to watch college football. It’s only $10 more a month than their Pro package, and it gives you fuboTV Extra—48 additional channels that round out the 155+ channel count with a sports-heavy lineup.

In addition to the channels that get you the college pigskin games, Elite includes Tennis Channel, MLB Network, NHL Network, Zona Fútbol, and Stadium. Get sports satisfaction in all the seasons.  

Elite’s 1,000 cloud DVR is included with this plan—as well as the Pro option, where the Standard package only has 250 hours—and will let you record and replay your favorite wins or bloopers at will. If you need even more sports, the add-on Sports Plus package will set you back only $10.99 a month. The $6 International Sports Plus add-on is an option, too. 

fuboTV’s Elite plan finds a head-to-head competitor in Hulu’s Live TV plan, but the fuboTV option wins by having the add-on sports options fans crave.

Best value: Sling TV Orange & Blue

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ProviderPackagePriceCollege football channels*
Sling TVPackage: Orange & Blue
Channels: 50+
$50.00/mo.ABC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, NBCView plan

Sling TV offers two packages: Blue and Orange, and they’re both available for the same price:$35 a month. But we recommend getting the combination Orange & Blue package for $50.

The combination gets you five of the channels needed to watch college games—a combination of ESPN and the local channels available in your market.

When it comes to extras, get ready—Sling TV has a scroll-like list of add-ons. For one, the Sports Extra on that list of choices is a pretty good deal. It’s $11 a month, and it has close to 30 channels. Motorsport.tv, ESPN Bases Loaded, MLB Network Strike Zone, and Golf Channel are just a few. This helps you see the college football games along with a load of sports events all year round.

All packages include 50 DVR hours, so you can record all the hits and misses.

This plan is around the same price as Cox’s Contour TV Starter option, except its selection of channels has more depth for sports fans. You’ll get all the channels to watch college football, along with plenty of NFL games that you’d miss out on if you picked Contour.

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Local channels only in select markets.

Best money-saver: Over-the-air antenna

Swipe Left to See All →
ProviderProductPlanCollege football channels
OTA HD TV Antenna Mohu Leaf antenna$20.00–$60.00/mo.
ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBCView antenna

You’ve cut the cable cord. Or maybe you never had a cord to cut. In any case, you can get your basic local channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC to watch college football games with an over-the-air antenna. In some regions, you might also pick up stations like MeTV, The CW, and PBS outlets.

Since we’re talking about going the cheapest route, we like the Mohu Leaf Metro. It’s an indoor antenna with a 25-mile range that costs approximately $18. It’s not a big hulking item you need to conceal; its small size is another high point.

But it’s not the only over-the-air antenna out there. There are a variety of antenna models that offer different mileage ranges and still won’t break the bank.

Whatever antenna you select, you’ll still get to see close to 10 of the college football games broadcast on the local channels.

Final take

Spectrum’s Silver plan is like a champ dancing around in the endzone, celebrating its huge 175+ channel list. You can catch so many games and dive into plenty of other types of content. It’s truly fun for the whole family with the channel mix this plan offers.

We think fuboTV’s Elite plan is an excellent streaming choice for the sports super fan, especially since it gets you fuboTV Extra, which is a 48-channel package with a sports heavy roster.

The Sling TV Orange & Blue option gets you five college football channels and offers a whole lot of add-ons with price tags that won’t make you weep. When the budget can’t be stretched, we like the Mohu Leaf antenna.

How to Watch College Football FAQ

Is there an app to watch college football?

Your cable or live TV streaming provider should have an app available for download on iOS and Android devices. Download the app for the provider you subscribe to, and you can use your login and password information to access college football channels you subscribe to on your phone or tablet.

Individual channels showing college football games may also have apps available. You can download the app and use your provider membership information to log in.

Where can I watch the 2021–2022 college football bowl games?

Bowl games begin on December 17, 2021, and run through January 10, 2022. Channels slated to broadcast some of the bowl games are ABC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, and ESPN2. ESPN will carry the bulk of the coverage.

How can I watch college football for free?

Once you’ve purchased an over-the-air antenna, you can watch games on local affiliates for ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC at no additional cost.

Which streaming service is best for college football?

fuboTV’s Elite plan has nine of the 15 channels broadcasting college football games in the 2021 season.

Which streaming service has college football?

fuboTV’s Elite plan is the one we’re recommending for its price and generous mix of sports channels. Most streaming services have one or more of the 16 channels covering college football games. Check out our Best Streaming Services to find a plan that meets your needs.

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