If you’re getting your game face on for college football season, you may also want to catch your games online. There are so many sites streaming live college football online, though, that finding a specific game is harder than cramming for midterms. Two major television networks and one well-known cable network are all streaming college football games online, plus a handful of regional conference networks will be webcasting college football live. None of them are allowed to carry the same games – so if a particular NCAA game is an ESPN college football live game, that game cannot be shown live on CBS, the Big Ten Network, or any other channel.
In other words, your favorite team is probably online somewhere every Saturday, but they’re probably on a different channel than they were the previous Saturday. The NCAA football TV schedule is only set through mid-September – from that point on, the TV schedule is determined only a week in advance based on which match-ups look the best. You may find yourself checking your local listings a little more than usual this season. Let’s take a look at all the sites and apps streaming live NCAA football, and which require a cable TV subscription to watch the game.
WATCH COLLEGE FOOTBALL ONLINE AT CBSPORTS.COM
CBSSports.com is one of two sites streaming NCAA college football games absolutely free with no cable subscription required. Hope you’re an SEC (Southeast Conference) fan, though – because almost all of the games feature only Southeast Conference teams. The only non-SEC game CBS carries is Army-Navy. CBS usually offers only one game per week, but does offer double-headers on October 19, 2013 and November 9, 2013. You can watch CBS college football games on your smartphone or tablet with the CBS Sports mobile app.
WATCH COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES ONLINE AT WATCHESPN
Save And Watch Your Favorite College Football Videos
Download your favorite football videos online and save them in your personal video cloud. Then you can watch the video on your phone, tablet, and even TV.
You’ll find by far the largest variety of college football games on WatchESPN, the site that lets you watch ESPN online. And you will need a cable TV subscription to do so, because the service is only available to cable subscribers. WatchESPN offers as many as ten different games on gameday, with a nice interface allowing to pick your game of choice. If you root for an upstart little mid-major team, WatchESPN is where you’re likely to find their games online. Smartphone and tablet viewers can use the free WatchESPN app to watch college football live or on demand, but a cable subscription is still required.
REGIONAL CONFERENCE NETWORKS STREAMING COLLEGE FOOTBALL ONLINE
You may be aware that many of the major collegiate athletic conferences have started their own cable networks, like little “mini-ESPN” channels that broadcast games and news about their own conference’s teams. The Big Ten Network, the PAC-12 Network, and the ACC Digital Network all carry each of their conference’s live games that are not being otherwise broadcast nationally on ESPN, ABC, CBS, or NBC. The SEC Digital Network does not provide any live games, but does provide every SEC game on demand after its completion. The Big Ten Network also provides game replays on demand afterward (though games on ABC or ESPN are not available until 24 hours after the game’s completion). The PAC-12 Network and ACC Network do not offer game replays on demand, but they do offer HD video highlights.
Here’s the catch – these networks’ online college football live streams are only available if you’re a cable or satellite TV subscriber, and the network is already part of your satellite or cable TV package. You cannot purchase these streams individually online, and these regional conference networks are available online only as a benefit to their subscribers. If you are a subscriber, the college football games and highlights are available through the PAC 12 Now app, the BTNToGo app, the ACC Sports app for iOS and Android, and the SEC Digital Network app (though full games are not available on the SEC Digital Network app).
NOTRE DAME COLLEGE FOOTBALL ON NBC
College football fans know that it’s “all Notre Dame, all the time” on NBC. The exclusive television home of Fighting Irish football, NBC will stream all Notre Dame home games for free online at NBC Sports Extra. They will only stream the Notre Dame home games – but that includes the October 5, 2013 Notre Dame-Arizona State game being played at Dallas Cowboys Stadium (aka AT&T Stadium), which counts as a home game for the Irish even though it is being played 1,000 miles away from South Bend. You can also watch Notre Dame football on smartphones and tablets with the NBC Live Sports Extra app.
WATCH COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES ON A SMARTPHONE OR TABLET
The good news is that each streaming site offers a free smartphone and tablet app allowing you to watch college football online via your mobile device. Unlike NFL football streams that are exclusive to Verizon, you can get games on your smartphone no matter who provides your mobile service. The bad news is that with all of the fragmentation of networks and channels showing games, you may need to download as many as four different apps if you want to watch your team each week this season on a smartphone or tablet (links to mobile apps in the previous sections).
Which team will you follow online? Who are your picks to win the BCS Championship and Heisman Trophy? And are you really and willing to download four different apps just to watch games this year? Go deep and air it out in the comments section below.