Sports Fans

How to Watch College Basketball Without Paying For Cable TV (2017 Update)


College basketball is now here, and in 2017 college basketball is easier ever! The best part is there is no longer a need to agree to a two-year contract with cable TV to watch college basketball with crazy high costs.

This is your guide on how you can watch college basketball without the high cost and long-term contracts of cable TV.

Step #1: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC

In 2017 over 100 college basketball games will be aired free over the air on ABC, CBS, and FOX. The best part is many of the biggest games every week will be free over the air.

If you have the option, an antenna is always the best way to watch college basketball to avoid the delay or the risk of the stream crashing out.

If you need an antenna or want to see what channels you can get where you live, check out AntennaRecomendations.com.

Now over 90% of Americans have access to some or all of these channels; however, that still leaves 30 million Americans who struggle to get one network or another over the air. For them a growing number of services, such as DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, and PlayStation Vue, all offer locals. We recommend you check out each site to see what locals they offer in your area.

Step #2: ESPN, FS1, FS2, BTN, & More

You now know how to get your local stations, but what about the national networks such as ESPN? The good news is with Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, and PlayStation Vue you can access a ton of national networks.

First let’s find out if these services support the devices you own:

Streaming Player Sling TV PS Vue DIRECTV NOW YouTube TV Hulu Beta Fubo TV
Roku X X  X  X  X X
Fire TV X X X  X X
Apple TV X X X  X X X
Chromecast X X X X X X
iOS X X X X X X
Android Phones/Tablet X X X X X X
Android TV X  X  X  X
Xbox One X  X X
PlayStation 4 X

Now, let’s take a look at what services have which channels:

Channel Sling TV  PS Vue DIRECTV NOW Hulu fuboTV
ESPN X X X X
ESPN2 X X X X
ESPNU X X X X
ESPN Goal Line X X X X
FS1 X X X  X X
CBS Sports  (Soon)  X  X
Big Ten Network X X X X
SEC Network X X X X
Pac-12 X

*Please note you will find the ESPN Goal Line in the Sling TV app but all others you need to use the WatchESPN app to view ESPN Goal Line.

Not sure if you should pick Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, or PlayStation Vue? They all offer a free trial so why not give them all a try?

Step #3: Free Options:

Stadium

If you are a college sports fan you should check out the new streaming service Stadium. Stadium combines the talents of Campus Insider, 120 Sports, and the American Sports Network into a single network.

The new 24/7 sports network Stadium will launch in August 2017, will be 100% free online, and will air select games on some Sinclair-owned TV stations free over-the-air TV. Not only have they launched a 24/7 live TV network, but it will also offer a comprehensive array of on-demand content including full games, classic events, and highlights. Right now Stadium 24/7 is streaming free on Twitter and Pluto TV apps.

Look for multiple live college basketball games every Saturday from several leagues including C-USA, Mountain West, Patriot League, and the Southern Conference.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV and the Big Sky Conference, a NCAA Division I Conference, recently announced a partnership. As part of the deal, Big Sky Conference will air all of its live streamed sports events on Pluto TV for free including up to 700 basketball, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, and select soccer, softball, and track and field events. Previously, you had to pay a cable company for a special channel or be stuck watching it on your laptop.

You will find the Big Sky Conference on the Pluto TV app by tuning into Channel 230. The Pluto TV app is also available on any connected living room device such as Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation or Xbox as well as most smart TVs including those from Samsung, Vizio, Sony, and Hisense. For mobile and tablets, the Pluto TV app is available on iPhone and iPad. Additionally, Pluto TV can be accessed via the Web at pluto.tv/watch.

Step #4: Enjoy Some basketball 

There you go! You now have access to college basketball without the need for a long-term contract.

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  • Jared Cheeseman

    roku has other confence channels as well