Thursday, September 2, 2021

Watching college football, 2nd weekend

I've posted a couple of times recently about watching college football, including my choice for a streaming service to get me the services I want, plus what I'd need to do if I wanted to watch all of the games from last weekend's opening of the season.

As you may know, there are a lot more options for watching football -- insofar as services are concerned -- and it's not all that easy to watch everything you want. But, it is possible. And, since there are a lot more games this weekend, more sports channels are necessary.

Here are the different services you'll need to watch the games this weekend. Note that this is for national broadcasts, not small regional sports networks. Always check your favorite team's Website or other information, regarding where it might air.

ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN3

The self-proclaimed world wide leader in sports is actually the service/channel that carries the most games. Well, kind of. Many of the big games will be on ESPN during the season. If you're going to watch a lot of college football, you'll need ESPN. I've included ESPN2 in this, but there is only one game on ESPN2 this weekend. Note that all services that include ESPN also include ESPN2. They are essentially a package deal. You get one, you get the other.

ESPN3 is an odd duck. You may have it for no additional cost, or you may have to subscribe to a service to get it. This weekend, there are FBS/1-A, FCS/1-AA, and Division II games (including a game with an NAIA team).

With ESPN & ESPN2, you'll get access to FBS/1-A and FCS/1-AA games this weekend. So, how do you get ESPN & ESPN2? Through one of these live streaming services:

  • Sling Orange ($35)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream ($70)

Getting one of those also gets you ESPN3, but your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may also get you ESPN3 without needing an ESPN subscription. Not all ISPs are that way, but some are. And, since there are so many ISPs, it would be a near impossible task to list them all. Well, I'm not even going to try. To find out if you can get ESPN3 without an ESPN subscription, meaning your ISP get you the service, the way to find out is to try. If you get it, great. If not, you know what you need to do.

ESPNU/ESPNews

ESPNU carries several games this weekend, including FBS/1-A games, involving both Power 5 and G5 conferences. There are no FCS/1-AA games, but there is a Division II game. ESPNews caries few games. None are scheduled this weekend, but depending on how games go, particularly involving overtime games, some may be shifted to ESPNews at the last minute. I'm including the two services together since every service that carries ESPNU also carries ESPNews. To watch ESPNU or ESPNews, its almost the same as ESPN, except for Sling TV, which includes ESPNU and ESPNews in an add-on package, and DirecTV Stream, which requires a larger package:

  • Sling Orange with Sports Extra ($46)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream Choice ($85)

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a standalone service that is designed as a supplement to ESPN. You don't need to subscribe to ESPN in order to subscribe to ESPN+.

One thing that some people still don't get after all this time is that ESPN+ does not include ESPN. It's not the same thing. Subscribing to ESPN+ does not get you ESPN, or any other ESPN service. Perhaps some of the confusion comes from the fact that the ESPN app is used to access all ESPN content, but it only lets you watch the content to which you are subscribed. How do you get ESPN+? Easy:

  • Standalone subscription ($7)

Fox

Some games are available from your local Fox affiliate. If you have an antenna, you're covered. If not, and you decide to go with a streaming service, you have some options:

  • Antenna (free)
  • Sling Orange, select markets only ($35)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream, formerly AT&T TV ($70)

ABC

Some games are available from your local Fox affiliate. If you have an antenna, you're covered. If not, and you decide to go with a streaming service, you have some options, including more than Fox:

  • Antenna (free)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream, formerly AT&T TV ($70)

Fox Sports 1 (FS1)

Fox Sports 1, also known as FS1, carries a number of games, all involving FBS/1-A teams. Some of the teams playing this weekend will be FCS/1-AA teams, but they're playing FBS/1-A teams. I'm listing two Sling TV packages, since many of the teams carried by FS1 will be carried by ESPN channels later in the season. If you only care about FS1, the smaller Sling TV package is the one to consider.

  • Sling Blue with Sports Extra ($46)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Sling Orange+Blue with Sports Extra ($65)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)

SEC Network

This could have been included with ESPNU and ESPNews, as the same services apply. However, as this is one of the major conference networks, I'm listing it separately.

  • Sling Orange with Sports Extra ($46)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream Choice ($85)

ACC Network

Like the SEC Network, the ACC Network is included with the same package as ESPNU and ESPNews. And, like the SEC Network, I'm listing the ACC Network separately because it's a major conference network.

  • Sling Orange with Sports Extra ($46)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream Choice ($85)

Big Ten Network

I was surprised to find that not all of the major live streaming services carry the Big Ten Network. Specifically, DirecTV Stream doesn't offer it in any package. I'm listing two different packages of Sling TV, but the larger package is only needed if you want ESPN channel services as well. Many Big Ten teams will play on ESPN, so listing both packages seems the thing to do.

  • Sling Blue with Sports Extra ($46)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Sling Orange+Blue with Sports Extra ($65)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)

Pac-12 Network

The Pac-12 Network is available on some of the live streaming services. This channel carries many Pac-12 games that are not on one of the major broadcast networks or on a major sports service such as ESPN or FS1.

  • Sling Blue with Sports Extra ($46)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Fubo Elite ($80)

CBS Sports Network

  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream Ultimate ($95)

The Kitchen Sink

If you want to be able to watch everything, there are some ways to do that. The simplest and cheapest way to watch everything is Fubo Elite ($80/month) and ESPN+ ($7/month). There are other ways to combine services and get it all, but the $87 for Fubo and ESPN+ gets you everything.

That actually surprised me. I thought it would require several services, but it turns out that if you want to watch college football, Fubo is the one live streaming service that gets you the most big games. Adding ESPN+ gets you everything. Well, everything that's available streaming.

There may be a cheaper way to get what you want, depending on what games you want. But if you want everything, this is the way to go. If college football is a part of your Streaming Life, Fubo may need to be as well.

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