What the Tech? Watching football without cable or satellite
It's the question I almost always hear when talking about cutting the cable or satellite cord: "can I watch football?"
It is truly the most important question for many people now that ESPN carries the NCAA football championship playoffs and hundreds of other games during the season. ESPN now has The SEC Network and ACC Network that will each offer as many as four games every Saturday. If you've got cable or satellite now, those channels are likely included in your monthly payment. If you were to suddenly 'cut the cord' and go with a streaming service you might miss some of those games.
Here's what you need to know before making the call:
You can watch college football using a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick or a smart TV by subscribing to one of the streaming services such as Hulu plus live TV, Sling, PS Vue, YouTubeTV or DirectTVNow, which has been rebranded as AT&T tv NOW. You might have to pay extra for a sports package or upgrade to a higher level plan that costs slightly more than a basic package.
For instance, using Sling TV, its Orange and Blue packages both include ESPN but to receive the conference channels (ACC & SEC) you'll need to pay an extra $10 for a sports package. The PS Vue subscription requires its second tier for extra sports channels.
When it comes to the new ACC Network that launches August 22, only PS Vue, Hulu and YouTubeTV offers it.
By the way, if you use an Amazon Fire Stick or Amazon Fire TV to stream network programming, you will not be able to use it for YouTube TV. Amazon doesn't offer it.
Two upstarts in streaming, Fubo TV and Philo do not offer any of the ESPN channels.
Over a hundred college football games will be televised by the big four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and can be viewed for free using an antenna, provided you're close enough to a local station's transmitter.
Most of the streaming services offer a free trial so you can see ahead of time which one carries the games of your favorite team. Those services also do not require a long-term commitment so it's possible to unsubscribe to one and subscribe to another as the season plays out.
The 2019 season kicks off this coming weekend with the biggest matchup being Florida vs Miami.