May 15, 2019

Watch College Basketball Online

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Whether you love basketball or just want to support your alma mater, here are the best ways of streaming college basketball without cable.

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Which Channels Offer College Basketball

Before we dive in, it's important to know which channels offer college basketball games.

NCAA basketball (and other college sports) don't have as wide coverage as other professional sports. You'll find many games on top channels like ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports Network, and NBC Sports Network, but don't expect to find every game from every team in one place.

For full coverage, you'll need more than a dozen different channels for games from the 30+ NCAA basketball conferences!

It's much easier to just follow a few of your favorite teams and keep your viewing options simple. Here are the networks you'll need to watch NCAA basketball without cable.

 ChannelConferences Offered 
ACC NetworkACC (including ACC tournament)
beIN SportsConference USA
Big Ten NetworkBig Ten
CBS/CBS Sports NetworkACC, American, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, Mountain West Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Atlantic 10 Conference, American, Northeast Conference and Patriot League, and NCAA Tournament
ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNUA10, ACC, American, America East, Atlantic Sun, Big 12, Big South, Big Sky, Big West, Conference USA, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, MAAC, MEAC, MVC, MWC, NEC, OVC, Pac-12, SEC, SoCon, Southland, Summit League, Sun Belt, SWAC, WAC, WCC.
Fox/FS1/Fox Sports NetworkBig East, Big Ten, and Pac-12, ACC, Big 12, Big East
NBCSNAtlantic 10 Conference
Pac-12 NetworkPac-12
SEC NetworkSEC
StadiumAtlantic 10, American, Big South, CAA, Conference USA, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, OVC, Patriot, SoCon, Southland, WAC

You'll even find games on ESPN+, which is ESPN's streaming service. But more on that below.

As you can see, there's no perfect solution to get all your college basketball games in one place. There are going to be channels that won't be in your package, and you'll need to upgrade or get an add-on package.

Still, we've done our best to list out the best options for you. Read on to find out how to stream as many college basketball games as possible without cable.

Sling TV

As streaming services go, Sling TV is one of the cheaper options.

Sling offers an Orange or Blue plan, as well as a combined Orange + Blue plan. Sling Orange has the ESPN, ESPN2, and ACC Network, along with other channels. Sling Blue, on the other hand, has the regional and national Fox Sports Networks and the regional and national NBC Sports Networks.

For best college basketball coverage, get both the Sling Orange + Blue packages. You'll have the three core ESPN channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3), FS1 and FS2, NBC Sports, and many others.

You can add $5/month for their Sports Extra: Sling Orange add-on. You'll get two SEC Network channels, ESPNU, and the Pac-12 Network.

For $10/month, you can get the Sling Blue version of the Sports Extra add-on. It also gives you the Pac-12 Network and non-basketball sports channels like the NHL Network, NFL RedZone, and more.

Are you an ACC fan? If you are, then you can just stick with Sling Orange. It has the ACC Network Extra for all the ACC games. Don't pay for more channels than what you need!

Unfortunately, Sling TV doesn't have the CBS network, which is one of the major networks for college basketball. However, you can make up for this with the CBS All Access app.

Regardless of your package, Sling TV has no contracts, and you can stop your service anytime. There are no equipment or installation fees either, so you can be flexible with your subscription.

Sling TV does have a Cloud DVR service, with 50 hours of storage. Unlike other providers, however, it doesn't come free. You'll have to fork out $5/month for the service. Compared to other options on this list, it's quite limited.

For best coverage, we recommend Sling TV and the CBS All Access app. You'll be able to watch most of the college games for a cheaper monthly price. However, if you want better DVR, consider other providers, like fuboTV, instead.

FuboTV

FuboTV offers most of the networks for streaming college basketball, with one glaring exception—it doesn't have ESPN. However, you'll still be able to get other networks you need, like Fox Sports, CBS Sports Network, Pac-12, Big Ten Network, and beIN Sports.

FuboTV has two key streaming packages available: a base fubo package (which has over 90 channels in most locations) and fubo Extra, which has more than 110 channels in most areas.

The base fubo package already has all the channels you'll need for college basketball. It has the Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, beIN Sports, Pac-12, and Big Ten Networks.

Fubo Extra adds channels like BBC World, Boomerang, CNN International, and others. Frankly, these aren't important for college basketball, and you can skip them if you're just about the hoops.

For more options, you can add their Sports Plus add-on. It gives you an additional 4 Stadium channels, 6 Pac-12 channels, and 3 Fox College Sports channels.

Fubo's Cloud DVR gives you 30 hours of storage, with no expiry date. If you feel you need more storage, you can upgrade to their Cloud DVR Plus, which increases it to 500 hours. That's one of the bigger cloud storages we've seen.

FuboTV also has a 72-hour playback feature (called Lookback) which lets you re-watch most channels' content within three days. You won't even have to record the show for this.

You get two streams with your account, as well as an additional third one if you choose to upgrade.

All in all, you'll have more than a dozen channels that broadcast NCAA basketball games. The biggest downside is that you won't have ESPN. To make up for that, we recommend pairing fuboTV with an ESPN+ subscription.

FuboTV offers a free 7-day trial if you'd like to try their service!

Hulu With Live TV

With Hulu, your choices are simple. The only decision to make is whether to add their on-demand library to your live TV service or not.

Regardless of your choice, Hulu with Live TV is one of the best options for streaming college basketball. You'll get all the essential networks, like ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, CBS, CBS Sports, NBC, Fox Sports 1 and 2, SEC Network, and Big Ten Network.

If you're looking for a one-stop provider for streaming college basketball, this is (almost) it. However, you'll still miss out on some of the smaller conferences.

Frankly, if you're going to get live TV, you might as well splurge for the on-demand too. The Hulu with Live TV plan is only $1 more than the standalone live TV plan. That extra $1 gives you access to Hulu's complete on-demand library, featuring thousands of Hulu original series, hit movies, and kid shows.

If you want to record the basketball game, Hulu's Live TV comes with a cloud DVR service. It has 50 hours of recording space. If that isn't enough, you can upgrade to their Enhanced Cloud DVR, with 200 hours storage for a fee.

Hulu's Live TV service gives you two simultaneous streams, but you can also upgrade this to unlimited streaming in your home (again, for a fee). If you decide to travel, the upgrade also lets you stream up to three separate devices while you're away from your home network.

PlayStation Vue

The PlayStation Vue (or PS Vue, for short) has great quality streaming. However, the downside is that they've got limited channels for college basketball.

They offer four main packages: Access, Core, Elite and Ultra. The Access package features almost 50 channels and includes channels like Disney and SyFy. On the other end, with the Ultra package, you'll get 90+ channels, including HBO and Showtime.

Access features a few major sports networks, like ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, and NBC Sports. You'll also get a few local channels that may broadcast some of your local college basketball games.

However, if you want better coverage, the Elite plan is going to be your best bet. Elite has everything you'll find on Access, but with the added Big Ten Network, ESPNU, and Stadium channels.

At the end of the day, PS Vue isn't the best provider for college basketball. They offer only enough to watch the largest conferences and the most popular games.

Still, they make up for it with their quality broadcasting. Streams are 60 frames-per-second, and they also have a Multi-View feature that lets you watch up to 3 shows at once.

PlayStation Vue's DVR limits your recordings to 500 episodes, which last for 28 days. You'll also get five unique streams, although it's subject to a few rules. Still, that's more streams than other providers we've reviewed.

If you just want to watch the most popular games in high quality streaming, the PlayStation Vue might be for you.

PS Vue offers the most CBS affiliate markets compared to other providers. If the games you want are on CBS, then PS Vue is a good choice.

YouTube TV

Like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV keeps their options simple. They only have one package, which costs $40/month.

Even their channel selection is similar to Hulu with Live TV. YouTube TV features 60+ channels, which include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox, Fox Sports, CBS, CBS Sports, NBC, NBC Sports, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and NESN (which covers some ACC content).

This makes YouTube a strong choice for college basketball. However, there's one catch: it's not available everywhere. It's only available in some markets, and many rural areas aren't covered.

What might win you over is YouTube TV's unlimited cloud DVR. You get to record as many shows as you want at the same time. They also keep your recordings for up to 9 months before they delete it.

YouTube TV also lets you create 6 profiles per account and stream on up to 3 devices (total) for free. That's not bad at all.

On the downside, YouTube TV has a limited number of supported streaming devices. You can watch YouTube TV through the web or through apps for Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and several smart TVs. Unfortunately, it's not available for the Amazon Fire TV.

DirecTV Now

DIRECTV Now is one of the weaker options of this list. They only have a few channels for college basketball, and their features aren't the best either. They're fine if you just want to watch the major games of the NCAA conferences, though.

You'll have to choose from 5 different plans (4 if you count just the English ones), which range from $40/month to $75/month. At the lowest tier, you'll get 65+ channels, while the highest tier has 125+ channels. There are also a bunch of international bundles, premium networks, and extra channel packs.

For college basketball fans, the best coverage would be their Go Big package. It offers all the sports networks available through DIRECTV Now, which includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Fox Sports 1 and 2, and SEC Network.

DIRECTV Now has 20 hours of free storage on their True Cloud DVR Beta. However, your recordings expire after 30 days. It's limited, but the upside is that you can watch your recordings from any device.

For college basketball, DIRECTV Now isn't the best choice. It's missing a few channels, and its features are limited. It can be a good choice if you want other non-basketball related channels though. Otherwise, you're better off with another provider.

CBS All Access

Even if you don't have access to cable, you can still stream college basketball games on CBS. CBS has its own All Access app, which lets you stream college basketball games regardless of your location. It's a standalone service too, so you won't need a cable subscription to use it.

Subscription is $5.99/month for two simultaneous streams with ads. You can upgrade to $9.99/month to block the ads.

It's relatively cheap, and worth the investment if you're serious about college basketball. We recommend pairing it with another streaming service (like Sling Orange) for better coverage of the games.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is ESPN's streaming service, and it has plenty of college basketball content that features hundreds of college basketball games, both men's and women's.

You'll also get a ton of NHL games with other live sports programming such as soccer, boxing, golf, tennis, rugby, cricket, and UFC. They also have a few original programming and studio shows, and the 30 for 30 documentary film series.

Bear in mind that ESPN+ is not a standalone streaming service, and it won't replace your regular ESPN channels. It's a service available inside the ESPN app, or online through your browser.

You can visit ESPN+'s official site here.

Given its cheap monthly subscription, it's a good complement to fuboTV, which doesn't carry the ESPN network. If you're thinking of getting fuboTV, then consider getting ESPN+ too.

Bottom Line

You won't find a "perfect" provider for college basketball. All the providers are missing a channel or more, which means you'll have to spend more on add-ons or multiple subscriptions just to get full coverage.

The best way to approach is it to identify which networks are most relevant/important to you and focus on those instead.

Bear in mind that the CBS All Access app and ESPN+ are great ways to fill gaps left by other streaming providers. It's better to choose a cheaper streaming provider and supplement your plan with these apps than to pay for two or more major providers. At the end of the day, all it comes down to your favorite teams and your budget.

We hope that this guide has helped you find the best providers to watch college basketball online. Enjoy this year's season.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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