How to watch College Basketball in 2023
As college basketball season approaches, fans across the country are looking for ways to watch their favorite teams in action. The good news is that there are plenty of options available to stream college basketball in 2023. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about streaming college basketball, including the channels and platforms you'll need, the best TV packages for sports fans, and tips for watching games for free.
Essential Channels for College Basketball
To fully enjoy the college basketball season, you'll want access to several key channels. Some of the most important networks for college basketball coverage include:
- CBS Sports
- ESPN and its affiliated networks (ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN+)
- FOX Sports platforms (FS1, FS2)
- Turner Sports channels (TBS, TNT, truTV)
Additionally, you'll want to have access to conference-specific channels and regional sports networks (RSNs) to catch all the action from your favorite teams.
Top TV Packages for College Basketball Fans
When searching for a TV package to watch college basketball, you'll want to find a plan with a good balance between price and coverage. Here are some of the best options:
- DIRECTV: Known for its extensive channel lineup and regional sports network availability, DIRECTV is a top choice for college basketball fans. Although it can be more expensive than other options, its two-year price lock and large channel selection make it worth considering.
- Hulu + Live TV: As a popular live TV streaming service, Hulu + Live TV offers a smaller channel lineup but still includes essential basketball networks like ESPN, FS1, and CBS Sports Network. It also comes with ESPN+ and Disney+ at no extra charge, making it a great value for sports fans.
- Sling TV: For those seeking a more affordable option, Sling TV offers a customizable plan with essential basketball channels like TBS, TNT, and truTV. However, it lacks complete local channel coverage, so you may need to supplement with an antenna to catch games on ABC or CBS.
Best Streaming Services for College Basketball
With the rise of cord-cutting, many fans are turning to streaming services to watch college basketball. The following services are great options for streaming college basketball games:
- ESPN+: At just $9.99 per month, ESPN+ offers thousands of collegiate basketball games from over 25 college conferences. It's an inexpensive way to access a vast library of games and content.
- fuboTV: Known for its sports-centric channel lineup, fuboTV is a great option for fans of Pac-12 Conference teams. The service carries Pac-12 Network and other essential sports channels, making it a solid choice for college basketball fans.
- Sling TV: As mentioned earlier, Sling TV provides a budget-friendly option for watching college basketball. With customizable plans and various add-ons, it's an excellent choice for fans looking to save money without sacrificing coverage.
Conference Channels and Regional Sports Networks
To catch the most college basketball action possible, you'll want access to conference channels and regional sports networks. These channels include:
- ACC Network
- Big Ten Network
- Longhorn Network
- Pac-12 Network
- SEC Network
Additionally, regional sports networks like Altitude Sports, AT&T SportsNet, Bally Sports, MSG Network, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and New England Sports Network (NESN) will provide coverage of games from various conferences.
Streaming Major College Basketball Conferences
Here's a breakdown of how to stream games from some of the biggest college basketball conferences:
- Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC): ESPN operates the ACC Network (ACCN), which offers over 150 live men's and women's college basketball games each year. You can stream ACCN content using a TV provider login through the ESPN app.
- Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten and FOX Sports partnership allow streaming of Big Ten Network (BTN) games through the FOX Sports app. A TV provider login is required for access.
- Big 12 Conference: Big 12 fans can access many games through Big 12 Now on ESPN+ for $9.99 per month. Some Big 12 games also air on FOX Sports networks.
- Pacific-12 (Pac-12) Conference: To stream Pac-12 games, you'll need the Pac-12 Network in your TV plan. You can check the network's availability on the Pac-12 website and use the Pac-12 Now app to watch live games and other programming.
- Southeastern Conference (SEC): ESPN operates the SEC's dedicated channel, allowing you to stream SEC Network content on the ESPN app with a TV plan that includes the channel or an ESPN+ subscription.
Best Value Streaming Options
For fans looking to get the most bang for their buck, consider these value-packed streaming options:
- Sling TV: With plans starting at just $40 per month, Sling TV offers a great selection of channels for college basketball fans on a budget. Keep in mind that local channel coverage may be limited, so you may need to use an antenna to supplement your viewing options.
- Hulu + Live TV: While slightly more expensive at $69.99 per month, Hulu + Live TV includes ESPN+ and Disney+ at no extra charge, providing even more content for sports fans. The service also offers unlimited cloud DVR storage, making it easy to record and watch your favorite games at your convenience.
Cheapest Ways to Stream College Basketball
If you're on a tight budget, these options offer the most affordable ways to stream college basketball:
- ESPN+: As a standalone subscription, ESPN+ is just $9.99 per month and provides access to thousands of college basketball games from various conferences.
- Digital Antenna: A one-time purchase of a digital antenna, typically ranging from $20 to $60, will grant you access to local channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, which all air a significant amount of college basketball games.
How to Watch College Basketball for Free
While most streaming options require a subscription, there are a few ways to watch college basketball without spending a dime:
- Digital Antenna: As mentioned earlier, purchasing a digital antenna will provide access to local channels airing college basketball games, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.
- Free Trials: Many live TV streaming services offer free trials, allowing you to watch a limited amount of basketball before your trial expires. Just remember to cancel on time to avoid any charges.
Does ESPN+ have college basketball?
Yes, ESPN+ features over 5,000 men's and women's college basketball games during the 2022-2023 season, making it a valuable resource for fans.
Conclusion: Finding the Best Way to Stream College Basketball
There are plenty of options for streaming college basketball in 2023, whether you prefer traditional TV packages, streaming services, or even watching games for free. By considering your budget and viewing preferences, you can find the perfect solution to ensure you catch all the action from your favorite teams and conferences this season.
Author: Dan Anderson