In fact, most scheduling is done according to the home team. This is easy to follow during the conference schedule, but for any non-conference games, it can be difficult to know where to look. A good rule of thumb is to find the channel that the home team’s conference has a TV deal with. If an SEC school is playing at an ACC school, it’s a safe bet that game will be on ABC or ESPN. There are also neutral-site games, typically played in NFL stadiums or other venues that aren’t on campus. That throws in another wrinkle, but most of the time these matchups are big enough that they’ll be on one of the major networks.
To add further confusion, some conferences have their own networks. The SEC Network and upcoming ACC Network are run by ESPN. Ditto for the University of Texas’ Longhorn Network. Fox oversees the Big Ten Network, and the Pac-12 Network is owned (and run) by its member universities. These channels are more supplemental to the major networks and the likes of ESPN. There will be some games on these channels, but the big matchups will be on a major network — especially during football season. However, if you follow college sports besides football and basketball, you’ll want to consider adding them to your streaming budget. The Big Ten Network, for example, shows a lot of wrestling and is typically the place to watch the B1G conference tournament for that particular sport.
To summarize, since college sports are big money (football and basketball in particular), all the networks want a piece. If you only care to watch your favorite team, you’ll need a few channels to keep up with every game. If you’re a die-hard fan who likes to watch as much as possible, you’ll need several channels for that all-you-can-stream buffet.
This one is my personal favorites. I’ve been usingYouTube TVfor about six months now, and I really like it. The interface is simple and easy to use, and there are a lot of handy features — especially for sports fans. For starters, you can tell it your favorite teams, and every time they’re on TV, the service will record the game for you. Speaking of DVR, that’s included for free, and you get unlimited storage space too.
YouTube TV also allows up to six accounts per household, so you don’t have to worry about someone else’s sports loyalties popping up in your list. The service will also let you have three streams going simultaneously, just in case your family couldn’t care less about ‘Bama v. LSU.
Hulu Live TV
Huluhas been making a huge live sports push, especially during the NBA playoffs over the past few months. (I’m sure you saw the commercials at some point.) Hulu covers the major channels you’ll need for most of the marquee games, but its full roster isn’t as extensive as YouTube TV’s. Hulu will recommend games based on your favorite teams, and 50 hours of cloud DVR is included in the monthly fee. If you need more, you can splurge for 200 hours with an extra $15 per month.
Hulu is a solid option, especially if you subscribe to its on-demand service. And its channel lineup has all you need to follow the more notable games on the big networks.