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How to Watch the College Football Playoff Live Without Cable

The 2024 College Football Playoff, both Semifinals and Championship game, will air on ESPN and the Watch ESPN app. Here is everything you need to know to live-stream the CFP, including in a free trial.

Table of Contents
  1. 2024 College Football Playoff: Channel, Dates, Start Times
  2. Live TV streaming services that carry the ESPN family of channels
  3. How to watch the College Football Playoff on DIRECTV STREAM
  4. How to watch the College Football Playoff on Fubo
  5. How to watch the College Football Playoff on Hulu + Live TV
  6. How to watch the College Football Playoff on YouTube TV
  7. How to watch the College Football Playoff on Sling Orange
  8. How to watch the College Football Playoff on the ESPN app
  9. Watching the CFP live-stream FAQ

ESPN has the rights to this year’s CFP, which is good news for NCAAF football fans because most live TV streaming services and cable TV providers carry ESPN. For example, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV Orange, and YouTube TV will all offer full coverage of the 2024 College Football Playoff. YouTube TV is our top pick for streaming the College Football Playoff this year. With YouTube TV, college football fans get not only ESPN but the ESPN family of channels for watching the ESPN MegaCast, the option to stream the game in 4K with the 4K Plus Add-on, plus Stats View and Key Plays for real-time stats and highlights as the action develops.

YouTube TV

Watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN NEWS, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and more.

$72.99 / month

14 Day Free Trial

Fubo

Watch ESPN, ESPN2, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and more.

$74.99 / month

7 Day Free Trial

Sling TV Orange + Sports Extra

Watch the ESPN MegaCast live online.

$46 / month

Explore offers

Hulu + Live TV

Watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN NEWS, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and more.

$69.99 / month

Sign Up for Hulu

2024 College Football Playoff: Channel, Dates, Start Times

The 2024 College Football Playoff Semifinals will air on ESPN on January 1st, 2024. The Championship Game will be played on January 8th, 2024, also to air on ESPN.

CFP Semifinal Games:

  • 1/1/24 Rose Bowl Game – 5 PM EST Kickoff on ESPN
  • 1/1/24 Sugar Bowl – 8:45 EST Kickoff on ESPN

CFP Championship Game:

  • 1/8/24 Championship Game from NRG Stadium in Houston, TX – 8 PM EST Kickoff on ESPN

Live TV streaming services that carry the ESPN family of channels

Many college football fans will be content to watch the CFP live on ESPN. However, the CFP is one of a handful of events for which ESPN rolls out the MegaCast, a simulcast format where different perspectives of a big game are featured across the ESPN family of channels.

DIRECTV STREAMFuboTV Sports LiteFuboHulu + Live TVSling TV Orange + Sports ExtraYouTube TV
ESPN ESPN
ESPN2 ESPN2
ESPNEWS ESPNEWS
ESPNU ESPNU

why ESPN’s megacast is important for college football fans

ESPN’s MegaCast is a simulcast that features the College Football Playoff from several angles, including a call by controversial broadcaster Pat McAfee, an aerial view, and hometown play by play for fans who prefer a sympathetic announcer.

The hometown play-by-play is especially important because of the dominance of Ohio State Football in recent seasons. OSU has appeared five out of nine years the current CFP format has existed, and will very likely be one of the final four teams in 2024 as well. One of the regular announcers for the CFP is Kirk Herbstreit, who used to play his college ball at Ohio State as the starting QB. Fans who don’t want to hear alumni of one of the competing teams call the game can tune in to SEC Network or Big Ten Network for a hometown call with announcers who are “rooting for the right team.”

How to watch the College Football Playoff on DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM carries ESPN in the base package, which means college football fans can watch the CFP live on DIRECTV STREAM. The problem with DIRECTV STREAM is an upgrade to the more expensive “Choice” plan is required to access several of the MegaCast channels, like ESPNU and ESPN NEWS.

How to watch the College Football Playoff on Fubo

Fubo is a great platform for watching college football, and ESPN is included in the base package. However, as with DIRECTV STREAM, an upgrade is required to watch the entire MegaCast lineup.

To get the MegaCast lineup, upgrade to Fubo “Sports Lite,” which also includes PAC-12 Network as an added bonus.

How to watch the College Football Playoff on Hulu + Live TV

Hulu is already a top pick of our editorial team because of its excellent lineup of college football channels. It should come as no surprise then that Hulu + Live TV carries not only the ESPN live-stream, but also the full compliment of channels NCAAF fans need to watch the ESPN MegaCast.

How to watch the College Football Playoff on YouTube TV

YouTube TV is our overall to pick for watching the 2024 CFP for several reasons:

  • The availability of ESPN in 4K for supported devices at a great price
  • Full coverage of the ESPN MegaCast in the base package
  • Stats View and Key Plays are best in class features for real-time game intelligence
  • SEC Network and Big Ten Network in the base package
  • Unlimited DVR

How to watch the College Football Playoff on Sling Orange

Although it lacks several important channels for watching college football in most markets, we like Sling TV Orange as a good budget pick for streaming ESPN. By adding the Sports Extra package Sling Orange users get access to the College Football Playoff and most MegaCast options.

How to watch the College Football Playoff on the ESPN app

If your pay TV package includes ESPN, as most do, it’s easy to watch the College Football Playoff on the ESPN app. Here are the steps to follow:

Time needed: 8 minutes

Login to the Watch ESPN app to stream the 2024 CFP

  1. Make note of your login and PW for your pay TV provider

    Write down the email and PW for your cable or live TV streaming provider

  2. Download the ESPN app on your desired device

    Make sure you have downloaded the ESPN app, here is the link for both Android and iOS.

  3. Login to the ESPN app using your pay TV credentials

    Use your pay TV login to access the ESPN app. Once logged in, you can watch the CFP and other content in the Watch ESPN section, which is accessed through the “Play” icon.

Watching the CFP live-stream FAQ

Does ESPN broadcast the College Football Playoff as a MegaCast?

Yes, the College Football Playoff, both semifinals and championship game, air as a MegaCast, which means ESPN’s family of channels carry slightly different versions of the games.

Which ESPN channels carry the CFP MegaCast?

ESPN2 carries Pat McAfee’s Field Pass, but the coverage will be too irreverent for many diehard fans. I never watch the McAfee coverage because I want to watch the games from a more serious and professional perspective. The McAfee show feels almost drunk on the excitement of the moment.

ESPNU offers viewers the “Command Center” which gives a Multiview interface of aerial shots, enhanced sideline coverage, and real time statistics.

ESPNNEWS streams the AT&T 5G Skycast, which is an overhead view of the game that is meant to simulate the perspective of a coach in the Press Box.

ESPN owned SEC Network will carry a “hometown account” of the game for the SEC team participating in the game, which is usually Alabama or Georgia.

Logging in to the Watch ESPN app and accessing the various local radio calls for the participating teams will also be valuable for fans of the playoff teams.

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