College sports don’t always get as much primetime coverage as professional sporting leagues — unless there’s some big matchup or tournament on. If you’re lucky, you might catch a few live games on your local channels and, occasionally, on a major cable network, but if you’re looking to follow your college team of choice through the highs and lows of a whole season, you’ll need to think up a streaming strategy.
And that’s where college sports-centered solutions like ESPNU come in. Here, we’ll explore how college sports fans can watch ESPNU, and a few other sports streaming options, without cable.
What Is ESPNU?
More likely than not, you’ve heard of streaming services like ESPN+, which you can bundle with other big-name streamers, like Disney+ and Hulu. But ESPNU, a channel dedicated to covering (mostly) college sports, might be new to you.
Think of ESPNU as a complementary version of your standard ESPN Network, but one that’s focused on every college-level league, from soccer to UFC. The downside? Well, ESPNU doesn’t have all of those ESPN perks — with no pro basketball or football games on the docket, it’s more like ESPN lite.
College Sports Coverage On ESPNU
ESPNU has invested heavily in the rights to cover college sports across a bulk of the country. Some of the athletic conferences that have given ESPNU the authorization to cover their various seasons include the American Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference (MAC), Ivy League, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Missouri Valley Football Conference. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), the Big 12 Conference, and the Big Ten Conference, just to name a few.
Needless to say, the coverage is comprehensive, especially when it comes to live sports. With ESPNU, you’ll have access to live college basketball, football, softball, lacrosse, and hockey games. As an added bonus, ESPNU also brings you the latest from a few pro leagues, like the MLB, MLS and NHL, and it allows you to tune into big events like the U.S. Open and the PGA tour.
Other Sports Shows on ESPNU
In addition to providing streams of live games, ESPNU offers a range of shows that center on college sports. One such show is the Recruiting Insider. Hosted by Lowell Galindo, recruiting analyst Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill, ESPN’s national recruiting director, the program covers the college football recruiting process and the hosts discuss the most promising young prospects.
Inside the Polls, which runs during the college football season, is also worth the watch. The show’s hosts — anchor Mike Hall, analyst Todd McShay and Mike Gottfried, a former head coach — analyze football polls for certain teams and contrast them to their previous performances.
The popular Jeff Reichner-hosted show, Inside the Big East, also airs on ESPNU. The program looks at the weekly performance of schools and athletes linked to the Big East conference. Finally, we recommended taking advantage of the 30 for 30 backlog; ESPN’s award-winning docu-series always has something interesting to offer, from deep dives into decorated sports heroes to the untold histories behind strange mascots.
How Much Does ESPNU Cost?
Well, that depends on how you access it. You can find ESPNU on the ESPN+ app, which will cost you $6.99 per month (or $69.99 annually). But, with limited live-streaming features, it may not be your only source of entertainment. If you’re a sports fan, opting to bundle your ESPN+ subscription with another streaming service might be the best way to get all of your streaming needs met with one monthly bill. Currently, ESPN+ can be bundled with Disney+ and ad-supported Hulu for $13.99 per month. If commercials are a “no go” for you, you can also opt into the no-ads version of this bundle, which comes in at $19.99 per month. If you want to access Hulu + Live TV, you can bundle all three services for $69.99 per month.
Other sports-minded or wide-reaching streamers, like fubo TV or Sling TV, allow you to access a variety of content across several networks. To find ESPNU on fubo TV, you’ll need to purchase the Elite plan for $79.99 a month, and then add on the fubo Extra package, that comes with an extra 45 channels for an extra $7.99 per month. It’s a steep monthly fee, but might make sense if the package meets all of your streaming needs.