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How to watch the College Football Playoff if you don't have cable

Learn how to stream the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and the National Championship game.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The College Football Playoff selects the four best teams to compete in a three-game playoff to decide the national championship. This year, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host the semi-final games on New Year's Day, and the National Championship game will be played a week later in Atlanta on Monday, Jan. 8. In the Rose Bowl, the Oklahoma Sooners will take on the Georgia Bulldogs, while the Clemson Tigers will play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. 

Game schedule



Time (ET)


Rose Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Georgia

Jan. 1

5:00 p.m.


Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Clemson

Jan. 1

8:45 p.m.


National Championship 

Jan. 8

8:00 p.m.


How to stream the games

ESPN will broadcast the games, and it is widely available on streaming services. Here is a rundown of your options if you don't have a cable or satellite subscription and want to tune in to watch the college football playoff.

Sling TV

Sling TV's cheapest package, Sling Orange, costs $20 a month and includes ESPN.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue's $40-a-month Access plan includes ESPN.

DirectTV Now

DirectTV Now's basic $35-a-month "Live a Little" package includes ESPN.

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV costs $40 a month and includes ESPN.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is currently available in dozens of major metro markets, with more being added all the time. It costs $35 a month and includes ESPN.


You can stream the college football playoffs via WatchESPN on your computer or the WatchESPN app, but you will need to prove you have a pay TV subscription. You don't need a cable or satellite subscription necessarily; you can authorize your account to use WatchESPN with any of the five streaming services above. Click here for the full list of providers.