If you are a fan of college sports, the Big Ten Network is an important part of your TV diet. Thankfully, like most college conference networks, you have a lot of options beyond the usual cable and satellite contracts. Read on to learn everything.
In a hurry? If you just want to start watching and don’t care to dive into the details, these streaming services will make you very happy:
- Hulu + Live TV: In addition to its excellent on-demand library, this plan offers 85+ channels including a good collection of NCAA networks. Try it free for 7 days!
- FuboTV: This sports-focused streaming service offers over 100 channels. See if it is right for you with a 7-day free trial!
- Vidgo: A low-cost streaming service with perhaps the best channel selection for NCAA fans. Try it for one month risk free for just $10.
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Are you an alum or a fan of a Big Ten university? Or do you simply enjoy watching many of the country’s best teams play? If either of those descriptions fit you, you’ll want to have access to the Big Ten Network.
Although the most significant sporting events played by Big Ten schools, particularly in football and men’s basketball, will be shown elsewhere, plenty of engaging contests will be here. And this is a must-have channel if you want to watch your team play as often as possible.
Fortunately, it is quite easy to get the Big Ten Network as it is available on most of the major streaming services.
What Is Big Ten Network?
The Big Ten Network was one of the first conference-focused sports channels. It launched on Aug. 30, 2007, a year after the now-defunct MountainWest Sports Network hit the airwaves. And the Big Ten Network made an immediate splash.
Its first live sports event was the famous Appalachian State football win over Michigan in Ann Arbor. That 34-32 decision marked the first time that an FCS team had ever defeated a ranked FBS team.
Big Ten Network focuses its coverage on sporting events hosted by Big Ten schools that are not carried by national sports outlets, such as Fox, FS1, and ESPN. This leads to it broadcasting a relatively small number of football and men’s basketball games and having more extensive coverage of other Big Ten sports.
However, note that several Big Ten Basketball Tournament games are shown on the Big Ten Network. It also broadcasted the neutral-site NCAA Women’s Frozen Four from 2017-19.
How to Watch the Big Ten Network Without Cable
As is the norm for sports-oriented channels, it is not possible to watch Big Ten Network with an antenna. It is also not possible to subscribe to it directly.
Although B1G+ is a standalone streaming service, it only offers access to games that are not being televised. That’s great if you want to garner complete access to Big Ten sporting events but useless for watching live Big Ten Network games.
Read on to learn how to use a streaming service to watch the Big Ten Network.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV offers the Big Ten Network in its base plan, which costs $64.99/mo.
But that isn’t the only conference network it offers; you also get ACC Network and SEC Network in addition to ESPNU and ESPN College Extra. Finally, you get a great selection of national sports channels like ESPN, ESPN2, CBS Sports Network, NBCSN, FS1, FS2, and all your local network affiliates.
Hulu + Live TV is not limited to sports. It provides its iconic on-demand library in addition to a total of 85+ total live TV channels. Additionally, you can watch on up to two devices and record up to 50 hours on the included cloud DVR.
For more information, see our Hulu + Live TV review.
The Big Ten Network is included in FuboTV’s base plan: Starter ($64.99/mo). Along with that channel, you will get CBS Sports Network, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, ESPN, ESPN2, and many TUDN and beIN Sports channels.
You can add to your FuboTV college sports-oriented channels by purchasing an add-on. The Fubo Extra ($7.99/mo) adds 48 channels including ESPNU, ACC Network, SEC Network, and the national Pac-12 Network channel.
With Sports Plus ($10.99/mo), you get 26 additional sports channels including all the ones in the Fubo Extra add-on plus all 7 of the Pac-12 Network channels.
All FuboTV plans come with the ability to stream on up to 3 devices at a time plus a 250-hour cloud DVR. Read our FuboTV review for more details.
Vidgo offers a great deal: 95+ channels for $55 per month. It includes the Big Ten Network, of course. But it also comes with ACC Network, Longhorn Network, SEC Network, and all 7 Pac-12 Network channels.
They also include a great selection of national sports networks: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, Stadium, NFL Network, and NFL RedZone. Overall, it is a great option for gaining access to many of the away and neutral-site contests played by Big Ten sports teams.
Vidgo doesn’t offer a cloud DVR but it does allow you to stream on three devices simultaneously. Find out more in our Vidgo review.
In order to watch the Big Ten Network through Sling TV, you will need to subscribe to its Blue package for $35/mo and also get the Sports Extra add-on for $11/mo.
However, do not let that extra step dissuade you as that combined cost of $46/mo is less than the base plans offered by any other streaming service we’ve found.
With that said, unless the Big Ten Network is what you are narrowly focused on, you will want to consider getting Sling TV’s Orange & Blue combined plan for $50/mo as solely accessing its Blue channels will cause you to miss out on ESPN and ESPN2.
In addition, the Sports Extra add-on associated with the Orange plan provides exclusive access to the ACC Network, ESPNU, and Longhorn Network.
Sling TV offers the most customization of any streaming service, so see our thorough review for details.
DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) offers four packages: Entertainment ($69.99/mo), Choice ($84.99/mo), Ultimate ($94.99/mo), and Premier ($139.99/mo). The Choice plan will give you access to the Big Ten Network.
The Choice plan will also get you numerous other college sports events on the ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, NBCSN, and SEC Network. At this level, you also get access to their great selection of regional sports networks (RSNs), which are essential for MLB, NBA, and NHL fans.
All these plans come with 20 hours of cloud DVR and streaming on up to 20 devices at once at home and 3 on the road. Our DIRECTV STREAM review has all the details.
Other Ways to Get the Big Ten Network
Another way to get the Big Ten Network is through YouTube TV ($64.99/mo). Plus, of course, you can most likely get it through your local cable or satellite service.
If you are interested in the Big Ten Network, then you will probably also be interested in B1G+. It used to be known as BTN2GO. Similar to ESPN+, this service provides access to events that are not shown on the Big Ten Network or any other television channels. It is a must-have for those who want to watch as many Big Ten sporting events as possible.
Fans solely focused on football and men’s basketball games should note that sporadic men’s basketball contests are only streamed here. One example is Michigan State’s home men’s basketball game versus Eastern Michigan on Nov. 20, 2021.
B1G+ costs $14.95/mo for all of its content or $9.95/mo for all of its content that is only related to one school. You can also get a sport-specific subscription. Those range in price from $39.99/yr to $69.99/yr.
TVs and Devices to Watch Big Ten Network
You view Big Ten Network through the apps provided by the streaming services. They support most devices that are in common use today. They all support the following:
All the services support Android and iOS devices. Android TV-based devices and TVs are supported by all the services but DIRECTV STREAM. And all the services support web browsers (which can be connected to a TV).
All the services except Vidgo support Samsung smart TVs. Hulu, FuboTV, and Sling TV also support Vizio and LG smart TVs.
See the reviews we linked to above for complete lists of supported devices.
If you want to keep up to date on all of the happenings with your favorite Big Ten school or simply with the conference as a whole, make sure to subscribe to one of the streaming services noted above and enjoy access to Big Ten Network and all of its live game broadcasts.
What is the cheapest way to get Big Ten Network?
The cheapest way to get the Big Ten Network is through a Sling subscription to its Blue package ($35/mo) with the Sports Extra add-on ($11/mo) for a total of $46/mo. However, Vidgo might offer you the best value at $55/mo, considering the other channels that you get for that price. These include the ACC Network, Pac-12 Networks, SEC Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Stadium, FS1, and FS2.
Can I watch Big Ten Network through a B1G+ subscription?
The Big Ten Network and B1G+ are separate entities. They are connected, but no live game broadcasts that are being shown on the Big Ten Network are available for live viewing through B1G+. However, with that said, many Big Ten fans do subscribe to both of these services.
What teams are in the Big Ten
The now inaccurately named Big Ten is up to 14 college teams. There are 7 in the West:
- Indiana University Hoosiers
- University of Maryland Terrapins
- University of Michigan Wolverines
- Michigan State University Spartans
- Ohio State University Buckeyes
- Penn State University Nittany Lions
- Rutgers University Scarlet Knights.
And there are 7 teams in the East:
- University of Illinois Fighting Illini
- University of Iowa Hawkeyes
- University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
- University of Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Northwestern University Wildcats
- Purdue University Boilermakers
- University of Wisconsin Badgers.
How do I watch sports on channels other than Big Ten Network?
These guides explain how to watch other channels that feature sports without cable:
- ACC Network
- Bally Sports Arizona
- Bally Sports Detroit
- Bally Sports Florida
- Bally Great Lakes
- Bally Sports Indiana
- Bally Kansas City
- Bally Sports Midwest
- Bally New Orleans
- Bally Sports North
- Bally Sports Ohio
- Bally Sports Oklahoma
- Bally Sports San Diego
- Bally Sports South
- Bally Sports Southeast
- Bally Southwest
- Bally Sports Sun
- Bally Sports West