ESPNU is a must-have channel for devoted college sports fans. It integrates well with the ESPN league channels. You can now get it without a cable or satellite subscription. Read on to learn how.
In a hurry? These services will give you ESPNU and plenty of other coverage of college sports:
- Hulu + Live TV: In addition to its outstanding on-demand library, this plan gives you 85+ live channels including 5 ESPN channels and several NCAA conference networks. Try it free for 7 days!
- Vidgo: Get 95+ channels including 5 from ESPN and 5 others for NCAA conferences. Try it for a month risk-free for $10!
- Sling TV: This is the cheapest way to get ESPNU and a bunch more. For $10, you can try it for a month to see if it’s right for you!
Table Of Contents
Although most highly anticipated college sports events are shown on ESPN, ESPN2, and over-the-air networks, plenty of top contests will be broadcast by ESPNU as well, including games played by Power Five football teams.
With that said, you are most likely here because you want to know if you can watch ESPNU without a cable or satellite subscription. The good news is that you can. In fact, most cable-replacement streaming services offer ESPNU, and many of them do so through their base packages.
How to Watch ESPNU Without Cable
What likely interests you about ESPNU is its extensive coverage of college sports. It was in fact created with that in mind; that is why it has a “U” in its name, for “university.”
However, ESPNU also broadcasts several non-college sports events, particularly during the summer months. Examples include International Champions Cup matches, the UEFA Nations League, Pan American Games coverage, and NBA G League games.
ESPNU is a pay channel, meaning that it isn’t broadcast over the air. You must get it from a third-party — cable, satellite, or more commonly these days, streaming.
Streaming Services With ESPNU
The following information will help you determine which streaming service to subscribe to in order to start watching ESPNU and several other channels, sports-related and otherwise.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV offers ESPNU with its base package for $64.99/mo. It also provides ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPN College Extra in addition to the ESPN NCAA channels ACC Network and SEC Network. Additionally, it includes FS1, FS2, CBS Sports Network, NBCSN, and Big Ten Network.
You also get Hulu’s industry-leading on-demand library, as well as a bunch of other non-sports, live TV channels. You can stream on up to 2 devices at once and record up to 50 hours on the included cloud DVR.
Learn more in our Hulu + Live TV review.
Those looking to watch ESPNU through a Sling TV subscription will need to opt for both its Orange plan ($35/mo) and combine that with its Sports Extra add-on ($11/mo). This gives you a total of 45+ channels.
Already included with the Orange plan, without any add-ons, are ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT, the latter two channels of utmost importance to those wanting to enjoy March Madness games.
Meanwhile, the Sports Extra add-on provides several other channels in addition to ESPNU that focus on college sports: ACC Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, and Longhorn Network. General sports fans will also appreciate Sports Extra’s beIN Sports, MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network.
See our Sling TV review for more details.
Vidgo is a particularly good service for NCAA fans. It provides ESPNU along with plenty of college sports coverage including ESPN, ESPN2, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, FS1, FS2, Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Networks, and SEC Network.
Note that Vidgo does not offer any add-ons. It simply offers one package that focuses on English-language offerings for $55/mo. (They also offer a Spanish-language plan for $30/mo.) This can be very appealing as you don’t have to worry about details. And with 95+ total channels, you should do well.
One possible downside of Vidgo is that it does not offer a cloud DVR. You can set up your own at home or subscribe to a third party. But if this is a problem, you are better off with Hulu + Live TV or Sling TV.
Our Vidgo review has all the details.
FuboTV offers ESPNU, but you need to combine its 100+ channel Starter package ($64.99/mo) with an add-on.
The lowest-priced one that offers ESPNU is Fubo Extra ($7.99/mo), which results in a total monthly payment of $72.98 for 150+ channels. Or you could get its Sports Lite add-on ($9.99/mo) or the Sports Plus + NFL RedZone add-on ($10.99/mo).
But there’s a lot to consider with these add-ons.
For example, Fubo Extra includes the Pac-12 Network, but Sports Lite does not. Meanwhile, Sports Plus is the only add-on to provide access to all of the Pac-12 Network regional affiliates: Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Bay Area, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Mountain, Pac-12 Oregon, and Pac-12 Washington.
Get the full story in our thorough FuboTV review.
DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) offers four plans: Entertainment, Choice, Ultimate, and Premier. Although you can get ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, and NBCSN through its Entertainment plan, you do not get ESPNU with that.
You will need to subscribe to at least its Choice plan ($84.99/mo) for ESPNU access. In doing so, you will also receive the ACC Network, Big Ten Network, and SEC Network as well as its great selection of regional sports networks (RSNs).
If you want to make the $10 jump up to its Ultimate plan ($94.99/mo), you will also get college sports and general sports events that are shown on CBS Sports Network and FS2.
Our DIRECTV STREAM review provides more information.
Other Ways to Get ESPNU
Options to get ESPNU other than those listed above are limited. You can stream its programming through the ESPN app, but you need to subscribe to a service that offers ESPNU in order to access those streams.
Note that ESPN+ ($6.99/mo) does not offer any ESPNU programming. However, it does provide subscribers with a tremendous amount of college sports programming of its own. This is a particularly useful resource if you are looking for coverage of mid-majors although it does offer more prestigious events, such as games played by Power Five football teams.
Another option is YouTube TV ($64.99/mo), which offers the ACC Network, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, and FS2. You can also get Stadium College Sports with its Sports Plus add-on ($10.99/mo).
Streaming Devices for ESPNU
Regardless of what streaming devices and smart TVs you may own, you should have little trouble watching ESPNU.
TVs and TV Devices
Other than Vidgo, all the streaming services support recent model Samsung smart TVs. Hulu, FuboTV, and Sling TV also support Vizio and LG smart TVs. And all the services but DIRECTV STREAM support Android TV-based devices.
All of the services support these devices:
- Amazon Fire TV: Plugs into the TV’s HDMI jack and runs apps.
- Apple TV: The same as the Fire TV but from Apple.
- Roku: Early innovator of devices that run apps.
Mobile Streaming Devices
All the services support these smartphones and tablets:
- Android Phones: Recent model Android-powered devices.
- iOS devices: iPhones, iPads, and even some iPods.
Any device with a web browser can display ESPNU. You can potentially connect such devices directly to your TV as well.
Chromecast allows you to stream from your mobile device (and Chrome web browsers) to your TV. This is an increasingly popular way to watch.
Gaming Consules and VR
Gaming consoles are a popular way to stream. FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling TV all support the Xbox One. Hulu also supports the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation. And Sling TV supports the Oculus.
Fortunately, ESPNU, a must-have for college sports fans, is one of the easier channels to get through streaming services. It may not be quite as easy to access as ESPN and ESPN2 are, but it is not far off. In fact, it is even in some streaming services’ base plans.
What is the cheapest way to stream ESPNU?
The cheapest way to access ESPNU is by subscribing to Sling TV’s Orange plan ($35) and getting its Sports Extra add-on ($11/mo). Although some other streaming services offer ESPNU through their base plans, those base plans cost more than the combined $46 cost to get ESPNU through Sling TV.
Will an ESPN+ subscription grant me access to ESPNU game broadcasts?
Unfortunately, ESPN+ ($6.99/mo) will not grant you access to any ESPNU game broadcasts. It also does not provide any programming that airs on ESPN and ESPN2. However, it does offer exclusive access to several other college sports events. For example, if you want to watch a Mid-American Conference football game, you may need to have an ESPN+ subscription.
What types of sporting events are offered on ESPNU?
For the most part, college sports events that are broadcast on ESPNU are ones that the ESPN family of networks has the right to but are not as widely anticipated as ones broadcast on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. However, general college sports fans and fans of those schools will still be very interested in them.
For example, the first full weekend of the 2021 college football season included ESPNU broadcasts of Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State and Kent State at Texas A&M while the second week featured match-ups such as Miami of Ohio at Minnesota, Appalachian State at Miami, and California at TCU.
How do I watch sports on other channels without cable?
Use these guides to learn how to watch other channels 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
These are the ways we know you can watch ESPNU without cable. Have any other questions? Just let us know by leaving a comment below.