How to stream the big college football games live on Apple devices

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For many Americans, catching up on college football is a tradition during the holidays. Here's how to watch games live on Apple devices, in some cases without footing for an expensive cable bill.

If you do have cable or satellite but still want to stream on an iPhone or iPad, you're gold. You likely already have access to every ESPN channel, including ESPNU, as well as other sports networks from Fox and CBS. Some packages include conference or even team-specific options, such as the Big Ten Network or the Longhorn Network. Primary channels from ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox are also providing coverage.

In those instances, you'll probably only need to download the appropriate iOS app(s) from the App Store, sign in, and stream away.

What if you're cable-cutter, you ask? That's where things get cheaper, yet potentially complicated.

The shotgun approach is to subscribe to an internet TV service. Hulu with Live TV, for example, costs $39.99 per month, and includes access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, and the SEC Network, as well as local broadcast affiliates. YouTube TV, a flat $40, is also pretty comprehensive.

You can do much the same with services like PlayStation Vue and Sling TV, though in those cases you may have to pay for specific tiers or packages. While you can probably watch some games on one of Sling's $25 tiers, the safest option is to spring for a $30 College Football bundle.

A protip: if you're only concerned about watching a particular game or set of games, all of the big internet TV services offer at least a one-week trial. Time your trials right and you can watch several weeks' worth of football without spending a dime — just don't forget to cancel before auto-renewals kick in.

A low-cost targeted option is ESPN+. It's sports-only of course but costs just $4.99 per month, and even has a dedicated College Football channel. You can watch it on iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV, just like any of the full-scale TV services.

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