What’s the Cheapest You Can Watch Football?

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Most of you still have a regular cable or satellite subscription. That means you’re paying around $1200 a year, at least, for your cable and satellite subscription. 

You may pay even more. 

Right now in my house we have Comcast with all the movie channels and all the sports channels. Plus, we have Netflix and Amazon streaming subscriptions. So we spend quite a bit of money on a bevy of available channels, both cable and streaming. That makes decent sense for my family because there are five of us — three kids eight and under and my wife — and we all watch different channels and shows. As I’ve said for a long time, I love the bundle, I think I get a good value for what we buy. 

But what if you’re trying to save money and thinking about cord cutting, as I know many of you, who constantly email me about this, are? And what if you only really love college football and the NFL? That is, what if the only sport you must see on television is football? How cheaply could you do it right now? (And I mean legally do it. Sure, some of you steal subscriptions or illegally stream from pirated sites. I’m talking about how little can you pay and legally watch all the games you want?)

I’m far from an expert in technology — and I am not being paid by any company for what I’m writing here, although, come on, why doesn’t one of these online streaming companies sponsor our Outkick Show and set up an Outkick package deal for us? — but you could get just about every college football and NFL game you want to watch this year for $180. Potentially less if you want to be even more aggressive in cutting out what you don’t watch.

An era of sports a la carte is really here if you know how to shop around. 

Right now football games are spread among a variety of carriers. Here’s my breakdown:

Let’s start with college football rights:

ESPN and its family of networks — including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNNews, ABC and the SEC Network — have half the Pac 12, the Big 12, and soon half the Big Ten. Plus all of the SEC and the ACC.

Fox and FS1 have half the Big 12 and half the Pac 12, plus half the Big Ten coming next season.

NBC has Notre Dame.

CBS has the SEC game of the week.

The Big Ten Network carries many Big Ten games that don’t air on ESPN networks. 

The Pac 12 Network has the lower tier Pac 12 games that don’t air on Fox or ESPN.

The Longhorn Network carries one or two Texas games. 

That’s it for the big five conference TV deals. 

Here are the NFL rights:

Fox has the NFC.

CBS has the AFC.

NBC has Sunday night football.

ESPN has Monday Night Football.  

NBC and CBS each carry five Thursday night games — also streamed on Twitter — and the NFL Network carries the five remaining games exclusively. 

As you can see, the vast, vast majority of NFL games are “free” on broadcast networks. 

So how could you watch just about every one of these football games for $140?

First, you need to have the Internet at home. So even if you’re cord cutting, you probably can’t cord cut the Internet. But assuming you have the Internet at home and have a Playstation, Roku, Amazon Fire, ios or Android device you can subscribe to Playstation Vue’s $35 a month package. It includes all the ESPN’s and the SEC Network along with FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network. (The Pac 12 Network doesn’t appear to be available anywhere online through streaming). You don’t get the NFL Network, but you can watch Monday Night Football on ESPN and just about every other NFL game is available on Fox, NBC, or CBS. The only games you’d miss are the handful of Thursday night NFL games that aren’t simulcast on CBS, NBC or Twitter, the Pac 12 Network games, and the two Longhorn Network games.

You can cancel Playstation Vue at any point in time and this package only costs $35 a month. So if you subscribed for September, October, November and December, you’d get every college and pro football game for $140. (Once catch here would be you’d need to go watch the national title game at a sports bar since it’s on ESPN on January 9th this year.) Otherwise you’re set for $140.

Want to save even more money?

What if you’re just an SEC fan and don’t care about ensuring that you watch every football game?

You can get every regular season SEC football game for just $75.


With SlingTV’s $20 a month package, plus the $5 sports TV add on. That gives you all the ESPN’s plus the SEC Network. You can stream the SEC game of the week on CBSSports.com for free and, voila, you’ve got every regular season SEC football game for $75. If you want all the bowl games you can subscribe for December as well, running your total up to $100.

Just cancel your Sling subscription when football season is over and for less than the price of a single game ticket and a couple of hotdogs you’d get 112 regular season SEC football games. You’d pay just .67 cents a game. (But, again, since the title game is on January 9th on ESPN you’d either need to head to the bar for the bowl games and playoffs or add on a few extra days to cover every college football game.) 

Some of you may be able to come up with even cheaper options than this, but given the fact that football is by far the most popular spectator sport in the country, I thought I’d give you guys some money saving tips in the event you’re trying to cut the cord, but just can’t bear the idea of giving up football.  

The point of this article is pretty simple — you can save a thousand dollars or more a year and still watch all the football games you love. The era of a la carte cord cutting for football fans is here. 

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.