As any college football fan can attest, it can often be frustrating to find your favorite team’s game.
Is it on local TV? A regional sports network? National broadcast?
In fact, the list of broadcast partners associated with FBS conferences and teams is overwhelming. The Washington Post set out to determine what subscription packages a college football fan would need to watch all 910 FBS games this season. (Never mind such a feat would be impossible, this is a hypothetical situation.)
The newspaper whose reporters broke the Watergate case back in the day had a really tough nut to crack with this investigation. “It’s not the most straightforward task,” the Post’s Timothy Burke admitted in the story. Notably, this is Burke’s first published sports article since the controversial FBI raid at his home in a case that has yet to be resolved.
Here’s what Burke discovered:
That hypothetical fan wanting TV access to all 910 FBS games would need access to more than a dozen different networks or streaming services. The good news is, casual fans can catch about 150 of those games on the traditional networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, along with newcomer CW.
Other networks require a subscription, offered through a cable provider or DirecTV. Those networks are ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and NFL Network. Texas Longhorns fans would need the Longhorn Network. Don’t forget the Pac-12 Networks, possibly in its final season after that conference has been decimated by teams defecting to other conferences.
In addition, the fan would need to an ESPN Plus streaming subscription, and one from NBC’s Peacock.
If adding all those networks seems like too much work, The Post noted that most of them are carried by streaming service Fubo at $84.99 per month, not including taxes and fees. Monthly subscriptions to ESPN Plus ($9.99) and Peacock ($5.99) would also be required.
Add it all up, and the cost to watch every FBS game runs to just more than $100 per month. For a five-month season, that’s around $500, or 55 cents per game. The Post notes that’s a bargain compared to NFL Sunday Ticket ($299 promo price), which works out to around $1.36 per game.