For up-to-date options for the 2022 season, please click here.
Since NCAA gymnastics rarely makes it onto broadcast networks (don’t forget that national finals are on ABC this year!) or big girl ESPN (save a few special meets), it can be tricky to figure out exactly which streaming services will give you the gym programing you crave. We checked out a number of streaming providers to help you sort through the noise—and we didn’t forget our international friends.
Channels That Carry Gymnastics
ESPN: Every now and again you can catch the best-of-the-best on ESPN’s premier property. ESPN carried Oklahoma at UCLA in 2018, for example, and seems to have become the home for pre-Superbowl Sunday gymnastics each year: Catch Auburn at Georgia before the Superbowl on February 2 on ESPN in 2020.
ESPN2: ESPN’s little sister, ESPN2, carries a handful of big matchups every season. This year, meets like Michigan at Nebraska and LSU at Florida are slated for this property.
ESPN3: ESPN3 is the ESPN online streaming service. A number of MAC meets end up here every year, as well as a few other scattered matchups throughout the season. ESPN3 can be freely streamed via WatchESPN.
ESPNU: A property dedicated to college sports, ESPNU also carries a few meets each year; this year, two Oklahoma meets (at Arizona State and versus Denver) will be on the platform, as well as the Big 12 championship and Kentucky at LSU (tape delay).
ESPN+/Ivy League Network: ESPN’s paid streaming service is available at plus.espn.com, and is home to a number of Ivy League meets.
SEC Network: ESPN’s property covering exclusively the SEC, SECN is your home for those double- and triple-header SEC Fridays. This is your Kathy Johnson Clarke and Bart Conner, your bread and butter, your home away from home.
SECN+: SEC meets that won’t be carried live on another ESPN property often land here. Before Kentucky at LSU is shown on ESPNU on tape delay, you can watch it live on SECN+.
Pac-12 Networks: The Pac-12 has a family of channels covering the conference. There is a main national channel, as well as six regional channels: Pac-12 Arizona (Arizona and Arizona State), Pac-12 Bay Area (California and Stanford), Pac-12 Los Angeles (UCLA), Pac-12 Mountain (Utah), Pac-12 Oregon (Oregon State) and Pac-12 Washington (Washington). Nearly every Pac-12 meet is found at least on the regional channels.
Big Ten Network: The Big Ten Network is the home of the Big Ten; big girl BTN carries the conference championship, as well as a handful of season conference matchups.
BTN+: Most Big Ten meets end up on BTN+, BTN’s paid streaming service.
ACC Network Extra: Many EAGL teams are part of the ACC, and some of their meets are carried on the ACC Network’s streaming service. Use watch.espn.com to stream these meets for free, if you have a login that includes the main ACC Network.
Fox Sports: Oklahoma home meets are carried on the local Fox Sports Oklahoma (FSOK) or Fox Sports Southwest (FSSW). Unfortunately, if you’re not in the Oklahoma market, there’s no way to get this channel. Yeah. We know.
NBCSN and Olympic Channel: NBCSN and Olympic Channel are included because they often carry elite gymnastics competition. You won’t find NCAA meets here, but they may be of interest.
Free trial: Seven days
Blue ($25/mo): Fox Sports (you’ll get FSOK if you’re in the correct market), NBCSN
Orange ($25/mo): ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3
Orange + Blue ($40/mo): ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, Fox Sports, NBCSN
Sports Extra, Sling Orange ($5/mo on top of Orange fee): SEC Network, Pac-12 Networks, ESPNU, plus Sling Orange channels
Sports Extra, Sling Blue ($5/mo on top of Blue fee): Pac-12 Networks, Olympic Channel, plus Sling Blue channels
CGN Recommends: Sling Orange with Sports Extra. This gets you access to all ESPN networks, SECN and the Pac-12 Network (and its regional subsidiaries) for $30/mo. You’re also getting the ACC Network, which means you can use your login to get ACC Network Extra meets via WatchESPN. The only important networks you’re missing are Fox Sports—but you’d only be able to get the Oklahoma FSOK meets if you’re in the FSOK market, anyway—and the Big Ten Network. If you desperately need to watch Big Tens, consider one of the free trials for a service that carries BTN for the week of conference champs.
YouTube with Live TV
Free trial: seven days
YouTube with Live TV ($50/mo): Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, Fox Sports, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, SEC Network
CGN Recommends: Cross check YouTube’s non-sports channels with PlayStationVue Core to see which you prefer; YouTube offers access to SEC Network, which PSVue Core does not, but otherwise the sports offerings are very similar for the same price.
Free trial: seven days
Fubo ($39.99 first month, $44.99/mo after): Big Ten Network, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, Pac-12 Network
Fubo Extra ($44.99 first month, $49.99/mo after): Big Ten Network, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, Pac-12 Network
Sports Plus ($8.99/mo on top of base fee from Fubo or Fubo Extra): Pac-12 Network upgrade (regional channels)
CGN Recommends: If BTN and the Pac-12 Network are your sweet spot, Fubo is for you. Note that you’re not getting any of the ESPN suite nor SEC Network here. Our take is that the sports upgrade just isn’t worth it for gymnastics, unless you want to never miss a Pac-12 meet that may be on one of the regional channels. Be sure to compare the non-sports offerings for the base package and Extra before you decide, since the sports offerings are the same.
Hulu Live TV
Free trial: seven days
Hulu Live TV ($44.99/mo): Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, SEC Network
CGN Recommends: Hulu Live TV has the same sports offerings as PlaStationVue Core, but at a slightly cheaper price. Check out the non-sports offerings of each to decide which is right for you. This is the cheapest way to get BTN plus the ESPN suite, including the SEC Network.
Free trial: 14 days for Access, Core, Elite; no trial for Ultra
PlayStation Vue Access ($44.99/mo): ESPN, ESPN 2, NBCSN
PlayStation Vue Core ($49.99/mo): Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, NBCSN, Olympic Channel
PlayStation Vue Elite ($59.99/mo): Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, NBCSN, Olympic Channel
PlayStation Vue Ultra ($79.99/mo): Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, NBCSN, Olympic Channel
CGN Recommends: PlayStation Vue Core. This is one of the cheapest streaming options with BTN, plus you get the ESPN suite and the Olympic Channel for bonus coverage; be sure to cross-check the non-sports options against Hulu Live TV, which offers the same channels listed here, but at a slightly lower cost. If you’re also interested in the SEC Network, look at YouTube with Live TV. The sports networks on Elite and Ultra are the same, so only upgrade if you’re looking for other non-sports premium channels.
Note: You don’t need to own a PlayStation to watch PlayStation Vue.
Free trial: one month
DirecTV Now Plus ($50/mo): ESPN, ESPN 2
DirecTV Now Max ($75/mo): Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, SEC Network
CGN Recommends: There are cheaper ways to get very similar packages. Only pay these prices if you’re interested in the non-sports offerings from DirecTV.
BTN+ (formerly BTN2Go)
BTN+ ($119.95/yr or $14.95/mo | Individual school pass: $79.95/yr or $9.95/mo): The Big Ten can be infuriating. In all of the above listings, where we have Big Ten Network, we mean only the main network. Only prestige conference meets appear there. All other meets are aired on BTN+, so if you love the Big Ten, you should consider adding this streaming option. If you have a favorite school and aren’t interested in the rest of the conference, the school pass is a great option to save a few dollars.
FloGymnastics ($147/yr or $12.49/mo): FloGymnastics is a BTN+ partner, and your Flo subscription gets you access to all BTN+ meets, plus Flo’s other paywalled content like certain invitationals for which it is the media partner (Elevate the Stage, Collegiate Challenge, Metroplex Challenge, GymQuarters). Note that the monthly fee is actually cheaper than BTN+, but the annual fee is more.
ESPN+ ($49.99/yr or $4.99/mo): You need an ESPN+ subscription to watch the Ivy League meets hosted on ESPN’s paid streaming service. Like BTN+, this isn’t included in any packages and is always a separate add-on.
For International Fans
There are several options for those of you outside of the States; have any tips we missed? Please share them in the comments or on social media!
- ESPN: ESPN offers an international monthly or annual pass. When we set our VPNs to France, the price was €11.99/mo or €79.99/yr for the full ESPN suite (including SEC Network). Check out espnplayer.com/packages to see the price in your country.
- Pac-12 Network: Head to https://www.youtube.com/pac12networksintl for a free YouTube stream of the Pac-12 Network. If you’re in the States and have a VPN set to an international location, this site will also work.
- Sling: We’ve heard rumblings that international fans have been able to purchase a Sling subscription with a VPN set to the United States. If it worked for you, please let us know!
Teams With Reliable Free or Pay-to-Play Streams
- BYU: BYU’s homegrown BYUTV carries most home meets for free.
- Boise State: Mountain West Sports streams Boise home matchups for free.
- Central Michigan: Chippewas All Access streams CMU meets for a fee.
- Denver: You can pay meet-by-meet to watch Denver at home, or catch it on the local Altitude TV.
- George Washington: Raise High TV charges a fee for GW meets.
- Kent State: Kent broadcasts its home meets for free via BoxCast.
- Lindenwood: Catch the Lions home matchups for free at the University’s homegrown MIAA Network.
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire has cornered the market on excellent YouTube streams.
- Sacramento State: The Hornets are streamed for free via Pluto TV.
- Southern Utah: Free streams air on Pluto TV.
- Texas Woman’s: The Pioneers’ home meets are carried on TWU OnDemand for free.
- UC Davis: Davis gives us a sophisticated Facebook Live, including graphics.
- West Virginia: West Virginia home meets are streamed free courtesy of Mountaineer TV.
- Alaska and Rutgers also occasionally show up on Facebook Live or Instagram Live for meets with no stream.
For the all-around college gym fan, or anyone on a budget: Sling Orange with Sports Extra ($30/mo). You’ll be able to watch every conference except the Big Ten Network and those pesky Oklahoma meets. This is the only service we looked at that includes access to the ACC Network. You can get the BTN+ meets by adding a monthly BTN+ subscription or adding FloGymnastics. The big downside? No Olympic Channel for your elite fix, and you won’t get the Big Ten conference meet.
For the Big Ten and SEC Fan: Hulu Live TV ($44.99/mo). You’ll get the Big Ten Network and SEC Network, plus the ESPN suite and the Olympic Channel to catch elite action. To get most Big Ten meets, you’ll still need to add BTN+ or FloGymnastics.
For the Big Ten and Pac-12 Fan: FuboTV ($44.99/mo). The base package gets you BTN and Pac-12 Network, plus the ESPN suite. Add BTN+ or FloGymnastics to cover the non-prestige Big Ten meets. The bonus? You’ll also get the Olympic Channel.
For the fan of under-the-radar gymnastics: BTN+ and ESPN+ ($19.90/mo) Lucky you! Most of the meets you want to watch are streamed for free (thank you, MPSF, MRGC and EAGL!). These two subscriptions can get you access to a lot of college action for under $20.
Article by Emily Minehart
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Nice summary; thanks.
Correction re Sling TV pricing: As of this week (Dec 23, 2019), Sling TV has raised prices again.
If you want the (Orange) Sports Extra package that includes SEC and Pac12 to watch gymnastics, then the new total cost is now $40 per month prepaid:
(Required base subscription (Choose Orange if you want ESPN) is $30 per month, and the Sports Extra package for Orange (incl SEC and Pac12) is an additional $10 per month, for a total of $40 per month.
When I first tried SlingTV with Sports Extra around two years ago, the regular monthly price for Orange+Sports was $20+5=$25, then it increased to $25+5=$30 (which this article references), then it recently increased to $25+10=$35, and now this week it was increased again to $30+10=$40 per month.
If you only want Sling TV’s ESPN/SEC/Pac12 for gymnastics in season, then consider paying the $40/mo (for Orange+Sports) just during season and then stopping/canceling when the gymnastics season is over. (You prepay 30 days at a time effective on the date you sign up…there are no refunds partial or otherwise.) I’ve found the quality to be passable…certainly better than when I first tried it a few years ago.
Thanks for the post! Did you consider DVR/taping aspects of these options? One of the difficulties without cable is limited taping ability so would love an update on that.
Hi there, Options like YouTube TV and its equivalents have recording/DVR capabilities included in the packages, so you would be able to record the meets on those channels. You can also often find many meets on YouTube a couple days after the happen if you want to watch something you might have missed that way.
So for those trying to watch internationally, the best free link i’ve found that is good quality to watch a lot of the meets is
Just use the search bar to look up the ESPN channels they suggested.