If you're favorite pastime on January 1 is to plop down in front of the TV with a bunch of snacks and a couple of cold-cold ones, you're not alone. The NCAA celebrates the end of one year and beginning of a new one with a series of bowls, which culminates on New Year's Day with five big games. Whether you're here for the Outback Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl, you've got a full day of pigskin throwing ahead of you. Here's the best way to watch the games you want on your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
ESPN is carrying most the games
While ESPN+ is a streaming service for ESPN that lets you watch live sports for about $5 a month, it's unclear if any of the New Year's Day games are actually going to be live on ESPN+. Since ESPN and ESPN2 channels are separate (and that's where all the games will be shown) from the streaming service, the content is usually different. Sometimes for big events, there may be an exception.
Sign up for ESPN+ (opens in new tab)
You can still stream the games through the ESPN app or from ESPN website.
On iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV, you'll need the ESPN: Live Sports & Scores app.
Free - Download now (opens in new tab)
For the app, or to watch on your computer via ESPN.com (opens in new tab), you'll need your cable subscription login credentials. If you're watching on iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, you'll be asked to authenticate your subscription by entering a code that you access via a web browser, so make sure you've got a device that you can access the internet from, like your iPhone, iPad, or computer.
ABC is carrying the Citrus Bowl
The Citrus Bowl is the only game on New Year's Day in 2020 that will not air on one of ESPN's channels. It will broadcast on ABC at 1:00 PM ET. You'll need the ABC app for iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, or you can watch it on your computer at ABC.go.com. You'll need your cable login credentials to watch the Citrus Bowl from both apps or on your computer.
Download now (opens in new tab)
Or, you could just watch it over-the-air on ABC...
Plan your schedule
The first of the bowls starts at 12:00 PM ET and the last one starts at 8:45 PM ET, so you've got a full day ahead of you. Unfortunately, some of the games will overlap (for example, the Outback Bowl and Fiesta Bowl start one-hour apart). Luckily, ESPN on Apple TV lets you watch multiple live channels at the same time (up to four on your screen at once).
Here's a list of the games and their start times. Note that the Citrus Bowl is the only game that is not aired on ESPN. For that game, you'll need to sign in to ABC with your cable subscription.
- Outback Bowl - Auburn vs. Minnesota - 1:00 PM ET - ESPN
- Citrus Bowl - Alabama vs. Michigan - 1:00 PM ET - ABC
- Rose Bowl - Oregon vs. Wisconsin - 5:00 PM ET - ESPN
- Sugar Bowl - Georgia vs.Baylor - 8:45 PM ET - ESPN
What's your game day plan?
How are you planning to watch the various New Year's Day college bowls? Put your game plan in the comments!
Updated for College Bowl 2020.
Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).
"For the app, or to watch on your computer via ESPN.com, you'll need your cable subscription login credentials" Welp, now I know what our plans are:
We WERE planning to watch Outback Bowl, followed by the Rose Bowl.
But we cut the cord last spring and don't have cable now. We stream everything.
But apparently ESPN will only stream if you have a subscription through a cable service.
So I guess we'll do something else. Maybe someday these channels will discover how much revenue they are losing by staying locked to a cable service. Come on you guys, it's not 2003 any more.
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