How to watch ESPN Live without cable

As the most well-known name in sports, ESPN is a sports-centric network that includes several sister channels like ACCN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ESPNews, ESPNU, among others. ESPN’s programming includes popular sports commentary shows like E:60, First Take, and SportsCenter. And, of course, ESPN and its sister networks broadcast live sporting events for essentially every mainstream sport, including at both the collegiate and professional levels. 

To find more about how to watch ESPN without cable, we report the over-the-top (OTT) streaming services that carry ESPN as well as additional methods to stream live. 

Ways to watch ESPN 

Since ESPN is the cream of the crop when it comes to sports programming, the only way to tune in on the regular is with a pay-TV service. So, if you’re new to streaming services or unfamiliar with OTT cable-alternative services, you’re in the right place. OTT cable-alternatives work by streaming through your Wi-Fi connection rather than with invasive equipment. And, unlike traditional TV services, cable-alternatives don’t require contracts or include hidden fees. 

Curious how to stream ESPN? Below we list out the top streaming services with ESPN and also shine a magnifying glass on some of the other sports coverage and features you can expect. 

Get ESPN

Most major streaming services carry ESPN and some of its sister channels. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Stream your favorite sports channels like ESPN live on fuboTV 

Dependable live coverage for sports programming, live streams, and RSNs 

ESPN and another 105 channels are available with fuboTV’s Family plan that’ll run you $64.99/mo. You can gain additional ESPN channels like ACCN, ESPNews, and ESPNU with fuboTV’s Elite plan for $79.99/mo. or Spanish-language options with fubo Español ($29.99/mo.). 

fuboTV Family and fubo Español provide 250 hours of cloud DVR storage while fuboTV Elite maxes out at 1,000 hours. There are only 2 simultaneous screens that come with your plan. But you can upgrade to 3 plans for $5.99/mo. or on up to 5 screens for $9.99/mo. 

For an in-depth look at fuboTV’s channels, features, and plans, take a timeout and skip on over to our fuboTV review

Hulu + Live TV carries ESPN live and local channels

A solid full-service experience for sports fans.

Hulu + Live TV’s subscription starts at $64.99/mo. and carries ESPN networks like ACCN, ESPN 2, ESPN College Extra, ESPNews, ESPNU, SEC Network, and over 60 other channels. Also included is Hulu’s on-demand library with thousands of episodes and movies. You can ditch the ads for on-demand content with Hulu Premium + Live TV for $70.99/mo. 

Every plan has 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and allows you to stream on 2 screens simultaneously. Not enough storage space? Fortunately, you can upgrade to 200 hours with Enhanced DVR for $9.99/mo. Same thing for screens as you can get Unlimited Screens for also $9.99/mo. Or, save by taking both Enhanced DVR + Unlimited Screens for $14.98/mo. 

Hulu + Live TV seems to check all the boxes. But to find out if it meets all of your needs, take a look at our complete review.  

Build your ultimate sports package with ESPN live channels on Sling TV

Pick and choose your favorite channels and features.

Get ESPN, ESPN 2, and ESPN 3 with Sling Orange for $30/mo. Included with the plan is a total of 30+ channels and 10 hours of cloud DVR storage. There’s also a Sling Blue plan that costs the same price of $30/mo. for 45 channels, but it doesn’t carry ESPN. Sling Blue also lets you stream on 3 screens simultaneously, while Sling Orange only allows 1. You can combine both channels and features into Sling Orange + Blue for $45/mo. 

Sling TV offers tons of add-ons in the form of channel bundles and feature upgrades. Jump from 10 to 50 hours of cloud DVR storage for an extra $5/mo. Or tack on 15 other sports channels with the Sports Extra add-on for $10/mo., and get channels like ACCN, ESPNU, ESPNews, SEC Network, and more. 

If you want to learn more about add-ons, channel bundles, features, and pricing, we provide a fair and balanced analysis in our Sling TV review

Get a well-rounded package including ESPN live on Vidgo

An affordable TV package with high-value channels.

Vidgo costs a reasonable $45/mo. for its “Core” plan that comes with 68 channels that include ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPNews, and ESPNU — not to mention ACCN, BTN, and SEC Network. There isn’t any DVR tool at this time, but you can rewatch programming on certain channels within 24 hours of broadcast. And it has decent simultaneous streaming capabilities, permitting you up to 3 screens at any given time. 

ESPN without cable FAQs 

Can I stream live programming on the ESPN app outside of the streaming service interface? 

Yes, the app itself is free, but you’ll need your TV provider’s credentials in order to access live games and programming. Otherwise, you’ll only see ESPN’s live TV schedule. This also applies to ISPs (internet providers), where you can watch directly on ESPN.com. 

When I use the ESPN mobile app, will I get access to ESPN’s sister networks? 

The content available on your ESPN app depends on the subscription you have with a participating TV provider. So, if ESPN 3 isn’t included in your current plan, you won’t be able to stream it in the app. 

Why am I not seeing the game? What are blackouts? 

If you’re expecting the game but can’t find it, it might be because of a local blackout. If your current TV provider doesn’t offer the RSN that you need to tune into the game, you may want to consider a digital antenna. Did you know that YouTube TV includes a generous amount of local channels and RSNs? Learn more about YouTube TV’s features and pricing with our analysis of its service. 

If I miss the game live, is there another way I can stream it? 

You can find live events, replays, and upcoming programming on ESPN.com. After you provide your TV service’s credentials, click on the Schedule tab. From there, you’ll see the Live, Upcoming, and Replays tabs in the menubar. 

Is ESPN+ included in the ESPN app? 

To put it simply, ESPN+ is housed within the ESPN app but typically is an additional cost outside of your TV provider. So, it’s a standalone service that complements rather than replacing ESPN programming. You can pay $5.99/mo. or $49.99 annually to include ESPN+ within the app. This will open up live sporting events as well as exclusives like UFC title card events.