How to Watch ESPN Without Cable

We understand that you need your SportsCenter while you’re on the go
fuboTV

Monthly price:
$33$79.99
Available channels:
150
Sling TV

Monthly price:
$64.99
Available channels:
85
YouTube TV

Monthly price:
$35$50
Available channels:
50
Hulu + Live TV

Monthly price:
$64.99$70.99
Available channels:
65
DIRECTV STREAM

Monthly price:
$69.99$139.99
Available channels:
140

We put together a list of our top five live TV streaming services that have the ESPN channel as well as all the other channels you’ll want to watch throughout the year.

Whether you’re streaming ESPN while you’re on the go, or you just want to cut the cord and stay informed on sports, we have you covered.

We also let you know if these services offer NBA League Pass and the NFL RedZone Channel if you want more sports coverage.

We’ll dig deep into each streaming service to find the best one for you and your Pardon-the-Interruption-watching needs (we know you can’t get enough of Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser).

How can I stream ESPN?

You can stream ESPN on lots of live TV streaming services, but we’ve rounded up the top five. (Not surprisingly, this list looks a lot like our best live TV streaming services for sports).

We chose our top five based on the streaming service’s value, number of sports channels, dollar-to-channel ratio, and extra sports coverage.

fuboTV is the best all-around live TV streaming service. You can get the major sports channels on top of the ESPN channel for an affordable price with YouTube TV. Sling TV is the cheapest option if your goal is to save money.

Hulu + Live TV is best for those who want live channels and lots of on-demand content. And DIRECTV STREAM is the go-to for those who want premium channels included in their channel lineup.

Let’s take a look at the channels. Which one fits your budget while meeting your sports-loving streaming needs?

What is the best way to watch ESPN?
Monthly priceAvailable channelsLearn more
$33$79.99*150View Plans
$64.99*85View Plan
$35$5050View Plans
$64.99$70.99*65View Plans
$69.99$139.99140View Plans
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
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Can you stream the ESPN channel on ESPN+?
Streaming ESPN channels on ESPN+ can either be the most expensive or cheapest way to stream Around the Horn. ESPN+ is $6 per month, but to get access to the live ESPN channels, you’ll have to sign in with your TV provider.

This can be an expensive route because you’ll have to pay for a TV service, like Xfinity or DISH, on top of the ESPN+ subscription. Or you can just use your parent’s TV provider login to stream the ESPN channels.

fuboTV is best for national and international sports

How much is fuboTV?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
Starter$64.99105+View Plans
Elite$79.99150+View Plans
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

fuboTV is our favorite live TV streaming service because no other streaming service gives you 100+ channels for $65–$80. fuboTV comes with a variety of entertainment, news, kids, and lifestyle channels everyone in the family can enjoy.

fuboTV has ESPN and ESPN2 in both plans, and if you’re a huge sports fan, there’s another reason you’ll want this live TV streaming service:

fuboTV has more sports channels than any other TV service, with 35 sports channels in its Starter plan and about 50 in its Elite plan.

You can also get 19 more sports channels with the Sports Plus add-on for $11 per month. Those 19 include the NFL RedZone channel, NBA TV, Tennis Channel, and Zona Fútbol.

If you want to know more about the sports, kids, entertainment, and news channels you’ll be getting in your channel lineup, check out our fuboTV review.

View Plans | View Full fuboTV Review

YouTube TV has ESPN and three other ESPN channels

How much is YouTube TV?
Monthly priceAvailable channelsLearn more
$64.99*85View Plan
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

YouTube TV has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, and 10 other sports channels for your entertainment. For your family’s non-sports entertainment, you’ll also find Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Food Network, and HGTV.

YouTube TV is our second favorite live TV streaming service for sports, and our second favorite live TV streaming service overall.

You can get a subscription to NBA League Pass for $40 per month with YouTube TV. This subscription will get you all out-of-market NBA games straight to your TV (or streaming device when you’re waiting in the grocery store line).

YouTube TV is also the only streaming service to give you major sports channels (NFL Network, NBA TV, and MLB Network) for $65 per month.

And just in case YouTube TV’s 14 sports channels aren’t enough, you can get the Sports Plus add-on for $11 per month. This add-on will give you the NFL RedZone Channel, Fox College Sports, GolTV, Fox Soccer Plus, and Stadium.

If you want to know more about why we like YouTube TV so much, check out our detailed review.

View Plans | Read Full YouTube TV Review

Sling TV is the least expensive way to stream ESPN

How much is Sling TV?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
Sling Orange$3530+View Plan
Sling Orange + Sling Blue Services$5050+View Plan
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If you just want the ESPN channel, Sling TV is a good option since it’s the most inexpensive choice.

Sling TV has three packages, but only two have the ESPN channel. Sling Orange ($35/month) has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and Stadium. Sling Orange + Blue ($50/month) has those channels, NFL Network, and seven other sports channels.

And if you want all of the sports channels you can possibly get with Sling TV, add the Sports Extra for $15 per month to your plan. This add-on gives you 17 sports channels, like ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Bases Loaded, and ESPN Goal Line.

The Sling Orange + Blue plan and the Sports Extra add-on will make your monthly bill $65 total, similar to YouTube TV, but with more sports channels altogether.

With Sling TV, you’ll get NBA League Pass for $29 per month ($11 less than with YouTube TV).

So now you’re probably wondering, why is YouTube TV better than Sling TV? Well, Sling TV has a DVR storage of 50 hours while YouTube TV has an unlimited DVR storage space.

Find out more about Sling TV’s user interface and channel lineups in our full review.

View Plans | Read Full Sling TV Review

Hulu + Live TV gives you ESPN and on-demand content

How much is Hulu + Live TV?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
Hulu + Live TV$64.9965+View Plans
Hulu No Ads + Live TV$70.9965+View Plans
Data as of 01/06/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Compatible device and internet connection required. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Hulu + Live TV has five ESPN channels in its lineup: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN College Extra, ESPNU, and ESPNews.

This live TV streaming service is perfect for you if you love NFL Live or college basketball, or if you like the idea of having live TV channels and lots of on-demand content in one service.

Hulu Live doesn’t have a Sports add-on with the NFL RedZone channel or NBA League Pass, but it comes with 14 sports channels.

Although you can’t get as many sports channels with Hulu Live, you get the choice to bundle with ESPN+ and Disney+ for only $6 more. (You’ll be saving $7 more than if you were to get these services by themselves).

If you’re wondering why Hulu Live is so low on our list, it’s because this service is too pricey for what it offers. It’s the same price as YouTube TV and has 20 fewer channels  (including the major sports channels, like NFL Network and NBA TV). And it also has the same storage space as Sling TV (50 hours), which is $15–$30 cheaper.

If you want to know the rest of Hulu Live’s channel lineup or the on-demand content you’ll be getting in its vast on-demand library, you’ll find your answer in our Hulu + Live TV review.

View Plans | View Full Hulu + Live TV Review

DIRECTV STREAM has ESPN and free premium channels

How much is DIRECTV STREAM?
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
CHOICE$84.9990+View Plan
ENTERTAINMENT$69.9965+View Plan
ULTIMATE$94.99130+View Plans
PREMIER$139.99140+View Plan

All of DIRECTV STREAM’s plans have the ESPN and ESPN2 channels in the lineup, so you just have to decide which package best fits you and your family.

When you get the CHOICE plan and above, you’ll get HBO Max free for three months (uhm, yes, please).

If you want premium channels in your lineup, consider getting the ULTIMATE package so you can watch any of the STARZ channels after a day of work. Or if you want STARZ, HBO, SHOWTIME, and CINEMAX, you’ll likely want the PREMIER package.

Now that you have an idea of which plan you’d like to get in terms of premium channels, let’s help narrow that decision with sports channels.

With CHOICE and above, you’ll get ESPNU and ESPNews.

When you get ULTIMATE or above, you will get 17 sports channels, including NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, and the Golf Channel.

Find out more about the premium channels, channels for the family, and the DVR in our DIRECTV STREAM review.

View Plans | Read Full DIRECTV STREAM Review

Recap: How can I watch ESPN without cable?

Of course you’re here because you just want to figure out the best way to stream the ESPN channel without cable, so let us recap why a sports fan should get one of these services:

  • fuboTV:  fuboTV is the best streaming service for streaming ESPN, for sports, and for families. fuboTV comes at a great value with only charging about an average of 56 cents per channel and includes 250–1,000 hours of DVR storage. If you’re looking for a streaming service that gets you 50 sports channels, including ESPN, then fuboTV is it.
  • YouTube TV: YouTube TV is the second-best service for sports and the best live TV streaming service overall, including for watching ESPN. You’ll get four ESPN channels, along with 10 other sports channels, and the option to order the Sports Plus add-on for $11 per month.
  • Sling TV: Sling TV is the cheapest way to stream ESPN, and you can choose from two inexpensive plans. Do you just need the ESPN channel and the ESPN2, ESPN3, and Stadium channels are just a bonus? Get Sling Orange. Or would you rather have 12 sports channels in total for $50? Get Sling Orange + Blue.
  • Hulu + Live TV:  Hulu Live gives you five ESPN channels and the choice to bundle with ESPN+ and Disney+ (the ultimate family entertainment bundle). You’ll also get a huge on-demand library at your fingertips. But keep in mind that Hulu Live might not give you the best value with its lower channel count and low DVR storage space.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: DIRECTV STREAM is perfect for those who want ESPN and free premium channels or premium channels in their lineup. You can get up to 17 sports channels with DIRECTV STREAM, and you don’t even have to subscribe to the most expensive package to get all of them. Get ULTIMATE ($94.99/month) or above to reap the sports benefits of this live TV streaming service.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

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