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How to Watch ESPN Without Cable
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 (and who wouldn't?).
We’ll dig deep into each streaming service to find the best one for you and your Pardon-the-Interruption-watching needs (because 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. Hulu + Live TV now includes Disney+ and ESPN+, which is great news for fans of The Mandalorian or anyone trying to watch UFC PPV fights. And DIRECTV is the go-to streaming or satellite service for those who want premium channels included in their channel lineup.
Streaming ESPN channels on ESPN+ can either be the most expensive or cheapest way to stream Around the Horn. ESPN+ is $11 per month, but you’ll have to sign in with your TV provider to get access to the live ESPN channels.
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
fuboTV is our favorite live TV streaming service because no other streaming service gives you 180+ channels for $80 or 280+ for $90–$100. fuboTV comes with a variety of entertainment, news, kids, and lifestyle channels everyone in the family can enjoy.
fuboTV has ESPN and ESPN2 in all of its 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 Pro plan and about 50 in its Elite and Premier plans.
If you want to know more about the sports, kids, entertainment, and news channels you’ll get in your channel lineup, check out our fuboTV review.
YouTube TV has ESPN and three other ESPN channels
YouTube TV has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, and 11 other sports channels for your entertainment. You’ll also find Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Food Network, and HGTV for your family's non-sports entertainment.
YouTube TV is our second favorite live TV streaming service for sports, and our second favorite live TV streaming service overall.
You can subscribe to NBA League Pass for $15 per month with YouTube TV. This subscription will get you all out-of-market NBA games straight to your TV (or streaming device when 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 $73 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, GolTV, Fox Soccer Plus, and Stadium.
If you want to know more about why we like YouTube TV, check out our detailed review.
Sling TV is the cheapest way to stream ESPN
You can ESPN with Sling TV for $40 per month (along with 30 other channels), making it the cheapest option for streaming the ESPN channel.
Sling TV has three packages, but only two have the ESPN channel. Sling Orange ($40/month) has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and Motortrend. Sling Orange + Blue ($55/month) has those channels, NFL Network and FOX Sports (FS1).
And if you want all of the sports channels you can possibly get with Sling TV, add the Sports Extra for $11 per month to your plan. This add-on gives you 17 sports channels, like ESPNU, ESPNews, and NBA TV.
The Sling Orange + Blue plan and the Sports Extra add-on will make your monthly bill $66 total, similar to YouTube TV, but with more sports channels altogether.
With Sling TV, you can get NBA League Pass for $14-$15 per month.
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.
Hulu + Live TV gives you ESPN and on-demand content
TV channel count
|Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (With Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads)
|Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads)
|Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads)
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, MLB and NHL live events, or if you like the idea of having live TV channels and lots of on-demand content in one service.
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 library, you’ll find your answer in our Hulu + Live TV review.
DIRECTV lets you stream ESPN and free premium channels
All of DIRECTV'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.
With any plan, you’ll get 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, Max, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, and CINEMAX, you’ll likely want the PREMIER package. But no matter which plan you choose, you'll get all of the mentioned channels free for three months.
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 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 Motortrend channels are just a bonus? Get Sling Orange. Or would you rather have six sports channels in total for $55? Get Sling Orange + Blue.
- Hulu + Live TV: Hulu Live gives you the ESPN channel among 85+ channels, ESPN+ and Disney+ (the ultimate family entertainment plan). You’ll also get a huge on-demand library at your fingertips.
- DIRECTV: DIRECTV 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, and you don’t even have to subscribe to the most expensive package to get all of them. Get ULTIMATE ($110/month) or above to reap the sports benefits of this live TV streaming service.