Of course, most of us don’t want to stare at our computer or phone to watch ESPN online. Thankfully there are a couple of easy solutions to get the ESPN live stream on your TV. The easiest way is to use a streaming box, like the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV.
Here’s how it works. First you connect the set top box to your router via ethernet cable or wireless network. Then you connect the box to your TV. That’s it. You can now use your remote or app to control the programming streamed from your set top box to your TV.
With DIRECTV NOW, you can watch ESPN on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and some smart TVs. Sling TV lets you watch ESPN on Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, and other streaming devices. And Vue is available on most of the previously mentioned devices as well as on PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles.
Don’t have a set top streaming device? DIRECTV NOW offers deals on discounted streaming devices when you sign up for certain services. Sling TV is also running a deal right now where you can get a FREE Roku device when you sign up for a few months of their service. That means you can watch ESPN on Roku and so many other great channels.
Keep in mind, you can also connect your laptop directly to your TV with an HDMI cable. This was how I streamed to my TV prior to owning a Roku. It worked just fine, but there were a few disadvantages. For example, every time I wanted to pause it or change something, I had to get up from the couch and go to the keyboard.
Can You Watch ESPN Online FREE?
Yes and no. There are some sites out there that let you watch ESPN online free, but they’re illegal. Not to mention they’re full of malware that can really do a number on your devices, so it’s not worth using their shady ESPN streaming. There is currently no legitimate legal way to stream ESPN free, at least for more than a week.
However, DIRECTV NOW (and the others listed) does have a promotion that will allow you to watch ESPN online free for one week. If you enjoy it, you can continue to get it, along with many other channels, for $35 a month. Click here to start a 7-day trial so you can watch ESPN online free with no obligation!
If you’re a T-Mobile customer, Sling TV offers an even sweeter deal. T-Mobile customers can now get the Sling Orange bundle of channels for only $14 a month. The offer is good for up to a year, but you are still able to cancel service any time. That works out to a 30% discount off the regular price (which is already dirt cheap) for the same popular channels when you sign up for Sling TV as a T-Mobile subscriber. And with Binge On, T-Mobile lets you stream Sling TV on your mobile devices without using your data. Simply put, if you have T-Mobile, you should click to learn more about this limited-time deal and start a free 7-day trial.
What about the WatchESPN App?
WatchESPN is the official app for ESPN. Like other cable channels, ESPN’s “TV Everywhere” app contains a load of on-demand and live content, including access to the digital network ESPN3.
But there’s a catch. To access most of the content (including the ESPN live stream), you’ll need to login with a pay TV package. So if you don’t have cable or a streaming service like the ones mentioned above, the WatchESPN app won’t be a complete solution for you. Keep in mind that Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue will also allow you to access WatchESPN by using your account login info, but for the most part this won’t be necessary as ESPN is directly included with these services.
You can get the WatchESPN app on Apple and Android devices, gaming consoles, Roku, Amazon Fire, and other streaming players.
What is ESPN+?
ESPN+ is a stand-alone streaming service that costs $4.99 a month and lets you watch sports like boxing, golf, MLB, MLS, the NHL, and some college sports. Before you get too excited, be forewarned that ESPN+ won’t feature the most popular games from ESPN. For access to the the NBA, NFL, and big-time MLB games, you’ll need to get ESPN with a streaming service or cable subscription.
You also get access to the entire 30 for 30 documentary archive (our favorite is Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies), along with original episodic programming. Basically, you get everything ESPN has to offer except the marquee live events.
Starting in January 2019, ESPN+ will air up to 15 live UFC matches every year. Along with live fights, you’ll also get 30-minute specials before big pay-per-view matches. With additions like UFC fights, it feels likely that ESPN+ will keep getting better and better.
Is ESPN+ worth it?
We can’t bear to miss out on all of ESPN’s big games, so we wouldn’t recommend ESPN+ for watching live sports. But if you’re a big fan of mid-major college conferences, MLS, or international sports like rugby or cricket, it’s definitely worth the $4.99 a month. It just depends on what sports you’re a fan of.
Watch ESPN Shows and Live Sports Online without Cable
Thanks to these numerous streaming options, you can now watch ESPN shows and their live sports coverage without the need for cable TV. Some ESPN shows and sports you can watch include:
The Recommended Legal Non-Cable Option to Watch ESPN Online