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How to Watch ESPN Without Cable 2023: 6 Top Options


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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Is losing access to sports preventing you from cutting the cord? If you love college football or the NFL you need ESPN. Thankfully, there are six legit streaming services that let you watch ESPN without cable or satellite.

In this article, we’ll assist you in deciding which option is best for live sports.

How to Watch ESPN Live Without Cable​

An expensive cable contract is not necessary to watch SportsCenter, Monday Night Football, Pardon the Interruption, or First Take.

There are multiple ways to get ESPN without cable, at a fraction of the cost. As a preview, here are the top choices to stream the sports giant.

ServiceCostStreamsLocalsDVRLearn More
fuboTV$74.99+10Yes1,000 hrs. Try
Sling TV$40+1Varies50 hrs. Try
DIRECTV STREAM$79.99+20YESNo limit Try
Vidgo$69.99+3ABC, FOXN/A Try
Hulu Live$76.99+2YesNo limit Try
YouTube TV$72.99+3YesNo limit Try

If you like to watch Fox Sports 1, many of the same providers also carry that channel. Furthermore, if you’re a Spectrum member caught between the carriage dispute between Charter and Disney, many of these services can be a suitable replacement for your sports needs.

1. fuboTV​

FuboTV is an excellent streaming platform for sports fans. Thanks to its wide array of add-ons, fuboTV is a top choice for people who want live sports.

PlanCostNo. of ChannelsDVRLearn More
Pro$74.99+150+1,000 hrs. View Plan
Elite$84.99+210+1,000 hrs. View Plan

FuboTV includes ESPN and ESPN2 in all of its packages. Its base package, Pro, offers over 140 available channels, which is more than any other live TV streaming service.

The service is a near cable-like replacement, offering popular features such as:

  • The ability to stream on ten devices simultaneously
  • Recording capacity of 1,000 hours on its cloud DVR
  • Works on anything that has a screen

The service also has 4K streaming capability, but you must sign up for the Elite plan to receive it. And, you get all of your local networks in both plans.

What Other Sports Channels Does fuboTV Offer?​

ESPN and ESPN2 are not the only sports networks carried by fuboTV. You also get FS1, FS2, and a host of other sports channels.

Some of the top channels include:

  • beIN Sports
  • BTN
  • CBS Sports Network
  • NBC Golf
  • NFL Network
  • TUDN

The Pro package includes approximately 40 sports channels and Elite offers nearly 50. You can further customize your lineup with one of their nine sports-specific add-ons.

Fubo also carries all 19 of the Bally Sports RSNs.

If you’re a fan of international sports, fuboTV is your best choice. If you want access to all of the professional sports networks, fuboTV is also your top choice.

You can test the service with a seven-day free trial.

Read more about the fuboTV channels to see what to expect with each plan.

2. Sling TV​

Sling TV is the cheapest way to watch ESPN without a TV provider. It has two base packages, Orange and Blue. If you specifically want ESPN and ESPN2, you must select Orange.

PlanPriceNo. of ChannelsDVRLearn More
Orange$4030+50 hrs. View Plan
Orange + Blue$5550+50 hrs. View Plan

Blue doesn’t include the sports giant, but it has FS1. If you want both networks, you will need to select Sling Orange + Blue for $55 per month.

Orange has about 32 channels, and Blue 42 channels. The combined package has 50 available channels, including ESPN. Think of Sling as close to an a la carte viewing experience.

*For a limited time, save over $100 when you select Sling’s Season Pass offer, when you prepay for five months. This gives you Sling Orange + Blue plus their Sports Extra Add-on, which includes SEC, ACC, and PAC-12 Networks, ESPNU, NFL RedZone, and more*

Popular Sling TV features include:

  • Ability to stream on three screens with Blue
  • Wide selection of add-ons to enhance your channel lineup
  • DVR storage of 50 hours
  • Works on anything with a screen

One drawback is that Sling only carries ABC, FOX, and NBC in select markets in its Blue package. You will need an antenna to get your locals.

Read our guide on ways to watch NBC live without cable to learn about other options.

If you don’t have one, Mohu antennas have always performed well for us. Use the code FRUGALRULES10 to receive a ten percent discount on your Mohu antenna.

What Other Sports Channels Does Sling TV Offer?​

Orange includes ESPN and ESPN2. Blue includes FS1. Other sports networks include:

  • ESPN3 (Orange)
  • NFL Network (Blue)
  • Stadium (Orange and Blue)

You can add the Sports Extra add-on for $11 per month to increase your sports content. It has 14 channels, including the ACC, SEC, and Pac-12 Networks, as well as the LHN, all of which are popular with college football fans.

If cost is a concern, or you want to customize your sports offerings, Sling TV is your best choice.

Sling typically doesn’t offer a free trial. However, they do offer various money-saving promotions for new users, including half off for the first month of service.

Read more about the Sling TV packages to identify what each plan includes.


DIRECTV STREAM (formerly known as AT&T TV) is another top choice to get ESPN without a cable provider. You also receive ESPN2 in its base package.

PlanPriceNo. of ChannelsDVRLearn More
Entertainment$79.99+75+No limit View Plan
Choice$108.99+105+No limit View Plan
Ultimate$119.99+140+No limit View Plan
Premier$164.99+150+No limit View Plan

DIRECTV STREAM has four package offerings, with the higher-end ones costing nearly as much as cable.

Those packages also include the Max streaming service free for three months, as well as other premium channels for free.

Other features of note include:

  • Can simultaneously stream on 20 devices
  • Works on anything with a screen
  • Unlimited DVR capacity

DIRECTV STREAM also includes local channels.

What Other Sports Channels Does DIRECTV STREAM Offer?​

DIRECTV STREAM carries ESPN in all of its packages. Other sought after networks include:

  • ACCN (Choice, Ultimate, and Premier)
  • CBS Sports Network (Ultimate and Premier)
  • ESPNU (Choice, Ultimate, and Premier)
  • ESPNEWS (Choice, Ultimate, and Premier)
  • FS1 (all packages)
  • FS2 (Ultimate and Premier)
  • NBA TV (Choice, Ultimate, and Premier)
  • NFL Network (Choice, Ultimate, and Premier)
  • SECN (Choice, Ultimate, and Premier)

DIRECTV STREAM is best for sports fans who want ESPN and regional sports networks. You can try the service with a five-day free trial.

It, along with Fubo, are the only two live services that carry all of the Bally RSNs. If you don’t need those and want a comparable service, YouTube TV may be a better choice.

Read our YouTube TV vs. DIRECTV STREAM analysis to learn how the two apps compare.

Read our DIRECTV STREAM review to learn more.

*Feeling overwhelmed about which streaming service is best for you? Take our free quiz and find out in 30 seconds!

4. Vidgo​

Vidgo is a newer player in the cord-cutting space. It’s a terrific way to get ESPN without cable as it offers the popular network, plus ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNews.

PlanPriceNo. of ChannelsDVRLean More
Vidgo$69.99+110+N/A View Plan

Vidgo also has a Premium package for $15 dollars more that includes more than 150 available channels.

Some popular Vidgo features include:

  • The ability to stream on three devices at once
  • Works on anything with a screen
  • Social viewing features like creating real-time polls and live-react videos

Unfortunately, Vidgo doesn’t currently have a cloud DVR. They say one is coming in the future, but there is no set date.

The streaming service focuses on encouraging social interaction while watching TV. It does this by letting users watch shows with friends and family.

What Other Sports Channels Does Vidgo Offer?​

Vidgo offers a lot for sports fans. Not only do you get the ESPN family of channels, other popular networks offered include:

  • ACCN
  • BTN
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • LHN
  • NFL Network
  • Pac-12 Network
  • SEC Network

Vidgo only offers ABC and FOX. You will need an antenna to get your other local channels. If you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, Vidgo is a good alternative for sports streaming.

The services does not offer a free trial.

Read our Vidgo review to learn more.

5. Hulu Live​

Hulu Live is an excellent way to stream ESPN online. The cable replacement includes the parent network, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN College Extra, and ESPNews in its base package.

PlanPriceNo. of ChannelsDVRLearn More
Hulu Live$76.99+85+No limit View Plan
Hulu Live (no ads)$89.99+85+No limit View Plan

Like YouTube TV and Vidgo, the service has approximately 85 available channels. You also get ESPN+ and Disney+ at no additional charge to see sports and entertainment content.

Other notable features include:

  • Works on anything with a screen
  • Unlimited DVR storage
  • Access to its popular library of original content
  • Can simultaneously stream on two devices

Hulu with Live TV includes all local networks, so there is no need for an antenna.

What Other Sports Channels Does Hulu Live Offer?​

Hulu Live is a good streaming service for live sports fans. In addition to the full-suite of ESPN channels, other prominent sports networks include:

  • ACCN
  • BTN
  • CBS Sports Network
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • NBC Golf
  • NFL Network
  • SECN

You can get additional sports action with its Sports add-on. It costs $10 per month and provides six additional networks, including NFL RedZone.

Hulu Live is best for sports fans who also want a wealth of on-demand content. Unfortunately, the service doesn’t offer a free trial.

Read more about all Hulu Live channels to see what you can expect.

6. YouTube TV​

YouTube TV is another great way to stream ESPN without cable. The live streaming service includes the main network, plus ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPNU in its channel package.

PlanPriceNo. of ChannelsDVRLearn More
YouTube TV$72.99+100+No Limit View Plan

The service has one plan, with over 100 channels. Other popular features include:

  • Unlimited DVR storage capacity
  • Can simultaneously stream on three devices
  • Works on anything with a screen

YouTube TV also includes all local networks.

It costs $72.99 per month for 100+ channels, including local networks.

What Other Sports Channels Does YouTube TV Offer?​

In addition to the ESPN family of channels, the service carries many other favorite sports channels. Top options include:

  • ACCN
  • BTN
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL Network
  • SECN

If those aren’t enough, you can purchase the Sports Plus add-on for $11 per month. It includes 13 additional sports channels.

*Related: Are you a basketball fan, but want to cancel your expensive contract? Read our guide on ways to livestream NBA games and save big bucks.

YouTube TV is best for fans who also want the professional sports networks, not including NHL TV. The platform offers a seven-day free trial to test the service.

Read our YouTube TV review to learn more.

How Can I Watch ESPN for Free?​

The best way to watch any ESPN channel for free is to take advantage of a free trial to a live TV streaming service. This is of particular importance if you’re a Spectrum member and unable to watch ESPN channels.

Current free trials are:

There is no other way to stream the channel for free. Any website claiming a free ESPN live stream is not legitimate and is often full of spam.

That’s similar to what you will find with other network TV channels. You need to access them via cable or a streaming service. Ultimately, even if a live services doesn’t offer a a free trial, many do offer money-saving promotions for new customers.

What is the Cheapest Way to Watch ESPN?​

Sling Orange is the most economical choice to get ESPN without cable. At $40 per month, you receive the sports giant plus roughly 30 additional channels of network TV.

You can combine Orange with Sling Blue for $55 per month total to also get FS1.

How to Stream ESPN Online​

You can watch ESPN online through the ESPN+ app. For $10.99 per month (or $109.99 annually), ESPN+ offers you a way to watch live sports without cable.

While it’s not a replacement for the channel, it does offer additional sports content that isn’t available on the network for a low monthly fee.

ESPN+ lets you watch:

  • MLS live
  • One NHL game a day
  • One MLB game per day
  • One exclusive NFL game for the 2023 season
  • Original programming like 30 for 30
  • Lots of on-demand sports events

In addition, you can watch live boxing (including PPV events), cricket, rugby, and tennis. If you don’t need access to all ESPN live sports content, ESPN+ might be a good option.

Read more about the platform in our ESPN+ review.

If you want to get ESPN without cable, the cable alternatives are a better choice.

When you consider that cable subscribers pay $7.21 per month for ESPN and $9.06 for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the SEC Network), paying $20 – $40 per month for a streaming service makes more sense.

Another option for how to watch ESPN online is with a Watch ESPN subscription. However, it requires a cable subscription.

Can You Watch ESPN on Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, or Roku?​

Yes, it is possible to get ESPN with any streaming device.

All of the streaming providers have apps for the major devices. If you have an Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Tivo or Amazon Fire device you should have no issue watching the channel.

Additionally, all of the streaming platforms have apps that work with iOS and Android and most Mac and Windows-based computers.


If you are tired of paying for cable, but losing access to live sporting events scares you, you have choices.

From Sling Orange at $40 per month to DIRECTV STREAM for $74.99, there are excellent, contract-free ways to watch ESPN without cable. Both offer reliable service, for far less than your cable contract.

If you want to watch SportsCenter without cable and other sports content, a high priced bill is no longer necessary. Pick a live TV streaming provider you like and pocket the savings.

What is one channel you can’t live without?

The post How to Watch ESPN Without Cable 2023: 6 Top Options appeared first on Frugal Rules.
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