How to Watch ESPN Live Stream Online without Cable: Free and Cheap ESPN Streaming Options

espn live stream

Before cable was even a household phenomenon, ESPN was launched. And as cable grew in popularity, straight to ubiquity, ESPN grew with it. It’s a primary reason why many fans are afraid to cut cable–they might miss out on the ESPN live stream and important sports coverage.

Sports have always been difficult to replicate without cable. And it keeps a lot of unsatisfied cable customers connected. But times are changing again, and you can watch ESPN without cable.

Here’s how to watch ESPN online legally.


Watch the ESPN Live Stream with Sling TV

sling tv

Sling TV has quickly taken over as the premier streaming service for live and on-demand television as an all in one package to replace cable. While some cord cutters are happy with a mash-up of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and individual subscriptions to networks, others want everything to be as simple and easy as it was with cable.

And, even more importantly, Sling TV (review) is one of the only services that offers any sports coverage. You can watch ESPN without cable with Sling TV – as well as ESPN2, ESPN3, and much more.

In fact, you can watch the ESPN live stream with Sling TV (free 7-day trial), making it more comprehensive than most on-demand services. The free trial is also an opportunity to stream ESPN free for a week, while exploring the service.

Stream ESPN shows like:

  • Sportscenter
  • College Game Day
  • Monday Night Football
  • NFL Playoffs
  • NBA on ESPN
  • ESPN Major League Baseball
  • 30 for 30
  • Baseball Tonight

That is a lot of sports content that most people miss out on when they can’t watch ESPN online.


Watch All of Your Favorites on Sling TV


But Sling TV isn’t just perfect for sports fans who want to watch ESPN streaming. It also replaces all of the other hard to find pay TV networks that you’re worried about missing. Favorites like Food Network, Travel Channel, and HGTV are hard to replicate and not available on most of the on-demand services. Networks like AMC and FX lock down most of their programming making it nearly impossible to watch shows like Better Call Saul or The Americans without a cable subscription.

But those are just a few of the things that Sling TV has to offer.


Stream Sling TV Easily and Inexpensively

If you’re reading this far it is because you’re interested, so what else do you need to know? Pricing and viewing options, right?

Sling TV is one of the best values on the market. You can watch ESPN online with Sling TV’s basic Orange package, which is $20 per month. There are also add-ons, like the Sports Extra package, for just $5 more each month. And, there are no contracts. So if you decide at any time Sling TV isn’t right for you, you can cancel. But you can also start with a 7 day free trial, giving you free ESPN streaming for a full week.

Sling TV works with a large number of platforms, too. You can watch right on your computer, smart phone, or tablet. Or it works with popular streaming players like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and more. They often have deals on some popular players, too, like a free Roku device when you prepay for a few months in advance.


DIRECTV NOW Offers Another Way to Watch ESPN Online

DIRECTV NOW is a new live streaming service launched by AT&T. Like Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW offers a full lineup of live channels streamed over your internet connection directly to your devices. There’s no satellite required, and there’s no contract. It’s a good way to catch the ESPN stream, as well, given that the channel is included in the basic package.

The basic package for DIRECTV NOW offers over 60 channels for $35 a month. The package includes a number of the most popular pay TV channels, including ESPN. Check out our DIRECTV NOW review for more details about the service.

You can click here to try DIRECTV NOW free for 7 days and start watching ESPN online free right now.


Watch ESPN Online with PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue review

Another way to legally watch the ESPN live stream is with PlayStation Vue. This streaming service is similar to Sling TV, but with a few important differences.

It is more expensive overall, starting at $30 to $40 per month depending on your location. It isn’t as easy to stream as it only works with a handful of devices like PS3/PS4, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire, or mobile devices for iOS and Android. But even with the mobile app, you will be limited on streaming away from home. That is another key difference. PlayStation Vue is tied to your home network so streaming on the go is restricted. Here is our review to learn more.

For all of these reasons, we feel that Sling TV is the best streaming option to watch ESPN without cable. What else do you want to know? Ask below in the comments.

Laura LaVoie

Laura M. LaVoie resides in a 120 square foot house in the mountains of Western North Carolina. There she has a solid internet connection and access to some of the best craft beer in the country. Email her at

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