Watch ESPN Online without Cable

By August 30, 2018 No Comments

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. Thankfully, that fear is no longer necessary, as it’s quite possible (and quite easy) to watch ESPN online.

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 online without cable.

Here’s how to watch ESPN online legally.


Get the ESPN Live Stream and On-Demand Shows with Hulu Live

Enjoy 50+ great channels live, plus a massive on-demand library


Hulu Live is a rapidly growing streaming service that provides a great alternative to cable TV. It’s also one of the easiest ways to watch ESPN online. The service gives you access to over 50 channels to stream live, whenever and wherever you want. Plus, subscribers get access to a massive on-demand library of TV shows, movies, Hulu Originals, and much more! The cost is just $40 a month, and there’s no contract or commitment. Hulu Live also has excellent coverage of local channels like FOX, CBS and NBC, which are important for live sports.


The Ideal Combo of Live & On-Demand Entertainment

Hulu Live provides the best of both worlds – a “cable-like” package of channels to watch live, and a “Netflix-like” package of on-demand content to watch at any time. While most services offer one or the other, Hulu combines both into a very affordable package. Hulu lets you watch ESPN online live, as well as networks like FOX News, CNN, FX, HGTV, and regional channels like NBC, FOX and more. And while the live selection of channels is a big selling point, the on-demand library complements that perfectly, ensuring you always have something to watch!

Here are the basics of Hulu Live:

  • Costs just $40 a month – and there’s no contract
  • Includes more than 50 channels you can watch LIVE
  • Includes a HUGE on-demand library of TV shows, movies and more
  • It works on most devices, from streaming players (Roku, Apple TV, etc.) to mobile devices and computers
  • You can stream on 2 devices simultaneously
  • You can add on premium channels like Showtime and HBO for an additional fee
  • There’s a cloud DVR included so you can record live TV
  • You can try Hulu Live FREE for a week

Our in-depth Hulu review has more information for you – or, you can cut to the chase and click here to start your free 7-day trial!


Watch ESPN Online Cheap with Sling TV

Ultra-affordable option with al-la-carte channel selection

Sling TV Review

Sling TV is among the most affordable streaming services, with prices from only $25 a month. Sling has a smaller basic package of channels (around 20+ in Sling Orange), but offers ample opportunities to expand your selection with channel packs, which cost as little as $5 a month. This gives you a lot more flexibility in the channels you are paying for, instead of being forced to pay for a bunch of networks you’ll never watch. And, of course, Sling TV offers ESPN streaming for all you sports fans!


A Budget-Friendly Streaming Service

Some streaming services can quickly become almost as expensive as cable. If you’re looking for a lean and affordable package of basic channels, Sling is a great choice. And although it’s smaller than some competitors, Sling’s basic package has many of the most popular channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, Disney, AMC, CNN, Comedy Central and much more.

Here are the basics of Sling TV:

  • Only $25 a month – the cheapest option to stream ESPN online
  • No contract or commitment
  • Tons of add-on channel packages available to expand your selection
  • Extensive on-demand library
  • Works on most devices, from mobile phones to streaming players
  • Get the ESPN live stream free for a week with Sling’s free 7-day trial

For those who want to learn more, our Sling TV review has all the details you need.

If you’re anxious to get started, click here to try Sling TV free for 7 days!


Access ESPN Streaming and Much More with DIRECTV NOW

Enjoy up to 125+ live channels, with something for the whole family

DIRECTV NOW is a streaming service that offers one of the most impressive selections of channels in the industry. Their smallest package has over 65 channels, with up to 125+ available in larger packages. That’s a ton of channels, with favorites for the whole family. Prices range from $40 to $75 a month, so it’s still cheaper than cable – and of course, there’s no contract to sign or hidden fees to worry about. DIRECTV NOW also has good coverage of local channels like NBC and FOX, which are key for sports fans.


Big Channel Selection For the Whole Family

directv now

If you’re someone who craves a big channel selection, DIRECTV NOW is a great choice. It has perhaps the most robust channel offering of any streaming service. The big selection and slick interface make DIRECTV NOW an easy switch from cable – and it can save you money and hassle over cable, as well!

Here’s what newcomers should know about DIRECTV NOW

  • Does not require a satellite or cable subscription (works over the internet)
  • Compatible with most devices – Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, mobile devices, etc.
  • Massive selection ranging from 65 to 125+ channels, depending on package
  • $40 to $75 a month depending on the package you choose
  • Stream on 2 devices simultaneously
  • Watch ESPN online free for a week with Try DIRECTV NOW free for 7 days

Our DIRECTV NOW review has a lot more detail on this service – or you can learn for yourself with DIRECTV NOW’s free 7-day trial!


Watch ESPN Without Cable via YouTube TV

A new service that’s rapidly growing, but has some room for improvement

YouTube TV Review

YouTube TV is a newcomer to the streaming world, but it’s growing quickly. It’s backed by YouTube, which is owned by Google. The tech giant has invested significant amounts of resources in developing YouTube TV into a premium cable alternative. It’s a good way to watch ESPN online, and to keep up with 50+ other great channels. It costs $40 a month, with no contract.


A Wide Selection on a New Platform

youtube tv menu

YouTube TV is a new service that has a lot to offer. 50+ channels are included, and in many areas regional networks like FOX, CBS and NBC are offered. This is great news for sports fans, as having access to these local networks is almost as important as the ESPN live stream!

Here are the basics of YouTube TV:

  • $40 a month
  • No contract or hidden fees
  • Covers 50+ channels including news, entertainment, sports and more
  • Good access to regional networks like NBC and FOX
  • Missing some key channels, however – Food Network, Comedy Central, and HGTV, for instance, are not included
  • Works on most devices
  • There is some room for improvement with this new service
  • Want to watch ESPN online free for a week? Try YouTube TV free for 7 days!

For the full scoop, read through our YouTube TV review. You can also get started with a free 7-day trial.


Stream ESPN and Keep The Whole Family Happy with PlayStation Vue

5 simultaneous streams allows the entire family to watch what they want

playstation vue

PlayStation Vue is a great choice for larger households. Whether you live with family or with roommates, you’ll be pleased to learn that Vue lets you watch on up to 5 devices at once – and each device can be watching something different. That means the entire household can watch exactly what they want to watch, on their own devices, in their own space!


Live Streaming for the Whole Household

playstation vue action shot

The main selling point of PlayStation Vue is that it’s a solid option for families and larger households. However, some other details of the service can leave something to be desired. For instance, Vue has the most expensive starting package, at $45 a month – yet it only has 45 channels, which is much smaller than some comparable packages in the same price range. That said, Vue is still a good service – especially for families.

Here’s the scoop on PlayStation Vue:

  • $45 per month for the basic package (45+ channels)
  • Stream on 5 devices at the same time (watching different channels)
  • Great for families and households with roommates
  • Works on most devices
  • Viewing outside your home on mobile devices may be restricted
  • You can try PlayStation Vue free for 5 days

Read through this PlayStation Vue review to learn more – or jump to the chase and get started with a free 5-day trial!


What Sports Can You Watch on ESPN?

ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports, and broadcasts a HUGE range of live sports programming. Just a small sampling of what you can watch on ESPN includes:

Do you have questions about how to watch ESPN without cable TV? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be happy to help!


Laura LaVoie

Author 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 [email protected] Disclosure: Streaming Observer is supported by readers. Articles may contain referral links. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.

More posts by Laura LaVoie

Leave a Reply