How to Watch ESPN Without Cable in 9 Ways

Olivia Carter

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If you’re reading this article, it means that you’ve either cut the cord of your cable TV or satellite TV or are considering that actively. Or, maybe you’re simply fed up with paying high subscription rates for ESPN channels. 

At the same time, you would be worried that some of your favourite sports actions, such as the NBA, might not be available after you disconnect the cable connection or satellite TV.

Therefore, let me assure you that millions of American households continue enjoying sports on ESPN as well as their favourite movies and other shows, despite “getting rid of the cord”. They do this by watching ESPN channels online.

How to watch ESPN without cable? Well, there are nine different ways to watch ESPN online without cable TV or satellite TV connections.

How is this Possible?

Understandably, you would wonder if it is possible to watch ESPN online for free or at a smaller cost and if it is legit. Both of these questions have a resounding “yes” as the answer.

There’s a major reason why you can watch all ESPN channels without cable TV and satellite TV. I will explain these reasons.

Over the last decades, millions of Americans and people worldwide have been cutting their cords or disconnecting cable TV and satellite TV. 

This is due to the growth and popularity of the Internet. People’s dependence on cable TV has changed with cheaper Internet connections.

Then we have YouTube, where people can post and watch videos for free. YouTube also allows people to transit live programs if they meet copyright standards.

Nowadays, millennials watch TV online, especially over their mobile phones. That’s because it’s possible to watch your favourite show from anywhere, even while travelling and in places with no TV set available.

And finally, new gadgets such as HDTV antenna and Amazon Firestick that can be easily connected to a TV set also make it possible for people to watch their favourite programs and sports action without dependence on cable TV or satellite TV.

Refer to this article: How to Get a Free Cable Legally

The Current Trends and ESPN

In mid-2022, only about 76 million American households are subscribing to ESPN. And this number is going down quite fast. 

As a result, the Disney Network that owns ESPN has reduced its subscription fees in 2024 to cost just about $4 per month per channel.

Furthermore, YouTube TV and other cable TV networks have dropped ESPN from their channel offerings. This puts ESPN under strain to continue to be among the top channels in the world.

Therefore, Entertainment and Sports Programming Network or ESPN is under stress from all sides. That’s because TV channels need billions of Dollars to operate. They have to buy telecast rights and hire satellite transponders to telecast their channels to a wide area. 

They don’t recover any of these expenses from your subscriptions. Instead, they make money only from advertising that’s shown on their channels.

It's a simple calculation: the more count of viewers for a channel, the higher the number of ads they would attract.

Therefore, ESPN has shifted its focus from cable TV and satellite TV to online platforms. This makes it possible for you to watch ESPN without cable TV and dish TV.

Refer to this article: 10 Legal Ways to Get Free Internet/Wifi Service at Home

How to Watch ESPN Without Cable TV?

This raises the issue of how to watch ESPN without a cable or satellite subscription. As a matter of fact, there’re nine amazing ways to do so. I will list all of these. 

Each of these ways to watch ESPN is legit and much cheaper than watching on cable TV and satellite TV.

1. Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an ideal device for cheap online access to your favourite NBA games and other sporting events. An Amazon Fire TV Stick has several TV channel apps as basic features. 

Additionally, you can download these applications and use an Amazon Firestick to watch.

2. ESPN App


Download and use the ESPN app. It’s worth the effort and your money. You can watch countless free programs and sports actions on the ESPN app. 

This app also comes with a feature known as ESPN+ (ESPN Plus). Simply activate this feature, pay the necessary fees, and you can watch all your favourite shows. 

On the app, you may choose whether you want to watch one game, all of them, or just one movie.

3. Facebook Watch

Facebook Watch

This could come out as a surprise for most of you, but yes, ESPN also has its own channel on Facebook Watch. 

You can watch live and recorded events such as signing and award ceremonies, game highlights, interviews and lots of other action and entertainment on Facebook Watch. 

Simply search for ESPN on Facebook Watch and subscribe to the channel. You will get live notifications whenever ESPN releases a new video or has a live telecast.

4. Fubo TV

Fubo TV

Another way to watch ESPN without cable is through Fubo TV is an app where you can subscribe to ESPN and other channels. You can download Fubo TV on your mobile handset or even a PlayStation console that connects to your TV. 

Understandably, ESPN doesn’t come free on Fubo TV. However, they have channel packages that are much cheaper compared to what you would pay on cable TV and satellite TV.

5. Hulu


Hulu is yet another popular TV app that offers countless free and paid channels. You can download it on your mobile, Amazon Firestick or PlayStation to get ESPN range of TV channels. To get ESPN, you will have to subscribe to their channel packages. You can then grab a tub of popcorn and watch ESPN without cable on Hulu.

6. Sling


Another resource to watch online ESPN is Sling. This app is also compatible with your mobile, Amazon Firestick, PlayStation and more. Simply download, register and watch any ESPN channels you want. You get a one-week free subscription on trial for limited channels.

7. DirecTV


DirecTV allows you to get ESPN channels for a small fee. The charges you would pay are much lower than cable TV and satellite TV. It also gives you access to several free channels and the option to subscribe to others, including ESPN family.

8. HDTV Antenna

HDTV Antenna

You can get some channels or even all the channels of ESPN free of cost, if you install an HDTV antenna that is compatible with your TV set. Usually, most paid channels telecast free to air on local airwaves. However, the reception could depend upon your area and the availability of ESPN free signals at the location. All you need to do is find a suitable HDTV antenna that supports your device and watch ESPN channels that gets aired on it.

9. Hotstar


There’s some ambiguity about whether ESPN is available on Hotstar or not. The channel was available when Disney was offering a package. However, you can get it on Hotstar for a small fee from other providers now. Their rates are also cheaper than cable TV and satellite TV subscriptions.

Bonus Point: Device to TV

If you want to watch ESPN on TV but wish to receive it via the Internet, simply use an HDTV adapter and related equipment. This allows you to hook up a laptop, mobile and PlayStation with the TV.

In Conclusion

As you can see, it is possible to watch ESPN without paying for cable TV and satellite TV. While all the sources I mention continue to work well, check your area's availability with locals who use it.

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