Cord-cutting is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the entertainment industry.
In fact, according to a press release from Leichtman Research Group, traditional pay-TV providers lost about 5,880,000 subscribers compared to the loss of about 4,700,000 in 2021 — accounting for a pay-TV net loss of about 1.2 million in 2022 more than in 2021.
This trend in losses only keeps increasing as pay-TV providers lost 2.3 million subscribers in Q1 of 2023. According to Moffett's calculations, the total pay-TV subscribers in the US dropped to 58.5%.
Perhaps, this increasing drop is because people have found that streaming services appear to be easily accessible, convenient, and of course, cost-effective. So, "cutting the cord" is what everyone in this digital age will want to do.
ESPN is a popular cable sports channel featuring live scores, highlights, and sports news that every sports enthusiast probably loves.
Over the years, ESPN has been available on traditional pay-TV channels, and now following the increasing popularity of streaming services, streaming your favorite sports channel without cable has become very possible.
With that said, in this article, I'll show you how to watch ESPN without cable without hassle.
Table of Contents
Can I Watch ESPN Without Cable?
Yes, you can watch ESPN without cable
While ESPN has long gone from being a pay-TV channel over the years, cord-cutting has made the channel available on most streaming services nowadays.
This means you don't need to be a traditional TV or satellite cable subscriber to watch ESPN — you can now cut the cord and access your favorite sports channel on any device you want.
Also Read: Can I Watch ESPN On Amazon Prime?
How To Watch ESPN Without Cable
There are many streaming services that offer either ESPN as a stream or ESPN's sports programs — this means you can either stream ESPN directly or stream its sports programs on streaming services that don't offer the channel. However, all of this will go without cable.
Let's see how we can watch ESPN without cable through these streaming services.
1. Sling TV
Sling TV is probably one of the live-streaming services that helped most people in getting rid of their cable boxes — at least, I can say that for myself.
In a nutshell, Sling TV is a live stream service that lets you stream on-demand movies, live tv shows, and live sports instantly on any device.
Sling TV is one of the best streaming services that lets you watch ESPN without cable.
With as little as $25 for the first month, you can subscribe to Sling TV's Orange and Blue package to get exclusive access to ESPN in addition to 30 and 38 channels respectively.
If you subscribe to Sling TV's Orange package, you'll be able to watch ESPN and other included channels without cable on only one device, and if you choose Sling TV's Blue package instead, you'll be able to stream ESPN and other included channels on up to 3 devices.
The Blue & Orange package, which is a combination of the two previously mentioned packages, costs $40 for the first month and includes ESPN + 42 more channels.
2. Hulu + Live TV
If you usually use Hulu but haven't cut the cord yet, you should probably consider getting rid of your cable box when you know you can stream your favorite sports channel, ESPN, on Hulu.
Hulu is an American subscription-based streaming service that offers some of the latest and greatest shows and movies that the entertainment industry has to offer.
Hulu lets you watch ESPN without cable with the Hulu + Live TV subscription, which includes both Disney+ and ESPN+ with 90+ channels, all with ads, for $69.99/month.
If you'd rather prefer going in for on-demand services, you can go in for the Disney Bundle Duo Basic or Disney Bundle Trio Basic packages at $9.99/month and $12.99/month respectively.
3. Fubo TV
If you're a sports lover, you should have probably come across Fubo TV when looking to stream your favorite sports content online.
In fact, cord-cutting sports lovers consider Fubo TV as one of the best options out there.
Fubo TV is a live TV streaming service that mainly focuses on sports and features top leagues and teams, and also features popular movies, TV shows, and news.
While Fubo TV stands as a popular sports streaming service, it did not have ESPN as a channel over the years.
However, Fubo recently had a deal with Disney that gave them access to ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 as well as the ACC Network and SEC Network.
This new deal made Fubo TV stand out as one of the best TV streaming services that let sports lovers watch ESPN without cable.
And so, to watch ESPN without cable through Fubo TV:
- Go to the Fubo TV website and start your Fubo free trial.
- Get access to your favorite live sports and shows on demand through ESPN.
- Record your favorite shows to Cloud DVR.
Fubo TV features four plans, which include:
- Pro plan — starts at $74.99/month and features 160 channels with 100+ sporting events.
- Elite plan — starts at $84.99 and features 233 channels with 130+ events in 4K + 61 more channels.
- Premier plan — starts at $94.99 and features 242 channels with 130+ events in 4K + 61 more channels.
- Latino plan — starts at $24.99 and features 59 channels with 100+ sporting events.
4. DirecTV Stream
DirecTV is another common name in the entertainment industry. It is an American multichannel video programming distributor that uses satellites to provide users with digital television.
In March 2020, the multichannel video programming distributor launched DirecTV Stream, a digital streaming service that has taken over AT&T TV and allows you to watch live TV, on-demand programming, and DVR recordings anytime, anywhere.
Additionally, it connects with popular streaming services in the market such as Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and many more.
So if you're looking to cut the cord and get rid of your clunky cable box, DirecTV Stream should probably be one of your best bets as it competes with top services such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and others.
All DirecTV Stream packages feature ESPN as a channel — meaning you can watch any of your favorite ESPN sports programs without cable through the service.
5. YouTube TV
With over 6.3 million subscribers, YouTube TV is yet another streaming service that has come to cut the cord as we usually say.
In a nutshell, YouTube TV is a TV subscription-based streaming service that lets you watch live TV from 100+ broadcast, cable, and regional sports networks.
ESPN is one of the streams aired on YouTube TV.
In fact, according to Google, national channels (like ESPN) are available in your home area, and when you travel to a different location within the U.S.
This means you can watch ESPN without cable anywhere in the U.S., as long as you remain within the territorial coverage.
While YouTube TV is one of the cord-cutting services that let you watch ESPN without cable, it isn't, however, the cheapest option you'll find in the market.
The YouTube TV Base Plan costs $72.99 + tax/month, which isn't the cheapest option as compared to popular cord-cutting services such as Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV. However, you'll only be charged $64.99 for your first 3 months.
With over 150+ channels, Vidgo is an American streaming television service that offers English- and Spanish-language sports, news, and general entertainment content.
Vidgo is a new player among streaming services, and of course, has rapidly become a popular cord-cutting streaming service in the market.
While Vidgo is new in the market, it does offer an impressive channel lineup guide that allows users to know what channel is included in their package so they'll choose what's right for them. This is a feature only DirecTV on our list offers.
Vidgo offers four streaming plans, which include: Ultimate, Premium, Plus, and Vidgo Mas. However, only three of these plans (Ultimate, Premium, and Plus) will allow you to watch ESPN without cable.
How To Watch ESPN Without Cable For Free
ESPN is a paid streaming subscription service with a primary focus on sports.
With that said, you cannot watch ESPN without cable for free.
However, the only way you can watch ESPN without cable for free will be to grab a deal from another streaming service that includes ESPN as a channel. This way, you'll be streaming ESPN sports content for free.
How To Watch ESPN For Free On Smart TV
The only way to watch ESPN for free on smart TV will be to get a free trial on a streaming service that includes ESPN as a channel.
Some popular options include; Fubo TV, DirecTV Stream, and YouTube TV. These streaming services will give you access to ESPN during your free trial session which usually lasts up to a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I watch ESPN without a TV provider?
The best and probably the only way to watch ESPN without a TV provider is to use a streaming service that offers ESPN as a channel. Some of which include; Sling TV, YouTube TV, Fubo, Hulu + Live TV, Vidgo, and DIRECTV STREAM.
How can I watch ESPN without cable or Internet?
Streaming services like Sling TV, YouTube TV, Fubo TV, Hulu + Live TV, DirecTV Stream, and Vidgo are some of the popular services that let you watch ESPN without cable. However, they'll require an internet connection.
Can you watch ESPN app without TV subscription?
Yes, you can watch ESPN app without a TV subscription. However, you might need a subscription to a streaming service to access the channel.
How can I watch ESPN Plus without paying?
ESPN Plus is a paid service. So you cannot watch ESPN Plus without paying.
ESPN is a popular streaming subscription service that focuses on what sports lovers are seeking for.
Following its popularity, most streaming services have partnered with the company to offer it's services to all those looking to cut their cable cord and streal their favorite ESPN sports content anytime, anywhere.
With that said, you can watch ESPN without cable through popular streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV, DirecTV, and YouTube TV.
However, if you're tight on budget and still looking to cut the cord, I'll recommend going in for Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, or DirecTV Stream.
Before going in for any of these services that let you watch ESPN without cable, I'll always recommend going through their terms and making a final decision on your own.