The sporting world holds a special place in the hearts of many. And when it comes to sports coverage, ESPN is a name that reverberates globally. Whether you’re a baseball enthusiast or a football fanatic, you’re likely asking, “How can I watch ESPN, and better yet, can I do it for free?”

This detailed guide will walk you through how to watch ESPN, its availability on various platforms, and how to access it without cable.

Watch ESPN


What is ESPN?

ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is an American multinational basic cable sports channel owned by ESPN Inc. It offers a comprehensive suite of sports coverage, including NFL, MLB, NBA, college sports, soccer, golf, tennis, and more.

How to Watch ESPN

There are several ways to watch ESPN, whether via traditional cable, online, or through the dedicated ESPN app.

  1. Cable/Satellite Subscription: If you have a cable or satellite TV subscription, ESPN is typically included in most basic packages. The exact channel number varies depending on your provider and location. For DirecTV customers, ESPN can be found on channel 206.
  2. Online: ESPN offers a digital streaming service known as ESPN+. You can access this service on the ESPN website or via the ESPN app, available for download on both iOS and Android devices, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and more.
  3. ESPN App: The ESPN app provides an immersive sports watching experience. You can download it for free from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The app requires a subscription to ESPN+ or a qualifying cable/satellite TV subscription for full access.

ESPN Free Trial

While ESPN does not typically offer a standalone free trial for ESPN+, they do occasionally run promotional offers. Always check the official ESPN+ website for the latest deals and promotions.

How to Watch ESPN Without Cable

In today’s digital era, watching ESPN without cable is entirely possible. There are several streaming services that include ESPN in their channel lineup:

  1. Sling TV: Sling TV’s Orange package offers ESPN and costs $35/month after a three-day free trial.
  2. Hulu + Live TV: ESPN is included in the Hulu + Live TV package, which is $64.99/month after a seven-day free trial.
  3. YouTube TV: YouTube TV also carries ESPN in their standard package, which costs $64.99/month after a seven-day free trial.

Watching ESPN Free on Smart TV

While the ESPN app is free to download, to access content, you’ll need a paid ESPN+ subscription or a valid cable/satellite TV subscription. However, you can often use a free trial from a streaming service like Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, or YouTube TV to watch ESPN on your smart TV at no cost.

ESPN Live Free

Unfortunately, ESPN does not offer free live streaming. However, by signing up for free trials with live TV streaming services that carry ESPN, such as Sling TV or YouTube TV, you can enjoy ESPN live coverage temporarily for free.

ESPN on DirecTV

For DirecTV subscribers, tuning into ESPN is easy. ESPN is available on channel 206 on DirecTV. Simply navigate to this channel using your remote control to access ESPN’s sports coverage.

ESPN and College Baseball

ESPN provides extensive coverage of college baseball, especially during the College World Series. These games are typically available to watch on ESPN’s main channel and can be streamed online via ESPN+ or the ESPN app with a valid subscription.

Can I Watch ESPN on Amazon Prime?

While ESPN does not come as a part of Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime members have the option to add ESPN+ to their service for an additional fee. ESPN+ is available as a standalone channel that you can subscribe to through Amazon Prime Video Channels.

However, it’s important to note that this does not grant access to the primary ESPN channel, only to the ESPN+ service, which offers different content, including exclusive events, series, and documentaries.


As you can see, ESPN provides a wide array of options for sports enthusiasts to keep up with their favorite games and athletes.

Whether you’re a cord-cutter seeking to watch ESPN without cable or looking for free ways to tune in, this guide has got you covered. So gear up and get ready for a riveting sports experience with ESPN!