Watch ESPN3 Live: 5 Ways Without Cable in 2024

Explore cable-free ESPN3 streaming through DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV (Orange plan), and YouTube TV, all accessible via the ESPN app. A revolutionary sports streaming service by ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery also awaits in the fall of 2024, promising to redefine how fans enjoy the NFL, college football, and more.

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There are several ways to watch ESPN3 live without a cable TV subscription.

DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV (Orange plan), and YouTube TV offer ways to stream ESPN3 through the ESPN app. A free ESPN3 option might be available through certain ISPs such as Verizon FiOS, according to my recent tests. 

In the fall of 2024, ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery will introduce a new sports streaming service. 

While ESPN3’s inclusion hasn’t been confirmed, its activation through cable and streaming services suggests it might join the lineup. This upcoming sports streaming service represents a significant development for fans of the NFL, college football, NCAA basketball and many other sports once exclusive to cable and satellite providers. 

It could potentially expand ESPN3 access as well. 

How to Watch ESPN3 Without Cable

Quick take: Sling TV’s Orange plan is noted for its value to cord-cutters who want to watch ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 for a mere $40 per month. It’s ideal for sports fans seeking affordability without sacrificing key content. 

Hulu Live TV has over 90 channels, including ESPN, ACC Network, Big Ten Network and ESPN3, for $76.99 per month. The addition of Disney+ and ESPN+ makes it a unique value, especially for those who want to save from bundling multiple streaming services. 

What streaming services offer ESPN3?

Streaming ServiceFree TrialCost Per Month
Hulu Live TVNo$76.99
Sling TV (Orange Plan)No$40.00
DIRECTV STREAMYesStarts at $79.99
YouTube TVYes$72.99
FuboYesStarts at $79.99

Can You Watch ESPN3 on the ESPN App?

Yes, the ESPN app is the main way to watch ESPN3 with or without a cable subscription. 

Cable subscribers, including those with Comcast and Spectrum, stream ESPN3 in a similar manner. 

Sling TV and some other services include ESPN3 in their channel guides. If not, you can still start watching ESPN3 through the app. ESPN3’s role as a digital platform has been pivotal for fans of college football, NCAA basketball, and the FIFA World Cup.

How to Stream ESPN3 on Any TV or Device

You can stream ESPN3 without a cable subscription using DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, or YouTube TV. The steps are consistent across devices like LG Smart TVs or Roku:

  1. Download and open the ESPN app on your device.
  2. Navigate to the settings, select ‘Account Information.’
  3. Choose ‘TV Provider’ and select your streaming service.
  4. Follow on-screen instructions and visit to activate. Use your streaming service credentials to activate ESPN3 on the app. This activation is necessary across devices and web browsers.

Hulu + Live TV: Stream ESPN3 & ESPN Networks

Hulu Live TV gives you access to ESPN3 and over 90 channels. 

To start watching ESPN3 with Hulu Live TV, you need to use the ESPN app. The Live TV plan with Hulu includes ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and ESPNews.

The plan, at $76.99 per month, allows streaming on two devices simultaneously and includes Disney+ and ESPN+. This live TV streaming service is currently the easiest way to bundle the full slate of ESPN networks along with local broadcast channels like ABC with ESPN+.  

Hulu Live TV offers a mix of sports, entertainment, and family programming, making it a comprehensive choice.

Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (With Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads)$76.99/month90+
Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads)$89.99/month90+
Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, VIZIO SmartCast, Sony Bravia, PlayStation, XBox, Xfinity Flex and Xumo TV.

Sling TV: Affordable Way to Watch ESPN3 Live

Sling TV provides a cost-effective way to access ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. 

The Sling Orange plan, at $40 per month, features a selection of about 31 channels. Subscribers also receive 50 hours of Cloud DVR. For those wanting more, combining Sling Orange and Blue plans increases the channel lineup for $55 per month. All customers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR. 

Sling TV’s flexibility and price point make it ideal for budget-conscious sports fans.

Blue$40/month41 (Locals included)
Orange + Blue$55/month88
Device support: AirTV Mini, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast along with Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast.

Fubo: Streaming ESPN3 Live

Fubo’s entry-level Pro bundle includes ESPN3, accessible through the ESPN app. 

The Pro plan costs $79.99 per month. With roughly 189 channels, the service caters to a broad audience. Fubo offers local channels in most U.S. areas and a variety of sports and entertainment networks. 

ESPN, ESPN2, Food network, Fox News, HGTV, Big Ten Network, Disney Junior, and Comedy Central are part of the Pro bundle. HGTV, AMC, Big Ten Network and ACC Network are included in the Pro channel bundle.

Add-on packages such as Sports Plus or Fubo Extra allow subscribers to customize their channel lineup. 

The Sports Plus bundle adds 32 more channels and costs $10.99 per month. It includes NFL RedZone, all four Stadium networks, Sports Illustrated TV, Golf TV English, Golf TV Spanish, PAC 12 Arizona, PAC 12 Bay Area, PAC 12 Los Angeles, PAC 12 Mountain, PAC 12 Oregon, PAC 12 Washington, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Pacific, FNTSY, Fight Network and TyC Sports.

All subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR storage. You can watch live TV on 10 screens at once.  

Elite $89.99/month255
Premier$99.99/month264 & Showtime
Device support: Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Xbox One, along with Smart TVs by Hisense, Samsung, LG, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast TV. Android, iPhones and iPads with current iOS.


DIRECTV STREAM offers ESPN3 access through the ESPN app across four plans. The service provides a wide range of sports, entertainment and cable news channels along with local broadcast channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and FOX.

All subscribers get unlimited home streaming, no limit on Cloud DVR and a vast on-demand library. DIRECTV STREAM’s flexibility and extensive channel lineup appeal to those seeking traditional cable options without the contract.

Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia

YouTube TV: Watch ESPN3 Live Online

YouTube TV enables ESPN3 streaming through the ESPN app. The live TV streaming service has 128+ channels and costs $72.99 per month.

A&E, ESPN, HGTV and CNN are part of the base plan channel lineup. 

A subscription includes unlimited Cloud DVR and allows streaming on three devices simultaneously. YouTube TV’s comprehensive channel list and user-friendly features make it a competitive option, though its cost may be a factor for some.

YouTube TV$72.99/month128
Device support: Android TV, Google TV, Smart TVs by Samsung, LG, VIZIO, Hisense, Sharp and Sony; Chromecast, Google TV, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Google Nest Hub; Android and iOS devices.

Upcoming Sports Streaming Service: A Collaboration Between ESPN, FOX, & Warner Bros. Discovery

ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery are uniting to launch a new sports-focused streaming service in fall 2024. This groundbreaking platform aims to revolutionize how fans engage with sports entertainment, eliminating the need for traditional cable or satellite subscriptions.

The channel lineup is set to be extensive, featuring a mix of ESPN, FOX Sports, and Warner Bros. Discovery channels. The announced channel lineup includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, plus major networks like ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, and truTV. Subscribers also get ESPN+ as part of the package.

While ESPN3 has been among the announced channels, the digital sibling of the ESPN networks is generally made available to any streaming or cable plan that carries ESPN networks. 

Pricing for this new sports TV service remains under wraps, with projections suggesting a range of $40 to $50 monthly. This positions the service as a competitive option for sports enthusiasts looking for comprehensive coverage without high costs.

Subscribers can look forward to a wide variety of live sports programming previously limited to cable and satellite providers. Highlights include:

  • Professional Football: NFL and UFL coverage.
  • Basketball: NBA and WNBA games.
  • Baseball: MLB season and playoffs.
  • Hockey: NHL matchups.
  • College Sports: Extensive coverage from top conferences and NCAA Championship Events.
  • Golf: Major tournaments including PGA Tour and The Masters.
  • Tennis: Grand Slam events like Wimbledon and the US Open.
  • Cycling: Key races such as Giro d’Italia.
  • Soccer: International and domestic competitions, including the FIFA World Cup and UEFA.
  • Combat Sports: UFC fights and Top Rank boxing.
  • Auto Racing: Formula 1, NASCAR, and endurance races.

The unnamed service will be offered as a standalone subscription, or as an add-on through Disney+, Hulu, and Max.  

As this new service prepares for its debut, it signifies a major shift in sports broadcasting, merging the strengths of ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery into a single, powerful streaming option. This initiative promises to provide sports fans with unparalleled access to live events and exclusive content, all in one place.

How to Watch ESPN3 FAQs

Does ESPN Plus Include ESPN3 Live Stream?

No, ESPN Plus does not offer live streams of ESPN3. It is a separate service featuring live sports such as Big 10 and Big 12 college football, MLB, NHL, UFC matches and a number of soccer leagues.

ESPN Plus streams exclusive programs like documentaries and on-demand shows but does not include ESPN cable networks. Subscribers can stream on three devices simultaneously for $10.99 per month, and cancel anytime.

Can I get ESPN3 with an internet connection?

In years past, certain ISPs offered ESPN3 for free. This changed when ESPN introduced ESPN360, which re-launched as ESPN3 in 2010. 

ESPN3 remained available through ISPs that continued to pay the fee. But not every ISP kept paying and some customers have noticed. There is a list of “participating providers” that support ESPN3 that still exists online.

What happened to WatchESPN?

The WatchESPN app was discontinued on July 1, 2019, and merged into the ESPN app. Despite the change, some still refer to it as WatchESPN. This consolidation has streamlined access to ESPN’s digital content, including ESPN3, through a single platform.

How can I watch ESPN3 on my TV?

If you subscribe to a live TV streaming service that carries ESPN networks, then you can use your account information to activate the ESPN app, and start watching ESPN3. Subscriptions from Sling TV (Orange plan), DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV get you access to a live stream of ESPN3.

Is ESPN3 available on YouTube TV?

Yes, YouTube TV subscribers can watch ESPN3 by activating the ESPN app with their subscription. This integration ensures YouTube TV stream all the live sports ESPN3 offers.

Can I get ESPN3 without a cable subscription?

Yes. Live TV streaming services such as Sling TV (Orange plan), DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV support streaming ESPN3 live. Anyone using a college (.edu) or military (.mil) network could get complimentary access to ESPN3.

What streaming services offer ESPN3?

DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all include ESPN3 as part of a subscription. But you have to watch ESPN3 by activating the ESPN app with your streaming service account.

Do I need to activate ESPN3 separately on my streaming service?

Yes, accessing ESPN3 requires activation of the ESPN app using your live TV streaming service credentials. This step is necessary for streaming ESPN3 content live.

Is there a free way to watch ESPN3?

ESPN3 offers complimentary access through certain .edu and .mil networks, providing a way to watch without additional costs. Check if your institution or service network offers this benefit. You can also use ESPN3 during a free trial with DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo and YouTube TV.

What sports events are available on ESPN3?

ESPN3 is a go-to destination for live college sports, tennis, golf, soccer, and cricket events. It also features replays from ESPN’s family of networks, catering to a broad spectrum of sports fans.


I spend hundreds of hours throughout the year conducting hands-on testing of streaming services, including Peacock, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV. I do the same rigorous testing for TV antennas and TV-related hardware. Check out the review policy to see how I compare products and services. The Cord Cutting Report is a reader-supported publication, and may earn affiliate commissions when you pick a streaming service through a recommendation. Read our affiliate policy for more information.

Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.