ALTERNATIVES

50 Best ESPN+ Alternatives To Stream Free Sports In 2022

What is ESPN+?

One of those networks that hardly requires an introduction is ESPN+. ESPN+ is undoubtedly well-known to sports enthusiasts everywhere. Heck, ESPN is known even by folks who don’t care for sports. And no, it’s not when you have mind-reading abilities. ESP is that (as the movie Mean Girls taught us all). However, having ESPN on is similar to having ESP for all of the sports you care about. Over the years, they have established quite a name for themselves, to the point where many people prefer ESPN to all other sports news networks.

It turns out, though, that ESPN is helpful for a lot more than simply sports news. In reality, ESPN offers its own streaming service, which not only provides users with access to a tonne of unique, original programming but also positions itself as a crucial tool for anyone looking to keep up with all of the live games they need to watch.

Face it, there are occasions when you must miss the game. You can’t watch every play, no matter how devoted a fan you are. else, can you? However, there are premium services available to make sure that, at the very least, you can hear about every game’s highlights. It may not be possible to watch every play in real-time. Few premium news and streaming services can even come close to competing with ESPN Plus.

Despite this, there are still a lot of sports streaming services available; how can you tell if ESPN+ is the best option for you? So, in order to decide, you’ll need to first have a look at the streaming service, learn more about it, and consider how much the monthly fee will be.

PROS

  • Several live sporting events, especially for college sports
  • Constant stream performance
  • Access to ESPN’s top-notch archives on demand
  • Supports mobile offline downloads

CONS

  • Excludes the majority of ESPN’s primary programming
  • No live NBA or NFL events
  • DVR functionality is absent.espn+

History

In August 2016, MLB Advanced Media’s streaming technology venture, BAMTech, saw the acquisition of a minority stake by The Walt Disney Company. For a total of $1 billion, Disney purchased their shares, which also included a future option to purchase a majority stake should the investment turn out to be as successful as Disney executives had anticipated. However, at about the same time, it was also revealed that ESPN, a Disney subsidiary, had plans to create its own over-the-top streaming service. At the time, this initiative was referred to as “an exploratory OTT project,” and it would primarily transmit ESPN-owned material and programming.

It turned out that Watch ESPN, ESPN’s TV Everywhere service, was already utilizing BAMTech’s technology. When profits in the cable television sector were declining as a result of cord-cutting, Disney CEO Bob Iger noted that “live sports has really thrived, even in a world when there’s so much more for people to do and to watch.”

In August 2017, Disney exercised its option to buy that majority share in BAMTech. This statement was made along with the news that ESPN would be launching an over-the-top streaming service in 2018 (which would be followed by Disney releasing its own over-the-top service in 2019 under the name Disney Plus).

Disney asserted that ESPN would use its licensing agreements with the MLB, NHL, and Major League Soccer to source content for its streaming service from ESPN-owned rights to sports broadcasts. Therefore, ESPN Plus would become the “primary digital destination for sports content” following the makeover and redistribution of the ESPN app’s content. The following few years saw Disney continue its steady domination of digital media.

About ESPN+

For instance, Disney declared their acquisition of 20th Century Fox in December 2017. The agreement with Fox stipulated that Fox Sports Network material could also be included on ESPN Plus (and all regional divisions). However, due to antitrust rules, this strategy would ultimately force Disney to forgo some of the Fox Sports Network deal.

However, that hasn’t stopped ESPN Plus from rising to the top of the list of most-used (if not the most-used) OTT sports streaming services. Iger claimed in a statement he released in February 2018 that ESPN Plus was aiming for one of the most competitive monthly prices in the world of premium digital streaming, at $4.99/month. BTech and ESPN Plus were moved into Disney’s newly established Disney Direct to Consumer and International segment following some minor corporate restructuring. On April 2, 2018, ESPN announced that ESPN Plus would officially launch on April 12, 2018, and they also confirmed the $4.99/month price point.

All previous subscribers to ESPN’s premium services reported a fairly smooth transfer as well. For instance, ESPN declared on August 21st, 2018, that it has successfully combined its prior ESPN premium subscription service under ESPN Plus, gaining access to the premium members’ area of ESPN.com in the process (including exclusive stories, advanced sports statistics, and analytics tools). Therefore, users of ESPN Insider were grandfathered into ESPN Plus and the $10 yearly fee difference was waived.

Design

ESPN+ features a top-notch app design, as one would expect from any service connected to Disney. In fact, ESPN Plus ought to look rather familiar to anyone who has previously watched Disney Plus. Of course, ESPN Plus (like Disney Plus) has chosen to use a larger icon style, which is similar to the traditional Netflix layout (with thumbnails of available material that are arranged by categories). I adore the bigger thumbnails on ESPN Plus, and I believe that it creates a slightly more immersive experience. ESPN (and Disney) Plus has always made me feel more like I’m engaging with various content options rather than just browsing a library of episodes.

Overall, I think ESPN Plus’s design is classy from an aesthetic perspective. But even more crucially, it is simple to use and seamless. The same cannot be easily said of, for example, Hulu or Netflix’s somewhat awkward designs. By selecting a certain title, you will be given plenty of information on that title without necessarily having to click on a new page. This makes it possible to browse content with ease and convenience which is uncommon, especially for sports streaming services.

Best ESPN Alternatives

ESPN is a well-known sports channel situated in the United States that was founded by ESPN Inc. As a sports enthusiast, you can access it through both a website and an app. The website and app are accessible 24 hours a day, wherever.

If you want to keep up with current sporting events, the website is the ideal place to go. The ESPN app will come to your aid if you are regular and would also like to stream recent and present activities in excellent quality. However, if you are still looking for alternatives, have a look at the list given below.

ESPN Alternatives

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Content

Another area where ESPN Plus excels is in this one. A large variety of live sports broadcasts, exclusive pay-per-view events, original TV programming, as well as a tonne of news stories and stats are all available on ESPN Plus, which is unlike any other sports network. ESPN Plus offers thousands of live TV events, including MLB, NHL, Series A, FA Cup, Top Rank Boxing, and MLS games. Additionally, ESPN Plus offers hundreds of live broadcasts of all your preferred collegiate sports, including football, basketball, and even lacrosse, as well as Grand Slam Tennis.

Numerous ESPN original programs are also available on ESPN Plus, many of which feature analysis and commentary from the greatest athletes of all time. Enjoy unrestricted access to programs like NBA Rooks, Boardroom, Peyton’s Places, and Ariel and the Bad Guy (to name a few). You will never run out of pre-recorded on-demand content to watch if you add unlimited access to ESPN’s premium sports content, stats analytics, and special offers on PPV events to that list, along with total access to a tonne of ESPN’s original sports documentaries with the 30 for 30 libraries.

Experience with Mobile and Desktop

One of the top-rated sports apps available is ESPN Plus. People appear to be very happy with both the mobile and desktop versions of ESPN Plus, as evidenced by their average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store (and their inclusion as an Editor’s Pick). And I’ll admit that the interaction between the two is as seamless as it gets. For instance, you can pause programming on your Smart TV and resume it where you left off on your iPhone or Android mobile. You’ll have a very natural and user-friendly experience when using any device to view ESPN Plus.

Web-based ESPN+

You only need to supply an email address and a password to sign up for an ESPN+ subscription. Either check in on the main ESPN website and then go to the ESPN+ page or go directly to espn.com/watch to access ESPN+ online. Your subscription can be managed online.

A top menu bar with the following sections: Featured, Originals, Browse, Schedules & Replays, and Articles allows you to navigate the experience. The service’s top live events, as well as forthcoming events, are highlighted in the Features area, along with important on-demand programs and ESPN+ originals. Only those restricted shows are featured in the Originals section. You can sort the catalog by sport, league, conference, or show in the Browse area.

Be aware that not all content in the Browse section is accessible on ESPN+. You may need to log in using your cable or video streaming service account to access some shows and live events. Things that are accessible on ESPN+ are indicated by a golden emblem in the top left corner of each show’s thumbnail. To avoid this confusion, I would like ESPN to separate the full ESPN+ experience into its own streaming interface.

Plans and Pricing

As I’ve already indicated, ESPN Plus has one of the greatest pricing for streaming services. Get complete access to ESPN Plus for only $4.99 per month. You may also choose to benefit from a very special offer. You can combine ESPN Plus with Hulu and Disney Plus for $12.99. And that might be the best offer available online – you can get three of the top streaming services for just a few dollars a month more than you are paying for Netflix. I don’t think you can go wrong with that package.

VPN and ESPN+

You can spoof your location and safeguard your privacy online with a VPN. In an effort to impose regional streaming limits, many video streaming services attempt to prevent VPN traffic. ESPN+, on the other hand, would have a justification to stop you from streaming using a VPN connection because it isn’t accessible outside of the US.

For testing, I connected a desktop computer and a smartphone to Mullvad VPN servers located in the US, and ESPN+ banned access on both devices. Even if you discover that your VPN and video streaming service cooperate without any problems, this may not always be the case. We advise you to select a VPN based on additional considerations such as cost, privacy policies, and security features.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ESPN+ merit a purchase?

ESPN+ is a good option if you don’t have cable and want to watch some live sports without paying for one of the more expensive live TV programs. It does not offer any live coverage of NBA or NFL games, but it does offer access to some NHL and MLB games, a tonne of soccer, and a staggering number of collegiate sporting events.

What services does ESPN+ offer?

You may watch thousands of live college games as well as live boxing, MMA, golf, tennis, cricket, lacrosse, rugby, and other sports with an ESPN+ subscription. MLB regular-season games are also accessible through ESPN+.

What is the legitimacy of ESPN.com?

Overview. With 115 reviews and a consumer rating of 3.13 stars, ESPN shows that most customers are generally happy with their purchases. The most commonly cited sports news and global leader by delighted customers is ESPN. Among sports news websites, ESPN is ranked 70th.

Watch a few sports and sports programming

ESPN+ is a good option if you don’t have cable and want to watch some live sports without paying for one of the more expensive live TV programs. It does not offer any live coverage of NBA or NFL games, but it does offer access to some NHL and MLB games, a tonne of soccer, and a staggering number of collegiate sporting events. ESPN+ is a requirement if you want to watch UFC fights. The service doesn’t offer ESPN’s top shows like SportsCenter or NFL Live, but ESPN+’s original series and archives of prestige shows (30 for 30 and E:60) can be a good substitute. We want ESPN+ to have DVR features.

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