ESPN launched ESPN3 in the mid-2000s as ESPN360, which was an online only channel providing tons of access to live sporting events as well as replays of previous ESPN-broadcast events. It re-branded to ESPN3 in 2010 and now airs thousands of events each year located across the world. In addition to live events, ESPN3 lets users watch previously aired events on-demand often for up to 30 days. Now, it’s possible to watch ESPN3 online, without cable TV!
Examples of sporting events available to watch as an ESPN3 live stream would be college football (including a part of the college bowl game schedule), college basketball, worldwide soccer matches, professional tennis, and tons of other games. In addition to airing exclusive sporting events only available on ESPN3, the digital channel also carries any live sports that are airing on ABC. This includes everything from the NBA Finals to featured college football matchups, giving you a way to watch online if you don’t get ABC at home or on the go.
Previously, one of the biggest reasons to not cut cable was the lacking of access to live sporting events without a cable subscription. Luckily, there are now several legal options to watch ESPN3 live stream free online and a bunch of other sports programming.
Read on to learn about the best legal ways to watch ESPN3 online without cable TV.
Sling TV Provides ESPN3 Live Stream in Basic Package
Sling TV will be your best option to watch ESPN3 online. Launched early in 2015 by Dish Network, Sling TV is a subscription streaming service that provides users with the ability to live stream a broad selection of popular cable channels. The service is delivered over the internet and does not even require a contract.
The cool thing about using Sling TV to watch ESPN3 is that the digital channel is integrated right into Sling’s guide with all the other traditional linear channels. That means you don’t have to bother logging into the WatchESPN app.
The basic package for Sling TV is just $20 per month. As mentioned, there is no contract, which means you can cancel anytime you’d please. Also, Sling TV has add-on packages. For just $5 extra per month you can subscribe to one of these packages and gain access to several more channels. One example is the Sports Extra Package, which gives you access to ESPNews, ESPNU, SEC Network, SEC Network+, and other ESPN channels for only $5 more per month.
Sling TV has gained so much popularity because it has given its subscribers so many options to watch sports legally. No longer do you have to take risks looking for a live stream of your favorite sports team games, because now you can sign up for Sling TV and watch ESPN3 online live streaming. You can watch ESPN3 on Apple TV, Roku, computers, etc.
There’s also a ton of very generous deals going on right now, like:
- A free Roku streaming device (with 3 months prepayment for Sling TV)
- A discounted Apple TV (with 3 months prepayment for Sling TV)
- An exclusive 30% discount for T-Mobile subscribers
- A free 7-day trial for anyone interested
These deals are current as of the time of this writing, but do keep in mind that details change from time to time. Click on the links to be taken to the most recent sign-up offer.
You can go ahead and try out Sling TV for free for 7 days and discover all of the benefits. This is a great way to watch an ESPN3 live stream free!
What are the Channels You Can Get on Sling TV?
Other than the price, one of the best aspects of Sling TV’s offering is the multitude of channels it provides with its basic subscription. The ESPN family of networks was mentioned above, but with a subscription you also get AMC, TNT, CNN, HGTV, TBS, Travel Channel, Food Network, and much more.
A basic subscription included 25+ channels. Sling TV was very selective in deciding the channels it would include and it turned into a great blend of channels for all types of people. For only $20 per month, that’s a pretty great deal!
What Devices are Compatible to Watch Sling TV and ESPN3?
Sling TV is accessible from most major devices. The subscription for Sling TV allows you to view the ESPN3 live stream on all of your preferred devices, which is great. It means you can watch an ESPN3 live stream from your living room.
With Sling, you can watch ESPN3 streaming on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Tablet, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, or Xbox One. Also, you can access ESPN3 from iOS and Android mobile devices, plus your computer.
Are There Other Ways to Watch ESPN3 Live Stream?
There are some additional ways to access an ESPN3 live stream online without a cable subscription.
First, let’s discuss the way you can watch ESPN3 online free. ESPN allows subscribers to a specific set of internet providers access to ESPN3 online. You can see the set of internet providers here.
If your provider is on the list you gain access to ESPN3 programming on WatchESPN’s website or on Xbox with an Xbox Live Gold membership. You cannot watch the other channels WatchESPN provides, only ESPN3, and do not have the ability to access the service from the multiple devices. It is clearly not as full of an option as Sling TV, but it still provides an opportunity to watch ESPN3 online without a cable subscription!
Two other options to access ESPN3 streaming without cable include PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now. Both are live streaming services similar to Sling TV, but both have a higher price point than Sling. Furthermore, the ESPN3 stream is not embedded into the guides of these services. Instead, you have to login to the WatchESPN app with your credentials for the streaming service you have to access ESPN3 streaming.
What is ESPN+?
ESPN+ is a separate service that costs $4.99 a month and lets you watch live sports like golf, boxing, MLS, MLB, NHL, as well as some mid-major college sports. Don’t worry, you also get access to all the ESPN shows like Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, and SportsCenter. Along with that, you can watch any of the 30 for 30 documentaries (our favorite is I Hate Christian Laettner).
On the surface, ESPN+ sounds great, but don’t let it lure you in too quickly. ESPN+ doesn’t carry the bigger sporting events. So, if you want to watch the NBA, MLB, or major MLB games, plan on watching ESPN elsewhere.
Starting in January 2019, ESPN+ will show up to 15 UFC matches every year. Who knows, maybe ESPN+ starts with live UFC events, and works it way to even more live sports content. Stay tuned to find out what else ESPN+ adds to sweeten the deal.
Is ESPN+ worth it?
Long-story short, probably not. However, if you like mid-major college conferences, MLS, or day-time MLB games, then $4.99 a month for ESPN+ could be a perfect fit for you. If not, plan on signing up for a streaming service that delivers you the big-game goods.
Have any questions about how to watch an ESPN3 live stream without cable? Comment below and we’ll help you access ESPN3 streaming on your favorite devices. Also, don’t forget to check out our sports streaming guide to learn how to watch sports online!