It’s tough to compete with ESPN+ and its programming of all things sports. ESPN+ may not be an exact replica of the ESPN cable network, but when stacked up against other niche apps, it outscores in both price and number of sporting events. The ESPN+ channels consist of a diverse range of content like sports commentary shows and live sports broadcasts. Just don’t expect to see anything other than sports-themed programming. ESPN+ also has quite a few shows and events exclusive to its platform. For example, its app hosts ESPN+ UFC fights, which are only available on its streaming app. Although, you’re required to pay additional pay-per-view (PPV) costs on top of your monthly fee.
ESPN+ is also available as part of the Disney+ bundle, which also includes Hulu for only $12.99/mo. If you want to learn all there is to know about ESPN+ outside of just its channel list, we recommend our full ESPN+ review.
What is ESPN+?
ESPN+ doesn’t offer channels like cable-alternative streaming services. As an on-demand streaming app that focuses purely on sports, you can choose between live broadcasts and exclusive shows. ESPN+ is an extension of ESPN, which means it’s also not ESPN2 or ESPN3. There’s no definitive list of channels or anything of that nature, but there are thousands of live events, games and matches. As a sports streaming app, it’s not a cable-alternative service like fuboTV or Hulu + Live TV. Instead, ESPN+ works more like a supplementary app to ESPN, sort of like “ESPN Lite.”
|ESPN+||1,000+ live sports and 35+ shows||$4.99/mo.||● Live sports programming|
● Exclusive UFC coverage
● Offline downloads for select content
What is the full ESPN+ channel list?
The ESPN+ channel list includes a rotating schedule that amounts to thousands of live events for $4.99/mo. or $49.99/yr. Unfortunately, there’s currently no free trial available.
Even though ESPN+ doesn’t carry channels in the same way as traditional TV providers, it still streams a variety of live and on-demand content. You can access your ESPN+ catalog directly through your ESPN app. Then, you can choose between Featured or Original content. Or, you can opt to browse specific conferences, leagues, originals, sports and more.
The ESPN+ schedule is split into three sections — Live Now, Upcoming and Replay. So, if you want to see what live events are coming up, simply navigate to the Upcoming section. You’ll notice a list of sporting events followed by the time of broadcast and a brief description.
Some of the events available on ESPN+, like UFC matches, require you to pay additional PPV costs. As far as regional sports networks (RSNs) are concerned, when Disney acquired FOX and its properties, it sold its RSNs to Sinclair Broadcast Group. So, sports programming operates more like a medley of varying sports and leagues. The other sporting events on the schedule are available nationwide.
Channels included in the ESPN+ package
When it comes down to ESPN+, what you see is what you get. There are no additional packages to choose from or anything of that nature. However, you can access ESPN+ content from your ESPN app.
For sports fans: Sports fans will get the most out of ESPN+’s live sports programming. Live sporting events that you’ll get include Big 12, NHL, PGA Tour Golf, Top Rank Boxing, UFC and countless others.
For the latest news stories: ESPN+ offers a few sports news and commentary shows like 30 For 30, Detail, Ariel & The Bad Guy with Ariel Helwani, The Boardroom with KD, The Fantasy Show and an abridged version of ESPN’s widely popular SportsCenter. You’ll also have access to exclusive premium articles from top sports journalists Buster Olney, Eric Karabell and Mel Kiper Jr.
For kids and family networks: You won’t find content geared specifically towards children on ESPN+. But, pretty much all of ESPN+’s original content and live sports broadcasting is kid-friendly.
ESPN+ premium channels
ESPN+ isn’t a streaming service that’s available as a channel add-on for cable-alternatives like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. So, you won’t be able to add it as a premium channel as you would with HBO or Starz. You can download the ESPN+ app to your devices — for example, your game console, smartphone, smart TV and tablet.
Instead of premium channels, below are some of the top devices where you can download and stream ESPN+, along with noteworthy features.
|Top devices||Price||What’s included|
|Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K||$49.99||● 4K UHD & HDR streaming quality|
● Easily concealable streaming stick
● Remote with voice controls
|Apple TV 4K||$199||● 64GB storage space|
● 4K UHD & HDR streaming quality
● Remote with voice controls
|Google Chromecast||$69||● 4K UHD & HDR streaming quality|
● Easily concealable device
● Compatible with virtually every device
|Roku Ultra||$99.99||● 4K UHD & HDR streaming quality|
● Wireless streaming device
● Remote with voice controls & earbud jack for private listening
ESPN+ add-ons (or extras)
ESPN+ doesn’t offer add-ons or extras like cable-alternative services. Nevertheless, it’s part of the popular Disney Plus bundle.
The Disney+ bundle costs $12.99/mo. and includes both ESPN+ and Hulu. What makes the bundle so successful is how it combines entertainment, kid’s programming, movies, shows and sports all for one affordable price.
Each service provides its own set of features. For instance, Disney Plus lets you create up to seven user profiles to keep your preferred content separate from others in your household. Disney’s streaming app also lets you stream on four screens simultaneously. ESPN Plus, on the other hand, lets you stream on three screens at the same time, whereas Hulu’s limit is two.
Read more about this bundle in our Disney+, ESPN+ & Hulu bundle review.
Local channels on ESPN+
ESPN+ doesn’t carry any local channels or RSNs.
What about on-demand content on ESPN+?
ESPN+ has plenty of on-demand content for you to enjoy. The service has archived footage of games and matches, including several classic NFL matchups. Also available are ESPN+ originals, such as Detail, Draft Academy, 30 for 30 and ESPN Presents documentaries.
How does the ESPN+ channel list compare?
Let’s take a peek at how ESPN+ compares to some of the other sports-focused streaming apps out there.
For sports lovers
ESPN+ may have the name and clout to provide you with live sports and exclusive series, but there are a few others that may also be worth your time. As referenced above, DAZN ($20/mo.) costs significantly more than ESPN+, but you don’t need to worry about additional fees. However, the sports offered on DAZN are more obscure like darts and Japanese soccer leagues. In fact, DAZN’s major selling point is its live fight coverage that consists of events from Bellator and Top Rank Boxing.
You’d be hardpressed to find another streaming app that gives you live sports coverage for under $10/mo. Most live broadcasts are featured on traditional TV supplementary apps like FOX Sports GO. Still, there are a few exceptions. CBS All Access televises some sports coverage like NFL games that broadcast on the CBS cable network. CBS All Access starts at $5.99/mo. or you can pay $9.99/mo. to avoid ads when watching on-demand content, similar to Hulu Basic and Hulu No Ads. Although, when it comes down to price and televised sports, ESPN+ takes the edge.
Our hot take
ESPN+ may not offer traditional channels like you’d get with a cable-alternative service, but you’ll receive plenty of live sports and entertaining commentary from masters of the game. There are plenty of sports, including MLB, NCAA and NHL action, to give you your money’s worth. Plus, the only way to follow the UFC is with an ESPN+ account. Is ESPN+ an all-encompassing sports streaming service? Not exactly. Although, it works as a great supplementary service to ESPN. For the ultimate sports experience, we recommend ESPN+ along with a cable-alternative service like Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV or Sling TV.