What to watch on ESPN+

The perfect complementary service for fans of ESPN programming, ESPN+ provides you with additional live and on-demand shows for an enriching streaming experience. As clarified in our ESPN+ review, the ESPN+ content doesn’t mirror the regular ESPN cable programming. So while you can’t expect all of the same programming as on the main channel, ESPN+ offers some excellent bonus content that can complement your experience.

The service lets you watch live college basketball and football games as well as MLB, MLS and NHL events. But what makes this offering even more impressive is the robust lineup of on-demand ESPN Plus content. In fact, the service holds exclusive rights to stream on-demand episodes of the popular 30 for 30 documentary series.

At the same time, it may lack live coverage of major NBA games and NFL events. For that, you need popular channels like the regular version of ESPN as well as FOX Sports and NBC Sports Network. ESPN+ also lacks regional sports programming, so you can’t rely on it solely for a comprehensive streaming experience.

So before you subscribe to the service, you’ll want to know more about what comes with ESPN+ so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you. Even if you’re an existing subscriber, you might want to get some recommendations on the best ESPN+ content to watch. In this post, we take a closer look at what you can watch on ESPN+ and help you figure out how the service enhances your sports streaming experience. Read on to learn what you get with ESPN+. 

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Access live sports and additional content with ESPN+. Bundle with Hulu and Disney+ for more great content.

What to watch on-demand on ESPN+

The on-demand library of ESPN+ content spans across various popular sports categories. This includes baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey and tennis. It even has a decent selection of programming for NASCAR and F1 fans, as well as MMA and WWE lovers. In other words, there’s something for almost every type of sports fan.

Most of the on-demand content on the service focuses on informative documentaries that take you behind the scenes of your favorite events and sports. Some shows also give you an in-depth analysis of past games from influential names in the field, such as Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning.

You can even get access to some of the most iconic events of all time, featuring legends like Muhammad Ali. This makes the service perfect for diehard sports lovers who want to immerse themselves in the experience rather than watching just popular live games and events. So what can you watch on ESPN+, really? Let’s take a look at the on-demand content available for different types of sports fans.

For football lovers

ESPN+ features tons of live coverage from college football games. More importantly, it features some captivating movies and documentary series on some of the biggest events in college football. This includes The U from the 30 for 30 library, which gives you an interesting look at the heyday of the football program at the University of Miami.

Meanwhile, Pony Excess (also from the 30 for 30 library) gives you an in-depth look at the football scandal that tainted the history of Southern Methodist University. You can also stream ESPN+ original series such as Detail: From the Mind of Peyton Manning, in which Peyton Manning gives a detailed breakdown of NFL stars and games.

So while the ESPN Plus content lineup doesn’t include live NFL games, it still has a bunch of bonus on-demand programming to complement your football streaming experience. One of the main highlights of this lineup includes exclusive original series such as Peyton’s Places.

Peyton’s Places

This football-themed documentary features the legendary quarterback, Peyton Manning. In this 30-episode series, the Sheriff revisits some groundbreaking moments in NFL history and explores the league’s traditions. He takes us on an exciting journey through conversations and interviews with iconic figures such as Brett Favre, Deion Sanders and Emmitt Smith.

For basketball lovers

The ESPN+ content lineup for basketball fans mostly focuses on college games. For instance, you get on-demand access to the Earn Everything series, featuring the Duke University basketball team. The series gives you an inside look at how the Blue Devils prepare for the season.

Plus, the 30 for 30 library features a ton of basketball-focused programming, including historic events and viral scandals. Explore Steve James’ personal perspective of Iverson’s assault charge in No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson. And follow the North Carolina State Wolfpack as they win the 1983 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in Survive and Advance.

If you’re a Celtics or a Lakers fan, you might even enjoy the Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies documentary exploring the decades-long rivalry between the two teams. Or you could revisit the shocking death of Len Bias shortly after he became the second pick in the 1986 NBA draft in Without Bias.

Plus, there are a bunch of exclusive and original ESPN+ shows that focus on basketball.

Detail: Kobe Bryant

Created by NBA legend Kobe Bryant, this show takes you into the mind of one of basketball’s greatest players as he analyzes and breaks down footage from the league. He provides you with expert analysis and discusses popular NBA players of today, making it perfect for diehard fans and those who are serious about getting into the league someday.

For baseball lovers

Besides live MLB games daily, baseball fans can also enjoy a decent selection of on-demand content. Although compared to other sports, the on-demand library for baseball-focused programming is slightly more limited. But you can still find some excellent titles such as Brothers in Exile, Catching Hell and The Day The Series Stopped, which focus on historic MLB events in the 30 for 30 library.

Four Days in October

No. 24 in the 30 for 30 series, this film follows the miraculous comeback of the Boston Red Sox during the 2004 American League Championship Series. Four Days in October documents the team’s iconic win against the Yankees in the World Series.

For hockey lovers

Like with baseball, the on-demand library for hockey content on ESPN+ is slightly limited. While you can get some live NHL games on the service, you won’t get too many on-demand titles compared to other sports. But the 30 for 30 series has a bunch of titles that hockey fans will love. This includes Of Miracles and Men, the improbable gold medal win of Team USA during the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

Besides this, you can find a handful of episodes that highlight the sport or its famous players in ESPN+ originals such as Becoming.

Becoming: Henrik Lundqvist  

This episode of Becoming tells the story of the Swedish hockey player’s journey to becoming an iconic NHL goaltender and an Olympic gold medalist.

For soccer lovers

The ESPN+ content library doesn’t have too much in terms of on-demand programming for soccer fans. But you get excellent live coverage of events such as the CONMEBOL Copa America, the FA Cup and the UEFA Nations League. You can still find a handful of soccer-focused titles in the 30 for 30 library, including The ‘99ers, a captivating depiction of the 1999 Women’s World Cup.

The Two Escobars

Part of the 30 for 30 library, this documentary ties together two Colombians sharing the same last name – Andres Escobar and Pablo Escobar. While one Escobar successfully leads the Colombian team as captain, the other becomes a world-famous drug lord.

For MMA lovers

ESPN+ is also an excellent destination for MMA fans as the service gives you access to exclusive UFC Fight Nights and other UFC shows. Plus, you can get the best of UFC Fight Archives on-demand. Besides this, you get other on-demand shows focusing on MMA, with a dedicated Detail series featuring Daniel Cormier.

Why We Fight

Executive produced by Ronda Rousey, this series provides a platform for lesser-known fighters to discuss their backgrounds and motivations. This gives a good back-story to fighters, helping fans connect with them on a deeper level.

What to watch live on ESPN+

Although the ESPN Plus content doesn’t mirror the regular ESPN programming, it still gives you a decent selection of live TV coverage for various sports. As highlighted in our ESPN+ channel list guide, you can use the service to watch thousands of live sports programs. The service instantly highlights available live shows at the top of the page, so you can’t miss what’s on ESPN+.

With this, you should be able to watch several live in-season games from MLB, MLS and the NHL. The service also gives you a comprehensive selection of live boxing, college sports, international soccer, PGA golf, tennis and UFC events. But you won’t get live broadcasts of NBA and NFL games.

ESPN+ is the only service where you can get UFC pay-per-view events. Plus, you get a whole bunch of UFC live events such as exclusive UFC Fight Nights. So MMA fans won’t want to miss those. And you get live broadcasts of other major sporting events such as the CONMEBOL Copa America, the FA Cup, the UEFA Nations League, the US Open and more.

Our hot take

While the ESPN+ content lineup includes a robust selection of live sports coverage, it doesn’t completely replace regular ESPN programming. Rather, it works in tandem with the regular channel to bring you a highly comprehensive sports streaming experience. And it has both on-demand and live programming for almost every type of sports fan. So make the most of our guide above to figure out what’s on ESPN+ and whether the service is worth the investment. If you like what comes with ESPN+, sign up for the service today and immerse yourself in the world of your favorite sports.

Sign up for ESPN+
Get access to live sports content.

Access live sports and additional content with ESPN+. Bundle with Hulu and Disney+ for more great content.

Jacqueline Zote

Jacqueline Zote is a digital marketing and entertainment writer who makes regular contributions to Sprout Social and Recreation Insider. Her interests range from pop culture and mythology to social activism. When she’s not writing, she goes on food adventures and binges on crime drama. Her short fiction has been published by HarperCollins Publishers and Zubaan Books.