One of the first things people often learn about fuboTV is that they offer more sports than any other streaming service out there. This often leads people to wonder why ESPN was missing from the lineup. It might seem odd that the most popular sports channel in the country is missing from a sports-centric streaming service. Surely there would be a fuboTV ESPN add-on, right?
fuboTV ESPN: Why Was it Missing?
The main reason ESPN was not available on fuboTV has to do with pricing. The only way for fuboTV to add ESPN was to add a larger lineup of Disney owned channels. The fear was that if they could add ESPN to fuboTV on its own, it might not raise the package price too much. However, the fact that you have to add multiple channels and networks changes the fuboTV ESPN equation.
As Disney won’t allow a service to carry just ESPN, smaller services like fuboTV need to weigh whether or not the price increase is worth it to their customers. It was thought that adding ESPN and associated Disney channels would raise package pricing by at least $16 a month. This price is what goes to Disney specifically and would not include any pricing to fuboTV.
According to fuboTV representatives, they were open to adding ESPN and the Disney bundle to available packages, if things changed. However, the restrictions imposed meant higher prices for all customers and there are penetration requirements that could limit the fuboTV lineup in other ways. The fact that ESPN has to be bundled with other Disney channels is why there isn’t an ESPN add-on like you might find with other channels.
ESPN Will Now Be Added
fuboTV offers a robust lineup, and soon it’s going to be complete, as the company announced it will be adding Disney Media Networks for live TV and VOD. It will include ESPN (all networks), ABC, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, Nat Geo and many more, all of which will launch at an undisclosed date this summer. We can only imagine it will be before the larger sports organizations return, but that’s speculation.
A company spokesperson reached out to discuss how the deal rounds out the fuboTV offerings, offering the following points;
100% NFL coverage: ESPN, CBS, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, NFL Redzone
More US/int’l soccer than any other streaming service: ESPN (all networks incl. ESPN Deportes), beIN Sports (all networks), CBS, FOX, NBC, TUDN, Univision and many more
Majority college football coverage from pre-season all the way through the Bowl games: ESPN, ABC, SEC Network, ACC Network, NBC, FOX, Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Network
Majority MLB, NBA, NHL coverage: various networks
100% tennis coverage: ESPN, Tennis Channel
Plus golf, other college sports including college basketball, the X games, UFC Wrestling, and top sports talk programming including SportsCenter, Pardon the Interruption and College Gameday.
Why isn’t there a fuboTV ESPN Add-On?
fuboTV cannot provide an add-on for ESPN as a single channel option because that’s not currently allowed. In order for fuboTV to offer any ESPN networks, they have to offer the bundle with Disney and other channels. As this would take the price of fuboTV from $55 per month to over $70, the cost is considered too steep. As a younger, smaller company, fuboTV doesn’t have the funds to allow for a price hike like that.
fuboTV ESPN Alternatives
While fuboTV doesn’t offer ESPN just yet, it is coming very soon! In the meantime, if you’re serious about finding a service that does offer ESPN, there are several options available to you. Any of the following services will allow you to watch ESPN online without cable.
Hulu Live: Hulu Live is owned by Disney, so you’ll find all of your favorite Disney-owned channels here including multiple ESPN networks. Over 60 channels are included along with all of Hulu’s on-demand and original content. You’ll pay $55 per month for this package, which is the same price as the fuboTV package. With Hulu Live, you’ll have ESPN, ESPN2, and access to ESPN3 through the WatchESPN app. You can also stream other ESPN networks. ABC is included in most areas and you’ll have Disney, as well. There are no contracts with Hulu Live, so you can sign up for the free trial, test things out, and cancel if it’s not for you. Our Hulu Live review can tell you more.
Sling TV: Another great option for ESPN streaming is Sling TV. While there are three package options here, you’ll want the Sling Orange package to get ESPN. This package is the cheapest way to stream ESPN, as you’ll pay just $30 per month. Multiple ESPN networks are included. In fact, this is the only way to watch ESPN3 without the WatchESPN app. Sling TV offers ESPN3 straight through the Sling TV interface. While only 30+ channels are included, Sling TV offers an impressive system of bundle packages that allow you to customize your package to suit your needs. You can modify your package as you wish, or you can cancel at any time. Sling TV (review) offers a free 7-day trial to all new subscribers.
More Ways to Stream ESPN
AT&T TV NOW: The final, available option to stream ESPN comes from AT&T TV NOW. Each available package features ESPN, but the cheapest package is still $65 per month. You’ll be free to stream on most devices. Learn more in our AT&T TV NOW review.
YouTube TV: YouTube TV features over 70 channels including multiple ESPN networks and other Disney-owned channels. Packages start at $50 per month with no contracts. You can stream on most devices. Read our YouTube TV review, here.
If you have any questions about fuboTV, ESPN, feel free to let us know!
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