Regardless of what sports you follow, you’ve likely come across ESPN at some stage, whether it’s to check for highlights, final scores or catch live games. One of the biggest players in the sports streaming industry, ESPN has long been available on services like Foxtel and Fetch, although there’s plenty on its website and app. But is it worth signing up to? Canstar Blue investigates.
What is ESPN?
Otherwise known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, ESPN has been around since 1979 in America, before making the move to Australia in 1995. With multiple channels now available in Australia, ESPN covers a number of sporting leagues and competitions, both locally and internationally. ESPN is also home to fantasy teams, making it a hub for those who enjoy setting up an office sweeps when the season comes around.
What sports are on ESPN?
If you’re a fan of American sports such as the NBA and NFL, then ESPN may be just the ticket for you, offering coverage and plenty of extras, such as analysis, news updates and game previews. While it may only deliver coverage for games in select sporting codes, ESPN offers updates and results on plenty more codes and leagues from around the globe, meaning that if you’re only after the final score, it could still be worth checking out.
Here are some of sports that ESPN offers live and on-demand coverage for:
- X Games
- World Poker Championships
- American college sports
How does ESPN work in Australia?
ESPN is essentially a hub for all things sports, with score updates, breaking news and interviews available, meaning you can treat it like the sports section of your local newspaper. Unlike your local newspaper though, ESPN allows you to personalise what you see, allowing you to select teams, leagues and specific players to keep an eye on, sending you an alert notification when one of your selected options makes headlines or is hitting the court or field.
- To personalise, simply create an ESPN account for free and select your teams and players of choice.
How to stream ESPN
While getting the final score and latest news is free on ESPN, watching games unfortunately isn’t. To live stream games through the ESPN website, you’ll have to have an account with a provider – such as Fetch or Foxtel. However, if you’re already a customer, all you need to do is simply click on the video you wish to stream and you’re good to go. In addition to accessing the streams directly through the ESPN website, you can also access matches and ESPN content through the providers below.
ESPN on Kayo
With Kayo one of the newest entrants to the sports streaming market, ESPN and Kayo have teamed up as broadcast partners, with Kayo offering some of ESPN’s content, including documentaries, news and analysis, as well as live streams on some of Kayo’s dedicated sporting channels.
If you’re a fan of sports, regardless of where or how they’re played, Kayo may be worth looking into to help you stay up to date with the latest results and coverages.
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ESPN on Foxtel
Foxtel customers keen on their sports will have likely been a frequent visitor to the ESPN channels, with Foxtel having been the go-to option for overseas sports. Currently, Foxtel showcases two ESPN channels, including:
- Channel 509 – ESPN
- Channel 510 – ESPN2
Each channel focusses on different sports and leagues, meaning flicking between the two may be on the cards if you’re in for a lazy afternoon in front of the TV.
ESPN on Fetch TV
Similar to Foxtel, ESPN and ESPN 2 channels are available on Fetch TV through one of its channel packs. For an additional $6 per month, you can sign up to the Vibe Pack (which also includes MTV, Comedy Central and E!), with a subscription manager available via the Fetch TV website if you already have an account. ESPN can be found on Fetch on the following channels:
- Channel 150 – ESPN
- Channel 151 – ESPN2
How to sign up to ESPN
Signing up to ESPN is as simple as creating an account, which you can do via the ESPN homepage. You’ll simply need to enter your name, email and a password. You will also be asked if you’d like to customise your account, although this is optional and can be done at a later time.
Available on both iOS and Android systems, the ESPN app is free to download and works similarly to the website. The ESPN app is compatible with Chromecast, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon TV and Apple TV, allowing you to throw the match up on the big screen.
Is ESPN+ available in Australia?
A recent addition to the ESPN ranks, ESPN+ is essentially an upgraded version of the now defunct ESPN Insider, with a few fancy extras such as live and on-demand games. However, ESPN+ is not available in Australia, with no mention of Aussies getting access to it in the near future.
Is ESPN worth it?
With the sports streaming landscape constantly changing, and with so many sports, leagues and competitions to keep track of, it can be tough to decide between which services score a touchdown or which ones will put you offside. ESPN has been around the block, and is well-known with both casual and die-hard sports fans, meaning it’ll likely have something for everyone, no matter which team you support.
However, with ESPN available across multiple platforms, signing up to an account via the ESPN website becomes a question on what you want to get out of it, and whether you’re looking to spend any money. If you’re just looking for match results, the ESPN website or app will keep you in the know, while those looking to watch games may be better off signing up to Kayo, Foxtel or Fetch to gain access to ESPN’s broadcasts and extras. At the end of the day however, with plenty of sporting websites and providers available, it’s always best to do your research to see which ones are worth following through with, or which ones are best to let go through to the keeper.
Picture credits: Sharaf Maksumov/shutterstock.com, Kaspars Grinvalds/shutterstock.com