Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is WatchESPN?

WatchESPN is your single online and mobile destination for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater. Access to each network is based on your subscription with an affiliate video provider. Click here for more information.

What is the difference between WatchESPN and ESPN3?

WatchESPN delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater on computers, smartphones, tablets and TV connected devices.

ESPN3 is a live multi-screen digital network that provides thousands of live events annually, as well as replays of recent ESPN events.

Will there be an additional subscription fee for WatchESPN content?

No, WatchESPN is free to access for all users. All users will have access to the VOD clips in front of the wall. Users who receive their video subscription from an affiliated service provider will have access to authenticated live programming and events.

Is there a cost to download the WatchESPN app?

WatchESPN is free. However, you must be a subscriber of a participating TV service provider in order to have access to the full range of networks.

Is there a wireless data charge to view WatchESPN on my mobile device or tablet?

Many wireless providers have specific data plans to support video consumption, please check with your provider to confirm you have an appropriate plan.

Who will be able to access WatchESPN content?

Users with a WatchESPN affiliated video provider must authenticate to gain access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater. To view a list of the WatchESPN affiliated video providers, please click here.

Apple TV, Roku, FireTV and Android users who do not subscribe to an affiliated video provider will have access to ESPN.com video on demand clips only.

What networks are available thru WatchESPN?

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater

How can I get access to all ESPN networks available on WatchESPN?

Online registration through your TV service provider is required in order to access content on all networks. Non-participating TV provider customers have access to ESPN3 programming online only at WatchESPN.com or on WatchESPN on the Xbox with an Xbox LIVE Gold membership, as long as they subscribe to a participating high speed internet service provider. Click here for a list of participating video providers. Click here for a list of high speed internet providers.

Is the content on WatchESPN different from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater on my TV?

No, WatchESPN is a live stream of the ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater networks, and also ESPN3.

Why are ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater sometimes unavailable for viewing?

ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater are not 24 hour channels.

ESPN Goal Line features live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college football games during each Saturday of the college football season

ESPN Buzzer Beater features live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games during each Wednesday and Saturday of the college basketball season.

If I have access to ESPN3, why don't I have access to WatchESPN?

WatchESPN requires a video subscription from an affiliated provider. Click here for a list of the current affiliates.

Beginning on August 15, 2013, users accessing WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN mobile application via an on-campus (.edu) or on-base (.mil) network will receive complimentary access to ESPN3 content.

Why can't I get certain events that I used to have access to on ESPN on Xbox LIVE?

That content is now available on WatchESPN, which is also available to ESPN on Xbox LIVE Gold members.

Why can't I get certain events that I used to have access to on ESPN3?

That content is now available on WatchESPN. ESPN3 is a network focused fully on exclusive programming.

When did this change to ESPN3 programming begin?

Exclusive events have been a part of ESPN3 since its inception. Limited simulcasts were delivered since August 2012, but fully exclusive events on ESPN3 began on August 5, 2013.

What will I be able to watch on ESPN3 now?

Programming on ESPN3 includes exclusive college football, college basketball, NCAA Championships, tennis, golf, soccer, cricket and more.

When can I watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews and ESPN Deportes live events on ESPN3?

Excluding special circumstances resulting in a live event being moved to ESPN3; ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews and ESPN Deportes live events will only be available on their respective channels on WatchESPN.

Will I be able to watch those GamePlan and Full Court games on ESPN3?

Yes, games available on GamePlan and Full Court will continue to be carried on ESPN3, subject to local and regional blackouts.

Will replays still be available on ESPN3?

Yes, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews and ESPN Deportes replays will continue to be made available on ESPN3. Replays will be accessible as early as immediately after the conclusion of the event and no later than 2:30 a.m. ET that evening.

Can I access WatchESPN internationally?

At this time, WatchESPN is only available on U.S. domestic internet and wireless services.

What is a Blackout? How is my location determined if the event is blacked out?

Blackouts apply to telecasts that have been sold regionally or locally per league, conference and local rightsholder agreements. Regional and local rights holders are usually broadcast stations or regional sports networks. Blackouts are implemented to protect the primary rights holder, as defined by the professional and college sports leagues or teams in a given market. If you are receiving blackout messaging on WatchESPN, check your local listings to find the television network carrying the event.

If you see a message that states, "This content is subject to blackout", this is because the event that you requested is not available on WatchESPN in your location. Your location is determined by your IP Address. If you are connecting with a mobile device and believe you are incorrectly receiving blackout messaging, try connecting via WiFi. If you continue to receive inaccurate blackout messaging, please contact our Customer Care Team at 888-549-ESPN or @ESPN_FanCentral.

Will there be blackouts on WatchESPN?

Yes, as with television, blackouts will apply to telecasts that have been sold regionally or locally per league, conference and local rightsholder agreements. p>

Will Monday Night Football be available on WatchESPN?

Yes, Monday Night Football will be available to subscribers, via authentication, on WatchESPN.com, WatchESPN on; Apple TV, Roku, FireTV, X Box Live Gold, Windows 8, iPads and Android tablets, but NOT on phones at this time.

Why am I unable to watch Monday Night Football from my mobile device?

As a result of NFL exclusive rights agreements, Monday Night Football (and preseason NFL games) are only available on WatchESPN on a desktop, WatchESPN on Xbox with a Xbox Live GOLD membership, WatchESPN on Apple TV, Roku and FireTV, or on the WatchESPN application on Windows 8, iPads and Android tablets. Other mobile devices currently do not have access to Monday Night Football programming via the WatchESPN App.

I am a video subscriber to one of the affiliated providers. How do I authenticate?

Visit the What is WatchESPN? tab for an instructional video on how to authenticate your account for access.

How do I authenticate and log in to WatchESPN on my mobile or tablet device if my TV provider is a participating provider?

Go to www.espnnetworks.com/setup and follow the instructions to complete your online registration with your video service provider. This process also includes synching your video service provider online registration with your ESPN.com registration. Upon completion, you will be directed back to your mobile device or tablet. Once you have returned to the WatchESPN application, enter your ESPN.com registration credentials.

Will I be required to sign in every time I visit WatchESPN?

There is no need to re-enter any credentials, as long as you are accessing content from the same computer. For tablet and mobile devices, you will not need to re-enter credentials on a tablet or mobile device provided you don't logout of the application.

I am an ESPN video subscriber with a participating TV provider, will I have access to the same networks on WatchESPN if I log in away from home?

Yes. Once you log in to WatchESPN, click on any event with a blue "Watch Now" link and enter your credentials used for your TV service provider.

I am an ESPN video subscriber with a participating TV provider but I am unable to access all the networks on WatchESPN, why is this occurring?

Contact your TV service provider to ensure your online registration is complete and that your subscription is current.

What if my video subscription is not through one of the affiliated providers for WatchESPN?

We are working diligently to sign additional agreements for more fans to access WatchESPN. Call your TV provider to request WatchESPN.

Which ISPs allow access to WatchESPN?

WatchESPN requires a video subscription from an affiliated provider. A list of affiliated video providers can be found here.

I subscribe to Verizon Broadband (but not Verizon FIOS), can I get full access to all the networks on WatchESPN?

You will be able to view ESPN3 only on WatchESPN.

I get ESPN3 through my affiliated ISP. Why can't I access it through Apple TV, Roku or FireTV?

WatchESPN on Apple TV, Roku and FireTV require an affiliated video subscription.

What happens if I switch mobile devices?

If you have completed your online registration with your video service provider and have synched this registration with your ESPN.com registration, all you need to do is re-download the application and enter your ESPN.com login and password on the new device.

What happens if I switch wireless providers?

The process is exactly the same as viewing WatchESPN on an initial device for the first time.

Will WatchESPN also be available on WIFI?

WatchESPN will also work on WIFI, 3G and 4G service as long as you have an authenticated video subscription from an affiliated provider.

What is the Live Toolbar?

The Live Toolbar is a new WatchESPN feature available only on iPad and iPad mini (iOS 6.0 or later). The Live Toolbar provides users with access to a Live TV interactive channel guide for all ESPN Networks, eliminating the need to stop video and jump back to the schedule page to find a different event. It also features a Scores tab that provides users with Live, Final and Upcoming game information, as well as the Top Videos tab, featuring on-demand video clips from ESPN.com.

What are the Conference Channels on WatchESPN?

A total of 15 conference destinations are now accessible on WatchESPN via Apple TV, Roku and FireTV, delivering live men's and women's college basketball events on ESPN networks as well as replays of college football games. The channels on WatchESPN will include live college football, Olympic event and non-event (news, highlights, analysis and feature) programming plus on-demand video clips from ESPN.com later this year. They will also be accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices via WatchESPN at a later date.

Which Conference Channels are currently available on Apple TV, Roku and FireTV?

As of February 27, 2014, WatchESPN on Apple TV, Roku and FireTV will offer Conference Channels for: ACC, American East, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Big West, HBCUs (Mid Eastern Athletic, Southwestern Athletic and Central Intercollegiate Athletic), Horizon, Mid-American, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Southern, Sun Belt and Southland.

Does WatchESPN offer Closed Captioning?

Closed captioning is available on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews and ESPN Deportes. Select ESPN3 content also has closed captioning available. To enable closed captioning, click the "Settings" icon on your home screen, then click "Videos". Switch "Closed Captioning" to "On". For any inquiries regarding closed captioning, please contact Joe Walsh, Manager, Customer Service and Social Media, ESPN Plaza, Bristol, CT 06010. Phone: 860-766-5764. Fax: 860-766-7649. Email: closedcaptioning@espn.com.

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Technical Questions

What are the system requirements to run WatchESPN on the desktop?

We recommend the following for the best experience:

PC
  • Processor Speed: Single Core CPU @ 2.4GHz or Dual Core CPU
  • Memory: 512 MB of RAM (minimum of 256 MB)
  • Video Memory: 128 MB of Video RAM
  • Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Recommended Browsers: Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 22+, Safari 5, Chrome 28+
  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.2 or above
  • Screen Resolution: 1024x768 or higher with 32-bit color
  • Recommended Connection Speed: 2 Mbps or greater
Mac
  • Processor Speed: 1.5 Ghz
  • Memory: 512 MB of RAM
  • Operating System: OS X 10.4+
  • Recommended Browsers: Safari 5.0+, Mozilla Firefox 22+, Chrome 28+
  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.2 or above
  • Screen Resolution: 1024x768 or higher with 32-bit color
  • Recommended Connection Speed: 2 Mbps or greater

What are the compatible mobile and tablet devices?

WatchESPN is available for use on the following mobile devices: Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini (must have OS 4.0 or later) and Android Mobile and tablet devices, including the Kindle Fire (running version 2.3.3 and above).

On occasion, the content on my computer screen differs slightly from that on my TV screen, why is that?

In rare circumstances, ESPN does not have the same rights to show content on some devices as on TV. If that is the case, we may substitute a relevant image on the screen.

Why am I experiencing blurring of video and/or a loss in sound?

At times, viewers may witness a temporary loss in sound or blurring of video on WatchESPN.com. The blurring/muting is required to honor the digital rights ESPN has been granted for the content which - in rare cases - differs from those rights granted for traditional television usage. If this problem persists, please contact ESPN Customer Care at 888-549-ESPN.

Why is my streaming quality poor or is always freezing?

If playback stalls, stops or plays slowly, try one or all of the following:

  • Refresh your browser or close your browser and open it again
  • Avoid internet congestion by waiting several minutes before viewing the programming again
  • Close other computer applications that may be open at the same time
  • Contact Customer Care by calling 888-549-ESPN

Why is my audio and video not in sync?

Make sure that you are not doing anything network intensive on the same connection, such as downloading or sharing large files, or playing online games. Next, try re-starting the video player to see if that resolves the issue. If the problem persists, contact ESPN Customer Care by calling 888-549-ESPN.

When I launch WatchESPN, I see a black screen, nothing happens or there is no audio/video. What is wrong?

Video can take several seconds display or you may be running a content filter, antivirus application or proxy accelerator that is preventing the streaming of video content. Please turn off these services and try again. If the problem persists, please contact us via the feedback page.

Why am I seeing an error message displaying in a screen overlay on WatchESPN?

Error messages from your video service provider may appear on WatchESPN. Messages appear when there is an issue with your video service subscription. In this case, you should contact your local video service provider customer service department for further assistance.

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If the above questions do not solve your problem, please contact our Customer Care Team at 888-549-ESPN.