How to install and activate ESPN on Roku Devices

ESPN is a great source to get the latest sports news coverage, scores, highlights and commentary for Cricket, Rugby, Football, F1, Kabaddi and more. Now the ESPN app is also available on Roku, giving viewers live streaming access to the ESPN Network, ESPN+, live events, and ESPN shows. However, one has to add it to their Roku device.

If you’re having trouble activating ESPN on Roku, here we provide the complete instructions on how to add ESPN to your Roku channel list and activate to watch live TV broadcasts of the ESPN network and sporting events. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Verify that you qualify for ESPN

First, you must verify that you are eligible for ESPN services. The ESPN app on Roku includes three tiers of service:

  1. Third-party Streaming TV services – On-demand access to ESPN’s US network’s live streams and full episodes of popular ESPN shows are available to those who subscribe to a participating pay TV provider, which includes some streaming TV services such as Sling TV and Hulu Live. To see if your provider allows access, you’ll need to install ESPN on your Roku and try to link your device.
  2. Subscribe to ESPN+ – Subscribers to the ESPN+ service can watch live sports, original content, and on-demand programming.
  3. Without ESPN+ subscription – Someone who does not subscribe to the ESPN+ service or pay TV service can receive sports scores and view news, video highlights, and clips, features and analysis.

In all three of these cases, you will be able to access ESPN services on your Roku devices. Now the question is what can you do if you have a pay TV subscription and your provider is not listed? Sorry, but if your provider is not listed, you will not be able to activate ESPN for live streaming.

ESPN does not offer standalone subscriptions to ESPN on Roku or any other device, and the ESPN+ service does not qualify you to watch live ESPN networks. Also note that if you have a low-level TV subscription that does not include ESPN, live streams of ESPN cannot be activated. Now, let’s see how to install ESPN on your Roku device.

How to Install ESPN on your Roku device?

To use ESPN services on a Roku device, you’ll need to pair if you haven’t already. It can be paired with your Roku device or via your computer or mobile device. To add, you can follow the steps given below:-

1. Install ESPN through your Roku device

On your Roku device, you can find ESPN by browsing the sports category, then selecting a streaming channel from your Roku’s home screen. However, finding the channel can be faster.

1. Select the Search option from your Roku’s home screen, then start typing “espn.”

2. ESPN should appear as a result before you are done typing it in.

3. Highlight ESPN, press OK on your remote, then select Add Channel and press OK again.

4. Now return to your Roku’s home screen and ESPN will be at the very end of your channel list.

2. Install ESPN through a web browser

Another way to connect to ESPN is through the Roku website at Just go to that link by using a web browser and click on Add Channel button. If you are not already logged into your Roku account, you will be asked to do so.

How to Activate ESPN or ESPN+

Now, you can browse all the ESPN content on your Roku device. But you won’t be able to watch any video (other than clips and highlights) or live TV until you activate it by authenticating your TV subscription or logging into ESPN+. You need to follow the steps given below to activate ESPN on your Roku:-

  • Open the ESPN channel on your Roku device.
  • From the channel’s home screen, scroll down to the gear icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen to access the Settings menu.
  • If you subscribe to Pay TV service, Provider account >> Watch Live TV Select “Activate Live TV” and note the activation code shown. You’ll only have a few minutes to use that code, after which you’ll need to go back to the channel settings to get the new code.
  • Now visit on a computer or mobile device and then enter the activation code shown on your Roku, and click the Continue button.
  • On the Choose Provider screen, select your cable, satellite, or streaming TV service provider.
  • Now, you will be asked to sign in with your TV service provider credentials. If you do not know your username and password, you will need to contact your provider for them.
  • In case you are subscribed to ESPN+, select ESPN Account >> Log in to your ESPN account.
  • Go to on a computer or mobile device.
  • Enter the activation code shown on your Roku and click the Continue button.
  • Log in to your ESPN+ account. 

In case you are not a subscriber of ESPN but want to subscribe, here is a chance for you to get a free ESPN+ trial.

The ESPN channel should automatically activate or log you in in a matter of seconds. If you have more than one Roku, ESPN service will be added to each Roku in your account, but you’ll need to activate ESPN on each Roku by following this procedure for each device.

Common FAQs about activating ESPN on Roku

Q. How Do I Activate ESPN If My TV Provider Is Not Listed?

Sorry, but you can’t activate ESPN if you don’t subscribe to a pay TV provider that allows its subscribers to access it.

Q. Will I be charged for activating ESPN?

No, ESPN is free for those who already get the ESPN network through participating TV providers.

Q. I do not subscribe to any pay TV services; Can I buy an ESPN subscription?

No, ESPN is not currently available as a paid subscription. It is only available to those who pay for the ESPN network through a participating TV provider. Although you can subscribe to ESPN+, it doesn’t offer the same content you would get if you authenticate through a pay TV provider.

Q. Can I activate ESPN if I subscribe to a participating TV service provider, but my subscription does not include any ESPN networks?

To activate Live TV on ESPN, your TV subscription must include ESPN.

Q. Sling TV is listed as a pay TV service that allows authentication. Why can’t I activate ESPN if I subscribe to Sling Blue service?

Sorry, but ESPN is only available to Sling TV customers who have Sling Orange service, which includes ESPN. Sling Blue has Fox Sports instead of ESPN.

Q.  Will I be charged for ESPN+ if I set up an ESPN channel on my Roku?

No, there is no charge for setting up and launching the channel. You’ll only be charged for ESPN+ if you subscribe, which you can do by selecting any video with the E+ icon in the corner of the thumbnail. And if you subscribe, you have a 7-day free trial; Cancel before the end of the trial to avoid any charges.

Abhishek is a startup ninja who has spent his time meeting entrepreneurs and helping them tell their stories efficiently. You can find him biking around in his past time. Based out of New Delhi, he is a geek at heart, gadgets are his toys and internet technology is what keeps him going. Email:
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