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ESPN Plus Keeps Buffering: 6 Easy Steps To Improve Streaming

ESPN Plus Keeps Buffering: 6 Easy Steps To Improve Streaming

Are you wondering why your ESPN Plus app keeps buffering when you try and stream a program or live event?

Do you experience internet connection issues on a regular basis with your network service provider? ESPN needs to continuously be connected to a stable internet source otherwise it won’t be able to stream content without any playback issues.

Have you left your ESPN+ app on an outdated version? This is another reason why your videos will keep freezing.

A simple power reset on your Wifi router, and reinstallation of the app can help get rid of the latency problem when you try and watch content.

With this simple, yet effective guide, we will expand on all the possible reasons why ESPN Plus keeps buffering, and what steps you can take to fix this streaming issue, so you can get back to keeping up to date with your favorite football team, and enjoy watching all the live UFC Fight Nights.

Why is ESPN Plus always buffering?

espn on television

The most common reason for ESPN Plus to keep buffering is due to a poor internet connection. If your network is intermittent or does not provide the streaming app with enough bandwidth, not only will you experience buffering issues, but a video will start to freeze and lag. ESPN Plus requires at least 25Mbps to be able to function without any playback issues.

Other reasons why your ESPN app is buffering include;

Congested network

If your network is congested with other devices connected to it, it will slow down your internet’s performance. It will also interfere with the apps that require a high amount of bandwidth speed, like ESPN Plus.

This will be more prone to cause buffering issues on ESPN if the other devices are accessing games or streaming content.

Outdated ESPN Plus app

Your ESPN Plus app could be due for an update. If you keep using the program on an outdated version, performance issues will occur because the service on your device will slow down.

When you launch ESPN or start to play a video, it will take longer for your request to reach the server which is why your content will start to buffer.

VPN in use

A VPN can interfere with how well your ESPN Plus app will work. Because the app is location specific, a VPN can cause latency issues when you try and stream.

You may have blocked access if ESPN notices you are trying to access their database through a VPN from an area that cannot support the app.

Apps running in the background

ESPN Plus will have streaming issues if you have other apps open on the device you are using. This is because the additional programs will use up unnecessary bandwidth, and slow down ESPN+.

Faulty software

Faulty software on your device will cause ESPN Plus to keep buffering. Corrupt files will interfere with how well your device operates as well as the application you have launched.

How to fix ESPN Plus keeps buffering

watching espn on laptop

Power restart your Wifi router to help fix your ESPN Plus app from continuously buffering. This is otherwise known as a ‘soft reset’ and helps improve the strength and speed of your network connection. Once you complete this step, test your internet speed to make sure your network service provider is supplying you with an adequate amount of bandwidth.

You can action a soft reset on your router by;

Step 1. Power off your modem

Step 2Unplug it and remove it from its power socket

Step 3. Wait for no less than a minute before you plug it back in

Once your router is back online, launch ESPN Plus and start streaming. If this step does not get rid of your ESPN Plus buffering issue, you can proceed with the next simple solutions;

Disconnect other devices

Disconnect any other devices that are connected to your Wifi network. While you want to stream on ESPN+, it’s recommended to not have online games or any other playback applications open, as this will throttle your bandwidth.

You can do this by simply turning the device’s Wifi setting to ‘Off’.

Update ESPN Plus app

If your ESPN Plus is due for an update, download the latest version. This will help improve its performance and erase any software issues the current program may have encountered over time.

You can check for the ‘update’ button from the Google Play or Apple store on your device.

Disable VPN

Turn your VPN off if you do not need to use one. Although a VPN is a great tool to use to keep your online activity secure and private, it can interfere with region-specific apps like ESPN Plus.

Tip, after you’ve disabled the VPN, restart your device to ensure a refresh in connection to the ESPN database.

Close open apps

Make sure you exit any apps that are still running in the background of your device. These programs will use up bandwidth and cause ESPN Plus to lag.

Once you close these apps, power off and on your smart device, and play a video on ESPN to check if it is still buffering.

Reinstall ESPN Plus

The ESPN Plus app could be the culprit for faulty software on your device. Delete the app and reinstall it to get rid of any contaminated data.

Before you reinstall ESPN+, it is advised to restart your TV to erase any remaining files.

If ESPN Plus still keeps buffering, you may have a more serious issue with your internet service provider, or there may be a specific program that is problematic, in which case, ESPN would need to rectify.

How do I change the video quality on ESPN Plus?

espn logo

You can change ESPN Plus’s video quality by updating the resolution settings on your smart TV. Depending on what brand of TV you have, you should be able to find the resolutions and/or video quality option under the ‘Picture Settings’ tab. Here, you will need to lower the quality from what it has originally been set to. Once this has been amended, you should turn your device off and on again to ensure the change has been processed.

When you lower the video quality, this should help ESPN Plus from either buffering or freezing when you try and stream a program, or make use of ESPN Live.

Keep in mind, a change in this setting can interfere with how well your picture is displayed on your screen.

Why does ESPN Plus keep asking for my TV provider?

ESPN Plus will keep asking for your TV provider when you register or sign in because certain ESPN channels require you to have a paid TV subscription. If you do not have a valid license to watch live channels, you won’t be able to make use of the app’s certain features. Once you sign in to your account with your valid TV provider details, you should be able to save this information to your profile.

You don’t have to have a valid TV license to make use of ESPN. There are external applications that you can utilize to watch live ESPN. These include;

  • Hulu
  • Sling
  • FuboTV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube
  • AT&T

If you do have a valid TV provider, ESPN Plus will allow you access to ample amounts of different live events, original shows and programs, as well as popular series.


Now that you know all the possible causes of why your ESPN Plus app keeps buffering, we hope you used one of the simple methods provided in this easy guide to fix this playback issue on your device.

If you tried all six solutions, as well as an update of your video quality settings, there may be a more serious issue with your network service provider, or, your ESPN service has an underlying issue with certain programs.

You can either call or chat with ESPN directly through their online help page. You should be able to select your preferred option at the bottom of the page during the time frame when their support team is available.


  • Michael Stokes

    Over 10 years of experience working as a technical support engineer. Highly skilled in fixing any technical issue, including app configuration and account setup, gaming errors, television problems, and any other electronics-related issue. You can find out more about him at