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ESPN Keeps Asking For Provider: How To Watch Live Viewing

ESPN Keeps Asking For Provider: How To Watch Live Viewing

ESPN Plus alone will not allow you to bypass the provider request, as it is an add-on subscription to its standard service.

In this post, I’ll explain why it keeps asking you for a provider and how you can gain access to the live channels without cable.

Why is my ESPN asking for a TV provider?

To watch ESPN’s live channels, you will need to have a paid TV subscription. This can either be cable, satellite, or a live streaming service. When you try and log into your ESPN account, the app will ask you to input your provider’s details. Although ESPN will ask you for these details, it does not have to be cable TV information.

But can you use it app without a TV provider?

The six streaming services that you’ll be able to use to gain access to the live ESPN library include;

  • Hulu Live TV
  • Sling TV
  • FuboTV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV

Once you’ve registered with one of these services, you’ll be able to input your profile details when you come to log into the ESPN app.

Live channels are similar to that of cable TV programs, which is why the sports app keeps asking for your provider information before you can stream its available content. Until you have valid provider details, content won’t play.

Why is ESPN not letting me watch live?

If you access ESPN and/or ESPN Plus through a streaming service and not a cable provider, the app will not let you watch live broadcasts if your device cannot connect to a stable internet connection. The sports streaming service will need at least 7Mbps bandwidth to play a video in HD; otherwise, 25Mbps is required for a 4K image.

To check whether or not your network service provider supplies you with enough speed, you can do a test on your Wifi router.

Sometimes, the ESPN server can go down. When this happens, the app’s functionality will be unavailable, whether you use a TV provider or a streaming service.

ESPN will go offline when the app is undergoing maintenance or if an unexpected error occurs in its database.

Why can’t I watch ESPN with ESPN+?

ESPN+ is different from the standard ESPN app. Plus is a subscription-based streaming service, similar to Hulu or Amazon. ESPN+ does not include the cable channels that come with ESPN as it is only an ‘add on’ to the standard app. This will require either a TV provider, or a streaming account.

You can access your account on a mobile, smart TV, or tablet as long as your device can connect to a good network.

If you only have an ESPN Plus subscription, you will need to register for ESPN to watch live games as well as be able to receive the latest sporting news.

How can I watch ESPN on my Roku without a TV provider?

To access ESPN cable channels on your Roku, you will need to download the free ESPN app and login with an active streaming service account.

From your Roku homepage screen, search for the ESPN app and download it. If you don’t already have an active account, you can sign up from the app on your Roku.

Now open the app, select your provider from the list, and you will be able to have full access to its available channels. You will now be able to add ESPN Plus if you’d like to.

If you want to use your existing account, an alternative method is to log onto the ESPN website.

To activate your ESPN account on your Roku, you can follow these simple steps;

Step 1. Launch the ESPN app and click on ‘Settings’

Step 2. Choose ‘Subscriptions’ and select ‘ESPN+’

Step 3. Press ‘Login’

ESPN will send you a code that you will need to input to activate your account. Make note of what it is, and complete the process here.

Step 4. Log into your ESPN account or create your own account

Once this is complete, you will be able to link your ESPN profile to your Roku.


With this simple guide, we hope you now know why ESPN asks you for a TV provider and that you have an active streaming service you can utilize if you do not have cable TV.

If, however, you have input your details and the problem persists, there could be a problem with your account.

You can use ESPN’s Help Center to search for a solution or contact them directly regarding your account issues.


  • Tauqeer Ahmed

    Tauqeer Ahmed is a technology expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He has a degree in Computer Science and specializes in network security and software troubleshooting. You can find out more about him at

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