How to watch ESPN outside the US (even stream ESPN+ live anywhere)
Are you a sports lover? Worried about missing your favorite games during your next trip? Don’t worry! Learn how to watch ESPN outside the US at any time.
We know the pain of leaving an exciting league in the middle just because you have to travel abroad where you’d find no access to your favorite ESPN USA. That’s why we have compiled this guide for you.
Upon reaching the end of this guide, you’ll be able to stream ESPN on-demand regardless of your current location.
Quick guide to watch ESPN outside the US
In a hurry to watch your favorite UFC fights again? Here’s a quick guide to enjoying ESPN streaming anywhere.
- Equip your device with a VPN. Our top recommendation for first-time users is ExpressVPN since it has proven to be the best for bypassing geo-restrictions. But you can use any other VPN of your choice too.
- Connect to the right server. For instance, if you want to watch ESPN USA content, you should connect to a US VPN server that shows the best connectivity.
- Head to ESPN Player. Simple as that! Since you have changed your online location, you’ll no more face content blocking when you visit ESPN or ESPN+.
If this quick guide doesn’t answer your queries, read along to learn how to watch ESPN internationally.
What is ESPN? Why can’t I watch ESPN abroad?
While ESPN is not a new thing for many of you, let us quickly explain it for those who don’t know anything about it besides being a sports channel.
ESPN, or precisely, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is basically a sports media platform owned by ESPN Inc.
The parent company has dominant shares from The Walt Disney Company (80%), with the remaining 20% belonging to Hearst Communications – both American conglomerates. (This might be the reason behind the content restrictions on ESPN).
ESPN is available for free as a cable TV channel. Hence, all it takes to watch ESPN anywhere globally is to subscribe to a cable TV service that offers ESPN.
However, a key issue with watching ESPN on cable TV is the kind of content available. For example, you may miss out on UFC or NBA simply because the content isn’t available in your region.
Can I watch ESPN without cable?
Technically, yes, you can!
It’s because ESPN isn’t merely available as a cable TV channel. Rather it also offers a dedicated web streaming service or an app to let the users view ESPN even without a cable subscription. The online service hosts video clips and content covered on the ESPN channel.
Also, the firm offers ESPN+ as an add-on to the free ESPN app. This low-cost add-on comes with a great feature – live streaming of specific events not available on the regular ESPN channel or the app. (That’s what it charges for!)
So, in short, you don’t specifically need a cable to access ESPN.
But again, if you think you can watch ESPN outside the US through the app – then, you can’t unless you follow the steps outlined in this guide.
It’s because, like the channel, the ESPN online service is also specifically available to the United States only. Therefore, anyone outside the USA cannot access this fantastic platform.
Even if you’re a US citizen, you’ll lose access to your favorite sports if you travel abroad.
But, if you follow our guide, you can stream ESPN USA from anywhere.
How to get ESPN+ and ESPN anywhere?
Despite being free, ESPN isn’t available globally in the same manner. It means even if you access the channel in your current location via your cable TV, you might not view the exact sports content that you could if you were in the United States.
Likewise, the ESPN and ESPN+ online services are also available with regional restrictions. However, while you can’t do anything with your cable TV subscription, you can undoubtedly modify the online services available to you.
And that’s all possible with one simple tool – a VPN (Virtual Private Network)!
As you know, VPNs work great in changing your online location; these tools are beneficial for watching ESPN too.
Of course, using a VPN to watch ESPN outside the US is no crime. Given that VPNs are legal in your country, you’re safe to use these services to surf ESPN your way.
And, using a VPN doesn’t need you to have sound technical knowledge either. Yet, if you’re curious to know how VPNs work, feel free to browse through our detailed guide on VPN for beginners.
For now, we’ll save your time because we know you’ve been eager to watch your favorite sports channel back. So, let’s move on.
Choosing the best ESPN VPN
Although the market is full of free and paid VPNs, all claiming to provide superb services.
But, in fact, this isn’t the case.
At first, comparing free vs. paid VPNs shows how the latter wins due to numerous benefits that the free ones don’t offer. The essential lacking being the compromise on anonymity.
When it’s about accessing restricted services like ESPN, free VPNs don’t really work. Even if you find a free VPN working for some time, it won’t serve you in the long run as it’ll eventually get tracked, and consequently, may suffer VPN blocking.
So, to access restricted services in general and watch ESPN USA in particular, you need to choose a VPN carefully.
Though, you can refer to this detailed guide on choosing the best VPN to decide better. But, in short, you should pick a VPN that offers:
- Robust military-grade data encryption
- Fast-speed servers
- Uninterrupted connection
- No data-logging
- Huge network with a wide choice of location
- Kill switch to prevent accidental exposure of your real data
- Multiple device connections
- Affordable fee
Now you may wonder where to find such VPNs?
Feel free to refer to this extensive guide on the best VPNs if you’re hesitant to perform research. You can then easily pick one from the list that best meets your browsing requirements.
Otherwise, to save your time further, here are our top three recommendations for you.
ExpressVPN always works great to access geo-restricted content. These service providers have empowered their software with every feature that adds to its performance. That’s why, if you want to watch ESPN outside the US, ExpressVPN is our top recommendation for you.
ExpressVPN boasts a massive network of servers at 160 locations across 94 countries. These include 32 different server locations from the United States alone.
This vast number of servers allows you to stream safely without worrying about slow speed. As the VPN defiantly supports ESPN streaming, it’ll let you connect to the fastest servers to enjoy your favorite US sports anywhere.
What’s great with ExpressVPN is that it offers 5 simultaneous connections on a single account. It means that with just one account, you can install the VPN on your computer, smartphones, smart TVs, and any other device where you wish to stream ESPN.
In doubt about its feasibility? Try ExpressVPN without worrying about your money, as it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here is one more option for all sports lovers to watch US ESPN anywhere without missing out on the action.
NordVPN also works great for streaming – thanks to its fast-speed servers.
Besides, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN caters to your online anonymity requirements without hassle as it has established a vast network. At present, NordVPN has over 5200 servers across 59 countries. So, you get a pretty extensive choice to change your online location with this VPN.
But, if you’re specifically concerned about accessing ESPN USA in your area, even then, NordVPN is of great help. It’s because the service offers you 1970+ servers located across 15 different cities in the United States. That means you can even connect to a particular US location to watch ESPN in your desired manner.
NordVPN also takes care of your choice of devices. Hence, to let you stream ESPN on any device, it offers 6 simultaneous connections to a single account.
Though, if you want to test its feasibility for you before a formal subscription, feel free to proceed as the VPN provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to all customers.
SurfsharkVPN might be a new name in the world of VPNs. But these guys have won a credible stance by offering top-notch services. From protecting user privacy to bypassing content restrictions and evading VPN bans, Surfshark VPN has managed everything seamlessly.
So, for all those who want to watch ESPN and ESPN Plus without blocking, Surfshark comes as an affordable VPN option.
The service is great to watch US content anywhere as it offers over 500 servers from 20 different cities in the United States. So, even if you face trouble with one server, you can move to another and enjoy continued access to ESPN USA.
On top of everything else, Surfshark VPN surpasses all other VPNs regarding simultaneous connections. Precisely, it allows unlimited device connections with a single account. That means, with a single account, you win a comprehensive security solution for all your existing and future devices.
While Surfshark VPN already offers affordable pricing plans, they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can even assess service performance without worrying about your money.
The step-by-step guide to watching ESPN outside the US
Now that you know what exactly you need to watch ESPN abroad (a VPN, of course), let’s move on to how to do that.
Below we elaborate on the general steps you need to follow.
1. Select and subscribe to a robust VPN service
Before jumping on to watch ESPN on your device, you need to wear your armor and protect your online entity. So, before anything else, subscribe to a VPN service.
As you’ve reached here, you would indeed have gone through our quick guide above on choosing the best VPN for ESPN. But, let us reiterate that you need to subscribe to a robust VPN. Otherwise, if you opt for the fancy service providers, the free ones, or those with a meager encryption level, you won’t succeed in unblocking ESPN USA in your area.
Whether you go with the ones recommended above or choose something different, ensure that your VPN is strong enough to withstand VPN blocking, IP detection and evade all types of content blocking.
Once you decide, subscribe to the VPN service by creating an account and subscribing to one of their plans.
2. Install VPN on your device
After completing the subscription process, you can now proceed to download the VPN client on your device.
Ideally, your VPN should support multiple simultaneous device connections. This will allow you to set up the same VPN on your computers and phones alike.
Most good VPN services offer dedicated apps for various devices and are easy to install. So, you can download the respective app(s) on your device(s) depending upon the operating system. Then, within a few clicks, you can have the VPN running on your device.
3. Connect to the appropriate US server
After completing the installation process, you need to connect to an appropriate server manually.
Since you wish to access US content on the platform, you should connect to a US server.
In most cases, scrolling through the list of servers will show the connection strengths with different servers. Connect to the one that shows good connection strength as this will support streaming without lags.
4. Sign-in to your ESPN account
Once you connect to the VPN server, you’re now all set to stream ESPN.
Simply, head on to the ESPN website and sign in to your account.
You can also download the app on your iOS and/or Android device(s) to watch your favorite sports media right on your phone.
In the same way, you can also unblock ESPN Plus on your device by simply adding this premium add-on to the app. After that, you’ll have to subscribe to it and set up payment methods as it is a paid service. Once done, you can stream ESPN on-demand.
Can I unblock ESPN+ outside US?
With a VPN, you can unblock and watch ESPN+ in the same way you stream ESPN anywhere. All it takes is separate downloading of the ESPN+ app on your device.
Confused? Here are the precise steps you need to follow to watch ESPN+ anywhere abroad.
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Connect to a US server and ensure that your provider is not leaking your real IP address.
- Visit the official ESPN+ website and subscribe to the service. You don’t need a cable subscription here. But you must enter billing details to pay the service charges.
- Sign-in to your account and start streaming. You can either stream ESPN+ on your browser, or watch your favorite sports on your mobile device via the app.
How to make payments to ESPN from outside US?
While reading this guide, you might be wondering how to make payments to the service from abroad.
Since ESPN and ESPN+ employ geoblocking to the viewers, the service also monitors their users’ payments methods. By this, they know whether the users are present in the United States or not.
So, at this point, you need to arrange payments from the USA.
If you have a relative, a friend, or a trusted acquaintance there, you may ask that person to pay for your ESPN+ subscription.
But, of course, this method won’t suit many of you.
Yet, it doesn’t mean that you’re locked out.
Thankfully, you can avail yourself of the services offering Virtual Payment Cards to use in the USA, such as,
With these services, you can get a working payment card with a US billing address. Hence, you can pay for your ESPN+ subscription with these cards the same way a US resident would do.
Also, when you’re connected to a USA server via a VPN, and you submit these payment details, the service won’t doubt your presence in the USA. Thus, you can watch ESPN outside the US just the way you want.
How to watch ESPN in Canada
While ESPN is available in Canada, you’ll likely miss the US-specific content streaming in there. The same applies to ESPN+ as well.
That’s where you’ll feel frustrated because the ESPN Canada live content isn’t as diverse as the ESPN USA.
Nonetheless, a VPN serves as a workaround to let you enjoy ESPN USA in Canada.
However, to access ESPN+ with USA content in Canada, make sure to have an account there already. Otherwise, while you can create an account from Canada, too, you need to be a little careful regarding the payments. It’s because setting up a payment method available in Canada will let the service know that you aren’t in the US but Canada.
Nonetheless, you can use the workaround described above to get a US payment method. You can then create an account on ESPN/ESPN+ with a VPN and use this payment method to register as a legit user.
How to stream ESPN in the UK
As explained above, you need US payment methods to unblock ESPN+ USA anywhere.
So, if you want to get rid of the dull and limited content on your ESPN+ UK streaming, you can simply connect to a US server via a VPN and subscribe to privacy.com, usunlocked.com, or similar services to receive US billing details.
You can then enter these US payment details while subscribing to ESPN+ over a VPN to enjoy your favorite USA sports.
Though, if you already have an account on ESPN+ with your USA address and simply want to unblock your desired content in UK just because you’re traveling, then you don’t have to go through all the hassle. Instead, simply connect to a VPN, set up a USA server, and sign in to ESPN+ with your account credentials.
Am I bound to watch ESPN outside Australia only?
Not really. Just as you can watch ESPN USA in Canada and the UK, or anywhere else, you can also watch it in Australia too.
All you need is a VPN and a US payment method. As explained above, you can subscribe to a VPN service, connect to a USA server, then get a Virtual Credit Card from an appropriate service to get US billing details.
Once done, you can then head on to the ESPN website or app, subscribe to ESPN+, enter your US payment details, and gear up to enjoy USA sports in your hometown.
Unblocking ESPN with SmartDNS – alternative method
Wondering if there’s any strategy to watch ESPN and ESPN+ outside the US without a VPN? You would surely be concerned about it if you’re in a region where using VPNs are illegal.
So, here’s a workaround for you – a SmartDNS.
SmartDNS basically works by rerouting your DNS queries via its own servers (from your chosen location) instead of your ISP. In this way, it modifies your online location (to some extent) for the corresponding websites. That’s how it helps you evade regional restrictions.
This isn’t a fool-proof strategy since a SmartDNS never hides your IP address the way a VPN does. Still, it works sufficiently well to unblock sites like ESPN without disconnecting you from the local content.
Which device should I use for ESPN streaming?
Streaming ESPN isn’t a problem anywhere. You can easily download the ESPN app on pretty much any device you have.
Precisely, the best option to watch ESPN USA anywhere is to head on to their website after securing your connection with a VPN. For this, you don’t have to set up anything else on your device. Instead, you can simply visit the website via your regular web browser.
On this website, you will also find the ESPN+ feature. You can create an account there while following our guide above. After that, you can enjoy a continuous stream of your favorite US sports.
Installing the app is a convenient option since you get 24/7 access to your favorite sports channel with ease. But, to unblock ESPN US, make sure that you keep the VPN running on your phones, tablets, and/or your computers throughout the time.
If this sounds like a hassle, you can instead go for alternative methods and download the ESPN app on your Smart TV. You can also keep the VPN running on your Smart TV or gaming console to experience secure streaming. Also, doing so won’t hinder your routine activities.
This was all about watching ESPN outside the US the way you would do if you were physically present in the United States.
You see, it isn’t difficult to unblock ESPN live streaming anywhere. All it takes is a little vigilance while selecting the best VPN. Once done, you can easily watch ESPN anywhere.
So, the next time you plan to travel abroad, or miss watching the best sports during your brief to the USA, don’t worry about losing access to all your favorite games. Just install a quality VPN, subscribe to ESPN Plus (if you haven’t done it already), and enjoy.
We hope this guide will help you enjoy your favorite games and sports in the comfort of your home. Still, if you face any trouble in unblocking ESPN USA at your place, feel free to share your queries with us.
About the author
Abeerah is a passionate technology blogger and cybersecurity enthusiast. She yearns to know everything about the latest technology developments. Specifically, she’s crazy about the three C’s; computing, cybersecurity, and communication. When she is not writing, she’s reading about the tech world.