ESPN+ is a popular sports streaming service that offers thousands of live sports events, original shows, and acclaimed studio programs. It’s operated by ESPN and Disney and launched in 2018 as part of the direct-to-consumer push into streaming.
DirecTV is a satellite TV provider owned by AT&T. It has tens of millions of subscribers across the United States and provides access to hundreds of channels, including sports networks like ESPN.
Many DirecTV subscribers are interested in accessing ESPN+ content. However, ESPN+ is available as a standard channel 206 on DirecTV.
Accessing ESPN+ on DirecTV Devices
While ESPN+ does not have a dedicated channel on DirecTV, there are a couple ways to access the ESPN+ app on DirecTV set-top boxes and stream content to your TV:
1. Use the ESPN App
The ESPN app is available on most DirecTV devices, including Genie DVRs, streaming boxes like the DirecTV Stream, and the DirecTV satellite service’s branded smart TVs.
The ESPN app provides access to some content from ESPN’s TV channels. But it also allows DirecTV subscribers to log in to their ESPN+ account and stream live and on-demand content from ESPN+.
This provides a relatively straightforward way to get ESPN+ on your DirecTV setup. You can browse available events, shows, and other content within the ESPN app and stream them just like any other ESPN+ subscriber.
2. Casting from Mobile Devices
Another option is to cast or mirror ESPN+ content from a mobile device to your DirecTV setup. Smartphones, tablets, and computers can be used to stream content from the ESPN+ app, which can then be cast to compatible DirecTV set-top boxes and smart TVs.
For example, you can cast from an iPhone or Android phone using built-in casting options like AirPlay or Chromecast. Or you can mirror your mobile device’s screen directly to a DirecTV device. This allows you to pull up the ESPN+ app on your phone or tablet, then project that screen to your TV powered by DirecTV.
Casting and mirroring provide cable-free ways to get ESPN+ streaming on your DirecTV TV. However, you’ll need a smartphone, tablet, or computer to act as the streaming source.
Bundling ESPN+ with Live TV Streaming
Another option that combines access to ESPN+ with a bundle of live TV channels is to subscribe to a live streaming service that includes ESPN+. This allows you to cut the cord from traditional pay TV like DirecTV satellite.
Some top options that integrate ESPN+ include:
- Hulu + Live TV – The Hulu live TV streaming service includes ESPN and ESPN2 in its channel lineup. Subscribers can add ESPN+ to their Hulu plan for an additional monthly fee.
- Sling TV – Certain Sling TV packages include ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 access. Sling also allows subscribers to add on ESPN+ for extra per month.
- YouTube TV – YouTube TV offers a lineup with ESPN channels. Users can upgrade to include ESPN+ access through YouTube TV for an additional monthly charge.
These streaming TV providers give you a similarexperience to DirecTV, with a bundle of popular live cable channels. Except it’s delivered entirely over the internet. And they integrate ESPN+ on-demand content seamlessly.
Switching from DirecTV satellite to a live TV streaming provider like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, or Sling TV can give you the best of both worlds – a full slate of ESPN channels plus access to exclusive ESPN+ content.
ESPN+ Original Programming and Exclusive Content
One of the biggest draws of ESPN+ is the original shows, documentaries, and exclusive live events that are only available on the streaming platform. This includes content across sports like:
- UFC – ESPN+ is the exclusive home for UFC pay-per-view events and a huge library of archived fights. It also includes Dana White’s Contender Series and original documentaries like UFC Destined.
- Soccer – ESPN+ features FA Cup and English Football League matches, out-of-market Major League Soccer games, Serie A, and more soccer content.
- MLB – Subscribers get daily MLB game broadcasts that aren’t available on TV channels, along with classic games and expanded coverage.
- NHL – ESPN+ provides extensive NHL coverage, including 75 exclusive regular season games per season.
- College Sports – Hundreds of college sports like football, basketball, and lacrosse are streamed live exclusively on ESPN+.
- PGA Tour Live – Golf fans can watch PGA Tour events and coverage all year round on ESPN+.
- Original Shows – Programs like Peyton’s Places, Detail with Kobe Bryant, ESPN FC, and iconic ESPN docuseries are exclusives.
Access to live events and original programming is a major benefit of ESPN+. This exclusive content can’t be found anywhere else and isn’t available on DirecTV. The only way to stream it all is directly through the ESPN+ app.
Cost of ESPN+ and DirecTV Packages
Here’s a rundown of how much it costs to get access to ESPN+ along with a DirecTV satellite package:
- ESPN+ Monthly – $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year when purchased directly from ESPN.
- DirecTV Channel Packages – Plans like Choice, Ultimate, and Premier start at $64.99 per month and up after promotional pricing.
- Live TV Streaming – Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV have base plans starting around $40-65 per month. Adding ESPN+ is generally $9.99 more per month.
The most budget-friendly options are likely getting the standalone ESPN+ subscription and using your DirecTV setup to stream the app. Or switching from satellite to a more affordable live TV streaming plan.
You can potentially save money compared to high-end DirecTV packages by going with a streaming TV provider. Yet still get the live sports and entertainment channels you want plus full access to ESPN+ original programming and exclusives.
ESPN+ Supported Devices
ESPN+ is available on a wide range of popular streaming devices and platforms beyond just DirecTV equipment. Supported devices include:
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets
- Android phones & tablets
- Android TV devices like Sony Smart TVs
- Apple iPhones & iPads
- Apple TV HD & Apple TV 4K
- Google Chromecast & Chromecast built-in devices
- Oculus Go & Oculus Quest
- PlayStation 4 & PlayStation 5
- Roku streaming players
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S
- Web browsers on MacOS, Windows 10, Chrome OS
Supported platforms cover most major streaming devices, game consoles, smart TV operating systems, and mobile devices. So even without DirecTV you should be able to access ESPN+ on your favorite devices.
ESPN+ vs Live TV Channels on DirecTV
While ESPN+ offers tons of live sports, it does not include live feeds of ESPN’s TV channels like ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, etc. Those are only available as part of a larger cable, satellite or live TV streaming subscription like DirecTV.
Here are some key things that air on the ESPN family of TV channels that are not available on ESPN+:
- Monday Night Football
- NBA games airing on ESPN/ABC
- MLB games airing on ESPN channels
- Featured college football and basketball games airing on ESPN networks
- Daily talk shows like Get Up, First Take, PTI, etc.
So ESPN+ is meant to complement ESPN’s live TV channels, not replace them. Subscribing to both DirecTV and ESPN+ gives sports fans the most comprehensive access to live sports coverage.
Signing Up for ESPN+
If you want to add ESPN+ access as a DirecTV customer, here are simple steps to sign up online:
- Go to https://plus.espn.com/
- Click on the yellow “Get ESPN+” button
- Select either monthly or annual plan
- Create your ESPN account if new, or login to existing account
- Enter your payment information
- Start watching on your computer, mobile device or streaming TV device!
Once subscribed, you can download the ESPN app to conveniently access ESPN+ streams and content.
Is ESPN+ Worth It for DirecTV Subscribers?
For big sports fans, ESPN+ is definitely worth considering to add even more live sports coverage. Key reasons DirecTV customers may want to subscribe:
- Access live out-of-market MLB and NHL games
- Watch hundreds of live college sports matchups
- UFC PPV events and combat sports
- Expand channel options for soccer, golf, tennis and more
- Original ESPN+ shows and films
- Downloadable content to watch offline
- Cost effective at only $9.99 per month
While it does not replace the core ESPN channels, ESPN+ nicely complements a DirecTV package with thousands of live events and exciting sports content.
ESPN+ has become an invaluable streaming service for sports fans, with live events, original programming, and exclusive content you can’t get anywhere else. While DirecTV itself doesn’t offer ESPN+ directly as a channel, DirecTV subscribers can access and stream ESPN+ through the ESPN app available on most DirecTV devices.
Casting from mobile devices, upgrading to live TV streaming bundles that integrate ESPN+, or getting a standalone ESPN+ subscription are the best ways for DirecTV users to unlock all of the great sports coverage and shows only available on ESPN+. With the right setup, DirecTV customers can enjoy the benefits of satellite TV while also opening up the world of ESPN+ streaming.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does DirecTV offer ESPN+?
DirecTV itself does not directly offer ESPN+ to subscribers. The streaming service is not a channel available through DirecTV packages. However, you can access the ESPN app and your ESPN+ account on DirecTV set-top boxes.
What's the cheapest way to get ESPN+?
The cheapest option is to subscribe directly to ESPN+ for either $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. This gives you access on supported devices without the need for a DirecTV or live TV streaming package.
Can I get ESPN+ on DirecTV Stream?
Yes, the DirecTV Stream device and service support the ESPN app. So you can log in with your ESPN+ account and access streaming content on DirecTV Stream, even if you don't subscribe to a TV package.
Should I switch from DirecTV to streaming?
If you want to save money and get easier access to ESPN+, switching from satellite DirecTV to a streaming TV provider can make sense. Services like YouTube TV give you many top channels plus ESPN+ in one bundle, often at a lower monthly cost.
Does an HD antenna get ESPN+?
No, an HD antenna used to pick up over-the-air TV signals does not provide access to ESPN+ streaming content. An antenna is only able to receive local broadcast affiliate stations. ESPN+ requires an internet connection to stream on mobile devices and smart TV platforms.