Unfortunately, ESPN is like that. Subscribing to ESPN+ gives you some stuff, but stuff that is on cable channels, still requires a TV provider subscription, (And ESPN is probably the most expensive package to any TV provider.) In short, ESPN likes money, they like it coming to them from multiple directions and they seem to have the shows to get people to pay it.
The answer to the question about no provider was extremely weak and doesn't answer the question. There are a lot of channels that demand a "tv provider", not just ESPN, but I got out of out of the market for a tv provider -- I canceled Directv ($181.00/mo) and went with Roku only, thus I have no tv provider and cannot access those channels. What do I do? And don't give the run around of suggesting I go to the "community" because i have already been there, done that! And no suggestions from them.
@Tonto1, sorry, but the answer is you must have a TV provider for many channels/apps and Roku is not a provider. I know it's not the answer you're looking for, but you'll get no other. You don't have to have cable; there are several cable alternatives:
I have no tv provider and cannot access those channels. What do I do? And don't give the run around of suggesting I go to the "community" because i have already been there, done that! And no suggestions from them.
Interesting. When I first typed my post above, I started with: "Obtain a provider." (And considered making that my entire response.)
But on second thought, I decided not to answer in such a blunt way, and instead answered why ESPN wants you to have a provider.
Unfortunately, you don't seem to understand how this all works.
Cable-type channels, like ESPN, want to be paid. When you have a paid subscription to a "tv provider" service that carries these channels (like your former Directv subscription), the channels receive their pay out of the subscription fees you pay that provider. When you don't have a subscription to such a provider you are not paying for those channels.
Roku is not a "tv provider".
Many of these cable-type channels make their content available for streaming via a channel app for those paying for the channel through a provider as mentioned above. When accessing these channel apps you have to authenticate your paid subscription by logging in with your tv provider credentials. With no tv provider, you can't log into these services.
There is another way to access some of these services, via a paid subscription to a streaming provider that carries your channel(s) of interest. There are several streaming services you can subscribe to and run on a Roku that may carry the channels you are interested in at a lower cost than a traditional cable or satellite subscription. Ones that come to mind to check out for any particular channel would include:
• Hulu plus Live TV • Sling • philo • Directv Stream • YouTube TV • frndly • fubu • vidgo ... there may be others.
Some premium streaming channels that are not also cable/satellite channels can be subscribed to and paid for directly via their web pages (Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, NBC Peacock, Paramount+, etc.). Then you can access them on any platform (Roku, firestick, AppleTV, computer, mobile device, etc.) for which the channel has made an app available. You just log into their app with the credentials you established with that channel.
In addition there are many free channels that do not require "tv provider" accounts at all. Most (all?) of them are supported by unskippable ads.
There are others you can subscribe to which have free or lower cost tiers with ads but also have higher cost tiers with limited or no ads.
So there are a myriad of options open to you.
There are several places on the net where you can look up which streaming providers carry a particular channel of interest. Here are several such pages:
Savings in "cord cutting" usually come from picking and choosing which of the offerings you wish to pay for instead of paying for full blown cable or satellite services with scores of channels you never watch.
Roku Community Streaming Expert I am not a Roku employee, only a user like you. Please, no support questions via private message -- post them publicly to the Community where others may benefit as well. If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer by clicking "Accept as Solution.".
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