The ESPN channel app is one that requires you to have a paid subscription to a "tv provider" account that carries ESPN, such as an account with cable or satellite.
To "authenticate" means to use your tv provider credentials to prove you have that paid account.
From within the ESPN app try logging out of your provider account, then back in.
Click on the "gear" icon in the upper right to get to Settings. In "Account information" click on "TV Provider". If you're currently logged in you'll get a Provider Log Out screen -- click CONTINUE to log out.
Now go back into TV Provider to log back in and authenticate with your TV provider.
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I had the same problem. I had recently changed providers and thought that ESPN had not recognized new information. On a previous search for an answer I saw where someone had posted that if authenticating through your phone, remove your network wifi and go strictly by your cellular wifi. I tried that and it worked. Also check your phone settings for your ESPN app and be sure that your provider information is correct. Here are all the places that I found that I had to check.
1. Log into the ESPN app setting (Account Information) on your TV and verify that you are logged into your correct cable provider. You will need to log out of the TV provider.
2. Verify on your phone that in Settings on the ESPN app, that your correct provider is shown. I had to delete the app and reinstall to change mine.
3. Then go back to the ESPN app on your TV, go to settings - Account Information- TV provider and put in your information. You will have to enter your username and password, then go through the activation process. BE SURE THAT YOU ARE USING CELLULAR WIFI AND NOT YOUR NETWORK WIFI
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