If you can’t get enough sports, ESPN+ was made for you. The streaming service broadcasts everything from live basketball and baseball games to detailed analysis shows and the iconic 30 for 30 documentary series. (The only things you won’t get are ESPN’s Monday Night Football showings, live NBA coverage, and select shows like First Take and Outside the Lines.) You can also pay extra for UFC events and access brilliant fantasy sports features as well as premium articles from the world of sports journalism. All of that costs just $5.99/mo. or $49.99 annually. For more information on ESPN+’s pricing and plans, head here.
But is there much point in all that sports content if you can’t watch it when you’re on the go? Luckily, there’s plenty of ESPN+ offline content to view without an internet connection. If you’re wondering how to download ESPN+ shows and games for offline viewing, keep reading for everything you need to know. And don’t forget to read our full ESPN+ review.
What is offline content?
Offline content is any title that can be downloaded from a streaming service to a device such as a mobile. Once the game, show, or movie has been downloaded, you can watch it whenever you want without the need to connect to the internet. Offline viewing mode is ideal for entertaining yourself on long journeys and flights or anywhere without stable Wi-Fi.
The number of streaming services offering this feature is growing, but many platforms do give users a limit. For example, you may only be able to download a certain number of titles at once, and they may be deleted from your library within a specific time period.
What do I need to get started with ESPN Plus offline downloads?
To begin your journey to ESPN+ offline viewing, you’ll first need to download the ESPN app on either an iOS or Android device. Although the app does work with other devices, only phones can watch content offline.
The app allows you to stream ESPN networks with a relevant TV provider login. But to access the extra offerings from ESPN+, you’ll have to sign up for a subscription plan. Only one plan exists, so you won’t have to spend time fretting over packages. Choose to pay either $5.99/mo. or save a little money by paying $49.99 for the entire year.
Once you’ve signed up and logged in, there’s one final step. Ensure you grant the app access to your location so that it can download content from ESPN+ without any delays.
How to download ESPN Plus content
Download the ESPN app from either Apple’s app store or the Google Play store if you’re an Android user. Open the app and head to the Settings icon in the top right. Press Log Into ESPN Account to sign into ESPN+. (If you haven’t yet signed up, do so now.) Once you’re signed in, return to the home screen and hit the ESPN+ logo at the bottom. This will direct you to the standalone streaming service.
The app interface is super easy to navigate. On the top row, you’ll find live games and matches that are currently available to watch. Beneath that are a mixture of popular on-demand picks, upcoming events, and recently broadcast episodes of original shows. There’s even a search bar at the top if you know exactly what you’re looking for.
If a title is available to download, you’ll see a download icon on the right-hand side. Just tap it to begin the download process. Alternatively, you can find a download button in the top left corner of the app. Press it to see all the content that can be downloaded for offline viewing. Once a title has been downloaded, you’ll be able to easily find it in your ESPN+ library.
What else do I need to know about ESPN Plus offline downloads?
ESPN hasn’t announced any restrictions when it comes to offline viewing on the ESPN+ service. So for now, it seems like you can download as many titles as you like and keep them in your library for as long as you need. But there are a few things to remember.
There may be no auto-delete function or irritating download limit, but not every piece of content is available to watch offline. Certain original series like Quest for The Stanley Cup and the entire 30 for 30 catalog can be downloaded, but game replays haven’t yet appeared on the list. The plus side is that multiple titles can be downloaded at once. If you choose to download more than one title at the same time, note that the first ESPN download will slow down slightly.
The final cut
ESPN+ is just the latest streaming service to let users download titles for convenient offline viewing. And unlike other platforms, you don’t have to spend significant time searching for downloadable shows. Instead, the app helps you out by featuring a full list. Plus, the network doesn’t seem to have placed any restrictions on its download feature, meaning you should be able to watch endless amounts of content offline without any issues.
Of course, there are a few downsides — namely the fact that games can’t be watched offline and that you’ll only be able to enjoy offline content on mobile devices, rather than a bigger screen like a tablet. But for the small sum of $5.99/mo., ESPN+’s offline viewing mode is well worth a look.