Why is ESPN not working on Roku?

ESPN may not work on Roku if you have slow internet or your account has been disabled. Other common causes include server outages or hardware issues involving your TV, cables, or streaming device.

From our research, the issue may or may not be accompanied by an error message that says the content you are trying to access is not available.

In other cases, the TV screen stays blank when accessing ESPN, yet other streaming services work just fine.

To help you troubleshoot the problem, here is a list of the most common reasons for ESPN not to work on Roku:

  • You have not activated ESPN.
  • You are using a VPN or proxy server.
  • The ESPN app is out-of-date.
  • There’s an issue with your streaming device’s memory.

Troubleshooting ESPN when it is not working on Roku

There are several ways to troubleshoot issues with ESPN on Roku. Here are a few.

1. What to do when ESPN is not loading

When you launch ESPN on Roku, the channel should load within seconds. If not, you should close and then restart the streaming service.

A restart allows the app to free some memory and start afresh. Therefore, close the channel, and wait for a few seconds before relaunching it.

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If that does not work, restart your Roku through these steps:

  • Press the Home button on the Roku remote.
  • Scroll and select Settings.
  • Select System.
  • Tap Power.
  • Select System Restart.

After the system restarts, relaunch ESPN.

2. How to fix a disabled ESPN account on Roku

ESPN account is disabled
Image by: Reddit/DepressedLPC

If your ESPN account is disabled on Roku, you need to do several things:

  • Ensure your subscription is up-to-date, particularly if you have ESPN+.
  • Log out of ESPN, log back in, and try again.
  • Uninstall ESPN from Roku and reinstall.

You must activate the device when you uninstall ESPN from Roku and reinstall the channel. Follow the steps below:

  • Open the ESPN app on Roku.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select Subscriptions.
  • Go to ESPN+.
  • Log in to your account. You will see an activation code.
  • Go to espn.com/activate on your computer or mobile browser.
  • Enter the activation code.
  • Click Continue.

ESPN will link your subscription to your Roku device.

Here’s a comprehensive guide for activating ESPN on Roku and other streaming devices, including Xfinity, Apple TV, and Fire TV Stick.

3. Reset your network connection on Roku

A network reset is necessary if you have an issue streaming on ESPN. To reset your network using your Roku remote:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll and select Settings.
  • Select Advanced System Settings.
  • Choose Network connection reset.
  • Select Reset connection.
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After you reset your network, launch ESPN and try again. However, you must also ensure your internet connection is stable to proceed.

You can diagnose the issue by doing the following:

  • Check that your internet download speed is at least 1Mbps to stream ESPN content. Use a speed test tool to confirm.
  • Switch networks from a wireless network to Ethernet.
  • Ensure you have enough signal strength by bringing your equipment close to the Roku device.
  • Disconnect your VPN or proxy servers.

If you have no internet, contact your service provider for further assistance.

4. Update your Roku device and ESPN channel

You can start by updating your ESPN channel and then your Roku device. To update the channel:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll to the ESPN channel.
  • Press the star button on your Roku remote.
  • Select Check for updates in the pop-up that opens.

If an update is available, it will download and install.

After updating your ESPN channel, update the Roku device.

Roku System update
Updating Roku.
  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Select Settings.
  • Go to System.
  • Select System update.
  • Select Check Now.

If a new update is available, your Roku device will download and install them automatically. Then, reboot your device and start again. 

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When ESPN is not working on Roku, the troubleshooting tips above should come in handy. So, if the channel takes longer to load, check your internet connection and ensure your download speed is at least 1Mbps.

Alternatively, update the ESPN channel and update your Roku device. If your ESPN account is disabled, log out of the account and try again.

But if that does not work, uninstall the channel from Roku, install it, and then activate ESPN to link your account with your Roku device.

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About the Author
Walter Allen
Streaming Media expert and technology writer. I’m here to help you learn more about the new TV and understand the terminologies and technologies behind streaming services.

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