If you love sports, the ESPN Kodi addon is the best way to catch up on the week’s games. ESPN 3 is a popular web-based network that covers all of the latest highlights, recaps, and commentary. The ESPN 3 Kodi addon lets you watch everything that ESPN 3 puts on the web, along with select content from the network’s sister channels.
Please note that you do not need a cable subscription to use the ESPN 3 Kodi addon, but you will need to create a free account at ESPN.com.
What is Kodi?
Kodi is a program that lets you stream movies, music, and shows from the internet or your hard drive. It’s designed to look nice on your television, mobile device, and computer. It’s compatible with devices from your Android phone to your XBox and everything in between.
As of this writing, the latest version of Kodi is 17.4, and you can download it here.
How to watch ESPN 3 safely and privately on Kodi
Before you get started installing the ESPN 3 Kodi plugin, you should take a second to think about your privacy and security. Since you’ll be streaming everything over the web, you need to take the initiative and make sure your connection is secure.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just hackers you need to guard against. It’s becoming clear that internet service providers themselves are part of the problem. Every year, they lobby the government to make new laws that let them profit from your internet history, or charge some customers more for watching videos online.
Comparitech recommends you sign up for IPVanish if you’re going to use Kodi on a regular basis. We picked IPVanish because it’s easy to use, with clients for every major streaming device including Amazon Fire Stick. It’s also one of the fastest VPNs around according to our testing, with many high-speed servers worldwide.
And if you love sports, it’s nice to be able to easily change your location to avoid blacked out games. IPVanish is just another way that cord-cutters can use technology to watch what they want without interference from big corporations who will do anything to charge you a little extra.
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Installing the ESPN 3 Kodi addon
The ESPN 3 Kodi addon is available to download from the Kodi repository. You’ll find it under video addons. Here’s how to get it installed on your Kodi device.
Start by clicking on the Addons menu item at the bottom of Kodi’s main menu.
Then click Download.
Browse to the Video addons category, and click it to open Kodi’s addon browser.
Scroll through the list until you find the ESPN 3 Kodi addon and click it to open the installation menu.
Then click the Install button to start downloading and installing the ESPN 3 Kodi addon.
You’ll be taken back to the addon browser, and the icon will change when the installation process has begun.
Finally, the icon will change to a checkmark when the installation has completed.
Now the ESPN 3 Kodi addon will be available to launch in the video section of the addons menu.
Setting up the ESPN 3 Kodi addon
You’ll need to set up a few things before you get started streaming ESPN 3 on your Kodi device. At a minimum, you need to associate the ESPN 3 Kodi addon with your free ESPN account. I also recommend you make some changes to a few other settings in order to streamline your experience with the addon.
Start by launching the ESPN 3 addon from the Addons menu.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the ESPN 3 Kodi addon needs to be authenticated. Click the Authenticate with provider to access premium content menu item to get started.
You’ll be given an activation code to enter into the ESPN website. Make sure you’re logged in to your ESPN account, then click here.
Note that you can use the Apple TV link regardless of your Kodi device.
Then choose your ESPN provider and enter the activation code you were given. My provider wasn’t listed since I use Sling, so I chose Charter Spectrum as a default and it worked fine.
Click the Continue button when you’re finished.
You’ll see a message that tells you that the activation process was successful.
Then open Kodi again, and click the Continue button.
After that, Kodi will tell you that your activation is complete and that your device has been authenticated successfully.
After authentication is complete, you’ll be taken back to the main screen of the ESPN 3 Kodi addon. Instead of a message telling you to authorize your Kodi device, you’ll see the latest sports highlights from the ESPN family of channels.
Additional ESPN 3 settings
Next, move your mouse to the left of the screen to open the ESPN 3 Kodi addon menu pane. Click the Addon settings menu item.
In the Playback menu, you’ll see options to set the Stream quality. On some ESPN 3 content, there will be multiple streams — one for 1080p, 720p, and occasionally 480p. I leave mine set to “best”, which will tell the addon to automatically play the highest quality stream.
You can also adjust the Bit rate limit to control how much bandwidth the ESPN 3 Kodi addon is allowed to use. Leave it set to 10,000 kbps (10 Mbps) for 1080p. You can lower it to 4,000 kbps for 720p video.
In the Device menu, I like to toggle off most of the menu entries. These control how the video content is grouped, and how you navigate through the categories. Each one is a little different, but all of them show the same videos. I prefer to leave on Show the old style menu (legacy) and toggle everything else off to reduce clutter.
The final setting worth looking at is Disable SSL certificate checks, which the ESPN3 Kodi addon labels as unsafe. But if you’re having a problem getting content from the site because of a certificate error, toggling this on will fix that error.
If you have a cable package that includes ESPN, or if you subscribe to the channel through some other service, you can click the Ok button and skip the next step.
For users without an ESPN package
If you don’t happen to have an ESPN package through your cable subscriber, you’re going to want to disable a few channels in the addon. If you choose to skip this step, you’ll see an error message every time you try to load subscriber-only content.
Toggle the channels ESPN, ESPN2, and SEC+ to “off.” If you don’t do this and try to load content from these channels, you’ll get a frustrating error message every time. I also disabled ESPN Desportes because I don’t speak Spanish, but if you’re a hardcore futbol fan you might want to leave it enabled.
Click the Ok button when you’re finished adjusting the settings.
Using the ESPN 3 Kodi addon
Now that the ESPN 3 Kodi addon is installed and configured, you can use it to catch up on the latest highlights and commentary. Launching videos from the addon is easy, and there’s new content nearly every day.
When you open it, the latest videos will be displayed on the ESPN 3 Kodi addon main page.
You can also browse through the menus to take a look at older content, or get a sneak peek at the matchups coming later in the week.
Once you click on a video, it opens as usual in the Kodi player.
Catch up on your favorite teams with ESPN 3
After you’ve spent some time with the ESPN 3 Kodi plugin, I think you’ll agree that it’s one of the best ways to catch up on the week’s games. If you’re a big fantasy baseball fan like me, you’ll appreciate having a quick video recap of last night’s games waiting on your tv whenever you want it.
ESPN 3 even covers niche sports like women’s jai-alai. This channel has everything, and in my opinion that makes this a must-have addon for Kodi.
I also get the “This device isn’t authorized, choose to authenticate from the main menu.” Which main menu – I dont see an ‘authentication’ button or prompt anywhere. Are they using authorization and authentication interchangeably? I also have a question about the authentication process. the window pops up and as shown tells you to go to es.pn/appletv and enter the authentication code, but it also says to be sure to log into “your” espn account, so do I go onto es.pn/appletv and then on another tab log into my prior espn.com account? (I don’t have espn to watch on my Dish account). Doing that doesn’t seem to be related to or connect to the authentication code provided. I don’t see the significance of going onto my espn.com account versus the es.pn/appletv. The authentication worked fine on es.pn/appletv but then I get the “isn’t authorized” (after dsabling the SSL and checking Off the numerous other espn channels besides espn, espn2, and 3). So not sure about the authorized issue.
Sorry guys, back when I wrote this it worked. I haven’t tried myself but I wouldn’t be surprised if they just stopped authorizing every request.
You’ll probably need to have an account with a provider, but it can’t hurt to try poking around and clicking through a few if you don’t. Those authorization gateways aren’t always perfect
This will be rewritten
So how does Charter Spectrum work as a default if you don’t have an account with them?
I followed all the instructions and still get the unable to reauthenticate, this device isn’t authorized message….frustrating…
I never get the activate your device header with the 2 boxes below it…and the watch ESPN banner on top…..
I am confused, this makes no sense to me “My provider wasn’t listed since I use Sling, so I chose Charter Spectrum as a default and it worked fine”. this option means I have to have a service with Charter Spectrum, How can we login when we dont have a service with them?
Not sure I’m doing this right. After setting up the espn 3 addon, I click on something to watch. Then it tells me I’m not authorized and deactivated my authorization. I don’t have a provider. I’m confused.
Thanks for replying Neka, I’ll take a look. The article may need an update.
This article is definitely out-of-date. After selecting the “click here” link, the Watch ESPN dialog does not show up. Instead a very different activation screen is presented. After supplying the activation code, it proceeds to a webpage of providers, where one has to login to a valid account.
Any plans to update the article?
>>The ESPN3 Kodi addon only requires a free ESPN account.<<
What is a free ESPN account? There is no such thing. It's a station you pay for with your provider.
You can create an account for free at ESPN.com
This was very easy to follow but I’m confused about one thing.
Why does anyone that has a cable subscription want to watch ESPN
on Kodi? I thought the whole point of Kodi was to bypass cable?
Hi Bob, thanks for reading. The ESPN3 Kodi addon only requires a free ESPN account. The free ESPN3 content is almost entirely recaps, re-aired games, and highlights. If you have a cable subscription, you can also watch ESPN and ESPN2 content in the addon.