What Channel Is ESPN on Spectrum? (2023 Update)

ESPN logo.

What Channel Is ESPN on Spectrum? (2023 Update)

Key Points

  • ESPN, formally known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, has been on the air since 1979 and has grown to become the predominant network for sports fans.
  • ESPN offers a diverse lineup of programs, including live games, game commentary, documentaries, and talk shows.
  • ESPN2, the sister station of ESPN, covers alternative and offbeat sports, seasonal events, and offers analysis and commentary shows.
  • ESPN2 may simulcast major sporting events with ESPN, providing different angles and perspectives of the same game.

Everybody knows ESPN is the place to find all the big games broadcast live with expert commentary and post-game analysis. What everybody might not know, however, is where to find the channel in the first place. When game time is fast approaching and you need to get to ESPN before you miss a second of the match-up, Spectrum cable subscribers can’t afford to search the guide until they stumble upon the right station. Here’s how to find ESPN on your Spectrum guide, no matter where you’re at in the United States.

ESPN Channel Guide

City and StateESPN Channel on Spectrum
Albany, NY24
Anaheim, CA35
Austin, TX52
Bakersfield, CA26
Birmingham, AL20
Buffalo, NY30
Charlotte, NC39
Cincinnati, OH30
Cleveland, OH28
Columbus, OH11
Corpus Christi, TX39
Dallas, TX33
Durham, NC31
El Paso, TX25
Indianapolis, IN36
Kansas City, MO33
Lexington, KY28
Long Beach, CA35
Los Angeles, CA39
Louisville, KY31
Milwaukee, WI30
Montgomery, AL25
New York, NY28
Raleigh, NC31
Reno, NV33
San Antonio, TX24
San Diego, CA29

The History of ESPN

ESPN channel Xfinity
The Walt Disney Company currently shares ownership of ESPN with Hearst Communications.


ESPN — formally known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network — has been on the air since 1979. Founded by Bill Rasmussen and his son Scott, the Rasmussens hoped to take the concept of a 24-hour cable news channel and apply it to sports content. ESPN went live for the first time in September 1979. Its live sporting events, game highlights, and sports news were unlike anything seen on traditional networks before.

Naturally, this originality came with its fair share of both hurdles and naysayers. How could it work? How would it be paid for? Would enough people tune in to keep the network alive? ESPN faced all these struggles head-on. Eventually, it paid off. In five years, the network had grown so large it attracted a huge buyer. The Rasmussens (and their large corporate co-owner Getty Oil) sold 100% of ESPN to ABC.

From its flagship program SportsCenter to its wide coverage of popular and obscure games alike, ESPN ended the ‘80s as the predominant network for sports fans. With the launch of ESPN2, ESPN Radio, and ESPN.com in the ’90s, the introduction of ESPN: The Magazine and ESPNU in the 2000s, and the development of streamer ESPN+ in the ‘10s, ESPN has successfully continued its reign for decades now.

ESPN Sister Stations

ESPN Deportes
ESPN College Extra
Longhorn Network
ACC Network
SEC Network

ESPN Programming

Still of Stephen A. Smith on First Take.
Stephen A. Smith’s First Take is one of ESPN’s most notable talk shows.

©The Walt Disney Company – License

Now that you know where to find ESPN on Spectrum, it’s worth elaborating on all the programs played on the station throughout a typical day. After all, there’s a lot more than just live sporting events on ESPN. The network covers a wide range of shows beyond the games. From expert commentary to informative documentaries to hilarious talk shows, ESPN offers a diverse lineup that’s often as exciting as the sporting events themselves. Here’s what you can expect to see.

Live Games

ESPN is known best for broadcasting live games from various sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, MLB, and beyond. The station shows the actual games in real time, giving you the chance to watch your favorite teams and players compete live on your screen. There’s no limit to the kinds of games you might find on ESPN on a normal day. It’s the only thing that compares to actually being in the stadium or arena itself.

Game Commentary

Alongside live games, ESPN also offers pre- and post-game commentary. On these shows, a panel of experts will analyze trends and scores in the world of sports — typically focused on the game that just ended or the game that’s about to start. The analysts break down the action, explain the strategies, and provide key insights into players’ performances to help you get more out of the game.


While most tune into ESPN for the games and the commentary, the network also makes great documentaries. These documentaries are truly exceptional work. One in particular — O.J.: Made in America — even managed to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature back in 2017. It was the first time ESPN (or any sports network, for that matter) had won such a prestigious award. Given the consistent quality of ESPN’s documentary films, it likely won’t be the last.

Talk Shows

Lastly, ESPN also has plenty of talk shows to keep you entertained between games and documentaries. Expert commentators such as Stephen A. Smith, Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, and Molly Qerim discuss current events, have debates, and break down trending topics in the world of sports.


Should you find that ESPN is not showing what you’re looking for, you might try their sister channel, ESPN2.

ESPN2 Channel Guide

City and StateESPN2 Channel on Spectrum
Albany, NY25
Anaheim, CA36
Austin, TX53
Bakersfield, CA27
Birmingham, AL21
Buffalo, NY31
Charlotte, NC68
Cincinnati, OH31
Cleveland, OH29
Columbus, OH23
Corpus Christi, TX71
Dallas, TX34
Durham, NC32
El Paso, TX26
Indianapolis, IN45
Kansas City, MO34
Lexington, KY27
Long Beach, CA36
Los Angeles, CA40
Louisville, KY30
Milwaukee, WI29
Montgomery, AL26
New York, NY29
Raleigh, NC32
Reno, NV34
San Antonio, TX25
San Diego, CA30

ESPN2 Programming

Photo of a World Chase Tag course for 2022.
Programming on ESPN2 ranges from X Games competitions to professional games of tag.

©YouTube – License

ESPN2 is typically found just one channel away from the flagship station ESPN. This sister station takes traditional sports programming to a whole new level by including coverage of less conventional, more abstract sporting events. If ESPN is the channel for mainstream sports, then ESPN2 is the place to find all the quirky alternatives. Not to mention those traditional sporting events from teams that just aren’t ready for the ESPN primetime slot. Here’s what you might find on an average day’s programming block on ESPN2.

Seasonal Events

ESPN2 does a great job covering alternative events from various seasonal sporting events. This includes X Games coverage, college sporting events, and other seasonal sports that have multiple match-ups occurring at the same time. This allows viewers to flip back and forth from ESPN to ESPN2 when one game starts losing their attention. 

Alternative Live Games 

In addition to these seasonal games, ESPN2 also airs all the unconventional and offbeat sports your heart desires. From dodgeball championships to strongman competitions to video game tournaments and beyond, ESPN2 prides itself on breaking the mold of sports coverage to offer something consistently new and exciting.

Analysis and Commentary

Similar to the main ESPN channel, ESPN2 offers all the analysis and commentary shows you’d traditionally expect from a live sports network. These shows might not be as notable or as popular as the ones airing concurrently on ESPN, but they still bring in the expert panels to discuss all the important stuff and help you gain a deeper understanding of the day’s big games.


For especially major sporting events, ESPN2 may simulcast the game with sister station ESPN. However, ESPN2 will show you different angles and alternate perspectives of the same game playing on the other station. This is particularly fascinating during tournaments or rivalry games. It allows the viewer to see everything unfold from more than just one angle.

What Channel Is ESPN on Spectrum? (2023 Update) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is ESPN?

ESPN is short for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. This broadcaster is a well-known television station dedicated to all things sports. It’s a place where you can watch live events, see exciting game highlights, catch up on the latest news in sports, and listen to panels of experts discussing everything you need to know about current sporting events.

What is ESPN2?

ESPN2 is a sister channel to the flagship network ESPN. It serves as the home for many of the games and programs that might not fit into the ESPN primetime schedule. ESPN and ESPN2 might play the same major sporting event, but the two channels provide differing angles and alternative coverage for a more immersive viewing experience.

How is ESPN2 different from ESPN?

While both channels are about sports, ESPN2 often features more alternative and diverse sports content than its sister station ESPN. When watching ESPN2, you might encounter more unusual events or sports that aren’t as well known on ESPN. ESPN2 is a place to discover new sports and enjoy new sides of the sports you already love.

Does ESPN play anything other than sports?

ESPN has a variety of shows for sports fans beyond your traditional sporting events. Take SportsCenter, for example. A long-running staple of ESPN since its very first day on the air, SportsCenter gives ESPN viewers updates on games and news along with an analysis of the day’s events. ESPN also airs documentaries that tell intriguing stories about the athletes behind the sports. Plus, there’s a wide range of entertaining talk shows where experts discuss sports news and engage in colorful debates.

Who owns ESPN?

ESPN is shared by two major media conglomerates: The Walt Disney Company with 80% ownership, and Hearst Communications with 20% ownership. This may come as a surprise to some, as Disney doesn’t always like to share its assets with other media conglomerates. Nevertheless, this partnership between Disney and Hearst has played a key role in shaping ESPN’s growth and positioning it as the leading sports entertainment network on the air today.

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