ESPN2 is the secondary channel as part of the ESPN family of networks. While certainly still centered around sports, the channel offers more diverse content. Moreover, there are shows or programs that may pull in relatively smaller audiences than the main ESPN channel.
Essentially, ESPN as a channel shows what the executives believe is more popular among the average American. College football games, Monday Night Football, NBA and now NHL all go to ESPN. Therefore, we see less popular sports in the States, like soccer, moved over to ESPN2.
This is not always the case. ESPN showed the 2020 European Championship in its entirety on the main channel. Yet, generally speaking, less popular games or shows go to ESPN2.
The channel is available with almost all cable and streaming packages. The channel tends to come just one or two channels after the main ESPN channel in an attempt to keep the sports close together.
ESPN2 is almost entirely in English. The best way to think of it is as a junior ESPN. Still content that revolves around sports, just slightly more niche in its delivery.
Most of the programs throughout the day are studio shows. Radio shows, debate shows, SportsCenter and other options all fill the time slots for ESPN2.
Historically, ESPN2 started as a way to be more youth-oriented. As time went on, ESPN slowly phased out this side of the channel. Now, content is conventional, resembling much of what is seen on ESPN. Also, ESPN2 can become a form of multicasting for ESPN. While the main channel holds the main broadcast of major sporting events (like Monday Night Football or the NBA Finals), the secondary channel is a way to get a different perspective on the event. This could be different commentary or in-depth live statistics.
Soccer on ESPN2
The ESPN family of networks owns the rights to a number of major leagues and competitions throughout world soccer. Notably, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Copa del Rey, FA Cup, UEFA European Championships and World Cup Qualifying, select MLS and Liga MX games all belong to ESPN for their U.S. media rights.
It is hard to predict when these games will end up on ESPN, ESPN2 or move to the paid-streaming service, ESPN+.
READ MORE: How to watch soccer on ESPN+.
If a game is one that bears significant importance, it will more than likely appear on ESPN. As stated earlier, all Euro 2020 matches appeared on the main channel.
Still, this is not always the case. The UEFA Nations League semifinals both aired on ESPN2, while the final made it to ESPN. Similarly, the United States Men’s National Team played a World Cup Qualifier against Jamaica. ESPN splits these games with FOX and CBS. With this game going to ESPN, the company moved the game to ESPN2. The executives made the decision to air college football on that Thursday night instead of the USMNT.
World Cup Qualifiers in Europe do also appear on this secondary channel. Remember, though, that many of these games overlap in terms of timing. Only one game per time slot is available on the channel itself, with the rest appearing on either the Watch ESPN app or ESPN+.
Here’s our comprehensive listing of the different soccer channels available:
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family