ESPN Not Working on Samsung TV (9 Fixes)

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Do you love watching sports on the ESPN app on your Samsung TV?

If so, it’s definitely not fun with ESPN not working on Samsung TV. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Many users will experience issues with the ESPN app not working on a Samsung TV. In this article, I’ll cover the most common fixes for issues with ESPN on your Samsung TV.

1. Soft Reset or Cold Reboot the Samsung TV

If some corrupted settings on the Samsung television are stopping ESPN from working, then a power cycle or a soft reset would shut down the TV completely and prevent all the background processes from running and applications that might be causing the app issues.

There are two ways to execute a cold reboot and restart a Samsung TV.

Method 1 – Follow these steps to soft reset a Samsung TV:

  • Remove the TV’s power cable from the power outlet for 60 seconds.
  • Plug the power cable back into the surge protector or wall outlet.
  • Wait for the TV to finish restarting.

Method 2 – To cold reboot the Samsung TV:

  • Remove the TV’s power plug from the power outlet.
  • On the Remote Control, Press and Hold the Power button for at least 30 seconds.
  • Plug the TV back into the power source.
  • Wait for the TV to finish restarting.

2. Check for Samsung TV Firmware Updates

Sometimes an update for an ESPN app may not be compatible with outdated firmware and software of a Samsung TV.

Samsung will release new software updates periodically not only to fix bugs but also to resolve possible issues. It’s best to download them when they’re available. Updating to the latest TV firmware and software can help fix some of the streaming services like your ESPN app.

You can download the most recent firmware update for Samsung TVs by going into the TV’s main menu. You can also download an updated version of the program from its manufacturer’s website.

Follow these steps through the TV menu to update the Samsung TV firmware:

1. On the Samsung TV remote control, Press Home.

2. Select Settings

Samsung TV Software Update Step 1
Samsung TV Software Update Step 1

3. Select Support.

4. Select Software Update.

Samsung TV Software Update Step 2
Samsung TV Software Update Step 2

5. Select Update Now.

Samsung TV Software Update Step 3
Samsung TV Software Update Step 3

6. The TV will automatically reboot for the new firmware to fully install and take effect.

You can also download an updated version of the Samsung TV firmware and transfer it to a USB drive. Follow these steps:

  1. On your desktop or laptop, go to the Samsung download page and search for your TV model.
  2. Download the latest firmware version to your computer.
  3. Extract the files and transfer them to a USB drive.
  4. Insert the USB drive into one of the USB ports on the TV.
  5. On the TV remote, Press Home.
  6. Choose Settings.
  7. Select Support.
  8. Select Software Update.
  9. Start the Software Update Process on the TV.
  10. The TV will reboot and use the updated firmware on the USB drive. Remember not to remove the USB drive until after the TV has fully rebooted.

3. Remove and Reinstall App

Sometimes an app confilict can cause issues to your ESPN app and prevent it from working properly on a Samsung TV. If you see that ESPN isn’t working properly, try removing it and reinstalling it. This may solve the issue.

If there’s an updated version of the app available, you can download that before uninstalling the app entirely. Delete and re-install if things aren’t working out for you, as this could give it a fresher start.

Before you uninstall your ESPN app, be sure you have the login information stored somewhere to keep your login information safe. You will be signed out of the app and will be prompted to sign in again.

Follow these steps to uninstall and reinstall ESPN on a Samsung TV:

1. Press Home on the remote control.

2. Navigate to Apps.

Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 1
Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 1

3. Select Settings.

Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 2
Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 2

4. Navigate to the App.

5. Select Delete. If Delete is grayed out, you won’t be able to delete it because it’s a recommended, preloaded app. Instead, Select Reinstall.

Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 3
Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 3

6. Press Return on the Remote.

7. Select Search.

Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 4
Samsung TV Reinstall Apps Step 4

8. Enter the ESPN App Name.

9. Select to Install the ESPN App

4. Slow Internet Connection

If you experience the ESPN app freezing or having other minor issues, it could be due to poor internet speeds while trying to stream a video in HD.

When streaming from ESPN, you will need at least a download speed of 5 Mbps to stream HD video. If you want to stream 4K video, you will need a faster internet speed of 50+ Mbps.

There could be several explanations why you have a slow internet speed. Here are the most common causes and solutions for a slow connection status.

1. Weak Wi-Fi Signal to the Samsung TV

If the Wi-Fi signal is weak between the Samsung television and the wireless router, the connection may occasionally disconnect. Streaming with the ESPN app will cause issues.

To ensure that the Wi-Fi signal between the TV and the wireless network is strong enough, follow the steps below.

  1. On the Samsung TV remote, Press Home.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Choose General.
  4. Select Network.
  5. Select Open Network Settings.
  6. Select Wireless.
  7. On the list of wireless networks, check how many signal bars your wireless network has. 1 to 2 bars is the sign of a weak signal.

The distance between your wireless network router and Samsung TV can be the main reason for insufficient internet speed.

Another reason why weak Wi-Fi signals may be present is that there are many obstacles between the TV and the modem, like many walls, which can hinder the signal.

You may want to move your WiFi device closer to your Samsung TV, it’ll be much more convenient to move the router closer to your Samsung TV. A shorter distance between the router and the Samsung will improve the quality of your connection speed.

If the router and Samsung television cannot be moved, then you’ll need to purchase a Wi-Fi repeater that acts as a middle point for the Wi-Fi signals between them for a better network connection. 

WiFi repeaters are also called WiFi extenders. The one below is one of the better ones out there and works well in smart homes. They can be found on Amazon and Walmart:

2. Soft Reset the Wi-Fi Router

If your Wi-Fi router has not restarted or been shut down for a long time, this may cause an issue with its configuration or something else. It can cause inconsistency for your connection resulting in slower Internet speeds with the Wi-Fi connection.

Power cycling and restarting your network equipment like your router or modem can help resolve this issue.

To soft reset the WiFi Router or Modem, follow these steps:

  • Unplug the power cable of your  Wi-Fi Router from the power outlet for at least 60 seconds.
  • Replug the power cable of your Wi-Fi Router back into the power outlet.
  • Turn On the Router if there’s an On/Off switch.
  • Wait a few minutes for the Router to restart and reconnect to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

3. Try a Wired Connection

If your router has difficulty sharing the network connection through wireless signals, wired connections are more reliable than Wi-Fi connections, and they’re easier to troubleshoot if there’s an issue.

You will want to use a wired connection to get a high-speed connection to your Samsung TV for a smoother experience. You can also use an ethernet cable from the TV to the router to test the internet connection.

Follow these steps to connect and use a wired internet connection with your Samsung TV:

  1. Connect an ethernet cable from the LAN port on the back of the Samsung smart TV to the LAN port of your router or modem.
  2. On the Samsung TV remote control, Press Home.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select General.
  5. Select Network.
  6. Select OK for the TV to use the wired network to access the internet.

If you have an active connection to the internet, then the Wi‑Fi router’s wireless functionality may be having issues. If none of these solutions work, you might need to update the device’s firmware, perform a factory reset, or replace its Wi-Fi adapter.

4. Disconnect Other Devices from the Wi-Fi Network

Connecting multiple devices to a single wireless router simultaneously could cause them to slow down the speed of the network.

For example, if you have four smartphones, three tablets and three laptops connected to the same wireless network, this variety of devices can cause poor internet speed. That’s specifically true if they’re all streaming HD videos on ESPN or other streaming platforms.

Outdated Wi-Fi routers and modems are especially bad when it comes to handling multiple connected devices simultaneously.

If you want to significantly improve your internet speed on your Samsung TV for ESPN, disconnect all the devices from your router. Then reconnect Samsung TV to the Wi-Fi network once again and check if you’re getting any improvements to the connection speed.

If this fixes the slow connection issue, then you know that it was probably caused by an outdated router that couldn’t handle numerous devices connected at once. You should consider upgrading to a new Wi-Fi router that supports multiple devices sharing the connection simultaneously.

5. Change DNS Server

Sometimes inconsistent connections can cause ESPN issues on Samsung TVs. This issue can be caused by the ISP’s DNS server settings being incorrectly configured.

The Samsung smart TV will usually use the automatic DNS servers from the internet provider, but you can modify them to other DNS servers. This way, when you type in a website address into the browser, the web page loads more faster.

Your ISP’s DNS servers could cause disruptions with accessing ESPN app servers. However, you can bypass and use Google’s public DNS server instead. Google’s DNS servers are a favored option for a more reliable internet connection.

Follow these steps to manually change the DNS settings and use Google’s DNS servers on the Samsung TV:

  1. On the Samsung TV remote control, Press Home.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select General.
  4. Select Network.
  5. Select Network Status.
  6. Select IP Settings.
  7. Select DNS Setting.
  8. Choose Enter Manually.
  9. Select DNS Server.
  10. Enter
  11. Try to open and reconnect to the ESPN app again.

6. Reset Smart Hub on Samsung TV

Another app that you’re logged into on your Samsung Smart TV could be hindering ESPN and causing a conflict.

Resetting the Smart Hub on the Samsung TV can help by signing out of all the apps to remove the issue. But before a smart hub reset, remember to have all the login information, usernames, and passwords, in a safe place so you’ll be able to log back in.

For newer Samsung Smart TV models made after 2020, follow these steps:

  1. On the remote control, Press Home.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Choose Support.
  4. Select Service Care.
  5. Select Self Diagnosis.
  6. Select Reset Smart Hub.

For older Samsung TV models made before 2020, follow these steps:

  1. On the remote control, Press Home.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Select Support.
  4. Select Self Diagnosis.
  5. Select Reset Smart Hub.

If the Samsung TV asks for a security PIN code to reboot the Smart Hub and you didn’t change the PIN code previously, the default PIN should be 0000.

You might also need to redownload the ESPN app again after resetting your Samsung TV.

ESPN Not Working on Samsung TV Final Thoughts

If you’re experiencing problems watching ESPN on your Samsung television, there are several reasons why this might happen. Most of these issues can be fixed by following the steps listed above.

Here are some other apps that can have issues working on a Samsung TV:

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Written by:

Greg Randall
Greg Randall is deeply immersed in Smart Home Technology, with years of experience in home automation, from smart displays to TVs. He enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with like-minded enthusiasts. Beyond smart homes, Greg loves snowboarding and exploring new culinary scenes with friends, bringing a zest for adventure and fine dining to his tech-savvy lifestyle.