ESPN Brings WatchESPN Live Video Coverage Into Main iOS App

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ESPN today announced an update to its iOS app that will let users stream live sporting events from the separate WatchESPN service directly within the core app, a feature that would previously redirect users to a separate download of WatchESPN. Specifically concerning videos, the ESPN app before today's update only allowed for short clips and game highlights.

"Offering the convenience of live streaming within one app reinforces the value of the multichannel subscription," said Sean Breen, Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales, Disney & ESPN Media Networks. "Even with WatchESPN's recent record-breaking viewership, we continue to be aggressive in driving awareness to a large scale audience and to incentivize video subscribers to authenticate."
ESPN representatives promised that logging into the new app will be the same process as before, and users can expect to see a simple "WatchESPN" tab at the bottom right of the screen. On the iPad, the app will also support multitasking with a picture-in-picture mode that keeps playback rolling even as users leave the app's homepage.

The company noted that it will be keeping WatchESPN up on the App Store as a solo, "full experience," for those who specifically want live streaming capabilities and none of the various other game-tracking features of the base app. To use WatchESPN in any capacity, users have to check for support from their cable provider and then link the two accounts within the app.

ESPN mentioned that the move to consolidate its two popular mobile apps comes after "record-breaking audience viewership" for its WatchESPN software across all platforms of its availability. September was its most-viewed month ever -- excluding months the World Cup took place -- with 11 million total viewers on the app that watched 2.2 billion minutes in total of ESPN content.

Article Link: ESPN Brings WatchESPN Live Video Coverage Into Main iOS App
 

SlipperySlop

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Disney needs to follow HBO's lead and break away from the constraint of the cable companies. There should no longer be any need to authenticate with a cable provider in order to use an app on a mobile device.
Huh? The "free" HBO requires an HBO subscription and authentication. The other, newer, HBO requires you to pay for a subscription.
Do you really expect a cable channel to give you free access? Or are you asking for an ESPN channel that require a monthly subscription?
 
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Pbrutto

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Now let people who pay lots of money to their isp for super fast internet that do not also have cable watch the damn feed
 

jmcrutch

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Huh? The "free" HBO requires an HBO subscription and authentication. The other, newer, HBO requires you to pay for a subscription.
Do you really expect a cable channel to give you free access? Or are you asking for an ESPN channel that require a monthly subscription?
He's asking for monthly subscription access without having to be a "cable" or satellite subscriber.
 

acgmph

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Disney needs to follow HBO's lead and break away from the constraint of the cable companies. There should no longer be any need to authenticate with a cable provider in order to use an app on a mobile device.
Disney did the math and it would lose money on other properties if they did this (ABC, A&E, Lifetime, etc). They're experimenting with Sling, but if you look at the channel lineup, there are a lot of Disney properties included next to ESPN so they can leech some revenue, because otherwise no-one would separately pay for those properties.

My guess is that it's going to be a while until we see channel de-bundling because conglomerates don't like to lose money on anything and love maximizing revenue. Meanwhile, when I want to watch TV, I have an indoor antenna that works for me and couldn't care less about ESPN - the NFL is on free-to-air if I really want to watch it. Internet bill is $40 a month so that's about $700 in savings a year because I don't have cable.
 

jayducharme

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He's asking for monthly subscription access without having to be a "cable" or satellite subscriber.
Exactly.

Internet bill is $40 a month so that's about $700 in savings a year because I don't have cable.
You're one of the fortunate ones. Where I live, there's no choice. Comcast owns the area. If you want Internet access, it's $80 without basic cable; $65 with it. So basically, you get cable whether you like it or not. And I'm in the "not" category, hoping that a competitor eventually appears.
 

JustThinkin'

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Disney needs to follow HBO's lead and break away from the constraint of the cable companies. There should no longer be any need to authenticate with a cable provider in order to use an app on a mobile device.
Huh? The "free" HBO requires an HBO subscription and authentication. The other, newer, HBO requires you to pay for a subscription.
Do you really expect a cable channel to give you free access? Or are you asking for an ESPN channel that require a monthly subscription?
Disney gets around $5 per month from almost every pay-TV subscriber (because as you know, it's included in most packages). This is whether the customer wants ESPN or not (and believe me, some customers don't). This is vastly more than any other cable channel - they tend to collect maybe $0.20 per subscriber per month. Why would Disney do anything to upset this cash cow - this amazing revenue stream they've built up? Sure, it's good because it allows them to provide a lot of coverage they might otherwise not have, and even experiment with ideas no one else would. But it also gives them plenty of profit!

So "ain't no way" they're giving that up - especially when other sports networks can't even collect $1 a month. If you really want it then pay $14-20/mo. for Sling.
 
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acgmph

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Exactly.


You're one of the fortunate ones. Where I live, there's no choice. Comcast owns the area. If you want Internet access, it's $80 without basic cable; $65 with it. So basically, you get cable whether you like it or not. And I'm in the "not" category, hoping that a competitor eventually appears.

The $40 a month is with Comcast. They have an offer for first time subscribers for the first 12 months for $40 a month, after which is $80 a month. Now, because we have the option of Verizon at the same address, after 12 months I switch to Verizon for their offer for 12 months, then back to Comcast for 12 months... and so on... inconvenient, but I don't have to pay double the price by staying with the same internet company.