Friday, April 08, 2011

ESPN Offers Free Live-Streaming To iOS Devices With A Catch

Sports geeks can now get their ESPN fix for free with live streaming videos to all Apple iOS devices assuming that is you are a cable TV subscriber with Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FIOS.

That's right ESPN has announced the launch of a new app that will enable iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to live-stream the company’s most popular networks wherever they are — but there’s a catch its only limited to the services above. If you are a customer of Comcast, AT&T U-Verse, DirecTV or Dish Network you are out of luck!

For you sports geeks that are customers of those companies ESPN is making ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU available via the the free WatchESPN app. The free WatchESPN App includes a simple user interface that takes the current online viewing experience to the high-resolutions commonly found on the Multi-Touch displays of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. A highly optimized version of the application for the Apple iPad will be available free to download in May and the company says the App will be available on "other" smartphones and tablets in the near future.

"This represents the culmination of our efforts over the last five years," said Sean Bratches, executive vice president of sales and marketing for ESPN. "We strive to serve the sports fan wherever they consume sports, and I can't think of a better way to do that than making our networks available to fans whenever and wherever they might be."

I'm really surprised to see ESPN snub it's nose at Comcast and satellite customers. There isn't anything about that app that would show a need for exclusivity to one set of networks over the other so it must be a purely money motivated event with Time Warner locking in the rights.

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