ESPN is reportedly considering making all of their channels available on an Internet TV service for a fee, according to The Verge. The online provider would pay for all of the channels under the ESPN umbrella as well as for access to Watch ESPN at a comparable rate to what cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner pay. ESPN is talking to Sony, Apple, Intel, and Google about the package.
With more and more people cutting the cord and moving away from cable and satellite, the option to receive ESPN without having a cable or satellite contract to deal with would likely end up pushing more people towards that avenue. If this really ends up happening, I can see providers going nuclear and a standoff happening when the first contract ESPN has expires.
From ESPN's perspective, this is a risky, but wise, move. The behemoth has begun the slow leak of subscribers tied to people cutting the cord, and by cutting a deal with an Internet TV provider, they'd be effectively hedging their bets against any further drop in cable or satellite subscribers. Yet, because of the potential for a major showdown with a provider (something that Time Warner seemingly relishes), there's a huge risk involved for them if providers balk at their massive fees and continual hikes.
@DAVi_DiGi Conceptually broadcast TV has begun shifting over to Internet technology.. ie Servers instead of antennas and satellites.
@DAVi_DiGi I think soon every sports team will have their own Internet TV station per subscription...
@DAVi_DiGi ESPN cheap ala carte Internet TV is the future. Give me only the channels I want over broadband and gtfo.
I can't believe the amount of haters in this thread. You know what ESPN has that I can't get elsewhere? TONS of college football. The only reason I still have cable is because I can't get that content elsewhere. So after my cable contract was done, I would absolutely cut the cord and buy this package. I can't believe that even at a higher rate, me buying this ESPN package would be more expensive than buying an entire cable package.
@awfulannouncing id be happier if they were just available in Europe. Espn sucks.
@awfulannouncing won't that kill cable revenues?
@awfulannouncing What's the big deal? You can get ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU on WatchESPN now. People really need ESPNNews that badly? No.
@awfulannouncing what kind of push notifications do you guys send out?
@awfulannouncing good make my cable bill go down and I don't have to watch their god awful programming and in studio talent
@awfulannouncing Sweet, more ways to view Berman's massive vag neck. Thanks. Exactly what 'Mercuh needs more of.
@awfulannouncing oh, and next up is Sunday Ticket.
@awfulannouncing I actually stopped watching ESPN. I hope Directv drops them.
@awfulannouncing *in the 30 for 30 voice* "What if I told you, that cutting out the middle man, meant cutting into a new era of television"
@awfulannouncing Numbers for Direct TV subscribers aren't going down...
@JDaley2 was bound to happen with technology today
@awfulannouncing because Tebowmania deserves to be on all media outlets at all times.
@awfulannouncing I don't watch ESPN on my TV, why would I watch it on my computer?
@awfulannouncing they should just show hockey and baseball online, nobody cares about neither of the 2
@awfulannouncing ...and it better be free!!!!
@awfulannouncing would be huge... And put more pressure on Fox to do the same.. NBC is doing fine with the Live Extra app
@awfulannouncing we've been on the verge of this for years now. It's just been all logistics
This would be great. I only subscribe to Broadcast Cable and watch ESPN3 online or ESPN or ESPN2 on line as well through my "sources."
I'd pay a "reasonable" fee to have easy access to all the channels.
ALA CARTE PROGRAMMING! In what lifetime?
I was just talking yesterday with the NFL Sunday Ticket possibly going to Google, that live tv (mainly sports) are the main reason I still have DirecTV. If I can get ESPN on Internet TV as well as get my local sports on internet tv, currently NHL Gamecast & MLB.tv still blackout local games, then I wouldn't need DirecTV.
Viacom is doing a similar deal with Sony's upcoming internet TV service to offer live streaming of MTV, Spike, Nickelodeon, etc. Couple this with ESPN's plans and HBO's possibly offering a stand-alone subscription for streaming box user, you'll really see mass cord-cutting sooner rather than later.
This needs to happen. Haven't had cable for a couple of years now and ESPN is the only thing I miss.
@Ted. This is for people who don't have cable and using a streaming service like Apple TV, Roku, Hoogle, etc.
I'm also a little surprised ESPN is first in line to talk to the likes of Intel and Google. You would think CBS and Fox would have more incentive, given that CBS is stuck in a huge carriage spat with TWC, and Fox Sports 1 got pushed by the carriers into a much lower price than it wanted.
On the other hand, Fox DOES have to think about the future for Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Movie Channel, FX, and Nat Geo, too. It hasn't gotten quite as diversified with its income streams as Disney has lately.
Let's be clear about one thing. The rates that Intel, Apple, Google, and Sony would pay for ESPN would NOT be comparable to what cable and satellite incumbents are paying. They would be HIGHER, for two reasons:
1.) These tech companies have big bucks and are willing to spend them. Apple has $170B in the bank. Google has $50B. Intel has $17B. Several reports have suggested Intel is offering a 75% premium on subscriber fees to networks to get them on board. All three can afford to lay down billion-dollar guarantees to ESPN, Fox, etc., if it means getting a foothold in the evolving IPTV market.
2.) ESPN needs to hedge against the established carriers coming after them and demanding lower rates. They can reply to the cable and satellite carriers by saying, "Hey, people are leaving y'all behind, and we have to look after ourselves," and the numbers are there to back that up, but they'll still have to throw the carriers a bone, like a temporary freeze on rate increases or something.
Of course, if a TWC/Comcast/DirecTV subscriber who pays $6.44/mo. for four ESPN channels leaves cable/satellite behind in favor of an Intel/Google/Sony IPTV service that nets ESPN $11/mo. per subscriber, what does ESPN care about the old guard? They have to think about the future in Bristol, and the cable bundle as we know it doesn't really have much of one.
And if it means I'll be able to get a package of sports channels or apps for a flat rate without having to subsidize the wide swath of crap on cable, I'll take it.
At least their head isn't stuck in the sand. NOT.
Ratings are down because of bad content, and their answer is to make it more available. Try investing in Quality, not Quantity.
I won't tell you where, but if do some hunting, you can watch ESPN on line for free!
@whatupay4sports lost 52k same quarter last year but still gained for year. They made up for losses going into football season. We'll see.
@JDaley2 I'm waiting for the say someone makes it possible for me to watch TV shows I missed in my dreams. I also still want a flying car.
@TheOneBarrelRum Is Sunday Ticket still valuable in a world where RedZone is widely available? DirecTV might be okay for now, but long term?