The little box that is known as Roku has its many legion of fans. Some have used it to cut the cord from cable and satellite. By connecting to the home wifi system, Roku users can gain access to Netflix, Hulu, MLB.TV, MLS, NBA Game Time, NHL Gamecenter and other channels.
But starting today, WatchESPN is being added to Roku. It means that Roku users will be able to watch the linear ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3 plus the seasonal Goal Line and Buzzer Beater services. There's a catch to watch the ESPN channels, you still need a cable subscription, so don't think you can cut the cord and keep watching ESPN. And it will only be available on the newer Roku boxes.
If you have a subscription to AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast's Xfinity, Cox, Time Warner Cable and other participating providers, you'll be able to see WatchESPN on Roku.
In addition to WatchESPN, Roku users will gain access to WatchDisney at the end of the month. So why won't ESPN allow you to access its app without a cable subscription? Well, it means that you would cut the cord and the cable providers don't want that.
So if you've cut the cord and are hoping to see the ESPN channels on Roku, you're really out of luck. But if you use Roku to compliment your cable subscription, then you will be able to see WatchESPN.
I've got WatchESPN on my roku app without having a cable TV subscription, I get my internet through cox, so the app is at least somewhat useful. I can watch ESPN 3 live games, news video, and games that aired on ESPN networks after they air
I recently cut the cord and got a password from a family member with Verizon Fios and WatchESPN is working great on my Roku 3. Also have HBOGO, FOXNOW and EPIX along with my subscriptions of Netflix and Hulu Plus. Now Roku needs to add SHOAnytime, MaxGo and EncorePlay along with an official Youtube and it would be perfect.