ESPN is going streaming.

I figured this shoe was going to drop at some point.

The Walt Disney Company announced today that it has agreed to acquire majority ownership of BAMTech, LLC and will launch its ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service in early 2018, followed by a new Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019…

The ESPN-branded multi-sport service will offer a robust array of sports programming, featuring approximately 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports. Individual sport packages will also be available for purchase, including MLB.TV, NHL.TV and MLS Live.

The new service will be accessed through an enhanced version of the current ESPN app. In addition to the multi-sport service, the ESPN app will include the news, highlights, and scores that fans enjoy today. Consumers who are pay TV subscribers will also be able to access the ESPN television networks in the same app on an authenticated basis. For many sports fans, this app will become the premier digital destination for all their sports content.

Just another reminder that while we live in an age when delivery is important, content matters even more, as it always has.  In that department, the WWL remains, and wants to remain, the 800-pound gorilla of college sports.

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26 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

26 responses to “ESPN is going streaming.

  1. For all of the Mouse’s missteps in this area recently, those movies, theme parks, and brands weren’t developed by dummies. Could they have moved faster? Yep. Could they get rid of a lot of the extra weight of the talking head crap they broadcast around the live events? Could they get rid of the politically slanted stories on their shows people watch for analysis (looking at you, College GameDay)? Yep.

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  2. Russ

    I just hope I can stream all their content, not just Tuesday night MACtion. If so, I may finally cut the cord.

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  3. Don’t they already have a streaming service? How much more different will this one be?

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    • Russ

      AFAIK, you can only use their streaming services if you have a cable or satellite subscription.

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      • Okay – I already have access now because I am a subscriber. I guess I thought they already offered streaming for a fee if you are not a subscriber like HBOGo. After reading a few more articles, it looks like they will bump up the # of live events offered too.

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  4. MGW

    So I cut of cable after the Super Bowl last year. Just had Netflix, Amazon, etc. for the offseason, and I’m getting ready to pick between Dish, DirecTV and (got forbid) signing back up with the local cable company who also happens to be my only choice for internet. Also Sling won’t do the broadcast networks where I live.

    All require 2 year contracts. What does this new development mean for me? Anyone?

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    • Biggen

      Nothing in the short term. I’d never sign a two year contract for TV service nowadays. Too many choices to pick from with all different price points.

      If you want to stream, go with PS Vue service. It allows up to 5 streams and you can record EVERY channel unlike with SlingTV. I put an antenna in my attic so now I get all four major networks + PS Vue service via the internet. Very happy with my options.

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    • David K

      No way in hell I’d sign a 2 year dish contract. I don’t know who you have for cable but if you’re already getting internet from them that’s a no brainer. Comcast has been good to me. I bet you could call and sign up for a package that adds TV back and you’ll pay less than what you pay today for internet only. They’re doing crazy stuff to keep TV subscribers.

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      • PTC DAWG

        Exactly…

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Just switched to Directv and am very happy — lower price plus I’m finally watching true HD programming. For all you cable subscribers, just FYI you are not watching anything in HD, regardless of the channel or programming. Big, big deal, and my picture is far better now than then.

        I’d personally recommend going with 2 year agreement, then reassessing in 2019. First year DTV pricing is ultra cheap, so you’re really only looking at one year of full price service. But, if you do decide to go the streaming route, please set up a PowerLine configuration for each TV and do not rely on wifi.

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    • Macallanlover

      Can’t answer the WWL question, you are further down the line on breaking away than I am (hoping that all gets less complicated within the next two years). But I can say the new equipment from Direct is very nice, I am satisfied with my current set up but still hate paying for 200+ unused, unneeded channels. The new Genie II is wireless to your TV with a small receiver box that is easily hidden behind the TB. Can record eight programs at once (yeah, overkill but pretty impressive), and has 1000 hours of storage to keep all your favorite games! I put a Roku on TVs in guest bedrooms and got rid of the extra fees for unwatched TVs. Happy with the service but if it wasn’t for live sports (CFB and golf) and news, I would cut the cord tomorrow. I go to my daughter’s house (a cord cutter) and I cannot even change the channel without getting lost. I will wait until they get it all solved and simplified.

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      • David K

        Golf is on NBC or CBS every weekend both Saturday and Sunday. I don’t have Golf Channel so I can’t watch early before the network coverage starts and I can’t watch anything from Thursday and Friday, however I’ve learned to live with what I can get on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      See below..I’m personally doing 2 years of DTV then plan on going 100% streaming for good in 2019. FYI I previously did 100% stream via Sling TV a few years ago, and at the time I just didn’t feel like it was mature enough yet. That, and I wasn’t saving enough money to justify it.

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      • WF Dawg

        Yeah, Sling is OK, but there are inevitable buffering issues for me, which I don’t experience with any other streaming service (MLBTV, Netflix, Amazon). Still, it’s dirt cheap and there’s no contract, which will probably be just enough to bring me back again this fall. Maybe they will have gotten better with time.

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  5. David K

    I didn’t read the article so maybe this mentions this, but what is this worth? If I pay Netflix $12/month would I pay ESPN the same? HBO Now is $12 I believe. Maybe they’re asking $20/month or something crazy. When the Disney Channel goes direct I could see them bundling with the ESPN app and charge a bunch.

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  6. JasonC

    As someone that lives outside the US, I hope this means that we can now get games without having to ‘game’ the system illegally.

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  7. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    Man, with all these disparate streaming services available to get all the variable content from the various providers and originators, I bet someone is getting an MBA right now, with a business plan to consolidate and aggregate the streaming services into an integrated hub, with a recording capability, through a box. They’d probably charge a nominal monthly charge for their value add, possibly even aggregating the various streaming charges so you’d only pay this one provider and they would pay the content originators directly.

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  8. GruvenDawg

    @Snoop Dawgy Dawg…AppleTV minus the recording option tried and failed. Right now this is a pretty good synapses of what is out there. https://www.consumerreports.org/streaming-video-services/guide-to-subscription-streaming-video-services/

    YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV are adding in the recording option with data stored in the cloud, but are limited to certain markets right now…Within the next 2-5 years cable as we know it will be dead and the services listed on the link will have consolidated or a new service like them will have become the defacto standard. All will be able to work on multiple hardware platforms (AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, Fires TV, etc) At some point one of those hardware manufacturers will figure out how to include a built in antenna for OTA on their device and then it is game over, See http://www.twice.com/news/video/new-cord-cutting-options-combining-ota-streaming/64069

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    • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

      My comment was utterly tongue in cheek. I basically described Cable TV as we know it today. Content providers contract with an aggregator that centralizes the billing and delivery, with some various value adds involved like DVR. The disintegration of the streaming market is creating a value in having all the services in one place that’s easy to move back and forth from.

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