ESPN announced today its flagship network ESPN as well as ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com are now available to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV subscribers via the new ‘WatchESPN’ App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, now available on the App Store.
In time for the early rounds of the Masters, the NBA Playoffs and the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV subscribers who receive the linear networks as part of their video subscription can now watch the channels from the convenience of their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
“Innovation continues to drive ESPN,” said George Bodenheimer, president, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports. “When we launched in 1979, nobody envisioned a day when people would carry ESPN in their pockets. But here we are. And we’ve reached this watershed moment for the industry through tremendous collaboration with forward-thinking partners.”
The free WatchESPN App includes a simple user interface that takes the current online viewing experience to the high-resolution, Multi-Touch displays of iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Once a user downloads WatchESPN from the App Store, they will receive instructions to enter their cable subscriber credentials and access their favorite ESPN content on their device. A version of the application optimized for the Apple iPad will be available free to download in May.
Added Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing for ESPN, “This represents the culmination of our efforts over the last five years. 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.”
The company first launched an online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN in October, 2010. Authenticated versions of ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line launched in January, 2011. Consumers can access the channels through a centralized website, ESPNnetworks.com.
The WatchESPN App is available for free from the iTunes App Store.
The App will be available on other smartphones and tablets in the near future.
In Beta Research Corp.’s 2010 Cable Operator Study, ESPN retained its number one status for the 11th consecutive year as the network with the most perceived value. ESPN2 placed second for the sixth straight year in this category with the Disney Channel in fourth and ESPNU tying with the NFL Network for seventh.
“From the depth of programming to the many platforms available for fans to consume content, the Disney and ESPN networks continue to help our affiliates drive their businesses,” said David C. Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. “To have four of our networks recognized in the top ten is an honor and we continue to look for new ways to innovative and provide value to our affiliate partners.”
Disney and ESPN Networks received the following high marks from cable operators:
- ESPN and ESPN2 ranked first and second in perceived value; Disney Channel placed fourth and ESPNU placed seventh
- For the seventh consecutive year, ESPN was considered most important network in their cable system and the most effective network in selling broadband or interactive television services.
- ESPN also ranked number one in most helpful with high definition programming best overall marketing services, and most helpful in driving VOD or SVOD efforts.
As a basic network organization, the Disney and ESPN Media Networks also ranked first in many categories including:
- Providing best overall marketing services;
- Most effective in selling broadband/high-speed internet, HDTV, and/or VOD
- Most visited affiliate web site
The telephone survey was conducted in August – October 2010 among general managers and/or marketing directors and VPs of individual cable systems. The study determines perceived value of networks to cable systems; importance of networks to cable systems; unaided mentions for networks’ levels of marketing support, broadband, iTV, HDTV and VOD efforts.