ESPN have announced that they are now releasing their WatchESPN app to subscribers of Comcast for free on browsers and portable devices.
The app, which will be made available first to Apple’s portable devices (such as the iPhone and iPad) and to Android devices in the ‘coming months’, is to allow Comcast customers the chance to watch live streaming of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU, while ‘seasonal’ content providing sevices such as ‘ESPN Goal Line’ and ‘Buzzer Beater’ will be available on the app (as well as a browser service on XfinityTV.com) when applicable.
The plans are an extension of Comcast’s plans to combine content and online services, a combination that has seen the buy-out of NBCUniversal, the introduction of iPad-based streaming, on-demand service StreamPix, and an ‘Xfinity app’ for Xbox 360 users.
The move is set to follow on from a similar deal made between Comcast and Disney (majority owners of ESPN) in January, as Comcast Cable’s ‘senior vice president of digital and emerging platforms’ Matt Strauss states of this latest arrangement: “Through the launch of WatchESPN, as well as the overall multi-year Disney relationship we announced earlier this year, we are providing millions of customers the opportunity to get more sports and entertainment programming across multiple platforms. The launch of WatchESPN is the first of many launches that we will partner on with Disney, further reinforcing our TV Everywhere commitment.”
It adds to a streaming collection that sees Disney networks Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and DisneyXD all set to be added to Comcast-based services, on what Disney describe as: “…across a variety of platforms and devices both in-home and out-of-the-home.”
The service will naturally require an ‘authentication process’ of logging in to an XfinityTV online account, meaning that while it is only for Comcast customers, those users will still be able to anticipate a key live link-up to content from America’s leading. sports-based network. Will the connected integration of Disney-based content prove to be a success?