A month ago, we told you about rumors that ESPN would be offering a new, standalone streaming service but that it wouldn’t include access to the flagship ESPN pay-TV channel. Now ESPN’s parent company Disney has confirmed that such a project is in the works, and that it may use the ESPN name but won’t look like the ESPN you know. [More]
Last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested that one day ESPN could go the way of HBO Now and other premium cable channels by offering a streaming option available outside current cable packages. That day is reportedly coming sooner rather than later, but it might not include anything you actually want to watch. [More]
You frequently hear about manufacturers involved in multibillion-dollar mergers, and you occasionally hear about an individual sports team being sold for big bucks, but it’s pretty rare these days to see an entire sports organization being sold for ten figures. [More]
Since Dish’s Sling TV streaming service launched in 2015, there were two regularly repeated gripes from cord-cutters: That Sling didn’t provide online access to any of the major broadcast networks and that you were forced to only using Sling on a single device at any given time. Sling is now taking steps to address both of these issues, but will they be enough to offer a true cable replacement? [More]
ESPN is easily the most expensive single channel in any basic cable lineup, accounting for around $5 of the average cable bill just on its own. Cable companies are also contractually barred from putting the all-sports network on any sort of premium tier, which is why it was big news last year when Verizon FiOS announced a new “Custom TV” pricing model that made ESPN completely optional for everyone. That’s also why ESPN’s parent company Disney sued Verizon, alleging breach of contract. Now, Verizon has revised Custom TV to include ESPN and other sports channels for customers who want them. [More]
Not even a year after Verizon FiOS began offering so-called “skinny” pay-TV bundles that don’t include the pricey ESPN in the required core package — and in the midst of a lawsuit filed by ESPN’s parent company Disney, alleging that Verizon is violating its contract by doing so — the telecom titan is now hinting that it’s the end times for this dream world where consumers weren’t forced to pay so much for a channel they care so little about. [More]
ESPN is, by far, the most expensive single channel on most cable customers’ basic cable bill, responsible for more than $5/month, with some industry analysts putting an approximately $8/month price tag on ESPN and ESPN 2 together. While it’s long been considered a basic cable must-have, millions of Americans have been dropping their pay-TV packages altogether, and recent surveys show that ESPN wouldn’t be a part of many folks’ ideal a la carte cable menu, meaning not everyone has a desperate need for ESPN. So, could cable companies hold on to their customers by lowering rates in exchange for saying goodbye to the 24-hour sports channel? [More]
Plenty of famous people post Tweets, Facebook updates, and Instagram photos where they mention a product or company name that they truly enjoy. But if those celebs are getting paid to slap their name on these messages, they need to be transparent about it. A pair of sportscasters at ESPN apparently missed that memo when they recently name-dropped Domino’s Pizza on Twitter. [More]
Live sports — the supposed killer app that keeps people subscribing to cable when otherwise they might cut the cord — is, well, going cordless. Disney today announced a deal with Sony that will bring all of their programming, including ESPN, to a streaming service near you. At least, if you live in the right area.
If you’ve decided to pony up the $9.99 monthly fee for YouTube’s new paid subscription service, your money won’t be buying you access to basically any ESPN videos. The sports network — owned by Walt Disney Co. (80%) and Hearst (20%) — failed to negotiate a deal to have its videos available through YouTube Red. As a result, most of ESPN’s featured YouTube channels have gone dark.
Cord-cutting, in which (usually younger) pay-TV subscribers walk away from cable and embrace new ways of accessing media, has been a known phenomenon since at least 2011. But it’s been a slow-rolling snowball, even as services like Netflix soar into the stratosphere. This year, however, it seems that Wall Street traditionalists have finally caught on to the change, and they’re not happy.
As some cable and live-streaming services take a step back from offering costly sports-filled channels in their bundles, the parent company of the biggest sports network on cable is looking at other ways to continue its dominance, namely by selling direct to consumers. [More]
ESPN is by far the most expensive channel on any American’s basic cable lineup and its position as the sole place to watch certain high-profile content like Monday Night Football has given it a reputation as being essential. But a new report claims that if people had to pick and choose the stations they would want on a customized slate of cable channels, ESPN comes in far from the top. [More]
As a growing number of consumers drop — or never sign up for — traditional pay-TV services, it’s easy to point to Netflix as a big reason. And yet, Netflix and similar services don’t actually replace the TV experience, especially when it comes to sports. Newer offerings, like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, replicate the live TV watching experience, but falter compared to traditional pay-TV when it comes to things like DVR functionality. What’s stopping the big players from offering an all-in-one online service now? [More]
A certain segment of consumers have been clamoring for years for cable distributors to break up the monolithic, 300-channel bundle into a la carte offerings. For those who don’t watch sports, the logic goes, why pay for ESPN? Why pay for TLC if you don’t watch reality TV, or CNN if you don’t give a damn about news?
Just about every basic cable package in the U.S. includes ESPN whether you want it or not. This is because the popular sports network’s contract generally forbids pay-TV providers from putting ESPN on a separate sports tier. But Verizon FiOS recently introduced “Custom TV,” a programming package that doesn’t necessarily include ESPN, and now the telecom giant is being sued by the sports network for breach of contract. [More]
Earlier this week, Verizon FiOS began offering customers a new way to choose which cable channels they pay for, by allowing them to pay for a small base package of core channels and then pay to add on niche-targeted bundles of 10-17 channels each. This didn’t sit well with ESPN, the most expensive channel on just about everyone’s pay-TV lineup, and ESPN’s corporate overlords at Disney are reportedly refusing to air ads for FiOS’s new offering. [More]