Continuing the trend of tying streaming content to the ol' ball and chain that is your pricy cable subscription, ESPN announced the launch of the WatchESPN App for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, with an iPad optimized version slated for release in May. Said App can be downloaded now and will allow you to "stay connected to live sports and shows from ESPN, wherever and whenever you want them" -- assuming you're a Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV customer that is. The ability to watch three of the most popular cable networks while on the go, or anywhere in your house, is certainly nothing to scoff at, but many sports fans' excitement will indeed be diminished until ESPN fulfills its promise to release apps for "other smartphones and tablets," and of course the other big service providers like Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network get with the program. For now you can live vicariously through us by clicking through to the gallery or watching the western style WatchESPN App commercial available embedded after the break.
ESPN Launches New 'WatchESPN' App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
App Gives Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV Subscribers Live Access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com content
NEW YORK, N.Y. – 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 App Store on iPad or at www.itunes.com/appstore.
The App will be available on other smartphones and tablets in the near future.