The inconceivably popular sports network ESPN may be getting ready to put out the middle-man, that is the cable networks, by offering its content direct to cable cutters, according to a report by The Information.
The web-based subscription model will not include the popular mainstream sports such as NBA basketball or NFL football though, with more niche sports such as college sports set to be the main offerings for the new package.
If any of this sounds vaguely familiar, it is because EPSN did a similar thing when the Cricket World Cup was taking place in 2015. At that time ESPN offered a streaming package to anyone who wanted to pay for it, whether they were a cable TV subscriber or not.
That appears now to have been set up as a practice run for the main event, with a new web-based content package believed to be in the works for an as-yet unknown release date at some point in the future. The Informant does also note that no matter when the launch is, ESPN does not have plans to make any of its core sport offerings available for streaming.
If ESPN does begin to offer a streaming option for those that don’t need or want the more mainstream sport leagues it will make plenty of sense for its parent company, Disney.
While ESPN would be testing new ground with a streaming-only subscription, Disney already has its fingers in plenty of similar pies. Disney is, for example, an early player in some of the internet’s premium web-based TV services such as Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. An ESPN presence alongside Disney content would surely make sense for the parent company, of that there is no doubt.
(source: The Information)
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