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ESPN is About to Make Sports More Cord-Cutting Friendly

ESPN31Sports has long been one of the main reasons people stick with cable. Your favorite shows may be something you can wait until tomorrow for, but live events, such as sports, are something people watch as they happen.

Last week, Disney, the parent company of ESPN, bought a 1/3 stake in MLBAM, the backbone of many popular streaming services such as HBO NOW and MLB.TV. They also have the option to buy 1/3 more of the company at a future date if they so wish.

Now it is being reported by Information that ESPN is discussing releasing a standalone streaming service, but there are some catches. The main catch being that that not all sports will be included.

It sounds as though NFL and NBA games on ESPN will not be included, but there is speculation that college football will be included. Yet right now all we have are third-hand reports, and the final service could be almost anything.

It is increasingly looking likely that ESPN is working on a standalone streaming service to try to turn the tide on the 10,000 subscribers they are losing almost every day. What that service will look like when it is released is something that maybe even people at ESPN do not even know right now.

Services like this often change during development, so while we are hearing leak after leak that they are working on a service who knows how far away we are from it becoming public?

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6 Responses to ESPN is About to Make Sports More Cord-Cutting Friendly

  1. Avatar
    Ben M July 9, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    We will have to wait and see of course, but if NFL and NBA are NOT included then what is the point? Even if it is included, unless the monthly rate is no more than $9.99 it would not be worth it.

    • Avatar
      Don K July 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

      Agreed! Do they actually think that people are going to pay just to watch Sportscenter? I’m sure that some would, but I certainly wouldn’t.

      I’m wondering if they are also concerned that some people might just seasonally subscribe. I have to admit that the biggest reason that I want ESPN for is NFL games. The few baseball games that I might be interested in aren’t enough to make me want to subscribe in the summer.

      • Avatar
        Ben M July 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

        Given ESPN arrogance it would not surprise me if they think people will subscribe to watch sports center. I personally think most of their programs are trash including sports center.

        I agree with you, the only reason I would subscribe to ESPN is NFL games and college bowl games so I would definitely be a seasonal subscriber if I subscribed at all. That said, I have lived without Monday night football for 3 years (since I cut the cord) so I imagine I can continue to live without it if the price is not right.

      • Avatar
        filmex July 9, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

        That’s what we did last football season…got Sling so we could have ESPN, Goal Line and the SEC Network and then dropped them after the season. We now get ESPN 1/2/3 + SEC plus other sports networks as part of our basic package on Vue.

        Seems ESPN is a day late and a dollar short. They should have beat Sling to the marketplace. One imagines ESPN was the draw for many that subbed to Sling. Not sure how they’ll regain that market, particularly as Vue and Sling continue to offer all the sports programming on the ESPN Network.

        And, knowing, ESPN, it will be overpriced for what is being offered, when it does arrive.

  2. Avatar
    mike July 10, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    statements like, “…10,000 subscribers they are losing almost every day.” is misleading and completely unfounded, not to mention, unsourced. I love this site and come here for decent information regarding deals, gear, new tech coming, etc. Please tone back the unfounded statistics that nobody can substantiate because, really, nobody knows. Disney does not release these numbers.

    • Avatar
      Cord Cutters News July 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

      I fixed the link so it shows the source again. The short version is the numbers come from Nielsen who is widely regarded as the leader in tracking everything happening in the world of TV.

      We take this site very seriously and are always happy to answer questions.