Comcast and ESPN are making good on their promise to bring live sports to iPads and other devices, announcing today that Comcast subscribers can now log in to ESPN’s WatchESPN mobile and web apps. And coming soon, ESPN will be making its live TV streams available through Comcast’s XfinityTV.com web portal.
The availability of TV streams online is part of a larger initiative on the part of cable networks and distributors, called TV Everywhere. And while in the long term it should mean that cable subscribers will get more access to all their favorite channels and shows online, in the short term pay TV providers and all the different networks have to do new deals that give them access to those online and mobile streams.
That’s what happened in the case of WatchESPN, which launched a year ago, but for a while was only available to customers of Time Warner Cable. But in its latest deal with Comcast, ESPN parent Disney did a wide-ranging deal that will provide more access not just to ESPN online and on mobile devices, but also to kid-focused Disney Channel sites and apps, as well as ABC video-on-demand titles.
All in all, it’s good news for Comcast subscribers. Not so much for everyone else with a cable or satellite subscription who has to wait for their TV provider to re-up with Disney or ESPN to do their own deals.