ESPN could be a pioneer in the television industry if it decides to offer all of its programming to online services that are in development by Sony, Apple, Google and others. According to ESPN President John Skipper, in an interview with Bloomberg, the executive said:
“A Web-based service would have to buy ‘the whole suite of products.’ We’re not going to offer one-offs.”
Under the proposal, sports fans could subscribe via a Web TV service to an ESPN product, which would offer all of the programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews and other related ESPN channels.
Currently, you have to subscribe to a TV provider such as a cable or satellite company to watch ESPN programming. Or, you can watch it online, but only with an authenticated account that proves you’re a cable or satellite subscriber.
It’s still early days, so there’s no guarantee this will happen soon. But with the popularity of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, it’s going to happen sooner or later where cord cutters will be able to choose the programming they want to watch and only pay for that. If ESPN decides to do a deal, they’d be a trendsetter and it would change the entire industry.
How much would you be willing to pay for the suite of ESPN channels each month?