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Promising News For Cord Cutters: ESPN Is In Talks to Stream All Channels Online, For A Price

espn logo Promising News For Cord Cutters: ESPN Is In Talks to Stream All Channels Online, For A Price

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?

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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14 Responses to Promising News For Cord Cutters: ESPN Is In Talks to Stream All Channels Online, For A Price

  1. Frill Artist says:


  2. Interesting because ESPN has for years fought efforts in Congress to allow À la carte cable menus for consumers. ESPN has driven up the cost of cable which is all well and good but I find it ironic that they are now considering what amounts an À la carte service for cord cutters. Nothing wrong with it but just ironic.

  3. krazymunky says:

    now we just need NBC to follow espn….

  4. Mike says:

    I think what we need to remember is the fact that recently ESPN came out & stated that their product was worth over $30 a month by itself. I know they are using it as a ploy to negotiate a higher $ figure from their carriers but at $30 a month, is that really cutting the cord? A basic package with ESPN & its family of channels in it isn’t much less than $30. NOT WORTH IT AT ALL in that case.

  5. Rick says:

    If this does proceed, I imagine that the it will likely charge a yearly rate rather than a monthly fee; a la Amazon Prime. Which makes since because a lot of people would un-subscribe at the end of the college football season and since they currently do not have BPL rights you are looking at a seven month window.

  6. Dean Stell says:

    I’ve seen a few articles recently that basically have said, “Careful what you wish for….” with the basic premise being that it probably won’t happen that you can pick and choose only the channels you actually watch and pay $2/month for each of them…..suddenly seeing your bill drop from $150/month to $15/month.

    I tend to agree…..THAT probably won’t happen. For one thing, part of the reason you’re able to get ESPN on your cable/satellite for “only” a few dollars per month is that lots of old ladies who watch Lifetime are also subsidizing ESPN (just as you are subsidizing Lifetime). If you do it a la carte, it might be more like $50/month for just ESPN.

    The other argument I’ve seen is more based on the market: We’ve already demonstrated that we’re willing to spend ~$150/month on a TV subscription, so why would the companies not try to get almost that whole $150 from us in the a la carte world? I can see some merit to that argument too.

    STILL…..I would like to have the option of choosing.

    One other possible obstacle could be the cable companies. As anyone who is a DirecTV subscriber knows, you cannot get ESPN3 if you have DirecTV. Basically, the cable company is being a snot and not letting you use their cable hardware to stream sports when you pay for ESPN to a satellite company. Eventually, I think those cable companies should just charge us for the bandwidth we use, but that day isn’t here yet.

    • Wrong, I can get ESPN3 because I have AT&T as my telephone & internet provider. So what you stated about DirecTV isn’t entirely true. I’m a DirecTV customer who has full access to ESPN3 thanks to being an AT&T customer as well.

  7. yespage says:

    A minor nitpick in the article.

    “Currently, you have to subscribe to a TV provider such as a cable or satellite company to watch ESPN programming.”

    That should read:
    “Currently, if you subscribe to a TV provider such as a cable or satellite company, you almost certainly have to subscribe to ESPN whether you watch it or not.”

  8. Reid says:

    With NBC having the EPL and MLS already being available online, I really have no use for ESPN right now.

    Otherwise, I might pay up to $15 for it.

  9. David G says:

    I think we’ll all like the option of having every cable subscriber subsidies the cost of espn that when we see what it will cost by itself

  10. goatslookshifty says:

    Most of the fees to ESPN pay for the presenter’s make-up, hair and suits. We all remember what Alexi Lalas looked like before he went on television.
    ESPN will find a way to add charges just in time for the World Cup next year though.

  11. I’ll stick with DirecTV.

  12. Jason says:

    Not interested right now because I dont think there is any soccer on ESPN that is not on ESPN3 already. Besides ESPN’s soccer coverage is worse than ever. All they have in the English language for CLUB football is a once once in a while MLS game, a once in a while Eredivise game, a couple German cup games, and a few freindlies.

    What a huge decline for once they had leagues from England, Spain, Italy, and German, and more Netherlands than now.

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