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ESPN offers Euro 2020 match broadcasts on ESPN+

ESPN’s coverage of Euro 2020 was always meant to be shown across ESPN television networks, and it still is. But after an avalanche of criticism from ESPN+ subscribers on social media who were upset that the streaming service weren’t broadcasting the games, the ESPN+ streaming service has relented and now features a match broadcast as one of its four multi-cam views.

The new development was spotted by readers of World Soccer Talk for Saturday’s Portugal against Germany game, which was listed on ESPN+ as an alternate feed. Pictured above, the multi-cam featured the match broadcast in the top left window. Instead of the ESPN commentary featuring Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman, the broadcast had Simon Brotherton and Andy Townsend calling the game.

The other three multi-cam windows include a top-down look at the field of play as well as player cams.

While watching one of four mini-windows is not an ideal viewing experience, it may be sufficient to appease the ESPN+ subscribers who are (1) not satisfied with the ESPN commentary teams and/or (2) expect to watch Euro 2020 games as part of their streaming subscription.

There’s no word whether this is a temporary or permanent move by ESPN+. In all of the press releases and announcements of ESPN’s coverage of Euro 2020, the broadcaster never said it would stream games via ESPN+. The broadcaster consistently informed consumers that ESPN+ would only feature multi-cams as a second-screen experience.

Up until today, ESPN+’s multi-cam second-screen experience for Euro 2020 included a stadium cam as well as player cams and cameras focused on the coaches, but not on the match broadcast itself. Today’s development does allow subscribers to watch the game, but only in a small window (in the aforementioned top left corner of the screen).

ESPN+ is available for $5.99 per month and includes games from across LaLiga, Bundesliga, UEFA Nations League, Championship, League One, League Two, FA Cup, League Cup, MLS, Leagues Cup, US Open Cup, USL, International Champions Cup, Eredivisie, Danish Superliga, Chinese Super League, Indian Super League, Australian A-League, Sweden’s Allsvenskan and FA Community Shield.

It’s important to note that the full match experience can only be watched via ESPN (and anywhere ESPN is streamed such as the ESPN app, fuboTV, Sling Orange, etc).

 

Here’s the Euro 2020 TV schedule (all times Eastern):

Euro 2020 TV schedule

 

 

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Ra

    July 7, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    @Mercator I completely agree. In the end of the day, we are paying for convenience and reliability. And there is only so much we are willing to pay for it. The other ‘methods’ democratize the content and prevent further erosion of the fan base. People who figure how to do it are certainly not the ones that would be held hostage by a cable/satellite contract. I actually enjoy coming up with a streaming strategy every season. I keep track of a spreadsheet with key dates, subscription and cancelation schedules along with the dates that I call my internet provider to ask for lower rates. It becomes a form of art.

  2. Mercator

    July 7, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    This isn’t 2001 anymore, you can actually stream whatever you want for free online with a small amount of effort. Publicly everyone acts as if they are too good for piracy, but the music industry has shown the vast majority of consumers will opt for it once they figure it out. All of these media companies are like music companies, happily living fat and overpaying for content because they think they can force consumers to swallow an expensive bundle. It didn’t work with music – people stopped buying albums and just downloaded the songs they want for free. It won’t work with TV, people will just cut their cable and find a bootleg stream for the game they want to see. This doesn’t mean people won’t pay – we all pay for spotify or apply music or something similar now. What it means is people won’t be ripped off – there is a cap on what these companies can charge because they do not actually have a monopoly on the content – again, it’s all available free with little effort. The days of ripping off consumers for an RSN that shows one team, or pushing people to get 30 cable channels to watch a single game, aren’t going to last much longer because consumers have other options. Broadcasters already realise this, there is a reason Bein isn’t blowing money on sports rights, there is a reason AT&T and NBC are trying to unload their RSNs. These are failed businesses, the only question is who will be left holding the bag and what sort of desperate nonsense will they employ to try to delay the inevitable.

    Eventually, when this market tanks, these companies will realise they need to charge a fair price and provide reasonable access to the product, as the vast majority of consumers will just pirate or tune out before they shell out more money. That is the point at which ESPN and NBC and the like will put an end to this nonsense, and give us an option to pay to stream the games they broadcast. To be fair, most of these companies realise it and are turning hard toward streaming, but they still nickel and dime you in the process because they make money from naive consumers like the Michaels who seem happy to bend over backwards to praise ESPN for charging an arm and leg for content that is literally free. The leagues will also realise the lack of access is killing their fan base – the Sinclair RSN thing has lost NBA, NHL and MLB teams more fans than I can count. There is a reason the NFL is free OTA in every market. It’s not enough long term to rip off your fans today, because you do need to create new ones to bring in revenue in 10 and 20 years, and the leagues kill this in their cradle by restricting access with blackouts and price gouging people.

    They don’t deserve your defence or praise, these companies overall do a terrible job of distributing their product. It boggles the mind every third rate pirate stream seems to have pause, FF and rewind, and it’s taken NBC and CBS months to add anything similar. Who do I legally pay to stream games in 4K? Again, boggles the mind a guy in Indonesia can run bootleg 4k streams and NBC can’t provide anything. Why is ESPN the only one with Multicast, again something every bootleg stream has now? They don’t care because they think they have a monopoly on the rights, they aim to do the bare minimum while charging you the absolute maximum (I give ESPN an exception here for their tech and CBS an exception for their studio broadcasts). Consumers should not tolerate this, they are not doing us any favours.

    I will not pay for cable. Give me an option to stream the content I want for a reasonable price, without 40 other things bundled in, or I will pay someone else who will provide that. The monopoly of the broadcaster is over.

  3. Hans

    July 7, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    @Ra
    Thanks for your example and I wanted to add another angle that will help in pushing towards streaming.
    “The Premier League’s prospects of finding enough value in the international market will depend on the league striking the right balance between “maximizing value” with more deals based on smaller territories while guarding against “cannibalization”, the danger of chopping the product up too finely and feeding it to the digital pirates.”

    “Fragmentation is a big issue. There are too many players and too many billing relationships.”

    “BeIN, for example, has pulled out of other markets, most notably Italy, when it felt it was not being supported against the sophisticated, Saudi Arabia-based operation that stole its rights for more than three years. But no rights-holder is immune from this very modern form of theft.”

    Masters said the league is continuing to build its expertise and has set up a “club broadcast advisory group” — comprised of the chief executives of Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Manchester United — to make sure everyone is on the same page.

    “We were ready last time and we will be ready next time, should the opportunity arise,” says Masters. “I’m not saying it will happen in the next cycle, or when it will happen, but eventually the Premier League will move to a mix of direct-to-consumer and media-rights sales.”

    Bottom line the problem of fragmentation, whether because of the events being on different platforms or different providers is real and it drives piracy and the league knows it. This is one of the reasons IPTV is thriving because they are providing the one place to get all your sports fix. For me it is also Rugby, fragmented over different providers in the US if matches are at all being aired, but with a VPN and a $20 subscription to Australia’s Stan Sport I get ALL their streaming content including ALL Rugby matches live and on demand. All that is needed for subscribing is an Australian Zip code and they will accept an American Credit Card.

    Time is on the side of those wanting content via streaming.

  4. Ra

    July 7, 2021 at 10:21 am

    @Hans. Thanks for your comments. It is a well-researched piece. I tried to find EPL’s invitation to tender to no avail. I am curious to see the terms as they should indicate where EPL is heading. Either this or the next contract should have a provision allowing EPL to launch its own dedicated platform. Most players are envisioning a mix of DTC and traditional media.
    For example, F1 started F1TV a couple of years ago. F1 is selling its service in the US and broadcasting through ESPN. Depending on your view you may consider it expensive ($10/mo live or $3/mo on-demand after 3days) or cheap when compared to ESPN. If you are to pay a separate fee for everything ESPN offers, you would end up paying much more. On the other hand, if you are selective on what you watch, it will allow you unrestricted access and the best experience for a select number of competitions. For instance, many sports here in the US have their rights sliced into several different platforms. If you are to follow the competition, you would need to have a mix of different cable, OTA, and streaming packages.
    I subscribe to F1TV and enjoy it because it offers a much better product than ESPN. There is the main broadcast and 20+ additional cameras. There is an expended experience with racing data and statistics. And above all, I enjoy all the different audio feeds. I can watch the race with the regular EN commentary or switch to the track audio or different languages (DE, PT, ES, FR, IT among the ones I tried). It is fun to watch a German GP in German, an Italian in Italian…
    So in short, EPL could offer a much better product that is cost-effective for strong supporters. The same would hardly make sense for leagues that have a very niche following. The operating costs require a decent amount of subscribers for break-even.

  5. Hans

    July 6, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    theathletic dot com/1588394/2020/02/08/premier-league-tv-streaming-netflix-rights/

    If you have a subscription to the Athletic notice this article from Feb 8, 2020 and I quote the part of interest to this discussion:
    “The Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has admitted it is inevitable English football’s top flight will launch a Netflix-style streaming service in the coming years — a move that could result in lower subscription costs for fans… and greatly increased revenues for clubs.

    The rationale is that with 200 million fans worldwide currently paying to watch live English football, the Premier League could undercut its existing partners and still make much more money. For example, the NBA’s “League Pass” streaming service costs about £10 a month in the UK.

    If the Premier League was to opt for a similar amount — significantly less than what Sky and BT Sport charge for their bundled packages — its annual income from those 200 million subscribers could, theoretically, rise to £24 billion, eight times the current figure.”

    From this you can see that the EPL has already eyed the idea to create a streaming service with Direct To Customer (DTC) service. They already have cut out the agencies between them and the networks, notice a quotation from the following article again from the Athletic:

    theathletic dot com/2686261/2021/07/06/explained-premier-league-international-tv-rights-auction/

    “The league is moving away from the type of deal it did with IMG in 2018, when it sold the agency the rights in 26 eastern and central European countries. This time, agencies have been told they cannot bid, as the league believes it can manage relationships with broadcasters just as well as they can, and without paying their commission fees.

    It is telling that while some of the big beasts of the agency world, such as MP & Silva and Lagardere Sports, have either gone bust or pulled back, the Premier League has been hiring more staff for its in-house media team.”

    As you can see the Networks need the EPL not the other way around for broadcasting the games. To further make the point of a changing landscape the article mentions this:

    “While most football fans have been enjoying Euro 2020, the Premier League’s media sales team have been totting up the bids from almost 40 different territories. The first round of the European rights auction closed the day after the group stage finished at the Euros, with bids from 23 territories due on Thursday, June 24.

    What these bidders were bidding for, how their bids must be presented and what obligations they would have to meet before getting any rights is all explained in the league’s 73-page invitation to tender. This is the manual for the Premier League’s business model, and it tells you where the league believes its business is heading.

    For the first time, the league has asked all bidders to submit two bids for the packages in their territories, one for the customary three-year cycle and another covering six years.”

    Now to the streaming part and the opinion of Paolo Pescatore, a media, technology and telecoms analyst based in London:
    “All eyes are on going direct to consumer and jumping on the streaming bandwagon by launching a standalone video service,” Pescatore says. “Another approach is to sell rights on a club-and-fan basis which can be segmented, home and away. Most, if not all, clubs now have their own platforms. Selling rights on a market-by-market basis mitigates any moves by the Premier League to go direct themselves.”

    “The Premier League, along with other sporting bodies, needs to be wary not to force users to watch events illegally. Piracy is an ongoing problem that is showing no signs of easing up and will only continue to proliferate with further fragmentation or price rises.”

    The article concludes with this statement of interest for us in the US:
    “Much depends, then, on just how much CBS or ESPN want to take those US rights off NBC, and whether China’s burgeoning middle class still think Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are cool brands, and the Chinese Communist Party agrees.”

    So the linear TV versus streaming issue is in the crosshairs of the EPL and the handwriting is on the wall as already stated linear TV is dying and it is accelerated by a dipping in the major income from advertising dollars because of declining subscriptions to cable package. I for on would pay for a streaming service originating with the EPL.

  6. Edward

    July 6, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    after the final, no more of Moreno’s upspeak

  7. dave

    July 6, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    @Michael F and @Ra, I have enjoyed reading your perspectives on this
    .
    I think some of the issue may be around timing, particularly the statement “The complaint is trying to force linear. It is a dying business – metaphorically and literally.” Much like fossil fuels, the cable bundle will likely no longer be important next century but almost certainly will be important next year. There will be a tipping point at some indeterminate future time and many entities are taking different actions in support of different strategies in light of that significant uncertainty.
    .
    I think the comment “all major [soccer] properties (Champions, European and South American) leagues are on streaming” is highly dependent on what soccer you follow. For me:
    * EPL – mix of OTA, cable, and streaming
    * Continental and world tournaments – mix of OTA, cable, and streaming
    * Liga MX – mix of OTA and cable
    * UEFA Champions/Europa – mix of OTA, cable, and streaming (could do streaming only)
    * USWNT, USMNT, Mexico MNT – mix of OTA and cable
    * NWSL – mostly streaming with very occasional OTA/cable
    .
    A fair bit of OTA and streaming for me are in Spanish. I am fortunate to get crystal clear Univision and UniMas with indoor antenna and am very happy with Prende so far

  8. Eddie

    July 6, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    There some laws from different countries about free to air important live sports of culture to people to watched easier to access and accessible on tv.
    Here a link the both that I just found interesting and what to air on tv for anti laws to broadcasting

    https://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2011/10/do-we-need-an-anti-siphoning-act-in-the-united-states

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-siphoning_law#:~:text=Anti%2Dsiphoning%20laws%20and%20regulations,chance%20to%20bid%20on%20them.

  9. Ra

    July 6, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    @ Michael. I agree that many are going from cable to live tv stream package. But we are to see how relevant they will be in the future. The issue is that most of them are operating in net losses to increase the subscriber base. Many have increased their price substantially in the past couple of years and indicate that they may continue to do so. FuboTV used to be positioned in a niche category (soccer) but has gone mainstream (entertainment and RSNs). The truth is that not many people in urban America are willing to pay top dollar to carry RSNs and a broad range of channels. Except for the ease of doing business, they are bundling as cable does. I don’t want to have 100+ channels; follow the leagues that I like.
    Also, ESPN has been preparing for a major shift towards streaming should the need arise. Most deals are in place. This is an extract from their latest Earnings Transcript (https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/app/uploads/2021/03/q2-fy21-earnings-transcript.pdf):

    Douglas Mitchelson – Credit Suisse AG
    And then the second area, the NFL deal, was obviously super interesting. And I’m curious, under what circumstances will you consider doing what some peers are doing, simulcasting your football games, Monday Night Football games from either ESPN or ABC onto ESPN+?

    Bob Chapek – Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company Okay.
    In terms of the ability to simulcast with ESPN+ and ESPN and ABC, that’s actually been envisioned in the deals, and we’ve gotten a lot of flexibility, not only in terms of our ability to take our programming to our DTC platforms and things like Hulu and ABC. So that’s actually been envisioned, and we plan on being fairly aggressive in that way. I think that one of the advantages of the Walt Disney Company in sports is that we’ve got so many ways to reach our consumer base. And I think the leagues understand that, and we certainly do as well, and I think our guests do as well.

    Kannan Venkateshwar – Barclays Bank PLC
    So a couple if I could. I mean, firstly, I guess, Bob, when you look at the vision for sports streaming, you now have digital rights across all the major sports that you carry on ESPN. And you’ve made some hard choices on the other businesses when it comes to licensing and studios and so on in order to pivot – make a hard pivot to streaming. But that choice with respect to sports streaming feels like it’s still a couple of years off in terms of pivoting ESPN as a business completely towards streaming. So could you just talk about the longer-term vision now that your sports portfolio is in place? How should we think about ESPN relative to ESPN+? And how are you thinking about the transition being accretive overall?

    Bob Chapek – Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company We’ve talked a lot about flexibility when it comes to pivoting between linear and more traditional legacy platforms and our digital rights, direct-to-consumer platforms. And the reason we want that flexibility is because we know things are going to change. And as we’ve always said, when the right time comes for us to make a step function increase, as we’ve done with our entertainment platforms, to our sports platforms, and it’s accretive to our shareholder proposition, we’ll go ahead and do that. Our longer-term vision is to parallel path both ESPN and ESPN+. But if there’s any indication of where we’re going with this, I think our recent deals and the flexibility that we negotiated in to go to these direct-to-consumer platforms and specifically ESPN+ or whatever follows ESPN+ in terms of the direct-to-consumer platform, I think that’s 100% indicative of our bullishness of not only our capability of doing that, but the viability of doing that.

  10. Michael F

    July 6, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    @Ra. Fair enough and good points. However, to you link that you shared that reveals the cable and satellite audience is dwindling… that is true. But so many of them are simply shifting to live tv stream package (i.e. utube tv, FuBo, sling, Hulu etc) so as to continue to get their mainstream sports in America.

    Also, not all high profile matches of euro leagues are streaming live on these streaming only apps. Just ask all those that haters of NBC sports about high profile premier league matches only exclusively live on NBC sports network and even ESPN at rare times has only exclusively telecasted a Serie A high profile match on ESPN, not on ESPN+. They may do the same with LaLiga. We shall see.

    If the money is more lucrative to telecast exclusively on linear tv, you can bet they will do it.

  11. Ra

    July 6, 2021 at 11:58 am

    @Michael You have a good point that this is not the case with mainstream sports. It is actually often cited as the main reason preventing a faster subscriber erosion.
    However, this IS the case for soccer, which is the case here.. With the exception of World Cup and Euro, all major sports properties (Champions, European and South American) leagues are on streaming. There is enough soccer to watch top leagues year-round. Also, you often can stream or OTA those in Spanish. Linear OTA still have a broader appeal than cable.

    Executives acknowledge that it is a different audience from mainstream sports. Younger audiences (which I do not consider myself to be part of) tend to streaming and digital and media companies worry to miss the boat and becoming obsolete. The audience for cables growing older: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/03/17/cable-and-satellite-tv-use-has-dropped-dramatically-in-the-u-s-since-2015/

    Another point to add is that developing a streaming platform has been of paramount importance to media executives. NBC is reportedly looking for another acquisition to improve their traction with Peacock. CNN is working on a streaming offer. It is a key topic on every Quarterly Earnings report call.

  12. Michael F

    July 5, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    @Hans and @Ra. Not to say the landscape isn’t changing and more a continuous shift toward streaming, but if linear was such as you state ‘a dying business’ – why was Euro 2020 only fully broadcasted on Linear networks?? Why is all the top profile sports entertainment in America still on predominantly on linear tv?? Why is only niche and lesser demand sports programming only on streaming??

    What you say is simply wishful thinking at this particular point and time. What you are saying is simply NOT true… yet. Just because you say it, doesn’t make it true.

  13. Hans

    July 5, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    @Ra
    “Again, I am not complaining because I wanted it for $6. The complaint is trying to force linear. It is a dying business – metaphorically and literally.”
    Hear, Hear
    +1

  14. Ra

    July 5, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    @Michael You actually can watch it for free. With PrendeTV and OTA Unimas/Univision you watch the entire Copa America and Euro 2020 (except replays). It is interesting that they were able to monetize it at $0. In short, if you want good coverage, muscle your Spanish.
    I canceled ESPN+ and was rewarded with 3 free months of the Disney combo through Amazon – they will need to reach their target (They provided guidance of 15M subscribers to investors by Fiscal Y end. They had 12M, which makes me feel that their trick cost more to them than anticipated). Do you know how much they make by li ear subscriber? Based on some old numbers I’d say about $10.
    But money is not the issue at hand here. By principle, I don’t do Linear. I got the $10 through Vidgo just to log in to ESPN and Fox to watch some replays. Never tuned to any channel.
    Going back to numbers – if they didn’t mess it, I would had paid $18 to ESPN+ for 3 months, but paid only $10 to vidgo instead and $16 for a firestick with the new remote (that I needed) and received from Disney $42 worth of the bundle (got 3 months free). So, in short, I paid only $3.33/mo and got Hulu and Disney+ – but STILL COMPLAINING,
    Again, I am not complaining because I wanted it for $6. The complaint is trying to force linear. It is a dying business – metaphorically and literally.
    Another lesson here is that ESPN does not know how to cather to a more sophisticated crowd yet. Most subscribers to linear have a contract and value simplicity.
    I always cancel every service right after subscribing so that I will need to actively want to keep the service. My only exception are two newspapers with home delivery that I value and trust.

  15. Michael F

    July 5, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    @Ra The rights and programming of Euro 2020 was along going to be on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. Not ESPN+. What is difficult to understand? When they then later advertised (perhaps not so clearly to so many disgruntled ESPN+ subscribers) that they were also going to show the Euro 2020 on ESPN+ in an alternative viewing experience, then yes… it’s a bonus. And yes, I have ESPN+, and no, I am not watching the Euro 2020 on it. I also have a live tv stream service to watch it all on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. I have some advice for all you disgruntled ESPN+ subscribers about the Euro 2020 telecast on ESPN+. Warning! You won’t like it… but GET OVER IT! It’s $5 a month.

  16. Ra

    July 5, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Most demand accountability. You think they are doing you a favour by purchasing the rights, splitting in several pay-walls, and selling your eyeballs for advertising, which is where their real money is,
    BTW, NYTimes has a fine piece of reporting on ESPN today (5/5.

  17. Michael F

    July 4, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    @Michael I don’t understand either. The only thing embarrassing and stupid and outrageous is all these endless complaints by people that thought ESPN+ was going to broadcast Euro 2020 tournament exactly as ESPN and ESPN2 would, where the agreement of full broadcast was and is all along.

    The fact that the streaming app ESPN+ is showing an alternative multi-cast feed of Euro 2020 is a BONUS! But too many here completely miss the point and just want to endlessly whine over what they don’t get for $5 freakin dollars a month!

  18. Maz

    July 3, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Obviously, the ESPN+ decision makers have no idea what the actual football (the so-called soccer) is. Alternate view is the most stupid idea!

  19. Ra

    July 3, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Or HBOMax. They are buying sports properties in other countries and this would be a great starting point. Peacock app is confusing and a pain. It seems like you have access to everything and nothing at the same time. In that regard, it is more similar to YouTube than anything else.

  20. Ra

    July 3, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    @Dobalane. Completly agree. They will have it also on ESPN3, but I hate how the split events between multiple pay walls (linear/ESPN3/ESPN+). Same critique goes for NBC. Hope Paramountplus.com gets the Premiere League rights.

  21. dave

    July 3, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    @Donalane ESPN and ABC are under common ownership (Disney). Sporting events on ABC are branded as “ESPN on ABC”. While I agree there are some frustrating soccer scheduling decisions, the use of ABC for a Saturday afternoon knockout strikes me as a reasonable attempt by ESPN to optimize viewership (ABC is available in many more households than ESPN).
    .
    If you are interested in the long history between ESPN and ABC, Wikipedia covers that well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESPN_on_ABC

  22. Donalane

    July 3, 2021 at 11:13 am

    So ESPN decides to show Cornhole today as well as Wimbleton. I get tennis. There is a following for tennis. But for the life of me, I can’t see why ESPN would show cornhole over the England match. Thank goodness ABC picked it up. I’m sure the 3 or 4 viewers of cornhole of relieved as well. It reminded me of Dodgeball when it was televised on Ocho 8 lol.
    The sad fact is, the almighty dollar has made football (soccer) a multi – million dollar money maker. Unless the fans are willing to shell out even more money on top of our hefty subscriptions for additional subscriptions (NBC / Peacock; Paramount / Paramount + ‘ ; Hulu / Hulu+ ) to get what I believe should already be included in our pricy subscriptions, the only winner is the network and not Manchester City.

    Solutions? we could protest but that only hurts us. We could go to our locals, have a pint or two and watch our clubs or we could be creative and share the cost of the subscription price and watch with our friends in our homes. Some of us can be more creative than some of the midfielders this past season…. and maybe past some hints to Pogba 🙂

  23. Dana

    July 2, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    ESPN+ decision to show the EURO games via multi view after saying they would stream them was misleading and a cynical attempt to push towards more expensive ESPN/Disney services. There is no quality or integrity in what they have done.

  24. Michael

    June 28, 2021 at 10:50 am

    I enjoy reading the comments, but I still don’t understand why people are still railing. ESPN bought the rights for ESPN, ABC, ESPN2. Period. That hasn’t changed. Did they do a horrible job of their communication? Yes. Could they have been more forthcoming with what “will be streamed on ESPN+” means? Definitely. Yell at them all you want for that, but the simple fact remains that the Rights they paid for were for ESPN, ESPN2, ABC exclusively. If you want the full quality, you have to pay for that. This is the same thing that they do with the NBA. If you want the full experience of the NBA games you have to subscribe to ESPN…but if you are willing to get just the basics, you can get the skycam with no commentary, you can watch the games on ESPN3. There is only one camera angle and their is low production value…but if you want to watch the game you can. This is the same thing that TNT Overtime does to allow you to watch the NBA Playoffs without subscribing to TNT. It is the exact same thing with the Euro coverages on +. The difference is that, they have 4 angles now (started with three), and they have the commentary with it. That being said, I have been extremely impressed with how Univision has used an add supported “Free” PrendeTV to broadcast the EUROS and they are still able to keep their moneymakers Copa America on OTA TV. ESPN/ABC is a different business model. Soccer is a huge money maker for Univision. For Disney, it is not a much. They are going to maximize things the best they can to get the best profit. The beautiful thing about all this, is there is more options than I can remember since I started watch Soccer with that Rodinho, Messi, Henry Barca team that I can watch any game I want to. There is a gluten of ways to watch games. I have even gotten into Liga MX. Unfortunately, I have tried and tried, but I just can’t get in MLS. It is just not the same feel. I am still giving it a chance, though because I have access to almost every game.

  25. Mario Garcia

    June 27, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Hi guys,

    I’m another one who cancelled ESPN+ (had it as an add on for my hulu) for the summer. Glad they changed their mind and offered Euro again (they should have at least bought the english rights of copa america, that way they would have offered something for the summer to ESPN+ customers)

    Seems they were looking hard for to replace the lost customers, as any amazon prime member who bought either a Fire Tablet or a fire stick got a 3M free of ESPN+, Disney and Hulu.

  26. Michele

    June 27, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Money is not an issue here. Stupidity IS. As others have noted, the split screen is quite simply moronic—shoddy, careless (what producer worth the job title looks at that mess and approves it?), and totally unnecessary. To make it WORSE, they don’t do replays: we hear the announcers TALKING about the action on replays, BUT WE DON’T SEE THEM!!! W. T. F. ?!?
    What upsets me—and I imagine others—is that there is no accountability. ESPN, whether “+” or whatever, could not care less what people think. The only language they understand is money—THAT is why people should drop their subscriptions, not the price. And they should cancel their subscriptions to the services that bundle ESPN+ etc., because THAT will be heard.

    Coverage this shoddy is quite simply an insult to the game and its audience.

  27. Phil

    June 24, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    The writer is not able to do a simple Google search and would find the press release from ESPN themselves: https://www.espn.com/soccer/uefa-european-championship/story/3995582/when-does-euro-2020-start-fixtures-schedulematch-datestimes-and-venues. May 18 2021.

  28. Ra

    June 24, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    The fact is that ESPN+ Euro Livestream was a practical joke. It is utterly useless to people who subscribe to linear ESPN and to people who don’t,
    If they properly implemented it, you should be able to use any of the additional video feeds to your liking. So, for example, using Apple TV multiview, you could have a main camera with your favorite game yesterday and set up another 3 cameras: the other match being played simultaneously + another camera(s) with your favorite(s) player.
    I subscribe to F1TV – this is a good implementation of alternative views. They have an onboard camera for each driver. You can pick and choose to your liking.
    They should have omitted the Livestream in their press release altogether. I don’t think that a month-long tournament would lure anyone who doesn’t have cable. I would be curious to see how many people will go from the promotional $10 to subscribers. The customer acquisition expense doesn’t make sense.
    They would be better off having captive ESPN+ subscribers. Yep, I canceled my ESPN and used my $6 to create a 10th email to get another month of cable for $10. Another $10 for the Olympics to get NBC and affiliates, and I am done with cable until the World Cup.
    Before @Michael calls me cheap too, I am willing to spend $10 for F1 alone. However, I would rather pay another $10 to get Euro from ESPN+ than to subscribe to cable. I don’t want to see a single penny of mine supporting a certain corporation.

  29. dr

    June 24, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    @Michael F, I don’t blame ESPN for trying to recoup the cost of their contract with UEFA, but I also don’t think those of us trying to get the games can be blamed for hoping for a better solution, one where you can reliably go to one place for the games and get a reliable watching experience. Once that is available, *then* one can complain about price or resolution or quality of the commentators without rising to the kind of anger that we see here.

  30. Ra

    June 24, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Many here talk as if ESPN+ was doing us a favour, but their coverage is mediocre at best compared to the rest of the world. To their credit, they are much better than Peacock/NBCSN and Fox. But the bar is low.
    Anyone who subscribed to Comcast won’t be surprised by how they change rules in the middle of the game. One day Peacock broadcasts all EPL, then they don’t, then decide to remove NBCSN (finally). Let’s hope EPL finds a better home.
    2 Questions – when will anyone finally stream in 4K/HDR/60 fps? Where is Ray Hudson going?

  31. Hans

    June 23, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    @Agustin
    Hear, Hear

  32. Agustin

    June 23, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    saying that you “broadcast” the EURO 2020….and showing that sh**8 split screen should ILLEGAL.
    Who is the GENIUS that decided to do this?!! Holy smoke..its better if you say that you DON’T broadcast it. Nobody that ever watched and enjoyed FUTBOL wants to watch that atrocity of screens…nosense.

  33. Michael F

    June 22, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    @dr You bring up fair points about what your expectations were and perhaps disappointment and also how harsh i might have been about those lodging complaints over espn+ telecast coverage of Euro 2020. But some perspective is needed here and you seem to understand that perspective more than others. Espn never claimed they would telecast the euro tournament matches as a full broadcast as they do on their linear espn channel. They said they would ‘live stream the matches via second screen experience’ on espn+. This, after a long while that all knew that Euro 2020 would be exclusively telecasted on ESPN and ESPN2.

    When people start to cry injustices over the second screen experience, like they were misled… they obviously did not read the fine print and simply hoped it would be different and then cry foul.

    And there are plenty of comments above from those that understand why ESPN+ does not get the same coverage for this premier tournament as ESPN. They might have been better off not advertising the second screen experience at all. But i am certain none of the cord cutters would all of the sudden purchase linear tv cable or live tv stream right away if Espn+ didnt carry the euro 2020 matches at all. They then should be grateful they got something to watch from espn+ for this tournament. All 51 matches in fact.

  34. dr

    June 22, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    I cancelled as well when I couldn’t get (replays of) the regular feed, and to their credit after a chat they refunded me what I’d paid. Also to their credit they apparently listened to the complaints and have possibly started to make the real feed available, but I’m not going to resubscribe just in case.

    I don’t understand the people defending the company here; the fact that so many of us (and not just one or two misguided souls) were expecting more means that they were at best unclear in their service descriptions. Obviously ESPN isn’t _required_ to make the games available in to people without access to a full cable service (for example, those like me who are travelling away from home and don’t have cable access) , but then they shouldn’t pretend to be serving the internet market.

    NBC Sports Gold and Peacock Premium for the EPL were ridiculously good deals (once Peacock started to live up to their promises), I never expected to do as well for the Euros but at least I was hoping for some kind of (legal) access. There are of course other ways to get the games.
    Berating people who want to do the right thing and pay for their access seems a little odd.

  35. Jasinho

    June 22, 2021 at 3:08 am

    I just read somewhere on the Internet that UEFA recently started a bidding process for the national team matches from 2023-28, in which I presume includes Euro ’24 and ’28.

    Now to place the ESPN+ issue into perspective, I am pretty certain that the current deal was intended for the flagship ESPN to obtain as many viewers as possible. After all, contracts are more often than not a two way street. For all I know, UEFA probably awarded the current contract to ESPN for its potential to deliver viewers and someone watching via ESPN+ would more often than not undercut the said delivery of the viewership. Moreover, ESPN+ probably wasn’t as much of a focal point in the current UEFA rights cycle as opposed to their recent deals with the Bundesliga and La Liga in which arguably the standalone subscriptions are the motive.

    Now would things change in the next deal with UEFA? Likely. People still need to remember that because of ESPN+, we would not have the ability to see the numerous qualifying and Nations League matches like we are able to right now for a real competitive price. How some people have the nerve to think they can get a major tournament broadcast for the same price as a fringe match is something I have yet to wrap my head around. They are probably the same lot that would watch the BBC broadcasting of the Euros instead of ITV.

  36. Michael F

    June 21, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    @Hans Two things are almost certain when it comes to your commentary.
    1. Some provider is giving misleading advertisement. As you made this same complaint about Peacock and we never seem to have heard the end of it from you.
    2. You complain endlessly about some injustice by providers regarding what they provide.
    Is it really all that worth it for the $5 or $6 per month of these subscriptions?? If you are unhappy, cancel the subscription or complain to the provider to get your money back.
    To continue to question the author of this site Chris Harris about what he relayed for the Euro 2020 live stream coverage from ESPN+ Is just too much. He is simply the messenger, who keeps us so well informed. I honestly think you need a hobby.

  37. Hans

    June 21, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    @Michael F and @Michael
    First off let’s get the money thing out of the way my ESPN+ yearly subscription will renew on Feb 2022 and I intend to renew it, so money was never the issue for me, please remember that as you regular bring up the issue that people are too cheap.
    Next it has always been the issue of ESPN’s misleading press release by including the word “livestream” as I explained in my comment below many individuals felt like being conned and treated like chumps. That was always the issue.
    Finally, on February 26, 2018 Bob Iger CEO of Disney was quoted in the online press about the company’s ambitious OTT plans, saying the launch of ESPN Plus a month from now will signify the beginning of a key cycle for the company.
    “Over time, our intention would be for that app to be the app that people experience ESPN on,”
    If you take Bob Iger at his word then it is not unreasonable to assume that eventually the ESPN+ app will be the way to experience ESPN. Not my words but that of the Disney CEO. Obviously 3 years on that was not yet the case.
    You are correct in assuming that many of us watch the games the way we want to and we will financially reward those that present them that way. The networks presenting live sports event are in a very difficult situation profit wise and they will try first to keep their outdated business model alive by enacting GEO blocking and other restrictions. But in a globally connected world they will have to find ways to monetize the ever increasing group of people that do not want the cable and linear TV packages.

  38. Mercator

    June 21, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    @Michael Not sure how you can say ESPN will NEVER put these sort of broadcasts on ESPN+, when in fact you can basically watch the Euros now with only ESPN+. It’s not the best view, but the full feed and commentary is there. So ESPN just did it, and they did it in the past for the CFB title game. CBS already does it, everything is available on Paramount+, even if it is also on TV. Amazon is the sole broadcaster for Thursday Night Football. They have 80% of Ligue 1 rights in France, DAZN just got Seria A rights in Italy. All streaming broadcasters. There is no UEFA rule against putting the Euros on a streaming option, just about every broadcaster makes the game available to stream in some way. The reality is everything is going to move to streaming, even if the broadcast is also available on TV. Some broadcasters get this, others will learn the hard way. Given the rights ESPN has, I think most of us are hoping they will be a broadcaster who gets it, and not like NBC which is determined to do things the hard way.

    And of course people complain when a broadcaster is not up to par. Should we just sit here thankful we are able to watch football at all? Of course not. ESPN quickly changed course in the face of criticism, and now you can get the normal feed with normal commentary on ESPN+ without cable. I hope everyone keeps up the solid effort – maybe we can get Moreno off air once and for all.

  39. Michael F

    June 21, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    @Hans I am simply and utterly amazed that you are still taking issue with this. With all due respect, you either love to debate and complain endlessly….or you are a very cheap person that loves to squabble over six dollars!! That’s what it cost for an ESPN+ monthly subscription. I laugh when I see these complaints and canceled subscriptions over the outcry of a split secondary screen experience of Euro 202o. These same folks that praised how great ESPN+ is ‘look at all they provide’ for $6 a month!… are now impulsively canceling their subs over this?! What a joke. Get over yourself. And if you are really that concerned over lost money, then contact ESPN and ask for that $6 refund!! And that last remark I just stated just reveals how silly this ridiculous outcry is on this site. And I am sure what I just said won’t be popular and I am sure to get some very nasty replies, but I stand by what I’ve just said. These complaints are way over the top. Find something more useful to do.

  40. Michael

    June 21, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    People love to complain about everything. It is called “ESPN+” for a reason. It is “Plus” not “Also.” La Liga, Bundesliga, and most of the other Soccer matches are extra things that either they don’t have room for on the liner channels or, they don’t have the ratings to justify. Those are put on ESPN+ because they can monetize them easier. The main things that they spend the big money or will NEVER be on ESPN+. 1. If they get the world cup again…it will NEVER be on ESPN+. That actually gets ratings enough to be on TV. 2. Unless UEFA changes their desires, EUROs will NEVER be on ESPN+. This the same way that MLB Sunday Baseball, NFL Monday Night Football, Tier 1 and Tier 2 College Football and Basketball (ESPN+ gets the Tier 3 games, that used to be PPV), College World Series, X-Games, NBA Finals, NHL Final…or any of their topline events will NEVER be on Plus. Their business is based on getting the $9.00 a month from the cable subscribers Even with all the cord cutters, there is a huge swab of this country that don’t have High Speed internet and will subscribe to Cable or Satellite. . Disney has being saying constantly for 2 years that ESPN+ is not a replacement for ESPN. If you wanted to get ESPN ale carte without the Cable Subscription it would cost you roughly $40 a month. We get more soccer matches that ever before and everyone is still moaning and complaining about everything. You can watch more EPL games in the US than you can in the UK…yet you complain. You can watch every single UCL or UEL game in English or absolutely free in Spanish….yet you complain. ESPN put announcers on that you don’t like. Instead of changing the channel to PrendeTV…you complain. Good gracious people, this is ridiculous. We have known for years that the EUROS will be on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN3(ABC). After all the complaining and moaning…it still didn’t change. As they said, ESPN+ is secondary. UEFA is the one that sets the rights….not ESPN, and those rights have been set years before this happened. Most of you guys that are complaining, are probably already watching the games on Pirated TV anyway…so why complain? All that being said, I love to see so many people talking about Soccer, even if I think the conversations is stupid and insincere.

  41. Hans

    June 20, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    @Chris
    First Off the Reply button to your comment doesn’t work but here is my answer to your request for providing a link to the streaming live conundrum. As I have commented in other posts ESPN’s original quote would be misinterpreted as it leads individuals to a wrong conclusion and could be very easily taken as on purpose be misleading to increase subscriptions.
    Yet you continue to cling on this opinion ESPN never said this yet you are fully aware of what they said:
    “ESPN+ will livestream all 51 matches via a second-screen experience with three different feeds.”
    The poster you replied to said “streamed live”, yet you do know that the announcement said “livestream”. How on God’s green earth can anyone say livestream and streamed live are not the same!!! They both use the same words in a different combination. It doesn’t matter what follows as there never was given an example of what this second-screen experience would look like. The description of it could lead one to believe I can select 3 different views as many networks have player cams focusing on one individual player full screen but never the screen as now being divided into 4 portions.
    The massive outcry and complaint, the cancelling of subscriptions plus the change to include a fourth view tells you ESPN messed up and there announcement was disingenuous and designed to fool potential new subscribers into parting with their cash.

  42. Phil

    June 20, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    The writer sounds a bit like a shill like ESPN. Here’s a snippet from ESPN own announcement: “All matches will be streamed live on ESPN+.”. How would most people interpret that snippet?

    Nothing about that it’s only on the useless multiview. I cancelled my subscription as well since I feel mislead.

    As others said, too little, too late, I found a feed somewhere else.

    • Christopher Harris

      June 20, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      Please provide a link to the alleged “All matches will be streamed live on ESPN+” remark.

  43. Ra

    June 20, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    PrendeTV in mute and BBC 5 synced through TuneIn does the trick. I wait until the ball goes out to pause Tunein and wait the TV stream to catch up. I am willing to pay for my soccer but not to subscribe to linear TV. I am ok witching OTA, but paying top dollar to watch commercials is a concept I can not comprehend.

  44. Jay

    June 20, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Get PRENDE TV it’s free and can watch all the EURO GAMES right now.
    I Have espn+ and it’s a mess, they make the impossible to fans can’t watch soccer in USA. Lol 😂

  45. Tony

    June 20, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Why not use the global feed (Martin Tyler and Peter Drury ESPN commentators drain the life out of you and Twellman is sooooooooooooooo irritating) and show a full screen . This split screen is the most useless thing I have ever seen to watch a football game !

  46. Hans

    June 20, 2021 at 11:01 am

    The outcry about the dismal coverage on ESPN+ has been heard and verifies that many were mislead in believing what their coverage would be like. Totally agree with the Paramount coverage and are looking forward to next season’s Serie A coverage.

  47. Edward

    June 20, 2021 at 10:06 am

    using the global feed is pretty nice compared to the ESPN commentators, at least you get Martin Tyler and Peter Drury

  48. Ra

    June 20, 2021 at 9:43 am

    I had canceled ESPN+ when I first heard here that they would not include the primary feed. Useless in summer as I do not care for MLS. Looking forward for Bundesliga in a couple of months. Will they broadcast all La Liga games or will they save the important ones for linear?
    Paramount is the best as you don’t have to worry about this linear/streaming nonsense as you do in ESPN+ and Peacock. Hope they will get EPL.

  49. Mauricio

    June 20, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Very disappointed with Espn+, multiview for me is a piece of trash, I cancel immediately and move on to Vidgo and use there promo 1 months $10 freeking awesome.

  50. Steak

    June 20, 2021 at 2:09 am

    Too little too late. Cancelled my subscription.

  51. jason

    June 19, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    I noticed the change too. Very welcome. The player focus and the overhead cams do nothing for me. The overhead cam is too distant. Overhead cams were done before in the 2014 World Cup that ESPN had but it was lower and much better. Enough to follow the match with. Hope that we could get something like that. But oh well.

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