ESPN preparing for cord cutters

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This is a BIG deal.

I think I know what you’re saying but fill me in. Not the biggest tech guy.

BAMTech is the brainchild of Major League Baseball and has rights to several sports, notably MLB and NHL. Those games don’t really have a platform on which to play right now, so this will give them a home. You’re not going to be able to watch ESPN2 live on this platform, but you will be able to watch some out of market events you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. The ESPN platform is not going to compete with its linear channels, at least not right away.

My guess is it will happen sooner than later. HBO and Showtime already do this.

Sooner or later, you are going to be able to buy ESPN programming straight from the source instead of going through your cable, satellite or even Internet provider. Or you’ll see it bundled in with your subscription to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon. Conferences and leagues will sign contracts to show live games on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It’s exciting to think about the potential.

A la carte programming is the way of the future and it will accelerate cable’s slow death. Cable created the problem by letting the major media companies bundle their networks.

Live sports are the lifeblood of cable TV and aside from a handful of events on FS1, ESPN is the backbone of live sports on cable. If ESPN creates an opt-out, people will cut the cord in unprecedented numbers.

There’s a couple on here that can probably do a better job but I’ll give it a shot.

Cable companies (including DISH and Direct) have pretty much had exclusivity to ESPN programming and consumers had to buy the “package” that usually includes programming consumers don’t really want to get access to ESPN. As we know, more and more people have been cutting the cord to the cable companies and going with other digital providers (Sling TV, Apple TV, Playstation network, etc.) ESPN has been losing subscribers like crazy as more and more people get fed up with cable companies. We all know they have enormous amounts invested and just can’t afford to bleed like they have been.

With the investment of $1 billion dollars into this company (with the option to buy it completely), Disney will be able to offer ESPN programming via digital streaming ala carte. Effectively, ESPN is also cutting the cord to the cable companies exclusivity and preparing for new ways to subscribe and access their programming.

Nice job explaining this Matt.

I, for one, can’t wait to see the demise of Comcast.

I can remember when the rotary dial phones came out and people thought it would be the end of phone operators. It was not, but things never looked back and I doubt if cable systems or even satellite systems have long to live. I am using a desk top and soon it will be obsolete.
I surely agree the wave of the future is mobile.