by Brent Dirks
May 15, 2012
Apple and ESPN are apparently in talks to bring the WatchESPN app to Apple TV. According to Bloomberg, select users who subscribe to ESPN would be able to watch programming directly on Apple TV. But unfortunately, any type of deal doesn’t seem to be coming soon.
“We’re a platform-agnostic content company,” (Sean) Bratches, the network’s executive vice president of affiliate and advertising sales, said today in an interview. “To the extent that in the future there’s an opportunity with Apple to authenticate through the pay-TV food chain as we’re doing with Microsoft, that’s something that we will participate in.”While I like this idea, how useful would it really be for any Apple TV owners? Since, just like in the iOS app, you would apparently have to be a channel subscriber to gain access, I would rather just watch ESPN through normal means. And as it stands now, only subscribers of Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS, and Bright House Networks can use the capability anyway, which leaves a large swath of the sports-loving populace out in the cold. The WatchESPN app is universal and can be downloaded in the App Store for free. I’ve watched a few, online-only events on my Apple TV via the WatchESPN app’s built-in AirPlay capability. While having the feature directly on the box would save some hassle, AirPlay is so seamless, it really wouldn’t be a big plus. Hopefully, though, this is hinting at some bigger, behind-the-scenes talk regarding a little something known as Apple’s integrated television set.