Thursday, August 15, 2013

Small Crack: ESPN3 Available For Free Streaming Via College/Military WiFi On the iPad Only

Source:  GIGAOM.

Ever watch ESPN3?  You should as I do.  Sport, baby!  Lots and lots of it.  And it's not even better if you happen to be a student, in the military, or happen to be on a college or military base because Disney has made available free streaming of ESPN3 to students and the military.

iPad Screenshot 1

What's significant about this is ESPN is a very hot property for Disney and ABC.  For them to open up access in this manner shows the growing confidence the studio/network has in the future of live video streaming beyond just the television in your living room or bars.

Here is the caveat.  You need to have an iPad.  I know.  No Touchpad, obviously.  Surface? Forget about it.  But more importantly, troops and students armed with Android tablets are also a no go.

It is a point worth mentioning because the growing number of Android tablet users.  Perhaps, the closer relationship between Apple and Disney a la Steve Jobs' legacy has something to do with this being iPad only.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, this is big.  You see apps on tablets already and even on set-top boxes and consoles like the Apple TV and Xbox. And I see ESPN3's liberation, however small a step, from any kind of bundling is a big step on the march towards wrestling the control of the archaic cable/SATTV system that exists now.

Also, you might point out that this is ESPN3, not THE ESPN channel itself.  But it's still ESPN, folks.

I wager we'll see even more changes in the content and media market on the months to come.  Currently, Apple is trying to gain a foothold in the living room with its "hobby" the Apple TV and Google just released the Chromecast.  Efforts by these giants will continue to weaken the hold that cable companies have and give it back into the hands of the viewers and mobile warriors.

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