Those who have TV’s with Roku will be able to see WatchESPN soon. Roku has announced that WatchESPN will be added to its app menu on smart TV’s that run the over the top service. However, like the WatchESPN app on Apple TV, you will have to be a subscriber to a cable or satellite provider to access the content.
Roku streaming media players began to roll out WatchESPN and its associated WatchDisney apps last year, but this marks the first time that integrated televisions will have the app.
It means that Roku users will have access to the linear ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, Longhorn Network, SEC Network, Buzzer Beater and Goal Line networks. Those who don’t have a cable subscription nor those whose cable companies don’t have an agreement for WatchESPN can watch various videos on the app.
ESPN had been stingy in the past on which over the top services could access its online content, but as we enter an era where viewers want to watch their sports on their smartphones, tablets, computers and anywhere they can. ESPN knows it has to make their networks as accessible as possible and making alliances with Dish for Sling TV, Apple on Apple TV and talking with Sony for its online network shows that its attitude is changing.
While Roku’s agreement only allows cable and satellite subscribers to access the full WatchESPN, there may be a time when the network decides to really go over the top and sell directly to consumers.