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ESPN Bows Live-TV App for Apple Devices

4/11/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

ESPN has extended its authenticated
“TV Everywhere” service to Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch
and iPad devices, giving subscribers of Time Warner Cable,
Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV access to
live feeds of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

The free WatchESPN App for iPad, iPhone and iPod
Touch app became available last Wednesday (April 6) on
Apple’s iTunes App Store. A version optimized for the iPad
will be available in May.

The content is available over any Internet connection,
but only to subscribers of participating ESPN affiliates. Users
must enter their TV provider’s subscriber credentials
to access the ESPN content.

ESPN is delivering nearly its full programming lineup
through the apps but as with the online authenticated
website for affiliates’ subscribers, ESPNnetworks.com, “some content is subject to substitution” because
of restrictions on distribution rights, spokeswoman
Amy Phillips said. “At this point, we estimate it to be
less than 5%.”

Upcoming events to be aired on ESPN’s networks and
available on the Apple devices include The Masters, the
National Basketball Association playoffs and the beginning
of the Major League Baseball season. Only customers
of Time Warner Cable, Bright
House and Verizon FiOS TV who
receive the linear networks as
part of their video subscription
will be able to use the apps.

The company first launched
an authenticated version of ESPN
in October 2010, with Time Warner
Cable and Bright House, then
added ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN
Buzzer Beater/Goal Line in January.
Consumers can access the
channels at ESPNnetworks.com.

ESPN said the WatchESPN app
will be available on other smartphones
and tablets in the near future.

September