Verizon FiOS Launches Authenticated Streaming of ESPN Linear Networks
Verizon FiOS became the third affiliate to launch authenticated online streaming of ESPN networks on Thursday as part of a wide-ranging deal announced by Verizon and Disney last October. FiOS TV customers can now watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater live online with an authenticated FiOS TV subscription. Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks already offer online streaming of ESPN’s networks.
The online rights to the ESPN networks are part of a broader agreement, which includes retransmission consent for local ABC broadcast stations as well as the full suite of cable services from the Walt Disney Company: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, and the soon-to-be-launched Disney Junior.
“Expanding our online video content to include the ESPN networks provides our FiOS customers with some of the best in sports programming, right at their fingertips,” says Terry Denson, VP of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon. “Whether watching FiOS on your TV, PC or mobile device, Verizon continues to make it easy for customers to view a growing amount of programming while on the go.”
Adds David Preschlack, EVP, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, “Offering our live networks online further demonstrates our commitment to serving sports fans, and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of forward-thinking distributors like Verizon FiOS. From today forward, FiOS TV customers can choose to watch ESPN on their big screen or on their computer screen – it’s a real sea change in our business and an indication of where our industry is heading.”
FiOS TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater live on their personal computers or laptops – at home or away – using any broadband connection.
Buzzer Beater, which features live cut-ins and highlights from college basketball games during each Wednesday and Saturday of the college basketball season, is normally only available to FiOS TV customers who subscribe to the Extreme HD or Ultimate HD TV packages but currently will be accessible to Prime TV package customers through a free preview. ESPN Goal Line, a similar service for college football season, will become available for online viewing when football season begins in September for FiOS TV customers subscribing to the Extreme HD or Ultimate HD packages.
Users can watch live on their computers or laptops via any broadband connection. Viewing options include picture-in-picture, simultaneous viewing of more than one channel, and full-screen viewing of a single channel. Verizon and ESPN plan to make the programming available on other Internet enabled devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, in the near future.