ESPN recently announced that they have begun the national rollout of their app on DirecTV set top boxes. This app lets users to switch between ESPN live and On-Demand videos on television making use of a hybrid interface. This is the first time that ESPN has offered an app like service, which combines both streaming and linear content on set top boxes.
“In today’s dynamic media landscape, simplicity is key,” said Sean Breen, who is the senior VP of affiliate sales, Disney & ESPN Media Networks. “This hybrid experience seamlessly blends what customers traditionally get from a set top box with the features and content of standalone streaming devices.”
“We’re fortunate to have long-standing relationships with collaborators like AT&T/DirecTV that work with us to offer more choice and flexibility to customers for a video experience that fits their needs – whether that’s streaming only or through a traditional pay TV subscription that now delivers the best of both worlds,” Breen added.
DirecTV users with set top boxes that are broadband enabled will be able to stream many live events from SEC Network+, ESPN3, and ACC Network Extra. Highlights from ESPN.com and short-form On-Demand clips will also be available to the users. It is reported that the set top box will be authenticated automatically for the online content, meaning that the users will not have to log in to access the contents.
“ESPN’s technology team worked closely with DIRECTV to develop a next-generation content experience for customers through their set top box,” said Mike Andrews, ESPN VP, media engineering. “Fans want to turn on their television and watch great sports content with as little friction as possible.”
“With the ESPN App on the DIRECTV box, they get exactly that – a dynamic user interface, seamless automatic subscriber recognition and all of ESPN’s networks and streaming content presented in one place, all without the need to change television inputs or log in,” Andrews added.
As of now, the app is available to DirecTV users in Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Ohio. However, officials from ESPN said that the service would be expanded to the other states through early 2017. Upon availability during the rollout, DirecTV users will get an automatic firmware update that will offer access to the latest ESPN app.