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ESPN Finally Launching Online for Time Warner Cable Subscribers Oct. 25th

Phillip Dampier October 20, 2010 Online Video, Time Warner Cable 2 Comments

After weeks of delays, Time Warner Cable says it will finally open access to ESPN’s multi-channel streaming service Monday, Oct. 25th.  The service will be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers, and is free of charge.

ESPN’s streaming service was included in a deal signed in early September between the cable company and Disney-ABC, which owns the sports network.

Time Warner Cable has been working with ESPN’s website technical staff to build and test the online verification system that is the foundation of Time Warner Cable’s implementation of TV Everywhere.  The cable company plans to offer a library of on-demand video and live streams of many cable channels free of charge, but only to authenticated, current customers.

It is all part of an effort by the cable industry to stop cable customers from canceling their cable-TV subscriptions.  An increasing amount of online content produced by cable networks is expected to eventually be placed behind the TV Everywhere system.  Existing cable subscribers will get access to streamed live channels and on demand programming for free, but non-subscribers will be locked out.  Cable networks can decide how much of their programming will be a part of the project, but cable industry insiders predict there will be increasing pressure on them to keep most of their shows off the open Internet.

While the channels will be free-to-stream for subscribers now, several cable networks are exploring whether to charge cable companies extra programming fees for online viewing rights.  If that becomes popular, online viewing options may eventually carry monthly fees of their own.

ESPN says most of its online streaming will contain no advertising until the network builds enough viewers to justify selling ads targeting online audiences.

Verizon Inc. reached a similar agreement with Disney in October for its FiOS TV service. The originally planned launch date for Verizon customers was Jan. 18th, but if authentication tests with Time Warner Cable are successful, FiOS customers may get access much sooner.

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. Scott says:

    TV Everywhere is just going to backfire as programmers are eventually going to want to be paid extra on top of the fees the cable co’s already are fighting them over, just further raising already high subscription fees for the majority of customers that don’t even really want or need their TV on the internet.

    Cable cutters are leaving to competing streaming services over cost and choice, something that TV Everywhere does nothing to address and will only make worse.

  2. anonymous says:

    Exactly how does this work to verify you because if it requires an actual account username/password from twc’s online bill paying then I can’t really use this as TWC has a deal with my apartment complex so I technically don’t pay them a bill.

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