Good news for cable cutters?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that ESPN is about to announce a streaming service that would make ESPN available as a streaming channel. It isn’t clear to me if this applies just to the flagship ESPN channel or to all the sub-streams, including ESPN+.

The Journal says this move is part of ESPN’s planning for a future in which cable systems are not the primary way people access programming.

Maybe this isn’t as big a deal for the Big Ten as for other conferences, since ESPN isn’t part of the new media agreements for the Big Ten.

Mike Nolan

Available as a streaming channel through what system?

John Killmar

My question too; I currently have YouTubeTV. If you have WSJ subscription (I don’t) you should be able to read the article here…


This link may work for those who don’t have WSJ subscriptions:

The WSJ article didn’t have a lot of details, but it did seem to indicate that ESPN would be making an announcement about this soon, possibly today.

Maybe it will answer those types of questions.

Mike Nolan

Now I understand. ESPN could become a stand-alone steaming service, independent of Disney. It already is a streaming channel.

John Killmar

My take too, based on the description of “direct” streaming. Bah, yet another subscription.

When ‘cord cutting’ first became a thing, everyone said how much money it’ll save.

My reaction at the time was, “Ha!”

I’ve read many articles since then about people who are spending hundreds every month for a bunch of streaming services, far more than their old cable bill. (And some kind of Internet access is also needed, though that may be part of their cell phone bill.)

Mike Nolan

Well, I think it depends on how many streaming services one signs up to. We were paying $215/month for fiber internet and television from a regional provider. We dropped the tv a couple of years ago and went to YouTubeTV. It’s about $65/month and the internet is about the same. We also have Netflix (which we had before) and Amazon prime. Still well below what were paying for about the same programming.

From time to time I’ll sub to Apple TV, ESPN+, or BTN+ (for specific programming like Ted Lasso or Nebraska Volleyball). But I would have been adding those even with a “cable” package, and also drop them as soon as the content of interest is done.

There are sometimes other options too. For example, we picked up the spring VB match against Wichita State via NPM streaming. We’re not in the viewing area, but I got around that by setting up a proxy (on GCP) in Iowa.