ESPN without cable or satellite
For many TV viewers, the only reason to keep paying for expensive cable subscriptions is to watch sports. And for that, they invariably need ESPN, the powerful network that has exclusive rights to many of the country’s most popular football and basketball games.
Now, that linchpin is being removed. For the first time ever, sports fans will be able to watch ESPN’s programming streamed online to their tablets, laptops, smartphones and TVs—all without paying a cable or satellite bill.
For $20 a month, viewers will also be able to watch CNN, the Food Network and the Cartoon Network through a new streaming service, called Sling TV. Dish Network, which is launching Sling, said the service will debut sometime later this month.
With Monday’s announcement, 2015 is shaping up to be the year when consumers have more reasons than ever to abandon the expensive bundles of cable channels offered by companies like Comcast and Verizon.
HBO and Showtime are planning to roll out their own digital streaming services early this year. Sony Entertainment Network will also offer online viewing of channels like Viacom’s MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. Millions are already used to paying for Netflix and Hulu Plus for their television viewing.
But ESPN’s entry into online streaming is different. The tremendous demand for ESPN is unparalleled in the cable TV world. The top ten most-viewed programs in cable television history are all ESPN programs. And with more people watching TV shows online according to their own schedules, live sports are one of the few things left on TV that bring entire families together to watch in real-time.
On New Year’s Day, the biggest cable audience ever tuned in to ESPN’s new college football playoffs, with 28.2 million viewers watching the Rose Bowl game between Oregon and Florida State, and another 28.3 million catching the Ohio State-Alabama game. Then on Saturday, the NFL wild card game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers became the eighth most-watched cable program ever, drawing 21.7 milion viewers.
Mohu Leaf 50 TV Antenna, Indoor, Amplified, 50 Mile Range, Original Paper-thin, Reversible, Paintable, 4K-Ready HDTV, 16 Foot Detachable Cable, Premium Materials for Performance, USA Made, MH-110584