ESPN Rolls Out App on DirecTV Set Tops

ESPN said it began the national rollout of the ESPN app on AT&T’s DirecTV set-top boxes.

The app allows customers to switch between ESPN live and on-demand video on their TV through a hybrid interface.

ESPN says this is the first time ESPN has made this app-like service available on set-top boxes.

“In today’s dynamic media landscape, simplicity is key,” said Sean Breen, 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.”

DirecTV customers with broadband-enabled set-top boxes will be able to stream thousands of live events from ESPN3, SEC Network + and ACC Network Extra. Short-form on-demand clips and highlights from will also be available. The will be automatically authenticated for this online-content, which means they will not need to log in.

“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.”

The app is now accessible by customers in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. It will expand to other states through early 2017, ESPN says.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.