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First Ever Hybrid Linear and Streaming Interface Delivers ESPN Live Programming and On-Demand Content on Set Top Boxes
Available in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina at Launch, Other States Coming Soon
Last week marked the beginning of a nationwide rollout of the ESPN App on AT&T DIRECTV set top boxes, allowing customers to seamlessly switch between all ESPN live and on-demand video to their TVs through a hybrid interface. It is the first time ESPN has made this app-like service combining both linear and streaming content available on set top boxes. The app is now accessible to customers in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina at launch, and will expand to other states through early 2017.
In addition to ESPN’s linear networks*, DIRECTV customers with a broadband-enabled set top box will be able to stream thousands of live events from ESPN3, SEC Network + and ACC Network Extra plus short-form, on-demand clips and highlights from ESPN.com. Customers will not need to log in to access this content, as they will be automatically authenticated.
“In today’s dynamic media landscape, simplicity is key,” said Sean Breen, senior vice president 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.”
“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 vice president, 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.”
Upon its availability during the rollout, DIRECTV customers will receive an automatic firmware update to access the new ESPN App
*ESPN linear channel availability varies by package. ENTERTAINMENT and above.