updated 06:25 pm EDT, Thu October 7, 2010
Verizon gets ESPN deal for tablets and FiOS
Verizon and Disney today formalized a deal that will bring the ESPN sports channel's content to tablets as well as more to FiOS TV. The plan will give access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Buzzer Beater and Goal Line both on computers and in a tablet-optimized format. The approach is limited to FiOS TV subscribers but will let them authenticate themselves for access when the service goes live in "coming months."
Pure FiOS customers will also get ESPN 3D in 2011 as well as Goal Line this Saturday. Outside ESPN, ABC Family and Disney XD content should reach the V Cast Video mobile store by the end of the year, and Disney Junior will reach FiOS TV when it has a full launch in 2012.
Neither company said what tablet would get the ESPN content, but the Motorola Stingray is the most identifiable. The Android hardware is already suspected to have a TV focus and could be a way of luring customers to FiOS with promises of tablet viewing. Verizon has also acknowledged that it's developing FiOS TV viewing for the iPad; the plan could simply apply to Wi-Fi use but comes just as Verizon Wireless chief Lowell McAdam was unusually elusive on Verizon's prospects for both the iPhone and the iPad.