Verizon and AT&T express interest in the general idea
According to recent reports, media companies with high-bandwidth apps are considering deals with wireless carriers to ensure users can consume the content without being slapped with data overage fines. Reportedly, sports network ESPN has had discussions with at least one carrier to subsidize users' wireless data usage, with the company paying to offset data used by subscribers.
Expands reach of video streaming
Two major TV networks, ESPN and Fox, have updated their iOS apps to support streaming to AT&T U-verse subscribers. WatchESPN provides access to live feeds of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU, but only for people who already subscribe to ESPN packages from specific providers. Aside from AT&T, these include Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, Time Warner, and Verizon.
Remainder of broadcast channels added, enhancements made
Today, ESPN on Xbox updated its app with a significant update. The program now includes†all†of ESPN's live network programming through WatchESPN including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Buzzer Beater and Goal Line. Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers can watch the sports' network entire live lineup, including SportsCenter, SportsNation and the Mike and Mike Show, as well as ESPNís coverage of the NFL, including Monday Night Football, MLB and the NBA.
Demonstrates 82-inch slate, PayPal in-app purchasing
Microsoft has sold over four million upgrades for Windows 8 in the first few days after its launch. Speaking at the Build developers event on the Microsoft campus, CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed the number in his keynote speech, alongside announcements for more Windows 8 apps, such as PayPal, Dropbox, and ESPN.
Subscription radio service to compete with Slacker, Pandora
Sirius XM will be heading onto Google TV in the near future. The app, requiring a seperate Sirius XM subscription and will bring additional programming not receivable by standard satellite radio sets. It will also offer additional channels such as ESPN SportsCenter, a channel dedicated to the comedy of George Carlin, and headline personality Howard Stern, according to Reuters.
Cable subscriber authentication required, no deal in place
The Walt Disney Company's network executive Sean Bratches said in an interview today that Disney would consider allowing the WatchESPN service application on the Apple TV set top device. Prior authentication of cable access would be required to view. No deal is imminent.
Lumia exclusivity deals range up to a year
Nokia is continuing its push to differentiate its Lumia line of handsets from other manufacturers' Windows Phone offerings, announcing today a range of partnerships with various app makers that will see the Lumia get timed exclusives for several apps. The deals mean that apps like Groupon, AOL Entertainment Hub, and others will, for a limited time after launch, hit the Lumia before coming to any other Windows Phone handsets.
Xbox Live services to go free from April 19-23
In an attempt to get some more users hooked on its premium Xbox Live subscription service, Microsoft will offer it for free for five days, commencing on Thursday, April 19, and running until Monday, April 23. Partners like Hulu Plus, Netflix, and EPIX will also open their doors for free during the same time period. Depending on where users are, however, they will get various amounts of free app access during those five days.
Apple may get sports updates throigh voice search
A new discovery within code for Siri has suggested that Apple is about to start a tie-in with ESPN for voice-guided sports search. iOS app writer Evan Coleman found that Siri now recognizes sports teams as whole voice tokens, or search elements, rather than breaking it up into individual words. He noted that ESPN had just recently posted a limited-access API for accessing its sports scores from an app, and that the company when asked was unusually non-committal on its answer as to whether plans were underway.
Slacker Plus and Premium to get more live coverage
Slacker will debut live streaming of ESPN Radio programming tonight with the BCS Championship title game. The live ESPN Radio stream will be available through the Slacker web app. The company says it plans to add the live streaming feature to its mobile apps soon. The ESPN Radio station is available at no charge to all Slacker users.
Comcast and Disney sign new 10-year TV, web deal
Cable provider Comcast has renewed its distribution deal with Disney, signing on for another 10 years. Programming from ABC, ESPN and 68 other channels or services is included in the deal, as is streaming to portable devices such as notebooks, iPhones and iPads through dedicated apps. Under the deal, Comcast will pay more money to Disney with each successive year as license fee schedules are introduced over time, which will more than likely translate to increased bills for Xfinity users.
Nokia Lumia 710 on T-Mobile goes black, adds apps
Nokia has inadvertently spoiled T-Mobile's special event by posting details of the carrier's special version of the Lumia 710. The first Nokia Windows Phone in the US, it will be unique on the outside through the black design, including a unique black-and-white two-tone design. T-Mobile would also preload US-friendly apps from ESPN, Netflix, Slacker Radio, a slightly redundant TeleNav GPS, T-Mobile TV, and the Weather Channel.
Xbox 360 live TV goes available worldwide
Microsoft as repeatedly rumored has kicked off its Xbox 360 live TV option. Cable and fiber TV providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, as well as individual TV stations such as Bravo, Epix, HBO, and SyFy, are all promising apps for the new Xbox Dashboard to watch TV online. Most if not all of the services will require that viewers authenticate to get access and will still need to have traditional TV.
Xbox 360 Comcast and Verizon deal
Microsoft's Xbox 360 live TV option is being unveiled on Wednesday, a late-breaking scoop identified. As expected, providers like Comcast and Verizon will let users pipe video directly to the Xbox, either from the cable itself or through the Internet, AllThingsD found. Viewers will have to authenticate like they do for HBO Go or other cable-owned services, though, as legacy carriers try to shelter themselves from cord-cutting.
Slacker ESPN radio customizes sports, teams
Slacker on Tuesday pushed out an update to its Android app (Market), an upcoming boost to its iOS app (App Store), and the web to add in promised ESPN Radio support. Both free and paid users get a pre-programmed ESPN station option, but Plus and Premium users can fully customize what they hear. Badged as myESPN stations, they let listeners narrow access down to individual sports like hockey or mixed martial arts as well as by particular teams.
Extends contract for 8 years, adds digital content
ESPN and the NFL have extended their agreement for coverage of Monday Night Football for an additional eight years. As part of the extension, ESPN will be augmenting its rights package to include distribution of 3D content, expanded highlight rights across ESPNís television and digital platforms, and simulcast network coverage of ESPNís MNF and NFL studio programs on tablet devices through ESPNís WatchESPN App.
ESPN app now ready for Xbox Live
Microsoft mid-Thursday took its ESPN Xbox 360 app live. The portal gives Xbox Live Gold members access to live college football and certain other sports normally shown on ESPN3. Viewers can watch up to two games at a time and voice control with Kinect if they have the camera controller.
Foursquare teams with others on event check-ins
Foursquare just revealed that it will add specific events to its popular check-in app. For example, users will now have the option to select the movie they're seeing when they check in to a local movie theater. This translates to concerts and other events as well.
ESPN on Xbox Live gets new UI, split screen
Microsoft after a long delay said Thursday that its ESPN app for the Xbox 360 would get an update in late August. The new version will add the requisite voice control through Kinect as well as much more in multitasking. A college football scoreboard is always available, and a split screen mode lets fans either keep the scoreboard up during another game or even watch two events at once.
Xbox Live Diamond TV kicks off next week
Microsoft's rumored Xbox Live TV subscription is about to get its public showing next week, industry contacts reported Friday. Known as Diamond, it should be shown off at E3 as long as the deals are in place. Microsoft was reported by WinRumors as being in the same position as Apple, holding last-minute talks, and might skip mentioning it entirely if talks aren't done by the Los Angeles show.
WatchESPN now optimized for iPad
ESPN finished the week by rolling out its promised iPad version of WatchESPN (free, App Store). The new version gives live access to all ESPN channels but with a much wider canvas both to see the games and TV segments themselves as well as a much more visual browser for live content. ESPN didn't mention an upgrade to the video quality, though it's expected to take better advantage of the larger screen.
App provides same functionality as iOS equivalent
Following just one month after ESPN launched its WatchESPN app for the iPhone and iPod touch, the company has brought the title to Android devices (free, Market). The latest offering provides the same functionality as the iOS equivalent, enabling many cable subscribers to view the full range of live content from the sports network's ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU channels.
ESPN intros iPhone and iPod app for live sports TV
ESPN gave iPhone and iPod touch owners a bonus for being subscribed to traditional TV on Thurdsay through its new WatchESPN app (free, App Store). The app lets viewers watch live ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU with a schedule to show both active and upcoming events. The system tries to shelter TV providers and requires a sign-in from a cable or satellite account to get access.
Time Warner Cable adds 17 channels to iPad TV app
Time Warner Cable on Friday shot back at the need to pull some channels from its TWCable TV iPad app by adding 17 new ones. Although it had to pull some key Discovery-, Fox-, and Viacom-owned stations, it now has major networks such as A&E, CNN, Disney, ESPNnews, IFC, and MSNBC, among others. It also managed to add Fox News despite the apparent deadlock.
Content organized into various subscription levels
Slacker has announced plans to expand its streaming audio content with new material from ESPN, while representatives also commented on the potential impact of Apple's iOS subscription rules. The sports content will arrive as a dynamic service, customizable based on a user's preferences for certain sports or individual teams.
DirecTV hints Apple TV getting NFL Sunday Ticket
The Apple TV other unsupported platforms may get NFL Sunday Ticket in what could be a major coup. A leaked DirecTV research survey has suggested that those who subscribed to the Internet version of the live sports service could watch on an "Apple TV, Boxee or Roku player," adding dedicated media hubs that haven't had service at all before. Blu-ray players, game consoles and direct TV connections were likewise mentioned in Engadget's tip.
Image of ESPN-branded Xbox 360 slips out
A leaked image of an Xbox 360 clad in ESPN branding has been leaked, supposedly from Microsoft's own PR server. Whether this is something left over when rumors of ESPN streaming originated back in January or an upcoming project is unknown to Engadget's insider for the details. The Xbox 360 Dashboard did recently get an update with ESPN3 contnet.
Xbox 360 fall Dashboard live ahead of Kinect
As promised, Microsoft today pushed out its fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update. The upgrade brings many of the features shown at E3, focusing most on the requisite Kinect controller support for games, video chat, and both gesture and voice commands in the UI itself. Other highlights bring live and on-demand ESPN3 sports events, Zune Pass music streaming and an overall more polished interface with particular attention to the Marketplaces and a new parental control center.
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."
Xbox 360 Dashboard preview going up later today
Microsoft team member Marc Whitten told gamers that the preview program for the new Xbox 360 Dashboard will go live today. The expansion will bring some interface changes but will primarily add features promised at E3, including the ESPN3 live events, Zune Pass music streaming in multiple countries and Netflix in Canada.
Xbox may rival Apple TV, cable through live shows
Microsoft is hoping to gain an edge in networked media hubs by offering live sports through the Xbox 360, a leak on Monday maintains. The console's originator is reportedly in significant talks with Disney to stream ESPN's feeds of live TV shows through the system. Users would pay for a subscription and get access to many if not most events through Internet feeds.
ESPN and Madden apps ship for iPhone, iPod touch
Several new football-themed apps have been added to the app store, ESPN Fantasy Football and Madden NFL 10. The Fantasy Football title allows players to control and manage their ESPN teams and leagues directly from the mobile device. Users can access live scores and stats, configure personalized alerts, or post on a league message board.
YouTube in Sony Movie Talk
Google's video site YouTube is in discussions with Sony Pictures to carry the latter's full movies, a leak hints. Without mentioning sources, CNET asserts that YouTube hopes for a license to play the movies on its site. Most of the terms of the deal aren't specified, though expectations would likely see YouTube pressing for free, ad-sponsored versions of the movies. Neither company has agreed to comment on the slip.
ESPN Ultimate Remote
Sports channel ESPN today hoped to capitalize on Father's Day with the launch of The Ultimate Remote. The controller is designed to keep up to date on sports without interrupting a show and builds in 802.11g Wi-Fi that lets it access ESPN's scores, fantasy leagues, and other components of the website directly from a 2.2-inch LCD and controls built into the controller itself. It also doubles as a programmable universal remote that both receives pre-made codes over Wi-Fi and can learn macros by hand.
Quicktime breaks Flash
Users on Apple's Discussion boards are experiencing a hanging problem with several websites after the recent Quicktime 7.4.1 update. The problem seems to manifest when visiting particular Flash-enabled websites such as YouTube and ESPN.com, causing the browser to "beach ball" until it has been forced to quit. Users isolated the problems by disabling plug-ins, which allowed the sites to function properly.