WatchESPN on Your iPhone (but ReadFINEPRINT)

By  |  Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm

The future is upon us. As the content owners and cable/satellite providers maintain relevance by extending their offerings beyond the traditional television. And the most promising new service is WatchESPN. Not only does it enable streaming around the home, as seen with Time Warner and Cablevision apps, but it allows you to get live ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN3 broadcasts on the go. Assuming you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and subscribe to television services from providers ESPN has deals with (currently: Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV, Brighthouse).

However, the mobile transition is just getting going and there’s still a variety of licensing issues to be worked out – sports maybe be more complex than most. With WatchESPN, you can expect blackouts based on location, blurred MLB clips during SportsCenter, and zippy iPhone access to Monday Night Football:

How is my location determined if the event is blacked out?
If you receive a message that states, “This content is subject to blackout.” this is because the event that you requested is not available on WatchESPN in your location. Your location is determined by the cell phone tower transmitting your signal. Blackouts apply to broadcasts that have been sold regionally or locally per league, conference and local rights holder agreements. Regional and local rights holders are usually broadcast stations or regional sports networks. Blackouts are implemented to protect the primary rights holder, as defined by the professional and college sports leagues or teams in a given market.

Why am I unable to watch Monday Night Football from my mobile device, but can watch online via a PC or a tablet?
Due to rights differences, Monday Night Football is only available on and the WatchESPN application on tablets. Monday Night Football is not available on

Why are MLB clips blurred while I am watching SportsCenter?
At times, viewers may witness a temporary loss in sound or blurring of video on the WatchESPN application. The blurring/muting is required to honor the digital rights ESPN has been granted for the content which – in rare cases – differs from those rights granted for traditional television usage.

(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)

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  1. tech84 Says:

    So i guess its not "free", a subscription is needed to watch espn on my Ipad.