Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ESPN3 on XBox Live, But There Is A Catch

Viewers like their content across all their devices and like to push their content's availability from one device to another. TV programming should play on the web and web programming should play on the TV. So ESPN is providing that multi-screen flexibility. "ESPN3’s live video of 3,500 events, including Major League Baseball, soccer, college football and basketball games, will be available to Xbox Live Gold Members". But there is a catch. One, it is not free and two, you also must have internet service from a cable company who has bought ESPN3. "Xbox Live subscribers who pay $50 a year and whose Internet provider pays to carry can now access the programming, Marc Whitten, general manager of Xbox Live, said today at the E3 video-game conference in Los Angeles." So you pay the cable company and you pay Microsoft. Do the economics add up?

Ultimately, I want to pay once for content and then I want the flexibility to show it across any of my screens. Some call it the 4A's - Anywhere, Any time, Any place, Any Device. Others describe it as the 4C's - cable, cellphone, car, and computer. But again, they only want to pay once for content. When the viewer is being asked to pay twice to access on their computer or through their X Box, they will not; rather, they will push the web signal directly to their TV and bypass the Xbox.

Certainly access of ESPN 3 through the XBox offers convenience, but the cost may stop it from being a success.

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