WatchESPN Now
Available on Apple TV

Apple TV Screenshot
A peek at what WatchESPN on Apple TV will look like

Sports fans have a lot to look forward to this morning with the launch of WatchESPN on Apple TV. Similar to other platforms, live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line will be available to authenticated subscribers, with the addition of on-demand video offerings that feature the most recent and relevant content available to all users.

(Current affiliated video providers include: Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter and AT&T U-verse.)

WatchESPN on Apple TV
WatchESPN on Apple TV

Front Row spoke with Senior Vice President of Digital Video Distribution, Matt Murphy, and Vice President of WatchESPN and ESPN3, Damon Phillips, about the launch.

What’s the significance of today’s WatchESPN launch on Apple TV?
DP: We are evolving WatchESPN from a product and content perspective. For the first time on any platform, WatchESPN delivers a one-stop video destination for sports fans, adding curated on-demand video to its content offering, including highlights and news clips from and short-form segments from our E:60 and Outside The Lines programs as well as SC Featured and Sport Science. Fans will notice this rollout in the near future across every other platform that carries WatchESPN.

How does this serve sports fans better?
MM: It’s all about access. Adding Apple TV as the fifth platform that delivers WatchESPN provides greater value to the multichannel subscription. Wherever fans are, they will be able to access ESPN networks and content, simply by being a video customer to one of our affiliated providers, which includes eight of the top 10 distributors in the country – that amounts to 55 million households nationwide.


  1. Hello Randy,

    In response to your question: A video subscription to an affiliated provider is required for live access to ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line). Currently they include Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter and AT&T U-verse. Curated on-demand video — including highlights and news clips from as well as short-form segments from programs such as E:60, Outside The Lines, SC Featured, Sport Science and others — is available to all Apple TV users.
    Thanks for reading Front Row.

  2. I have internet through xfinity. Using the WatchESPN app, I can usually access ESPN3 programs. However, I cannot access these through my Apple TV app. Is this policy?

  3. I am a Verizon FIO subscriber I can fine online where to put in my activation code number what is the web site address thank Jim

  4. Russell:
    If your Apple TV is using a Comcast XFinity IP address to connect, we usually recognize your IP address and grant access to ESPN3 content automatically. If this is not working, please select the event/program you’d like to watch, and complete the AppleTV authentication using the activation code provided along with your Comcast credentials. The process is outlined in the Apple TV FAQs for your reference.
    For immediate support you can call Customer Care at 1-888-549-3776 or you can send an email (using a PC or mobile device) from the WatchESPN feedback webform here:
    Thanks for reading Front Row.

  5. Sadly, I was so disappointed when I installed the app on my Apple TV and found out that the only way to fully use the app was to have a cable company subscription. I was so sick of my cable company charging me for channels I dont watch and continually raising my rates that I cut the cord. Screw them. But I’d like to watch all ESPN rated content. I’d like to pay ESPN a reasonable fee for that content. Like many others, I have come to hate the cable company. I will not go back. And Im encouraging my neighbors to do the same. Over the Air HD is free and awesome quality. Netflix and Hulu and reasonable monthly charges. Many other tradictional cable channels allow their content to be viewed over the internet. Hopefully, Sports is the next genre to separate from the $%&@ing Cable Company.

  6. I’m having trouble activating my code through Brighthouse Networks. Are you aware of this problem? Is it being fixed? LOVE having watch espn on Apple TV….but can’t watch live show right now…please help. Thanks!

  7. We’re aware that some subscribers are having trouble completing the activation from certain browsers or devices. We are actively working on correcting this issue. In the meantime, we recommend completing the activation from a computer using a Chrome or Firefox browser. If you have any other trouble, please call ESPN Customer Care at 1-888-549-3776 for immediate assistance.

  8. Thank you for your feedback, Jay. At this time, WatchESPN is only available to ESPN TV subscriber of Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Comcast XFINITY, Verizon FIOS, Cox, Charter, Optimum, Midcontinent Communications, or AT&T Uverse. Thanks again for reading Front Row.

  9. How can I reset the app on my Apple TV to not tell me that I am not a subscriber? I see that I should use Chrome to sign on through my computer but since I didn’t the first time, Apple TV just automatically has me locked out to watch live.

  10. Thanks for reaching out Brad.
    If you still have the activation code, you should be able to launch the activation page in Chrome ( and enter the code followed by your affiliate provider’s credentials.
    If you do not have the code, restarting the Apple TV should clear any of the previous attempts and allow you to generate a new activation code so you can use Chrome for the activation. To restart your Apple TV choose Settings > General > Restart
    Once you see “Activation Successful” in Chrome, the video should being playing on the Apple TV within one minute. If you have any other trouble, please call ESPN Customer Care at 1-888-549-3776 for immediate assistance.
    Thanks for reading Front Row.

  11. I am trying to login to the AppleTV app with Charter using Safari. It takes the code and directs me to the Charter website. At the Charter website, my login will not work for verification even though it will work to log me in to the website. I have tried it via my iPhone and my Mac.

  12. Thanks for your feedback, Brandi. Please try completing the Apple TV activation using a Chrome browser on your Mac (instead of Safari). If Chrome does not allow you to complete the activation successfully, please contact Customer Care to have a trouble ticket opened. You can email Customer Care from here: or you can call 1-888-549-3776 between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. EST. Thanks for reading Front Row.

  13. Say, why isn’t the SEC Network on the Apple TV? It’s on my phone, but not on the Apple TV version of the WatchESPN – what’s up with that?


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