In an effort to simplify and create a better, more centralized experience for fans, all ESPN streaming content now lives exclusively on the ESPN app. The WatchESPN app will no longer be available through the app store, as all content previously available on WatchESPN has migrated.
Since April 2018, the ESPN app has served fans with access to highlights, scores, and news as well as viewing features such as picture-in-picture and live cards – all while streaming video in portrait mode. It will continue to be the main home for all ESPN content, including as a gateway to all ESPN and ESPN+ streaming.
“This move is in line with our larger, ongoing strategy to create a one-stop app destination for all things ESPN and allows us to maximize resources to create the best experience possible for fans,” said Lori LeBas, SVP of Affiliate Partnership Development and Operations, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “Pay TV subscribers will benefit the most from today’s news, with access to the same live authenticated streaming content they always had through WatchESPN, plus additional content and viewing enhancements that were only available on the ESPN app.”
The move to the app has been in progress for months, and fans who have been using WatchESPN were prompted to download and shift their viewing to the ESPN app for the past several weeks.
WatchESPN launched in April 2011 – marking the first time that any network was available via live authenticated streaming and well before any live streaming subscription service came to market. At the time, it set a benchmark for the industry and represented the technological manifestation of what ESPN has done for years – serve sports fans wherever and whenever they consume sports. Over the years streaming has become an important part of ESPN’s viewing mix, and now represents a 10-20% lift in viewership among key demographics.