While many Google/Android fans may be looking toward Google I/O with great anticipation, I know at least a few who are already thrilled today with some news that hit the wire.
WatchESPN for Android has just debuted in the Market, allowing users with select TV subscriptions to enjoy live video on the go.
Not to be confused with another app called Watch ESPN Free, the official Android application resembles the iOS app that launched last month in features and UI. And like the App Store entry, the free Android version requires a subscription to an ESPN provider (Time Warner, Bright House or Verizon FiOS TV) for access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU streaming. FiOS internet-only customers are also in the club, with access to ESPN 3 via the app.
Unlike the iOS version, the Android app requires an Adobe AIR installing on your Android 2.2 (or higher) device. And as much as you’d love to check out the latest on a bigger screen, this isn’t tablet-optimized, at least not yet. But since an iPad-optimized version is in the works, there’s a decent chance a Honeycomb version could land down the road.
The press release follows.
‘WatchESPN’ App Now Available on Android Devices
App Gives Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV Subscribers Live Access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com Content on Android Phone and Tablet Devices
NEW YORK, N.Y. – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com are now available on Android phone and tablet devices to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV subscribers who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription. The WatchESPN App, can be downloaded via the Android Market beginning today. ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater will also be available when those networks are in season.
The free App – first launched to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch in April, 2011 – features a simple user interface that takes the live viewing experience to the high-resolution, Multi-Touch displays of Android devices. Once a user downloads WatchESPN from the Android Market, he will receive instructions to enter the appropriate cable subscriber credentials to begin accessing ESPN content from the device.
The WatchESPN App is available free for Android devices from the Android Market and for Apple devices from the App Store.
ESPN first launched an online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN in October, 2010. Authenticated versions of ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line launched in January, 2011. Consumers can access the channels through a centralized website, ESPNnetworks.com.
About ESPN, Inc.
ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and ESPN 3D). ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS HD are simulcast services. Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, websites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com (broadband sports network) ESPN Mobile, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV and other growing new businesses, including ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.