Streaming the future of watching sports?

You know when Disney (owners of ESPN) start pouring more money into streaming sports - you have to know that is where we are heading.

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It looks like Major League Baseball’s plan to spin off its video-streaming technology into a separate company could get a big boost from a powerful player in the sports world: ESPN parent Disney. Peter Kafka of Re/code reports that Disney’s considering investing in this spin-off, and that talks are in “advanced stages?:

Disney is in talks to invest in pro baseball’s video streaming business — a sign that the media giant wants to own the technology to help it power direct-to-consumer video services.

Sources say Disney is in advanced talks to take an equity stake in BAM Tech, the video technology business MLB Advanced Media has been looking to spin off into a separate company for some time.

MLBAM, which is jointly owned by pro baseball’s 30 teams, runs pro baseball’s Web video subscription service. It also handles video streaming for many large clients, including WatchESPN, the streaming service Disney’s ESPN already operates.

People familiar with the proposed transaction say talks are in advanced stages, but could still fall apart. Sources say Disney is one of multiple bidders who want to invest in MLBAM.

This could matter on a number of fronts. For one, it shows the growing importance of WatchESPN to Disney overall, but perhaps even beyond that, it might help pave the way for ESPN’s much–mulled idea of going over-the-top and selling their channels directly to consumers. Beyond that, Disney investment in BAM Tech might really help them dominate the streaming market (where they already have a substantial portion, including HBO, WWE Network, NHL Center Ice and more). It could bolster ESPN’s desire to do more WatchESPN content and promote that service more, too; if they have an equity stake in the streaming side, they have even more of an incentive to boost it. As Kafka writes, there are plenty of people who want to invest in MLBAM, so this is far from a sure thing. If Disney’s willing to make a big offer, though, this could be a deal that works out well for both sides, and one that has market-altering effects on a number of fronts.

It definitely is, I know very few people in my age group who watch sports on an actual TV. I'd say 70-80% people I know stream games now or go to a bar something like that. We haven't had cable in my house for like 3 years now and I have managed quite fine.

Problem is the hay days of free streaming are soon coming to an end I think, premium subscription type deals will become the norm I think.

ESPN is streaming sports on ESPN3 - they stream every CFL game and you don't have to subscribe to ESPN in the US to watch it. Yet you can't watch the CFL on TSN on line in Canada unless you subscribe to TSN.

As more people cut the chord to cable/satellite, streaming sports is the only way to go. Last year saw a huge increase in the number of people going on-line only.

The CRTC is in a dilemna, they mandate Canadian content on air but they can't control the internet. I am sure they would love to ban Canadians with Canadian IP addresses from watching anything they want.


No idea who told you that, but ESPN is not into freebies.

Supposedly, there are only a few companies that do streaming right with MLB being one of them. Somebody buying a spinoff could be because the investor sees potential profits as in the future, as more 3rd party content providers will want somebody to handle the streaming. Content of course could be sports as well as non-sports.

I use Sling TV as my SP. It only costs $20 per month. You can go month to month. I cancel it after football season.

The CFL has little say since their digital media and streaming rights were included in their TV deal with TSN.

My bundled Rogers package is so convenient and priced decently though for my phone, internet and cable and I have older plasma TV's, one a 50 incher, but work great with the cable, plug and play, no computer needed at all. No reason yet for me to cut the cable cord, enough channels at my fingertips (wish they would add TSN2 though) with the basic package, it's' great. Watch PBS Austin City Limits stuff on TV with my sound system, like being at the concert and included with the basic package. I tell ya, it's much more about sound than high def TV, that's for sure.

And yet with my now outdated Blackberry Playbook I still can stream stuff on an HDMI cable to my 50 incher with a decent sound system and play Youtube stuff, CFL highlights, CSI from CTV etc. It works.

It's inevitable. The future is not old style cable. The next generation in particular has little to no interest in cable, and other groups are dropping it at a rapidly accelerating pace.

Paying for 50 channels for 6 shows on 5 of those channels is an idiotic model that only existed because technology 40 years ago couldn't do better. Today, it's archaic.

The question is when it reaches critical mass and becomes the primary distribution method, rather than the one they bundle in with cable deals. Given the power companies like Netflix already have, I don't think that day is all that far away.

Regardless Tridus, cable is still working for millions and Rogers and Bell don't want to lose those customers overnight because they told them "cable no longer exists". I agree, the end is in site for cable. But when? And no one including the smartest young people on the planet can answer that question.

A shovel is archaic but often a shovel still works fine in our backyards for dirt and snow in our driveways.

I have no need for Netflix because my CFL games aren't on that.

I will die before I give up watching sports on tv.

You probably won't have to give up sports on your TV. Most TVs can show Internet streams one way or another. :thup:

I guess some people don't realize you can plug your laptop or tablet into your HDMI cable on your TV and watch the internet on your large flat screens. I'm sure that sports channels like ESPN are available on smart TVs, Rokku sticks etc, I haven't tried it. Last season I watched quite a few CFL streamed games on ESPN3 on my large flatscreen.

Remember in the 70s when cable and satellite dishes first came out, how many people said they would never subscribe to it they wouldn't give up their antennas. Cable/sattelite probably won't disappear but it's likely that millions will be cutting the cord and streaming.

What do you mean "who told me" ? just go on the internet and try it. My internet provider is Century Link.
ALL internet providers in the US now carry ESPN3 -- I watched most CFL games from October/November on ESPN3.

My point was that in the US you can watch all CFL games on ESPN3 without subscribing to it, it's carried by internet providers. You can only watch CFL football in Canada unless you subscribe to TSN

I haven't done that much streaming but when I have I've found picture quality to be not as good as cable. I also have a plasma Aerial, love it.

You are just fortunate then. But your case is the exception, not the rule. When ESPN first started with streaming, some DSL-only providers offered the stream so obviously one did not require a tv subscription then. Of course the DSL providers still had to pay ESPN. Now even all the phone companies have tv service which means almost everybody now has to authenticate to view content. Maybe your access is grandfathered in, or maybe only applies to your region and/or provider.

It would not be accurate to say that anybody in the US with internet service can watch full games on ESPN3.

assumptive insults :roll:

When I say on tv, I mean not using internet.

I’m one of the people who streams nearly every game, with one glaring exception that makes certain games impossible for me to legally stream.

I don’t have cable TV. But I do have a (very fast) internet connection. So, I also get ESPN 3 through my ISP. That is the ONLY legal way to get ESPN 3. I also have Sling TV, which provides me with ESPN 1 and 2…ONLY. I do not and cannot, nor can anybody else, get ESPN 3 through Sling TV.

Not every, single, game is on ESPN 1, 2, or 3, for which to get you require two completely separate services. Sometimes, and last year I think there was at least 1, a game is show on ESPN News. To get that you MUST have a cable TV subscription.

So once again, not every single game (last year) was on ESPN3. Some were on 1 and 2 and ESPN News. The large majority of them were, however, which is great for anybody with a good ISP.

Honest to goodness, that's how I had to get ESPN3. My ISP is AT&T, but I do NOT subscribe to their TV package, U-verse. I could not stream it with broadband internet alone, so I got Sling TV. That was as of last football season. Something may have changed. I'll find out in July.

Je viens de tenter de regarder une partie, et il faut confirmer si notre fournisseur est "affilié" à ESPN3. Bell, Rogers, Shaw et Vidéotron ne font pas partie cette liste. J'ai l'impression que quelque chose a changé.