What Would It Take To Bring ESPN 3 to Cablevision’s Customers?

E3 wrapped a mere a week ago which means I’m talking about ancient history in internet time. But with that out of the way I might as well talk about a key announcement I was genuinely interested in only to be brought back to reality at an alarming rate.

Microsoft’s press conference was so-so at very best. With that in mind their ESPN 3 announcement for XBL gold users was a major point from my perspective. I’m a sports head so I could see myself getting plenty of miles out of this app. The key here is “could” as my ISP’s network (Optimum Online) is a subsidiary under…

So what does that have to do with anything? Well it’s as simple as this. Cablevision and ESPN don’t exactly see eye to eye when it comes to bringing ESPN 3 to Cablevision’s customers. Apparently ESPN’s price per customer is too high for Cablevision’s taste so the end user loses out. That’s basically what it boils down to as I don’t have access to the numbers ESPN wants to charge.

It’s disappointing nonetheless as I’d like to watch ESPN 3 on my 360 for the sake of convenience. Additionally, cable and satellite, in my opinion, are increasingly becoming less attractive as the small list of shows I follow are available online for free or for a small monthly fee. Sure the quality doesn’t touch an HD broadcast (most of the time) but Netflix’s HD stream quality doesn’t leave much to complain about. Netflix’s biggest problem is its library but that’s more of a licensing/usual Hollywood politics issue than anything.

Something's missing here...

But I digress. The key factor that ties so many sports fans to their cable bills is the fact that the internet doesn’t offer many attractive options to stream live events (for free at least.) NBA on TNT and NBC occasionally throws viewers a bone but they’re services don’t match ESPN 3’s versatile array of broadcast sporting events. But what’s the point if I, along with millions of other customers in the metropolitan tri-state area, can’t use it? It’s bad enough that, say, MLB, NBA and NFL fans have to come out of the pockets heavy for MLB.tv, NBA TV and NFL Sunday Ticket respectively.  Yes their coverage is more extensive as they provide practically every game: blackouts notwithstanding. But 3’s lineup is good enough if you’re looking for a quick fix on big name match ups. And now that the Fifa tournament is poppin’, ESPN 3’s closed access is another missed opportunity or viewers to watch games, or in this case, translates to more money for Cablevision’s digital cable line.

I’m not one of these naive e-whiners with a false sense of entitlement. Everything costs money and if Cablevision plays nice with ESPN the consumers will probably foot the bill. It’d be lovely if Cablevision shook hands with ESPN and put 3 on their network but I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime I’d like to know why there isn’t an relatively inexpensive alternative on top of optimum online’s service that covers things like ESPN 3? If it (unfortunately) came to that or nothing I wouldn’t mind paying an extra $2-3 a month for it if it meant I wouldn’t have to pay for cable (as long as they don’t go crazy w/ compartmentalizing content heavy sites like youtube, hulu etc.) I already get by on the few shows I watch and that premium option could help subsidize ESPN’s hefty price per user. Until that or a similar plan develops I guess Cablevision’s customers are left to do without.

13 Responses to “What Would It Take To Bring ESPN 3 to Cablevision’s Customers?”


  1. 1 J June 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m a Optimum Customer as well, and to think that ESPN wouldn’t lock down their own backyard (NYC Metro Area) with ESPN3 on every single cable system is sickening.

    This paragraph via ESPN makes me want to throw up:

    “ESPN said 1.1 million people watched at least some of the USA’s 1-0 win as it was streamed on ESPN3.com Wednesday. The match, which was also watched on ESPN by 6.2 million people, lasted from 10 a.m. to noon ET, during working hours for most of the United States.”

    That number would….you know….at least double if the media capital of the world and its surrounding areas had access to it. Simply stunning that this shit continues.

  2. 3 Jay September 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    It is not good news that internet providers are paying for access to a website. This should not be the internet providers decision. ESPN3 should be offered to the customer just as mlb.tv is. If internet providers start paying for access to sites this is going make them feel that they have the right to boost the price of the internet up. The internet is a service that needs to be provided with no restrictions for a reasonable flat rate. Being in the lower financial class it is hard as it is to pay for internet service. This is a conspiracy where the government needs to get involved. There needs to be laws against this because the middle and lower class can not afford another hike in a service which makes life bearable. This needs to be stopped before it continues any further.

  3. 4 rob September 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

    i agree optimum needs to get espn3 for the customers who want it if verizon has it why cant optimum and they are suppose to be rivals? how does that look? at the end of the day optimum has to come to a deal with espn and i know (cablevision) they are billionaires by now come on man let us watch espn3 if anything charge us an extra few dollars or something but dont leave us hangin i been a customer of cablevision for over 10 years i deserve espn3!😉

  4. 5 Paul Sobina November 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    politics. politics politics politics and money. that is why everyone gets out of bed in the morning – MONEY. Got to get that money! ESPN and Cablevision can both sit on it and spin. No business REALLY cares about their customers, what they REALLY care about is their bank accounts. They keep their customers just happy enough to continue making them money. Everyone has such a big boner about America but seriously this country has the wrong perspective on life.

  5. 6 Tom November 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    It’s not as simple as only the people paying for it getting access. Unfortunately, the system is stacked against us. In order for us Cablevision customers to have access to ESPN3, Cablevision would have to pay that price for ALL SUBSCRIBERS. That’s an ESPN thing and not a Cablevision one. Sucks for us.

  6. 7 strikerT December 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I just moved to an area where optimum is basically the only high-speed option (having just left a verizon area where ESPN3 worked well [PLEX plug-in]. First, I always thought it was crappy that ESPN didn’t just offer a subscription service or option for those of us that are willing to pay for it. Instead we’re held hostage this corporate bs and we just get screwed. The thing that really sucks though is that somehow TIME WARNER, COMCAST, COX, VERIZON and all these other media bohemouths are able to come to some sort of arrangement that allows them all to profit and serve their subscribers by making this content available, but frickin CABLEVISION can’t find a way to make it work? CABLEVISION, you have a public charter. Pull your heads out and make the new technology available to your (mostly) captive public base.

  7. 8 Terrell December 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I want to view ESPN3, but they can take their service and shove. Cablevision already has crappy service, but if they were to have ESPN3, then customers who won’t even access the site will have to pay for it. I could see if everyone was going to use it. That would be a different story, but it’s not right that a ISP has to pay for access to a site. That to me is a form of price gouging. It should either be something that the customers choose to pay for. Either as an extra option that comes along with their internet access, or just pay ESPN directly. This is exactly why the net neutrality law needs to be passed.

  8. 9 Elias February 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Just a heads up, DISH has ESPN3, and the NFL RedZone AND the NFL Network, none of which Cablevision has. I may seem biased as a DISH employee, but I’ve worked here only a year…I’ve been a DISH customer for four. Check out satellite, it was the best move I ever made.

  9. 10 Scott March 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Cable vision sucks….period
    !

  10. 11 Tom Brady July 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    OK, the best way to watch ESPN for absolutely free and easy is really easy, unbelievably easy. First, create an account with att.net, it is as simple and easy as any other email account. Then create an account on ESPN using the att account as your email address. then when it asks you for your internet provider, choose att, and confirm your username and password and start watching live, upcoming, and replays of every sport

  11. 12 Paul September 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

    The suggestion to create and use ATT email account worked initially. However, since I rebooted my computer and closed the website ESPN3 would not allow me to log in again. I’ve cleared all memory, I’ve tried different ATT email accounts and both IE and FireFox. Nothing seems to work. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for your help.


  1. 1 So The Xbox 360 Is Five Years Old… « Fake Hustle Trackback on November 25, 2010 at 10:15 pm

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