57 Comments

Summary:

ESPN (NYSE:DIS) will try to unravel its online video confusion by relaunching ESPN360 in September with an emphasis on streaming live events…

ESPN (NYSE:DIS) will try to unravel its online video confusion by relaunching ESPN360 in September with an emphasis on streaming live events — some 2,000 in the first 12 months, according to the WSJ. Games — the Disney (NYSE: DIS) sports net has been piling up live digital rights including nearly 1,000 college basketball games — and news conferences will show on ESPN360.com; highlights, news and archived shows will be on ESPN.com.

The explanation, in part: fans were confused between the video offerings. That’s a little simplistic — whether a viewer has access at all is the most confusing aspect of ESPN360, which has been licensed for a fee, like other ESPN nets, to affiliates who make the content available to their subscribers. I can watch because Charter Communications licenses the broadband channel but if your provider doesn’t license it, you can’t see it. Time Warner Cable, Cox and Comcast are among those who haven’t agreed to license the broadband network. That cuts the potential audience substantially — WSJ says ESPN360 is only available in 16 million homes. As long as the cable net business model stays in place, it’s not likely to grow much although ESPN can benefit from the broadband expansion of telecom customers AT&T and Verizon. On the other hand, only part of ESPN.com is behind a pay wall; the bulk is accessible to any user regardless of ISP.

The first measure of the “new” ESPN360 will be if live viewing increases in those 16 million homes; WSJ reports five-figure audiences for some past events, so it won’t take much for improvement. The next: if people without access start to lobby their ISPs to sign on.

  1. ESPN Gameplan online was great. This change to the model really stinks. For me to watch Florida Gator games in California is already difficult enough. This move to ESPN 360 now requires that your ISP can provide ESPN 350. In my case, I have Verizon, but I do not have Verizon FIOS, which incapacitates me from watching ESPN 360. This means that I now have no options to watching my college football games online.

    This stinks!

    Share
  2. Too damn right !!!

    I am from Bournemouth in England, UK and I did see some games online via Gameplan last year but now I have been told there won't be games online so all would be on ESPN360 and no chance on ANY live college football, so I asked my cable supplier (Virgin Media) if they could provide the program on broadband. NOPE !!!

    None of the cable suppliers in the USA are linked with Virgin Media. (I thought they should be whereas how come we get american shows and NASN which still shows college football but is very limited choice even college basketball)

    I would still like to have ESPN gameplan on normal like last year thus having wide choice of matches to watch. Now there isn't.

    Not even the CSTV website which requires a USA billing address.

    It now seems that those who live outside USA are being screwed up.

    No chances there for online live college football outside USA.

    Share
  3. I too am in the UK, and even though I have NASN, I was going to subscribe to Gameplan online again. This really sucks – do they not want our cash?

    Share
  4. steven swanson Thursday, August 23, 2007

    ESPN REALLY DROPPED THE BALL ONCE AGAIN. NICE WAY TO ALIENATE GAME PLAN ON – LINE SUBSCRIBERS. I WOULD NOT CHANGE INTERNET PROVIDERS IF IT WAS AVAILABLE JUST TO BENEFIT ESPN. UNFORTUNATELY THIS EVIL EMPIRE CONTROLS SPORTS VIEWING. THANKS A LOT ESPN….

    Share
  5. I'm in Oxford and just realised by reading this board that I am getting screwed too! Does anyone have any alternative solutions? Please let me know what else we can do!!!

    Share
  6. The article does not specifically mention ESPN GamePlan online, the title just says "ESPN Changes Broadband Game Plan". Are we sure this will affect GamePlan online? I see more benefit for them to keep this as a separate pay per view deal than to move it to ESPN 360.

    Share
  7. I agree, but I've searched high and low, and the bad news keeps hitting me in the face. And you can't get through to them on the phone, and they don't answer emails!

    Share
  8. What the @#$ is going on?

    Share
  9. I have Time Warner in Texas. Because I use a Tivo with cable cards and not the TimeWarner specific cable box, I can't get the GamePlan on TV. And now, because I have TimeWarner internet, I can't watch them online. My work pays for my internet usage, and there is no way I'm going to pay for a second ISP just for this.

    I dont' really care if ESPN gives ESPN360 away to ISPs that play ball with them (pun intended). But they should give you an option of getting it if your circumstances don't allow you to use one of their blessed ISPs. I would have gladly paid ESPN directly for GamePlan online, but I guess that's just not going to happen.

    Share
  10. I'm from Munich/Germany and ESPN Gameplan was great last year to see the Buckeyes. So our cash is not good enough for them?? Fuck that, this is a joke!!! Where is the fucking globalisation when you need it???

    Share
  11. Yes this royally blows. I relied on this last season to watch games from Poland. Now they go and not only kill a lot of the American market, they gave a huge screw you to the rest who live overseas. I'm at loss for words to why in the hell they did this. Apparently their thinking is if you don't live in the U.S. you don't care about college football. Unbelievable.

    Seriously who runs that crap of a company. Who honestly thought this would be a good idea.

    "No you can't pay us because we only want one large payment."

    I'd like to call them a real nice name, but I'd rather not ruin this story.

    Share
  12. As an American expat in Australia (Go Hogs!), I'm similarly peeved. It seems the only way to watch CFB over here is to hook up to a friends Slingbox. Since I live 17 hours ahead of CST, I loved Game Plan so I could watch archived games as well as live ones.

    I wrote to ESPN.com on Monday and received this response.

    "We are looking for a solution for international subscribers. Please keep checking the web site for updates."

    Somewhat encouraging, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Drew

    Share
  13. Thanks ESPN, thanks Comcast (no 360)….NOT! What a crock…I'm bummed.

    Share
  14. For those of you who don't have 360 access, look into http://www.sopcast.org. It's a free p2p streaming broadcast service and most games you will be able to watch online that way. If ESPN won't sell it to you, just take it.

    Share
  15. This is horrible!!! I live in London and was looking forward to the online package. My wife (Texas Longhorn alum) and myself (Texas A&M;alum) are really hoping for an alternative solution. Does anyone know if we have access to a valid ATT or Verizon account in the States if we can access Espn 360 through the out-of-network link on their page? I'm sure some family member of ours in the States has one of the two..

    Share
  16. What a horrible decision by ESPN. Florida Gator fan here stuck in Canada, and I can't even see the LSU game tonight.

    Bring back Gameplan ONLINE ESPN. For the love of humanity!

    I'll post back here if I find alternatives. Help us OB1 Kenobi, you're our only hope.

    Share
  17. This sucks. What a joke. I would have happily paid five times what they charged me for Gameplan Online last year. A word of advice: get a friend/family member to set up slingbox for you. Like a prior poster said, if they don't want our money, screw `em.

    Share
  18. Wow. This pretty much ruins my year.

    Share
  19. I've also had occasional success with this Web site:

    http://www.channelsurfing.net/

    Share
  20. Florida Gator fans (and other SEC fans), I was hoping to continue with Gameplan online like many others – but my money isn't good enough as an overseas fan.

    Check out the game LIVE and FREE on Yahoo.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/collegebroadcast

    The Gators game is the featured game. Next week Alabama Vandy, week 3 – Auburn. (click on – more SEC games)
    I used this a couple of times last year and it worked fine, CBS has the rights to the game of the week, but Yahoo normally has a good game on.

    I hope this helps!

    Share
  21. I forgot to say – the picture quality is ok -just don't sit too close or expect gameplan picture quality.
    Go Gators!

    Share
  22. I am with you all. I have done everything from calling ESPN directly to damn near writing my congressman. This sucks because for the last two years since I have been in Doha, I ordered ESPN GamePlan and really enjoyed it. The guy I talked to from ESPN even hd the balls to say, "Yeah the international subscribers were the biggest part of the success of GamePlan." If that's true, Why the hell did you stick a blade in our wind pipes? Life without my Alabama football sucks! Way to go EassPN!

    Share
  23. Has anyone tried the link posted above for sopcast.org? I am getting desperate trying to catch the Auburn game tonight, but don't want to take a chance with some malicious software. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

    Share
  24. Hey Chris, I downloaded sopcast and it didn't trigger any warnings with my Adaware, SpyBot, or McAfee.

    I haven't been able to find the English ESPN channel on it though, most of the content are foreign channels, but I haven't had time to click through all the channels.

    Share
  25. GATOR GAME IS ON YAHOO BROADCASTS FOR FREE !!!! live video feed!

    Share
  26. And this, my friends, is what happens when corporations get too large for their britches.

    I had been an online Gameplan subscriber for a few years now and tried to pay them for another season this year. My ISP, a small company here in Minneapolis, didnt buy ESPN's "Internet ransom" (in fact, the tech people had never heard of such a business model) so I cant pay ESPN my $129 or whatever it costs.

    And jeez, maybe they could show a little more poker?

    I am done with cable. I tried digital and it took 4 seconds to tune in a channel. Made surfing a frustrating joke. So now I am back at ol analog cable but cant get Gameplan unless I have digital. Oh woopee. What should I do with this extra $70 I will be saving? Maybe give it to the Humane Society so they can catch more Michael Vicks.

    Bill
    St Paul, MN

    Share
  27. I noticed on EPSN Gameplan site there is an international subscriber coming soon. Evidently our voices are being heard. Go on their website and click the link that says send me an update about ESPN Gameplan International. FYI, for all you SEC fans, CSTV annual subscription of $99 will allow you to see the SEC game of the week from the CBS feed all year…good games already slated like FSU-UF, Ala-Aub, LSU-Fl, Tenn-Fl, etc…

    Share
  28. ITS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OUR VOICES HAVE BEEN HEARD

    Share
  29. There isn't any mentiion of the international gameplan now. Can you post a link?

    Share
  30. http://proxy.espn.go.com/ncf/gameplan/index

    You have to register and set up an account to see the game options.

    Share
  31. This Still doesn't work and is Vastly inferior. (I just signed up for it.)

    Why can't we just pay for a college football espn360 version or something?

    What a joke. I'm in the military and this was the one thing I was looking forward too, screw ESPN.

    And it sucks sitting on hold for 15 minutes at international rates.

    Share
  32. So, are the 360 games included with the Game Plan International package? I live in Germany and I really want to watch big match-ups other than the SEC game of the week (which is available on Yahoo! for free). I'll stick with my subscription audio account on Yahoo! if there is no chance of seeing my team/Big 12 teams play. I was really looking forward to paying $129 like I did the past few seasons…..

    Share
  33. I live in Germany, too. Gameplan worked fine for me last weekend.
    I signed up just in time to watch the prime time games on Saturday.
    Available are obviously all Games listed on the website plus all
    ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC games (just like last season). ABC games
    I can not confirm, because were no on last Saturday in prime time,
    but ESPN and ESPN2 games were available. Therefore it's pretty
    save to say ABC games will be so too.
    Picture quality is about the same as last season (not spectacular,
    but OK), it is a 400 kbit stream.

    Downside is that it looks like there are no archives available that work.
    So it's live or nothing.

    I hope this will help some of you! :)

    Share
  34. WM-
    Thanks so much for the info. Since there is no FAQ on the game plan site, I was really confused about what would be included. Bummer about the archives though, maybe they will become available later. Well, I'm off to spend money.

    Share
  35. I signed up for game plan international for this week and I could not watch the West Virgina game and it was being carried by ESPN. So I am not sure if you actually get the ESPN games with Game Plan International. Last year you did and archives. I bought it so I could watch Arkansas V Alabama this Saturday now I am afraid I will not get it. You would think they would post a clear explanation of what is included or not. Last year when you purchased Game Plan you got the whole week of games not just Saturday.

    Share
  36. OK Yall, just got off the phone with them when I canceled my ESPN Gameplan;

    International Gameplan is LIVE only. They are working on getting Archived games but it is Live or nothing. Seeing as though I only really care about one team I can't justify this. I'm going to Iraq very shortly and can't see watching live games work for me.

    They are working on getting archived games and the Manager told me that he thinks they might not even have it in this season, but maybe next. I told him that I would pay bundles for ESPN 360 rights because it is just so much better than what they have in terms of ESPN Gameplan International. But we'll see.

    In the meantime I'm searching for someone that has a verizon account.

    Share
  37. I tried to watch the WV game as well, but to no avail. Some games from last Saturday (9/8) were listed up top and I noticed something interesting. The LSU v. VT game was there, which I believe was broadcast on ESPN. There may be hope, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Share
  38. SO……….. who's going to share their veriozon account info?

    Share
  39. For real, I've made so many phone calls; lol

    Share
  40. It's me again! I have to warn you, this completely sucks, this week there are no
    ESPN and ESPN2 games available. Only ABC games (Notre Dame at Michigan
    and USC at Nebraska). Last week ESPN and ESPN2 games where definitely on,
    because I watched parts of four of them (all the prime time games)
    There's no consistency at all!

    Best thing is I've traid to mail them (to mail adress that came with the confirmation
    of my purchase) and there is only a automated response that I should read the
    regarding FAQs. That's it!

    I found a form to send an email and did so. I'm eger to see whether they have
    anything to say!

    @ "Benjamin":
    How can I cancel my ESPN Gameplan? (I've subscribed to a season pass)

    Is there any chance to contact them other than via phone, which would cost
    me a fortune from Germany?

    Share
  41. Anyone interested in watching the first two Texas games vs. Arkansas St. and TCU, the games are available in a condensed version @ http://www.mackbrown-texasfootball.com/ Just click on the video link on the schedule. The video quality is not great, but very watchable. No plays are cut and the play-by-play commentary is provided by the local radio sportscaster Craig Way. The CFU game is not posted yet (as of 3pm ET 9/16).

    I had problems with the Game Plan this week. I could not connect to a broadcast until halftime of the 12pm ET games. I was very angry to say the least. Also frustrating, ESPN only lists an (888) number for customer care, which I cannot call toll free numbers from Germany with my current calling card. ARGH!!!

    Share
  42. Sry for the double post, but I am having problems launching the Texas vs. Ark St. game. TCU works fine though. Might keep an eye on these video links for archived Texas match-ups.

    Share
  43. I'm giving International Gameplan one more chance tonight. If they fail to show ESPN and ESPN2 games on the package for a second-straight week, I am cancelling the service.

    I called last weekend to ask why they weren't showing ESPN and ESPN2 games like they did last year, and the previous weekend, and the guy told me they are putting all their attn into ESPN360 and they want to scrap gameplan online totally..

    This really blows as I am in Canada and bought the package to watch the good games broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2.

    I actually paid more for the package this year, and am getting half the quality.

    Share
  44. Here is a solution, if you are willing to pay $14.95/month-sign up for an ATT old-style dial up account

    Share
  45. Here is a solution, if you are willing to pay $14.95/month-sign up for an ATT old-style dial up account. I have prepared a detailed post, but for some reason, I cannot post the links. The bottom line is that you need to go to the ATT Worldnet page and sign up for a standard dialup account online (do not try to download the software, just sign up for the account).

    You can get a discount if you enter the code WEB932NET when you sign up.

    Once you have an id, just log in as an ATT user at ESPN360.com When it asks for your id, click the ATT option and enter your id without worrying about the fact that the "worldnet" part of your id cannot be entered.

    I am using this now from the UK-full access to archives and regular games.

    Good luck,
    Andrew

    Here is one more try at putting in the link-
    https://registration.worldnet.att.net/cgi-bin/inregister

    Share
  46. Andrew M: Thanks for the tip! What did you enter as your phonenumber in Step3 on the sign-up page? Can't seem to be able to get past that…

    Share
  47. I just used a local number from a friend-it does not matter what you put in.
    Unfortunately, in the last 24 hours they have turned this off. I cannot even go to the ATT login screen anymore-only Verizon users are allowed to log in. Again, this has happened in the last day. It is a blessing in disguise for me, as the Irish are getting crushed (again), but I cannot believe they have turned this off so quickly.

    Share
  48. Final update-
    I switched computers (from a Mac to a PC), and I was able to use the ATT account again to log on to ESPN360. This time, I set my PC as a "public computer" so that it wouldn't save any cookies. We'll see if it works the next time I log in, but it seems ok for now. 360 has far more games than the International Gameplan (which I also bought-it is disappointing).

    Andrew

    Share
  49. goddamn! i am with my boyfriend's famly having to watch the sc game, and I am a gator. On top of it all, no one will help me get the gator game online, yahoo is only ding audio, i just signed up for gatorvision to find it doesnt play live, did I mention noboy cares, and i cant get the game on. and the gators are losing….

    GOD!! will someone tell me where to watch the gator-auburn game online? I cant handle the suspense and I am so SICK of everyone in this room talking about sc….please help.

    Share
  50. Hey y'all – Thanks for the AT&T;instructions. I had signed up for the International Game Plan and it only worked on my old PC- not my screaming new Mac. The game selection sucks and $129!

    I'm now a proud AT&T;dial-up customer for $15 and watching ESPN360 online on my Mac – and I can watch other US sports even at the office.

    Signed,
    One Happy American Expat in Oz

    Share
  51. Andrew M, you are my hero! Just recently moved to London and have seriously suffered due to lack of college football. You just saved me from certain clinical depression.

    Share
  52. I have to agree with everyone here. I had gameplan last year and it rocked, but this new International game plan sucks. I can watch whatever game they have but I do not have any sound, anyone else come across this problem. I have tried Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6. Doesn't matter which one I use, I get video but no sound.

    Share
  53. Andrew M;

    I am alo a huge Irish fan and this is defenetly not our year. I just bought the ATT dial up plan but can´t find anywhere in my MAC how to get into ESPN 360 att. Can you help me somehow? I am desperate to watch some college football and I can´t becuse the gameplan does not work for Macs. What can I Do?Thanks Andrew M and go Irish!Please someone help!

    Share
  54. For some reason, there is no longer a link to sign in to espn360 for AT&T;users!!! Does anyone know what's going on and/or how to get around it?!?!

    Share
  55. JERRY CURLJUICE Thursday, December 6, 2007

    is there anyway to use the media player they provide in conjunction with your tv screen? some players the transfer of the image is complete – on the espn360 media player- when my computer is connected to my tv – I get my desktop with a large image, but not a complete screen.

    Share
  56. AndreInCanada Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Any updates on this for the 2008 college football season? I've called ESPN twice to find out if Gameplan International will be available in Canada and I've been told, "We don't know" a bunch of times. It's almost August and I still have no way of watching more than one crappy game a week. HELP! Can someone figure out a proxy that can get around things so we can just watch ESPN360??????

    Share
  57. Well, I'm back for the 2008 season.

    If anyone has any Ideas please let me know. ATT doesn't appear to be a viable option anymore.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post