ESPN Changes Broadband Game Plan; Will Relaunch ESPN360 With Emphasis On Live Events

57 Comments

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.

57 Comments

Benjamin

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.

AndreInCanada

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??????

JERRY CURLJUICE

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.

SDP

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?!?!

Borja Herrera

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!

Zach

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.

SDP

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.

Drew D

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

lizzie

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.

Andrew M

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

Andrew M

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.

Phil

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…

Andrew M

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

Andrew M

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

Ryan

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.

Mandy

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.

Mandy

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!!!

WM

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?

Mandy

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.

Benjamin

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.

SW

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.

Mandy

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.

WM

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! :)

Mandy

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…..

Benjamin

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.

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