After having lost millions of viewers over the past few years due to the practice of cord-cutting, ESPN and its parent company, Disney, are planning on offering consumers the chance to watch its programming online through streaming.
However, there’s one caveat to this information that potential viewers should make sure to remember. Instead of receiving all of the available programming on ESPN’s networks, the events that will be available are all from so-called niche sports. In other words, the programming for Major League Baseball, the National Football League and National Basketball Association won’t be included. In addition, only selected college sports will be available.
This particular practice is known as offering “skinny bundles,” in contrast to cable companies packaging all of the network’s channels together. There’s no information as to when ESPN will begin this and there are currently no plans to include any of the networks in the near future.
Last year, ESPN made the Cricket World Cup available by streaming, with no cable contract needed to access the contests. To watch all 49 of the matches, viewers were required to pay $99.99. There’s no indication of how successful the concept was, thought it was seen as something of a test run for this current plan.
The idea of cord-cutting was based on the fact that ESPN charges more money per subscriber to cable companies than any other network, an estimated $6.61 per month. As a result, the network has lost more than seven million viewers since September 2013.