ESPN in talks with Apple about adding streaming sports to Apple TV
Disney-owned sports network ESPN is apparently thinking about adding its streaming app to the Apple TV. On a call today, executive Sean Bratches told Bloomberg and others that his network was in talks with Apple over an app similar to the WatchESPN one it already offers on the Xbox 360. Previously, Disney negotiated a broader deal with Comcast, allowing customers to stream ESPN and other channels through a website or iPad app. Bratches says, however, that an agreement with Apple may be a ways off, and the network seems to be looking at Apple as one of many potential partners, saying it was a "platform-agnostic" content producer. "To the extent that in the future there’s an opportunity with Apple to authenticate through the pay-TV food chain as we’re doing with Microsoft," Bratches says, "that’s something that we will participate in."
Apple TV already has some sports streaming "channels" — viewers can currently watch major league basketball, baseball, and hockey. ESPN, however, would add major events like US college football tournaments, as well as more niche sports.
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