By Stephen Schenck | May 9, 2011 8:06 PM
Are you a sports fan but sick of paying big bucks for streaming sports video on your smartphone? We just looked at MLB’s app, with a newly-reduced access fee that will still set you back fifty dollars. How are you supposed to keep up with your games without breaking the bank? If you’re a cable subscriber with the right provider, you may just be able to watch streaming ESPN for free on your Android smartphone, with the release of the WatchESPN app.
WatchESPN will let you view content from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU on a smartphone running Froyo or better, giving you a ton of live options for sports coverage. Apple iPhone users have been able to enjoy that luxury since last month; no word on future plans for Windows Phone 7 support.
Alas, this isn’t the best arrangement it could be, as the caveats are similar to those imposed by the recent HBO GO app. Being an ESPN subscriber isn’t enough; you need to get ESPN through one of the partner cable companies like Time Warner or Bright House in order to access the video feeds on your smartphone. While we’re sure it’s very lucrative for the content providers, it’s a piss-poor way to treat customers, who see TV stations as commodities, the same no matter which cable company they come through. We hope the situation changes, but for now, the lucky among you who chose the right cable can check out WatchESPN in the Android Market.