ESPN3 (formerly ESPN360 and is an online streaming service owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which operates the network, through its 80% controlling ownership interest) and the Hearst Communications (which holds the remaining 20% interest), that provides live streams and replays of global sports events to sports fans in the United States.

ESPN3 Logo
Owned byESPN Inc.
(The Walt Disney Company, 80%; Hearst Communications, 20%)
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
Formerly (2005–2010) (2010–2011)
Sister channel(s)
Streaming media
Sling TVInternet Protocol Television


The use of the name ESPN3 was discussed as early as 1996 for the channel that would eventually become known as ESPNews.[1] The website began in 2005 as, a mostly on-demand video website.[2] In September 2007, shifted away from on-demand content such as studio shows and shifted toward placing "emphasis on live events".[3][4] On April 4, 2010, re-launched as[5] On August 31, 2011, the network became simply known as ESPN3, and was incorporated into the WatchESPN platform, which also carries simulcasts of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, SEC Network and Longhorn Network.[6] The following year, most programming from ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU that aired during the evening hours, or from 12:00 p.m. local time onward on weekends, was removed from ESPN3; such programs are no longer available live on ESPN3 except for alternate camera angles and Spanish language dubs that do not air on ESPN Deportes. Most sporting events that air on the WatchESPN platform live, even if they originally aired on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, are available on-demand from ESPN3 after the event ends for a period of up to 30 days (exceptions as of 2016 include games from the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference, both of which require TV Everywhere logins through WatchESPN). In April 2017, the site was given an aesthetic upgrade to match the rest of ESPN's Internet offerings.

Beginning with the launch of subscription over-the-top content service ESPN+ in April 2018, a substantial number of programs that had previously been available on ESPN3 have been paywalled and now require an ESPN+ subscription (although, unlike ESPN3, ESPN+ is a separate service which does not require the user to be an ESPN subscriber).[7]


ESPN3 features live online sports viewing from a broad array of global events including: FIFA World Cup global qualifiers, X Games, North American Soccer League, DFB-Pokal and the Major Arena Soccer League, with an array of American football events such as high school football, NCAA college football, Arena Football League, NCAA college basketball (both men's and women's), NBA and WNBA basketball, Major League Baseball, Sugar Land Skeeters and NCAA baseball, Kontinental Hockey League and National Women's Hockey League ice hockey, three grand slam tennis events, one men's major golf championship, cricket, Major League Lacrosse and NCAA College lacrosse (as well as the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League, via TSN), competitive eating contests such as the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and National Buffalo Wing Festival; in 2011, ESPN3 was one of the few sources to view live American Le Mans Series races.[8] ESPN3 broadcasts are mostly events that do not air on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU; some are exclusive broadcasts, some are alternate camera angles of programming airing in simulcast on one of the linear networks, some are simulcasts from either ABC, foreign or regional sports networks, and some (especially in the case of arena football) are local radio broadcasts synchronized with the arena's internal Jumbotron feed.


In the United States, the network is available to individuals who receive their high-speed Internet connection or cable television subscription from an affiliated service provider. Since 2008, ESPN3 has also been available to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers with college/university (.edu) and U.S. military (.mil) IP addresses. ESPN3 is only available to Internet providers who pay fees to ESPN. ESPN3 is not carried by traditional cable and satellite providers, as it is not a single channel, but streams multiple live events at the same time; however, ESPN includes a listing for a linear "ESPN3" channel (which only includes one event at a time) in the television listings on its website. As part of the wide-ranging distribution agreement that DirecTV and The Walt Disney Company announced, ESPN3 was made available to DirecTV customers in early 2015.[9] In December 2016, ESPN started the nationwide rollout of the ESPN App on DirecTV set top boxes in five states, which allows customers to stream thousands of live events from ESPN3 on their DirecTV set top boxes.[10] The nationwide rollout was completed in February 2017.[11]

On November 1, 2010, ESPN3 launched on Xbox Live. This service allows Xbox Live members to access live sporting events on ESPN3, among other offerings, at no additional cost. At launch, Xbox Live Gold membership was required to access the ESPN app; however, with the June 2014 update to Xbox Live, Gold membership is no longer required to access ESPN on Xbox 360 or Xbox One.[12] Dish Network added ESPN3 in April 2014.[13] In September 2016, ESPN3 was made available on over-the-top online video service Sling TV.[14]


Some internet service providers have complained to the FCC that ESPN3 (along with other services that use the TV Everywhere system) violates the principles of network neutrality.[15][16][17] ESPN3 bundles its content into the fees of the participating ISP, regardless of whether or not users partake in accessing its content. If a particular ISP does not pay subscription fees to ESPN, users of that ISP are not granted access to ESPN3. There is no way for individual users to overcome these access restrictions as ESPN3 does not provide subscription options for individual users or any other non-ISP entities, and because most ISPs operate in specific territories without competition, a subscriber cannot access ESPN3 unless a participating ISP actually operates in the area. ESPN's only recommended solution in such a situation is to have the consumer lobby an ISP that is available in their area to add ESPN3.

RCN[18] does not allow internet-only and basic cable subscribers to access ESPN3; only those who subscribe to a standard cable tier or higher (and thus access ESPN's linear networks) can use the service. Thus, in these cases the cost of the service is bundled into the cable bill and not the Internet bill.


  1. ^ Kent, Milton (May 14, 1996). "Viewers may soon have choice of 2 new all-sports channels". MediaWatch. Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  2. ^ Roberts, Daniel (January 22, 2014). "ESPN's secret web weapon: ESPN3". Fortune. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "ESPN Corporate Information". ESPN MediaZone. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  4. ^ "ESPN Changes Broadband Game Plan; Will Relaunch ESPN360 With Emphasis On Live Events". Paid Content. April 8, 2007.
  5. ^ Spangler, Todd (February 10, 2010). " to Become on April 4". Multichannel News. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  6. ^ Nagle, Dave (January 6, 2012). "ESPN, Inc.: 2011 in Review". ESPN Inc. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  7. ^ Theisen, Lauren. "ESPN's New $4.99-A-Month Service Is Taking Away Some Programming On ESPN3". Deadspin. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  8. ^ "American Le Mans Series partners with ESPN". Crain Communications, Inc. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "DIRECTV and The Walt Disney Company Sign Expansive Agreement" (Press release). DIRECTV.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Xbox Live Gold Changes Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  13. ^ Spangler, Todd (1 April 2014). "Dish launches ESPN, ABC and Disney internet-video services". Variety.
  14. ^ Lieneck, Allasyn (23 September 2016). "Sling TV Launches ESPN3, SEC Network Plus in channel guide". Sports Illustrated.
  15. ^ Eliot Van Buskirk (February 5, 2009). "ESPN to ISPs: Pay for Your Customers to Play Video". Wired.
  16. ^ Ryan Singel (June 12, 2009). "Cable ISPs See Net Neutrality Foul in ESPN Online-Video Charges". Wired.
  17. ^ Reinhardt Krause (August 24, 2010). "Will Disney's ESPN Turn The Internet Into A Giant Cable Network?". Archived from the original on January 26, 2012.
  18. ^ "RCN High Speed no longer supplying ESPN3? - RCN - DSLReports Forums". DSL Reports.

External links

2006–07 Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team

The 2006–07 Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team represented Indiana University in the 2006–07 college basketball season. Their head coach was Kelvin Sampson, in his first season with the Hoosiers. Sampson, formerly at Oklahoma was hired on March 29, 2006 to replace the recently resigned Mike Davis. The team played its home games at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, and was a member of the Big Ten Conference.

The Hoosiers finished the season with an overall record 21–11 and a conference record of 10–6, placing them 3rd in the Big Ten Conference. Indiana lost the only Big Ten Tournament game in which they played, an overtime loss to Illinois. As a 7-seed in the NCAA Tournament, Indiana beat 10-seed Gonzaga to advance to the second round. They would fall to 2-seed UCLA to end the season.

2010 Virginia Cavaliers football team

The 2010 Virginia Cavaliers football team represented the University of Virginia in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season as a member of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Cavaliers, led by first year head coach Mike London, played their home games at Scott Stadium and are members of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. They finished the season 4–8, 1–7 in ACC play.

2013 Calgary Stampeders season

The 2013 Calgary Stampeders season was the 56th season for the team in the Canadian Football League and their 79th overall. The Stampeders attempted to win their 7th Grey Cup championship, but fell in the West Final to the eventual champion Saskatchewan Roughriders.

2013 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2013 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament took place between Friday, March 8 and Monday, March 11 in Asheville, North Carolina, at the U.S. Cellular Center. The entire tournament was streamed on ESPN3, with the Southern Conference Championship Game televised by ESPN2. The champion received an automatic bid into the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

2014 Central Michigan Chippewas football team

The 2014 Central Michigan Chippewas football team represented Central Michigan University in the 2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by fifth-year head coach Dan Enos and played their home games at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. They were members of the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 7–6, 5–3 in MAC play to finish in fourth place in the West Division. They were invited to the inaugural Bahamas Bowl where they lost to WKU.

On January 22, 2015, head coach Dan Enos resigned to take the offensive coordinator position at Arkansas. He finished at CMU with a record of 26–36.

2015 Eastern Michigan Eagles football team

The 2015 Eastern Michigan Eagles football team represented Eastern Michigan University in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by second-year head coach Chris Creighton. The Eagles played their home games at Rynearson Stadium and were members of the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. The team finished 1–11, 0–8 in MAC play to finish in last place in the West Division.

2015 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2015 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament took place Friday, March 6 through Monday, March 9 in Asheville, North Carolina, at the U.S. Cellular Center. The entire tournament was streamed on ESPN3, with the Southern Conference Championship Game televised by ESPN2. The champion, Wofford, received an automatic bid into the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

With the addition of East Tennessee State and Mercer, all 10 teams participated in the tournament.

2015 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2015 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament was held in New Orleans, Louisiana from March 12 to March 15 at Lakefront Arena. The tournament winner received an automatic bid into the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Opening round games were televised on ESPN3, with the championship game on ESPN2, on Sunday March 15.

2015 UMass Minutemen football team

The 2015 UMass Minutemen football team represented the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. This was their second year with head coach Mark Whipple. The Minutemen divided their home schedule between two stadiums. Three home games were played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts and the other three games were played on the UMass campus at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium. This season was UMass's fourth and last in the Mid-American Conference within the East Division. They finished the season 3–9, 2–6 in MAC play to finish in a three way tie for fifth place in the East Division.


ESPN (originally an initialism for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a U.S.-based pay television sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.

ESPN broadcasts primarily from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle, Charlotte, and Los Angeles. James Pitaro currently serves as chairman of ESPN, a position he has held since March 5, 2018 due to the resignation of John Skipper on December 18, 2017 (who succeeded George Bodenheimer as president in 2012). While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.

As of January 2016, ESPN is available to approximately 91,405,000 paid television households (78.527% of households with at least one television set) in the United States. Nielsen has reported a much lower number in 2017, below 90,000,000 subscribers, losing more than 10,000 a day. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Brazil, Latin America and the United Kingdom, and owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network (TSN) as well as its five sister networks in Canada.

In 2011, ESPN's history and rise was chronicled in Those Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little, Brown and Company.

ESPN Broadband

ESPN Broadband is a business unit of the ESPN company - itself a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. This unit focuses on providing sports content to users over a high speed internet connection. It is divided into five areas: ESPN Motion, ESPN3, ESPN Online Games, IpTV and ESPN PPV. By providing content online this service is able to allow users to watch sports games and sports related content such as ESPN documentaries and the SportsCenter TV show. This is one of the ways in which new media and broadband internet are beginning to compete with the Television industry in general, changing from a force fed consumption model of entertainment, to one that allows user generated play lists, interactivity, and custom content.

ESPN College Football

ESPN College Football is the branding used for broadcasts of NCAA Division I FBS college football across ESPN properties, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+, ABC, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNews and ESPN Radio. ESPN College Football debuted in 1982.

ESPN College Football consists of four to five games a week, with ESPN College Football Primetime, which airs at 7:30 on Thursdays. Saturday includes ESPN College Football Noon at 12:00 Saturday, a 3:30 or 4:30 game that is not shown on a weekly basis, and ESPN College Football Primetime on Saturday. A Sunday game, Sunday Showdown, was added for the first half of 2006 to make up for the loss of Sunday Night Football to NBC.

ESPN also produces ESPN College Football on ABC and ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC in separate broadcast packages.

The American, ACC, Big Ten, MAC, MWC (shared with CBS Sports Network), Pac-12, SEC, and Sun Belt. ESPN began televising games for the independent Brigham Young University in 2011. Through its online arm ESPN3 and the ESPN+ streaming service, ESPN carries a wide variety of other athletic conferences and games at lower divisions, spanning the full breadth of college football.

ESPN Deportes

ESPN Deportes (Spanish pronunciation: [i.espiˈen deˈpoɾtes], ESPN Sports) is an American Spanish-language pay television sports channel that is owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which owns a controlling 80% stake) and the Hearst Communications (which owns the remaining 20%). The network is aimed primarily at the Hispanic community in the United States. The channel broadcasts from studio facilities at ESPN's traditional bases of operations in Los Angeles, Coral Gables, Florida, and Bristol, Connecticut, along with their Mexican base in Mexico City.

ESPN Deportes is available on most pay-television providers including Comcast, Altice USA, AT&T U-verse, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Dish Network, and DirecTV. According to Nielsen, ESPN Deportes is available to at least 5.5 million Hispanic households in the United States through a programming package that includes the channel. Conversely, ESPN does not maintain second audio program audio feeds on any of their English-language channels in the United States (except for ABC's SAP Spanish coverage for the NBA Finals), allowing full exclusivity to ESPN Deportes for the Spanish rights to their properties.

ESPN Full Court

ESPN Full Court was an out-of-market sports package in the United States that carried college basketball games. The package consisted of about 150 games annually, from the season tipoff in November to the first two rounds of the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship in mid- to late-March. The suggested retail price was $109 for the entire season, $75 for a half-season (only available in late January), and $19.95 for a single day. The season package was renewable. Full-season packages were not available for the online version.

On August 28, 2015, the channel was replaced by ESPN College Extra and the package was much less promoted or available than it has been in the past with the drawing down of pay-per-view to select special events; all of Full Court's events are available through WatchESPN via various ESPN3 streams without cost through TV Everywhere authentication.

ESPN GamePlan

ESPN GamePlan was an out-of-market sports package offering college football games to viewers throughout the United States.

GamePlan began on Labor Day weekend, and continued through the first Saturday in December. It included all regional telecasts on ABC, as well as games from various syndicators like ESPN Plus, Raycom Sports and SportsWest, and some local stations like Allentown, Pennsylvania's WFMZ-TV which broadcast locally-produced college football games. Viewers could watch games from their cable or satellite provider or on the ESPN3 broadband Internet service.

Eventually, with carriage of ESPN3 moving from computers only to smartphones, tablets and digital media players allowing access without any additional fees, GamePlan became a superfluous package, with only the few providers who refused to offer ESPN3 or where ESPN3 access was limited (for instance, rural areas) really able to compel viewers to use the service.

On August 28, 2015, the package was discontinued, along with ESPN Full Court, to make way for ESPN College Extra, which will offer a select bundle of games that would previously have been broadcast by GamePlan and Full Court.


ESPN PPV is the banner for pay-per-view events that ESPN broadcasts, including the out-of-market sports packages ESPN GamePlan (College Football, 150 extra games per year) and ESPN Full Court (College Basketball, 30 extra games per week), which merged in to ESPN College Extra in 2015 and possible Top Rank PPV fights from 2019. The network was originally launched in 1999 as ESPN Extra [1] and was renamed ESPN PPV in 2001 [2].

Most ESPN PPV games are also available on select regional sports networks and local broadcast stations as part of the ESPN Plus package and ESPN3.

In 21 April 2019, ESPN PPV aired the boxing fight between the American Terence Crawford and British Amir Khan for the WBO Welterweight title.

Sports broadcasting contracts in the United States

This page refers to sports broadcasting contracts in the United States.


WatchESPN (formerly ESPN Networks) is an Internet television website and mobile application operated by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which operates the network, through its 80% controlling ownership interest) and the Hearst Communications (which holds the remaining 20% interest).

The service provides streaming simulcasts of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network, SEC Network, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater for select cable television subscribers in the United States; it is also the exclusive platform for broadcasts from ESPN3, which until 2011, had operated as a separate website with a similar functionality to WatchESPN. The service is only available to subscribers of participating cable, IPTV and satellite television providers, and is not offered as a standalone internet-only subscription service available to those who do not have a pay television subscription.

Since the launch of ESPN+ in 2018, ESPN has increasingly preferred paywalling new content acquisitions on the service instead of ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

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