ESPN: No Talks for Apple TV Deal Yet
A marketing representative for ESPN has denied having any discussions with Apple yesterday about allowing its sports content to be redistributed through the Apple TV set-top-box.
Although there have not been any negotiations, ESPN exec Sean Bratches told
Bloomberg, "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, that’s something that we will participate in."
The Disney-owned sports network has already begun its move to distrubute content over digital channels. The WatchESPN app was launched in August of last year for the iPhone and iPad, allowing users from select cell network providers to watch live and on-demand sports programming from ESPN as well as ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. Microsoft partnered with ESPN last year to allow ESPN3 to be distributed over the Xbox 360, as long as users had an Xbox-Live Gold membership and verified cable subscription.
If ESPN and Apple were able to iron out an agreement, the move to Apple TV would be a welcomed addition to its other sports programming offerings, including subscription based content from the MLB, the NBA, and the NHL.