ESPN update rebrands Apple TV app, adds more on-demand content
ESPN has rebranded its app for Apple TV, changing the name of the tvOS app from WatchESPN to ESPN, with the sports broadcaster also introducing new video content to the Apple set-top box, including more on-demand content for users to watch.
Rolling out today, the renamed ESPN app will now automatically play a live stream of one of ESPN's networks when launched, potentially saving users from needing to select a specific stream. The user interface has also been simplified for the Apple TV, with options to browse videos by Sports & Events as well as by channel, alongside other highlighted feature content.
ESPN is also increasing the amount of content available in its Video On Demand section, adding hundreds of hours of curated videos from 30 for 30, E:60, Outside the Lines, SC Featured, World Series of Poker, X Games, and other shows and events.
As part of the update ESPN is also premiering the We the Fans original series, following fans of the Chicago Bears during the 2016 season. The first four episode of the series will be available to stream exclusively through the app on April 9th, two days before the series starts being aired on television.
As with the previous WatchESPN app, users will need to be authenticated to watch ESPN's video content, verifying in the app that they are subscribed to a relevant package with a participating TV provider. In January, the Disney-owned sports network enabled Apple's single sign-on feature, simplifying the authentication process for many U.S. cable TV subscribers.
ESPN has been making a bigger push to make its content available online over the last year, following after Disney's $1 billion investment in video streaming company BAMTech. It is thought the firm will be used to help ESPN launch a streaming video service, one that would give sports fans the ability to see ESPN's content without having to subscribe to a cable package.