|Launched||2005specify] (as ESPN360.com)[|
|Owned by||ESPN Inc.
(The Walt Disney Company, 80%; Hearst Corporation, 20%)
|Formerly called||ESPN360.com (2005–2010)
ESPN3 (formerly ESPN360 and ESPN3.com) 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 Corporation (which holds the remaining 20% interest), that provides both live streams and replays of global sports events to sports fans in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Chile, the Middle East, New Zealand and Europe (except Italy).
ESPN3 was first planned as a television program in 1996. The website began in 2005 as ESPN360.com, a mostly on-demand video website. In September 2007, ESPN360.com shifted away from on-demand content such as studio shows and shifted toward placing "emphasis on live events". On April 4, 2010, ESPN360.com re-launched as ESPN3.com. 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 and ESPN Buzzer Beater. The following year, programming from ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU during the evening hours, or from 12:00 p.m. local time onward on weekends, can no longer be seen live on ESPN3 without access to WatchESPN.
||This article possibly contains original research. (October 2011)|
ESPN3 features live online sports viewing from a broad array of global events including (but not limited to): FIFA World Cup events and global qualifiers, Bundesliga, Premier League, and the DFB-Pokal, with an array of American football events such as high school football, NCAA college football, Arena Football League, Canadian 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 ice hockey, all four "grand slam" tennis events, major golf championships, cricket, Major League and NCAA 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. 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.
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.
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. 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 blocked from accessing 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 (this situation was partially mitigated when Dish Network, which is available nationwide, was added as a participating provider in 2014).
In order to discourage cord-cutting and accessing ESPN without paying, Time Warner Cable & RCN do 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.
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.
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- ESPN3 on WatchESPN
- List of ESPN3 affiliated Internet Service Providers in the United States
- List of ESPN3 affiliated Video Service Providers in the United States