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ESPN App And Website To Begin Offering Access To Select RSNs [Updated]

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Update: An ESPN spokesperson provided the following clarification to Streaming Better after publication: ESPN is not integrating the RSN video feeds into its pages. The ESPN app and will link out to the RSNs apps/websites via score pages and placements across the platforms.

The ESPN app and website will soon offer access to select regional sports networks. According to a new report from Deadline, the rollout begins this week with subscribers to New England Sports Network (NESN) able to access their local RSN through the ESPN app and website.

Access to these RSNs won’t be available with a standard ESPN+ subscription. Likewise, it won’t be available to those with a live TV package that includes ESPN, or even those signed up to the upcoming standalone ESPN streaming service. Instead, sports fans will still need to pay for their local RSN, it is just that they will now be able to use the ESPN app and website to access the sports network.

Talks around this first surfaced last year when it was reported that ESPN was looking to establish itself as more of a streaming hub. The availability of RSNs within the existing ESPN interface appears to be a major step on the road to becoming that streaming hub.

According to the report, Washington, D.C.’s Monumental Sports Network is next in line to utilize ESPN as an additional delivery option, with that change expected to take place in May. Later in the year, it is also expected that access to SportsNet Pittsburgh will be offered through ESPN as well.

While those that already have access to their local RSN might not see much value in this change, it is designed to make things easier for sports fans that are unsure of where and how to stream their local RSNs. Instead of trying to figure that out, or worry about downloading additional apps, they can simply pay for their RSN and access it directly through the ESPN platform instead.

As this feature is in relation to regional sports, only those geolocated in an RSN’s territory will be able to access the respective sports network through ESPN.

John Finn


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