E$PN Goes Premium
“American office workers can watch every play of the midday World Cup soccer games on their desktop computers — but only if they subscribe to the right Internet providers.
“In a strategy inspired by cable television, the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN sports network offers online broadcasts of the World Cup and other sporting events as premium Internet programming. Internet providers who want to offer the service, called ESPN360, must pay special fees for the right to carry it, in the same way that cable TV systems pay Disney to carry ESPN’s TV shows. So far, a handful of Internet providers, including Verizon Communications Inc., Adelphia Communications Corp., and Charter Communications Inc., have signed up for ESPN360, making it available to about 8 million US households.
“It’s a policy that could help Disney and other companies find new revenue streams for their entertainment offerings.”
Hiawatha Bray. ESPN Selling Premium Content to Net Providers. Boston.com. June 15, 2006.