Cablevision Launches ESPN3

MSO Says WatchESPN and Disney TV Everywhere Services Coming Soon

Cablevision Systems is now making ESPN3 available to Optimum Online customers -- seven years after ESPN originally introduced the broadband-video website, previously called ESPN360 -- while the MSO said it will soon offer the full WatchESPN TV Everywhere service as well as those for three Disney networks.

The cable company is introducing the services under its expanded distribution agreement announced last month with Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

ESPN3, available to Cablevision’s broadband customers, provides a subset of the programming available via WatchESPN. ESPN3’s coverage includes thousands of live events and game replays year-round, including basketball, football, college basketball, soccer, baseball, tennis, golf and cricket.

With Cablevision’s launch, ESPN3 is now available in 79 million households nationwide, which is comparable to standalone cable TV networks, according to Justin Connolly, senior vice president of national accounts for Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

Cablevision did not have a timeline for when Optimum TV customers will have access to WatchESPN, Watch Disney Channel, WATCH DisneyXD and Watch DisneyJunior. “We are working hard to get [the services] out to customers ASAP,” Cablevision director of media relations Allison Watters wrote in an email.

To access ESPN3, Optimum Online customers visit on their computers. ESPN3 also is available on Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles to Optimum Online customers with an Xbox Live Gold membership ($60 per year). ESPN and Microsoft on Monday debuted an enhanced version of WatchESPN for the game system.

“ESPN3 is a great addition for customers to our Optimum Online offering. With our incredibly fast Internet speeds and ESPN3’s comprehensive sports coverage, we are connecting customers to the action,” Gemma Toner, Cablevision senior vice president of broadband product management, said in a statement.