Midcontinent Fires Up WatchESPN, With Disney Apps On Deck


Midcontinent Communications is now offering cable TV subscribers access to ESPN's live online and mobile TV Everywhere service, WatchESPN, and the midsize MSO expects to launch similar services for Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD later this fall.

Other operators that currently offer WatchESPN are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS. The sports programmer's WatchESPN app, launched in April 2011 initially for Apple iOS devices, has been downloaded more than 10.7 million times to date.

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Midcontinent has about 229,000 basic video customers in North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

WatchESPN, available for Apple iOS, Android devices and PCs, provides live events and associated coverage from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU. Additionally, the ESPN Goal Line whip-around channel for college football is available through WatchESPN when that channel is in season.

"As part of our efforts to continue to provide content our customers want, we're pleased to announce the launch of WatchESPN," Midcontinent director of programming Wynne Haakenstad said in a statement. "This will allow our customers to have easy access to their favorite sports programming from ESPN -- when and where they want it."

Later this fall, Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior will also be available to Midcontinent cable subscribers. Comcast currently offers access to the Disney TV Everywhere services.