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Update: DIRECTV Gets Watch ESPN

WatchESPN: Does DIRECTV Offer It?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (June 13, 2014) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I have DIRECTV and I want to watch all the World Cup games but I can't find WatchESPN anywhere. Does it carry it? - Grace, Miami, Florida.

Grace, as you may know, WatchESPN is a web site that simulcasts ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Desportes, ESPNews, ESPN Goal and ESPN Buzzer Beater. Yes, you can tune in all seven channels on one site using your laptop or mobile device (and your TV using such Net TV devices as Roku, Amazon Fire, XBox One and Chromecast.)

The online service is also the exclusive home of ESPN 3, which airs games not available on the cable TV channels. WatchESPN is an awesome site, one that any sports fan should check out.

During soccer's FIFA World Cup, which runs now until July 13, ESPN will air every match on WatchESPN. Many of the games will be on ESPN 3 so if you don't have WatchESPN, you're out of luck.

And DIRECTV subs are...out of luck.

WatchESPN is only available to subscribers of pay TV services that have signed licensing deals with ESPN -- and DIRECTV is not one of those services. The satcaster said earlier this year that it's negotiating a new carriage deal with Disney, the owner of ESPN and WatchESPN, but don't expect an agreement during the World Cup. (The companies' current agreement expires at the end of the year.)

So who does offer WatchESPN? Time Warner Cable does, as does Dish (which recently signed a new carriage deal with Disney), Bright House Networks, Verizon, Charter, Comcast and Midcontinent. FYI, subscribers of those services can access the WatchESPN site by signing in with their pay TV account numbers and passwords.

If you are a subscriber to one of those services, you'll find not only the simulcasts at the site, but an archive of recent games which can be viewed on demand.

For DIRECTV subscribers -- and subscribers of other pay TV services that do not offer WatchESPN -- take some comfort that you can still watch the live games on your regular ESPN channels, such as ESPN and ESPN 2. But if you enjoy watching sports online, WatchESPN is as good as it gets.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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