ESPN3 (formerly ESPN360 and ESPN3.com) is an online streaming service provided by ESPN Inc. that delivers both live streams and replays of global sports events to sports fans in North America, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Middle East, New Zealand, and Europe (except Italy).
ESPN3 began in 2005 as ESPN360.com, as a mostly on-demand video website. In September 2007, ESPN360.com shifted away from on-demand content like studio shows and moved toward placing "emphasis on live events". On April 4, 2010 ESPN360.com re-launched as ESPN3.com. On August 31, 2011, the network became simply known as ESPN3. As part of the rebranding, ESPN3.com redirected to WatchESPN, formerly ESPN Networks, and alongside with simulcasts of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line, and ESPN Buzzer Beater. ESPN3 is now only accessible though the WatchESPN platform unlike ESPN Inc.'s other traditional cable/satellite channels.
Beginning in August 2012, ESPN began adding further restrictions to the ESPN3 service; programming that airs live on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU in evenings, or from noon local time onward on weekends, can no longer be seen live on ESPN3 without the expanded service from a WatchESPN affiliate.
ESPN3 features live online sports viewing from a broad array of global events including (but not limited to): FIFA World Cup events and global qualifiers, Bundesliga, Premier League, and other major international football leagues, DFB-Pokal, high school football, NCAA college football, Canadian Football League, NCAA college basketball (both men's and women's), NBA and WNBA basketball, MLB and NCAA baseball, Kontinental Hockey League ice hockey, all four "grand slam" tennis events, major golf championships, cricket, Major League and NCAA Lacrosse (as well as the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League, via TSN), and in 2011 ESPN3 has been one of the few sources to view live American Le Mans Series races. Many of the games are simulcast from ESPN and ESPN2, while others are exclusive U.S. broadcasts such as various NCAA College Football games. ESPN3 also features exclusive special features, such as additional coverage of non-TV courts at all four Tennis Grand Slams. In 2011 it was announced that ESPN3 acquired exclusive rights to the American Lemans series.
On November 1, 2010, ESPN3 launched on Xbox Live. This service allows Xbox Live Gold members to access live sporting events on ESPN3, among other offerings, at no additional cost.
Some ISPs have complained to the FCC that ESPN3 violates the principles of network neutrality. ESPN3 bundles its content into the fees of the participating ISP, regardless of whether or not users partake in accessing its content. If a particular ISP does not pay subscription fees to ESPN, users of that ISP are blocked from accessing ESPN3. There is no way for individual users to overcome these access restrictions as ESPN3 does not provide subscription options for individual users or any other non-ISP entities.
In the U.S., the network is available to individuals who receive their high-speed Internet connection or cable TV subscription from an affiliated service provider. Since 2008, ESPN3 has also been available to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers with college/university (.edu) and U.S. military (.mil) IP addresses. ESPN3 is only available to Internet providers who pay fees to ESPN. ESPN3 is not carried by traditional cable and satellite providers, as it is not a single channel but can be streaming multiple live events at the same time; however, ESPN includes a listing for a linear "ESPN3" channel (which only includes one event at a time) in its TV listings.
- ESPN3 on WatchESPN
- List of ESPN3 affiliated Internet Service Providers in the United States
- List of ESPN3 affiliated Video Service Providers in the United States
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