In this digital age, watching a television show you missed earlier in the week is simple. You can either DVR the show to record it during its original broadcast, or you can watch on-demand either through the TV or on your computer. As long as you avoid the spoilers on social media, you can afford the wait to watch the show at your own convenience.
Live sporting events, on the other hand, are something you traditionally haven’t been able to watch on delay. The chances of a coworker talking casually about the result of a game or a friend texting you about your favorite team losing are much higher than someone spoiling the ending of the previous night’s Criminal Minds episode. Even if you make it a few days without your peers discussing a result, the chances of an article or news alerts on your phone referencing the game will ultimately spoil the ending for you.
Enter the WatchESPN (formerly known as ESPN3). Any cable/satellite television subscriber with ESPN channels can go to the site or open the application and live-stream all the accessible channels.
Are you traveling without television access and want to watch the feature Wednesday NBA game? Open the WatchESPN app and stream it on your phone. Are you a college student stuck with a Monday evening class? Go to the WatchESPN website and watch Monday Night Football on your computer.
The streaming quality on the site is fantastic, something that most live video streaming sites struggle with. Users can adjust the picture quality based on bandwidth availability, but the stream is so strong that even slow bandwidths can keep a quality picture on screen. Closed-captioning is another added feature, and you can even access closed-captioning on a small phone.
WatchESPN (first called ESPN360) was the first of its kind when the website launched in 2005. In its first years of operation users did not have to login to access the content. As someone whose family did not have cable at this time, we loved this site because we could watch college football games on our computer that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. ESPN naturally ended this feature and required logging in through your cable provider, something the modern WatchESPN still requires, but its initial free access is what gained my attention to it a decade ago.
Yes, other sports channels now have streaming access through logging in with your television content provider, most notably Fox Sports Go and NBC Sports Live Extra. Yet WatchESPN has a feature that continues to distinguish itself from other networks. All college and non-NFL and NBA games shown on an ESPN network are available via replay for weeks on the site. If you aren’t willing to wake up at 6 a.m. to watch your favorite European soccer club’s match, you can sleep in and watch the replay spoiler-free on WatchESPN. If your alma mater won a major bowl game and you are hosting a party, you can show the replay of the game through the application.
Sports television will never have the same spoiler-free buffer that other television shows obtain, but WatchESPN has made it convenient for those on the go or those of us who like watching their favorite teams on delay to have the simple convenience of watching as if it were live.