as well as Cablevision customers, won’t be able to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup through WatchESPN enabled channels. Why? Because neither TV subscriber supports DirecTV doesn’t support the ESPN service. This means anyone with a Roku, Apple TV, or Fire TV streaming media player can’t authenticate the Watch ESPN channel app for those devices, or even view ESPN programming on the WatchESPN website. Licensing must also prevent DirecTV from streaming ESPN programming on the DirecTV website, because you can’t stream the World Cup matches online either.
In fact, the only way DirecTV subscribers can watch the World Cup matches is on their TV. Customers can, however, record matches on the DVR to watch later at home.
While most other cable and fiber-optic providers support WatchESPN access, including competing satellite company Dish, DirecTV has not yet made deals with ESPN. It’s a shame, too, because the FIFA World Cup is one time when live sports are scheduled during the weekday hours and most viewers are away from their home TV. And given the World Cup is every four years, it would have been a great time for the provider to offer the away-from-home access.
WatchESPN is available on popular streaming media players including Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon’s Fire TV. To watch the channel, users need to authenticate the app using their TV provider username and password.
[Update: It appears WatchESPN will be streaming today’s FIFA World Cup match on Roku without the need to authenticate through a provider. Hold on while we confirm.]
[Update 2: Confirmed. WatchESPN is streaming Brazil vs. Croatia on the app channel for Roku. Find the lives matches on ESPN3. However, the WatchESPN website is still asking for TV provider authentication.]
[Update 3: Cablevision customers with Optimum service can authenticate on the WatchESPN app. Look for the “Optimum” selection under “Choose Provider.”]