HomeSatellite HDDIRECTVSorry DirecTV subscribers, but no FIFA World Cup action via WatchESPN

Sorry DirecTV subscribers, but no FIFA World Cup action via WatchESPN [Updated]


DirecTV subscribers 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.”]

Jeff Chabot
Jeff Chabot
Jeff has a background in photography, video and television production. He writes about technology, broadcasting, home theater, and digital entertainment.


  1. UPDATE 3??? Why would you title and publish an article with totally false information and correct it as if it was an “UPDATE” when it was false from the get-go? If it wasn’t an intentional act it sure smells like one. You should check your facts before you publish.

    • Richard. The Cablevision mention was a mistake on our part. Authentication can be found under the brand ‘Optimum.’ The rest of the updates are simply as they occur to give our readers the latest information.

      • BTW, an alternative would be using Univision Deportes app which has DirecTV as one of the providers. It’ll be in Spanish BUT FUTBOL IS VERY ENJOYABLE TO WATCH IN SPANISH! The commentators always go HAM with the “GOOOOOOOOOOOAL” shouts.

  2. I clicked directly into the match and now I’m viewing the “Your event is about to begin page”. I hope this works. What a great move on ESPN’s part.

    EDIT- I erroneously clicked on the highlight reel. No dice for the game.


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