App Review: WatchESPN for Apple TV

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ESPN is the biggest sports network in all of America and airs sports programming such as NFL Monday Night Football, college football and basketball, and NBA games. One of the things that I have noticed about the network is that they do promote their WatchESPN app a lot. 

The way how it works is with your cable, satellite, or streaming service provider (Sling, PlayStation Vue, Direct TV Now, etc) you must provide the login credentials of your provider. If the provider does have an agreement with ESPN, then based off your TV plan, you can watch select ESPN channels.

I am a Sling TV customer so I have only had access to the app for a short time, but in that time I have found that the app has a purpose but unfortunately has many problems that in some cases almost make it useless.

A big issue is that when watching games, the stream is behind about 30-45 seconds. Now, that may not seem like much for some people, but for sports fans, every second counts. Literally.

When streaming ESPN channels from Sling, it is on time and accurate, which is just how WatchESPN should work but it doesn’t. That is going to turn users away from the app once they find out.

Another issue is that the UI is both good and bad. Yes, it is organized pretty well, but if I click on the ESPN channel in the app, it does not load. This could be an issue with my streaming provider or internet connection, but if this app essentially promotes people to stream content from them, you would think they would make it easier to do so.

At the end of the day, I’m giving the WatchESPN app 2/4 stars. Yes, this app has a lot to offer in regards to content, but the interface needs to be better and streams need to be on-time. If it’s the primary reason for the app, then it needs to not only be better but also beat the competition. And honestly, I expected a lot more from a company like ESPN.

David Becker
Author: David Becker

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