In a world where television is still tightly controlled by the cable providers, the news that ESPN is considering a future in web-based TV is both positive and exciting. The Disney owned sports network has reportedly been holding 'preliminary talks' to take their entire offering online according to Bloomberg:
Talks with alternative TV providers are exploratory and any new platform would have to offer a package of channels comparable to what other operators provide, according to Chris LaPlaca, a spokesman for ESPN.
Talk of web-based TV immediately points us towards the Apple TV, of course. Currently, Apple TV owners in the U.S. have access to WatchESPN, but that requires authentication of a cable subscription. If this came to pass it would in effect be the cable subscription. ESPN declined to comment which providers they had been in talks with, so we can only hope that Apple was one of them.
There's a whole heap of red tape and financial hurdles to overcome before anything could ever happen, but ESPN is setting a fine example in exploring a future outside the cable world. So, the biggest question is; would you subscribe to a full ESPN offering through your Apple TV if it didn't require a cable subscription anymore?