Hey, Disney might let you WatchESPN on your Apple TV one day... if you can already get WatchESPN on your TV!
Walt Disney might possibly potentially think about considering putting their sports network's WatchESPN app on the Apple TV and letting us poor dumb users watch it, provided we authenticate with a right-and-proper... with a Pay TV account. Seriously. Bloomberg has the quote:
“We’re a platform-agnostic content company,” Bratches, the network’s executive vice president of affiliate and advertising sales, said today in an interview. “To the extent that in the future there’s an opportunity with Apple to authenticate through the pay-TV food chain as we’re doing with Microsoft, that’s something that we will participate in.”
Authenticate through the pay-TV food what-now?
Here's an idea. Just a crazy thought. You know, I'm totally spitballing here. HOW ABOUT JUST RELEASING THE APP AND LETTING CUSTOMERS SUBSCRIBE TO IT DIRECTLY.
Why make it be any more complicated than it has to be? Why make your users jump through hoops and keep them tied to legacy media delivery systems? The cable and other providers might be their customers now, but that won't be forever and the smarter, more future-thinking content providers, the ones who embrace the digital and mobile transition, are the ones that are going to benefit most.
Having to pay for cable to watch ESPN on your TV so you can authenticate to watch ESPN on your Apple TV is "food chain" that makes sense to precisely no one who's not entirely buried beneath what food becomes when it exists that chain.
Launching an app, subscribing, and watching where you want, when you want, on what you want is a simpler, cleaner, better experience.
That Disney of all companies doesn't understand that, and isn't embracing it, is sad. Though at least it does serve as a reminder that old media companies need to be replaced with new media companies that do understand it. And sooner rather than later.