On Tuesday, a report from Bloomberg suggested that Apple Inc. (AAPL) and parent company of ESPN, Disney, were in talks to bring the popular WatchESPN app to the Apple TV. The report mentioned a statement from ESPN executive Sean Bratches that the deal wasn’t imminent and is currently being hashed out between the two companies.
If AAPL were given the go ahead to bring the app over to the Apple TV, subscribers of select cable networks or subscribers of ESPN would be able to stream live games through the app. The WatchESPN app is currently available in Apple’s App Store and can be streamed on the iPad and iPhone as well as on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console. Bratches, the executive interviewed by Bloomberg also cleared up the negotiations between Apple and ESPN and explained the benefits of such a deal.
We’re a platform-agnostic company. 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 we’ll participate in.
This wouldn’t be the first application pertaining to accessing live streaming sports on the Apple TV but would be one of the first major collaborations between the two companies. Currently, the Apple TV allows users to access NHL Gamecenter, MLB.tv and NBA League Pass.
If Apple strikes this deal with ESPN and brings the WatchESPN app over to the Apple TV, the company will likely be setting up for its rumored television set, which may incorporate an App Store of some sort, personal assistant Siri, as well as integrated features from the current Apple TV.