WatchESPN goes down during the Rose Bowl

WatchESPN, a service that allows cable subscribers to stream live sporting events on devices like Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, and iPhone and iPad, has been serving error messages instead of streaming live video on Thursday. The outage happened during the Rose Bowl, one of the most anticipated college football games of the year and the first of three college football playoff games streaming on WatchESPN.

Upset Oregon and Florida State fans aired their displeasure on Twitter.

Timothy Burke at Deadspin speculates that the issue has something to do with ESPN’s playlist, and that it’s not a content delivery network problem. This incident isn’t the first time WatchESPN has gone down under high strain.

[company]ESPN[/company] is aware of the issue and says it’s been “largely resolved on all platforms.” I can watch the stream in a browser, although I’m still having trouble connecting on Apple TV.

One thing is clear: If your team ends up making the championship, and you actually want to watch it, you might want to find a friend with cable.

New Disney deal gets DirecTV customers WatchESPN access

Disney and DirecTV announced a new multi-year carriage deal Tuesday that will for the first time give DirecTV customers the ability to watch live and on-demand content from ESPN’s WatchESPN service. Also included will be access to Disney’s other TV Everywhere apps (that’s how the industry calls TV apps that can only be accessed with a pay TV subscription), including Watch Disney and Watch ABC.

Part of the deal also brings new Disney networks to DirecTV, including Fusion, the channel that has gotten some notoriety in media circles for hiring folks away from online publications.

DirecTV will also be able to include a wide range of Disney content in its own TV app, and both companies agreed to “explore new opportunities with respect to potential over-the-top (OTT) offerings,” according to the official press release. The latter is interesting, because both Disney and DirecTV have started to think about ways to cater to consumers who don’t subscribe to pay TV.

DirecTV soft-launched its Yaveo streaming services for Spanish-language audiences earlier this week, and ESPN has been considering to launch a cricket service and other streaming services in the coming months. It’s possible that DirecTV could add Spanish-language Disney programming, like ESPN Desportes, to Yaveo at some point in the future, or both companies could cooperate other services.

Apple TV gets HBO Go and sports with WatchESPN

None of this makes Apple TV a viable cable replacement for those who want premium content and live sports because it still requires that pesky cable subscription. But Apple is slowly broadening its living room play to compete with Xbox and Roku.

ESPN: No talks yet about Apple TV authentication

As cable’s most powerful programming brand, you’d expect that ESPN would spend the day of its upfront presentation bolstering its still-very-lucrative linear TV model. But the Disney-owned sports media titan spent Tuesday hyping social media plans and shooting down rumors about Apple TV authentication.

WatchESPN goes live for Comcast Xfinifty subs

Five months after it was announced, Comcast’s Xfinity TV subs finally have access to a key part of the TV Everywhere promise — WatchESPN, the ESPN gateway to live streaming sports and news. It’s iOS only for now, but Android is “coming soon.”

Where to watch Wimbledon 2011 online

Wimbledon is always a favorite among tennis fans, and this year’s tournament will likely be no different. But how do you watch all of the action while matches are happening during the workday? Luckily, ESPN3 and NBC Sports are providing live streams of the tournament.

WatchESPN App Now iPad-Optimized

Less than two months after it first made live video streams of its cable channels available on mobile devices, the WatchESPN app is now optimized for iPad viewing. The release brings a bigger-screen resolution to sports fans that happen to be subscribers of select cable systems.