September 15, 2010

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ESPN3: We Have a Deal, But It’s Going to Take Time to Implement

Since about thirty seconds after we signed the deal with Disney/ESPN last week, we’ve been getting the question:

When can we expect to see ESPN3?

The other question we’ve been getting has been:

Do I have to be a video subscriber to get ESPN3, or is it available to RoadRunner-only customers?

Here’s the deal — Time Warner Cable is really, really excited to use the Internet to enhance the video packages that our customers buy from us. ESPN3 allows us to do just that. Because we see ESPN3 as an extension of our video product, we are making its available to all of our customers who subscribe to ESPN, instead of tying it to customers’ broadband subscriptions. ESPN360 will not be available to RoadRunner only customers.

We think it makes more sense to enhance the video products that our customers have already signed up for rather than to impose the service on every single one of our broadband customers, regardless of their interest. There are those among you who may say “well hang on, I pay for TV channels I don’t want. How is this different?”

AS of right now, we think that the television and the Internet business are different. While you may be able to stream video online, it’s still video. Even though we all pay for a lot of TV channels we don’t watch, the amount of TV channels available to a cable customer is finite — in Brooklyn, I get hundreds of channels. There are a hell of a lot more web sites that I don’t visit than there are TV channels I don’t watch. I can’t even imagine what would happen if you had to start paying for web sites you don’t use.

No matter what you might think, none of us want this to come true.

We do not currently have a concrete timeline for when ESPN3 will be available to our customers. Here’s why:

Time Warner Cable customers will have to authenticate to see ESPN3 — in other words, log into the site with a username and password much the same way that you’d use My Services or pay a bill. When you do this, computers on our backend infrastructure and on ESPN’s backend infrastructure perform a rapid, complicated handshake and after a few seconds you’re watching all the sports you can handle.

That last sentence was very easy for me to type and is very complicated to actually implement. Authenticated video on this scale is new for us, and it’s new for ESPN, too. It’s new for the entire MSO business. We’ve done some stuff like this with our TV Everywhere trials and also with the most recent winter Olympics. We learned a lot from both of those experiences, and we’re applying these lessons to this, too.

Both Time Warner Cable and ESPN have teams working as hard as humans can work in order to make this happen. Unfortunately, I don’t know how long it will take to make this happen. As many of you in the technology community know, things can work perfectly in a dev environment, work fine in beta, and then go completely pear-shaped in a live environment.

I know this is frustrating to anxious fans, but please keep in mind that an authenticated video offering of this size and scope is unprecedented in our industry. Once we figure out how to make this work for all of our customers, the linear feeds of ESPN 1, ESPN2, and ESPNU will also be available to our customers online — so there is that to look forward to.

We understand that there may be games slated to appear on that are of particular importance to certain geographic areas. Where that is the case we are working hard with ESPN to find an alternate way for our customers to see those games.

We hope you understand our position here. We’re working as hard as we can right now to bring you the content you want, but it’s going to take a little time to make it work right from an operations perspective. We’re sorry if this causes any inconvenience.


  1. Mark's reply

    I think I understand what you’re trying to say. But none of that takes the sting out of knowing that we pay a big portion of our cable bill for sports channels that no one in our household watches, just as your adding MORE sports channels now will not take the sting out of future rate increases.

  2. justin's reply

    Well make it snappy, TWC has been dragging their feet on getting this service for too long

  3. Steve's reply

    Wouldn’t it be way easier to just restrict to RoadRunner IP Addresses? Seems easy to me?

  4. Bob's reply

    Good to hear but a little discouraged from this part:

    “Because we see ESPN3 as an extension of our video product, we are making its available to all of our customers who subscribe to ESPN, instead of tying it to customers’ broadband subscriptions. ESPN360 will not be available to RoadRunner only customers.”

    …..In other words, we don’t want to let our internet-only customers have access because they will cancel their cable since sports is one of the few things people can’t easily access online without cable subscriptions.

  5. Joel Johndro's reply

    Sorry, I disagree (am I allowed to do that?) with your assessment that ESPN3 is an extension of your video product. It is no more an extension of your video product than Netflix, YouTube or Hulu.

  6. ktallon's reply

    Unreal, I have never had a problem accessing ESPN360 and now ESPN3 until I switched to Time Warner Cable. Now they finally strike a deal with to get ESPN3 and they are only going to offer it to the cable tv subscribers!? Comcast nor any of my other previous internet providers (all were cable broadband) required you to subscribe to their cable tv package. Just when you become excited to be a time warner customer after months of never having access to ESPN3, you get gut punched…Unfortunately Time Warner is the only broadband provider in my area…

  7. Brandon's reply

    I am hoping to watch the Geelong/Collingwood AFL game Friday morning at 5:30am (well, maybe the 2nd half) in Raleigh, but as of now, I can’t do that!

  8. Michael's reply

    What a joke. I bet it is simple single sign-on. It is not that difficult. If it is then that means that TW infrastructure is a joke but we all know that already. Other providers seem to have figured it out really quickly but it is going to take TW a long time to do? I bet that ESPN came to TW and said “here, we support this protocol for single sign on. This is how you can connect to us”. And TW said “Uhhh, whats that?” Probably the same guys who wrote the navigator software for the boxes.

    Also pretty crappy that you aren’t offering it to just your RR customers. I don’t see this as a customer friendly option but instead a way to stop the bleed of people dropping TW for direct tv and just keeping RR for internet access. This won’t stop people from dropping TW and going to UVerse though.

  9. Reid's reply

    I was thrilled to hear about the deal including ESPN3.

    Whatever solution is used for authentication, please ensure it works well for devices other than web browsers.

    For example, Microsoft’s XBox360 is rolling out an update in collaboration with ESPN where ESPN3 content may be viewed using the console.

    Thanks for your time!

  10. bob's reply

    Absolutely ridiculous that they are only offering it to people that have their cable service. Its no wonder that people are leaving their television service in droves out of spite for directtv and dish!

  11. brian p's reply

    You may know that ESPN and microsoft have made a deal to make espn 3 available on xbox this fall. The fact you’re making the environment authenticated makes me believe that will be difficult to watch espn 3 through my xbox. Will there be the provisions to make it possible to watch espn3 through my xbox?

    This is a major reason why i stayed with time warner and did not switch to buckeye because espn 3 is available on buckeye easily without authentication.
    I am sure that there is some marketing prepared statement for this kind of situation but a straight answer would be appreciated

  12. charles brantley's reply

    not available to road runner only customers seriously that is ridiculous I pay time warner a crap load for the internet and phone and I cant get espn 3 if this does turn out to be the case I will go somewhere else and then I will have espn3 I have stayed with time warner because Im happy with the service but now this shows that they dont seem to care about the whole reason people want espn 3 is to watch it on the computer and then you say the people paying the internet bill dont get it thats ridiculous

  13. John's reply

    Excellent. ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU Simulcasts are a nice plus. I’d imagine you guys may want to chat with Microsoft – since they’re integrating ESPN3 into the XBOX in November, I’d imagine that you guys just widened their market considerably.

  14. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    I used to watch a bit of footy when I lived in Australia myself. It’s one of those things that’s just NUTS live. Makes the NFL look like a bunch of padded pansies.

  15. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    To me, it makes perfect sense. Most other providers do offer ESPN3 access to all of their broadband customers, but they pass the cost along as part of the broadband bill to all customers. That’s great for sports fans, but people who aren’t sports fans already pay for ESPN as a part of their cable bill. It’s the most expensive channel. Enough is enough — the Internet is a different business and we really don’t want to get into charging people for web access they don’t want. We think that it’s reasonable that ESPN subs would be interested in ESPN3, and tie the access to the video product.

  16. Michael's reply

    Pardon my french, but Time Warner is the biggest piece of $h*t service. They are continually late to the game when it comes to programming. Their HD programming is awful. Their dvr system is even worse. They continue to promise things and state that “they are working as hard as they can.” Their customer service reps don’t know a thing about what is going on. If it wasn’t for my landlord and her not allowing satellite, I would make the switch to ANY other service even if it cost me two fold more. I hate time warner wiith a passion and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that time warner’s espn3 implentation take upwards to 3 or 4 months or even more to work. I hope I have made my self clear that I HATE TIME WARNER.

  17. Ron's reply

    “ESPN360 will not be available to RoadRunner only customers.”

    Jeff, TWC will be getting my cancellation tomorrow.

  18. Kevin's reply

    Goodby TWC, hope you enjoy losing customers over this. I’ll be one of them

  19. Joel's reply


    ESPN3 is web content. Stop referring to it as video, as if it was just another version of ESPN2. Is Hulu video content? Netflix? YouTube? NO! They are examples of web content, even though the web content they publish happens to be video.

    Your assertion that you are trying to save broadband customers extra cost falls flat when you consider that there are going to be cable TV customers that will never access ESPN3 but will still be billed for the service. Are customers that ONLY have cable TV service (ie, no RoadRunner) going to have their bills discounted because they don’t access ESPN3?

    I am in a situation that most people here probably aren’t in. I do not have another Internet provider in my area that provides ESPN3 (in fact, my choices are extremely limited in terms of Internet access in general) . Now, after watching the Time Warner/Disney “peeing for distance contest” unfold for the past few months and finally seeing ESPN3 become available to Time Warner customers, I am being told I won’t be able to access ESPN3.

    I am bitter about this decision. I do not see the logic. If anything, the service is web content, not cable content.

  20. Norm's reply

    Bad news, good news. I’m hating the delay since it comes during the college football season when my home team is out of state and thus rarely shown on any of the locally available cable stations. I love the plan to do ESPN1, 2 and U as streaming also. That’s a big adition for my service.
    So, good plan, please hurry!

  21. Bobby Brown's reply

    Wow, TWC must be smoking a crack pipe if they think they can pull a fast one on subscribers. ESPN3 is web content. TWC, please tell us the real reason that you are only giving access to those that pay for cable tv. I guess it’s time to get Verizon fios or Direct tv. TWC=Fail

  22. Kevin's reply

    I like the line “I can’t even imagine what would happen if you had to start paying for web sites you don’t use.”.

    So I’ll be getting a nice RoadRunner discount in the months ahead for the 99% of websites I don’t go to?

  23. Mike's reply

    What about the NFL Network !!! When ??? it has to be soon …Other companies provide it

  24. dread pirate roberts's reply

    So let me get this straight. IF you have cable TV and RR then you are OK’ed for ESPN3 correct? Simply having RR is not allowing access? Since it was a negoation with ESPN for ESPN services, and ESPN is a TV CHANNEL, and it also has a web based channel. it makes sense, you have to have TV service. The cost involved for the new ESPN contract and the new services are tied up in the TV CABLE side of the business and that is where the revune comes from, not the broadband service. No company in business, making a profit is going to give it away for free. No ONE. Makes sense? It’s like a bundle package from ESPN in the new contract. Seems to me if you only have RR, then you have TV service with someone else, so they are getting your bucks, not TWC hence the restriction to Cable users. You can hate TWC all you want. SWITCH providers!!!!!!! No ONE gets anything for free in this world, deal with it people.

  25. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @Michael….LOL french:
    Pardonnez mon français, mais le Temps Warner est le plus grand morceau de service de merde. Ils sont constamment en retard au jeu quand il vient à la programmation. Leur programmation de HD est affreuse. Leur système dvr est encore plus mauvais. Ils continuent à promettre des choses et déclarer que “ils travaillent aussi durement qu’ils peuvent.” Leur reps de service de client ne sait pas de chose de ce qui continue. Si ce n’était pas pour mon propriétaire et son satellite non permettant, je ferais le changement à AUTRE service même s’il m’a coûté deux pli plus. Je déteste le temps warner wiith une passion et je ne serais pas surpris de voir qu’espn3 de warner’s de temps implentation prennent en haut à 3 ou 4 mois ou même plus travailler. J’espère que j’ai rendu mon moi clair que je DÉTESTE LE TEMPS WARNER.

  26. Ryan's reply

    Am I correct in assuming that as long as I have ESPN on my home cable TV service, I’ll be able to log into ESPN3 regardless of my Internet connection (i.e. if I’m on the road or in a hotel)?

    That would actually makes a bit more sense than just typing it to all “Road Runner” connections.

  27. Shauntei's reply

    I am having Direct TV installed today. That should say it all………

    BTW : Time-Warner your Rep’s being pleasant , does not help the fact that they have no more information than the customer.
    my 2 cents

  28. A Fan's reply

    What I dont get is why this is so difficult for TimeWarner but Prarie Grove Telephone Company (for instance) managed to get it to their customers?

    You may see this as an extension of video, but your customers dont. Just make it available already.

    ESPN is pushing more and more games online. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU are less and less useful to fans. If fans cant get what they want, they’ll change providers .

  29. Chris's reply

    This is absolutely ridiculous. So basically you have to subscribe to Time Warner TV in order to get ESPN3. No other ISP in the nation requires someone to subscribe to television in order to get ESPN3. Why is Time Warner such a money grubbing low life thug of a company. I would switch to any other ISP if it offered comparable service in my area, but no one is available. Time Warner is running a virtual monopoly. I can’t wait till cable TV gets killed off by the likes of Hulu & Netflix. I will stomp on it’s grave!

  30. Chris Piazza's reply

    TWC’s claim of concern about saving roadrunner-only subscribers the “cost” of espn3 falls flat. Roadrunner already costs the same as other providers who currently DO provide espn3. Of course, there’s no way to choose Comcast over Time Warner, but it’s clear the real concern is keeping people subscribed to overpriced cable packages.

  31. Peter's reply

    Jeff, thanks for that update. Time Warner down here in North Carolina needs to work out a deal with ESPN to allow the East Carolina @ Virginia Tech football game (this Saturday) to air on a Time Warner Cable channel. It’s currently slated for an exclusive webcast. ESPN allowed Time Warner in New York State to air the Syracuse @ Akron football game a few weeks ago. That was supposed to be an exclusive also. Don’t see why the same can’t happen down in these parts.
    Thanks again for the update.

  32. keg's reply

    I find it hard to believe there is not a timeline to complete this project. I understand that TWC may not want to publish internal project timelines, but typically new services are given an estimated start date,(ie fall 2010, Winter 2010, 6 months, etc.)

  33. Jon's reply access being blocked for Roadrunner-only customers is a deal-breaker for me. I’ve been excited about this all month since the deal went through. Apparently the devil was in the details.

    Wouldn’t you know it, AT&T U-verse is offered in my area and they DO allow access to to their Internet-Only customers. What’s a guy to do…

  34. Jack's reply

    I also disagree about ESPN3, 360 being video based. I believe they are web-based, and should be a part of TWC-Road Runner subscriptions. Maybe part of the ESPN/TWC Deal might have been ESPN requesting them to package ESPN 3 as a video service. I think the cost per subscriber is 10 cents.

    There is some confusion as to exactly what the level of service will be. Isn’t ESPN included as a part of all standard cable subscriptions? Than I heard rumors that you will need to subscribe to the Optional Digital Sports Tier to get ESPN 3. Jeff, if you could clarify service levels needed for ESPN 3, that would be cool!

    There is a lot of new ESPN/Disney/ABC/On-Demand Content coming out with this new package. I think there is good value here with this deal.


  35. AJA's reply

    can’t you just create a temporary channel that allows you to select the games on tv….like in demand espn3? it would stream espn3 into the television in the reverse way slingbox works. that seems like a much easier short term solution than waiting for all these ‘connections’ to be beta tested, etc. Here’s something too. Manage expectations. When Apple launches something in the US, it’s usually available the NEXT DAY. You should have been working on this beforehand rather than showing up @ the 25th hour, coming up w/ these great ideas, only not to deliver. I mean you announce this a WEEK BEFORE FOOOTBALL. ARE U SERIOUS, AND U DONT HAVE THIS IN PLACE??

  36. AJA's reply

    PS (dread pirate roberts). Congrats on your ability to use Google Translate

  37. Unhappy Timewarner Customer's reply

    Timewarner is the most crooked company I have ever dealt with!!!!!!! No, MASN in an Orioles market and now this!!! I am so done with this company!!!!

  38. Jonathan Saltiel's reply

    For those of you mentioning Netflix – Just to remind you that you have to pay for that too! Paying for a web service is nothing new – I am just not sure why ESPN handles it the way it does. Maybe because it is easier for them. Either way they want to be paid – TWC is making sure only the people that want it are getting it and paying for it.

    Still – They could have opened it up until they finalized the solution instead of blocking it.

  39. chris's reply

    HURRRRY UPPP FFS how long has it been now it didnt take that long for you to pull the plug (half way through worldcup2010) now get all your network engineers etc….and put them to work lots of games to be watched other providers around my area ghetto ones have espn3 ffs lots of games to be watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. chad's reply

    Time to show you are serious TWC. What channel will you put the ECU v. VT game on this weekend???

    “We understand that there may be games slated to appear on that are of particular importance to certain geographic areas. Where that is the case we are working hard with ESPN to find an alternate way for our customers to see those games.”

  41. Joel's reply

    I just got this response from TWC customer support regarding access to ESPN3 for RoadRunner-only customers.

    “We are reporting many customers demanding on this website and we have already sent a feedback to our higher technical team and they are working on the deal with ESPN3 to get this website access to all Road Runner Time Warner Cable users at no cost.”

  42. Stuck with RR's reply

    I will go with the first broadband provider in my area the supports ESPN3. TWC is just using this to drive people to subscribe to their cable service, I pay a lot for RR and I am stuck for now. I would pay for ESPN3, but not for the cable tiers.

  43. John's reply

    This is actually great news– because of TWC’s greed (or just plain ineptitude?) I am going to save $20 on my internet bill AND get access to ESPN3! Verizon’s installing my new internet on Wednesday for $34.99 per month, compared to TWC’s ESPN3less $54.99 price tag. Plus, never have to deal with TWC and its antiquated, ever breaking equipment again. Thanks guys!!!

  44. Rog's reply

    I have Turbo Road Runner with a Dish Subscription to ESPN. I feel I should be able to get all the services thru my Turbo Road Runner account! I pay extar for this Turbo service & have been a subcriber for over 3 years so would be very unfair to me to not include this service to me because I don’t subscibe to ESPN on Time Warner. Please give me access to this or I will be looking for an alternate internet provider?

  45. Justin's reply

    It makes sense to require CPST video to access because we all know that ESPN is going to get a yearly increase in their agreement with TWC for the content so this protects Road Runner only customers from paying $3, $4, or $5 more per month in the future for… and my local cable co that had in New Mexico required basic video with Internet to access

  46. austin's reply

    i am a twc and a roadrunner customer.. i want my espn3!!!! why cant this be done by no? i’m with chad, i want to see the pirates vs va tech! oh, and p.s.- i live in a student apt complex, and time warner has a contract with them which does not allow us to even choose who we want to service our tv or internet.. twc IS crooked.

  47. Eric in Texas's reply

    You are only going to provide espn3 for TV+internet subscribers? Way to go, TWC. When I first heard you finally made a deal to provide epsn3, I was happy and ready to stay on as a TWC customer. Then I read this post and learned of the catch.

    Thank goodness AT&T Uverse has arrived in my neighborhood. They, unlike you greedy scrooges, provide espn3 to *ALL* high speed internet customers. They also offer higher speeds, I might add.

    Money is getting tighter in this economy, and I am seriously contemplating dropping cable, getting a sweet antenna to let me watch broadcast TV, and using Hulu and Netflix for anything else. I would hardly be the first, or last to do this. And it’s not that far off from dropping a land-line phone in favor of mobile-only service.

    Time Warner, I would advise you to learn from history, or pray that all your competitors follow in your smelly footsteps by cutting off their internet-only subscribers from espn3 access.

  48. jack's reply

    TWC is just afraid of losing all their $$$

    more and more people are going online to the network’s sites and to hulu to watch recent tv episodes or are getting an antennae like me so they can watch the broadcast stations for FREE. Then, they go online to Netflix or hulu or whatever other service they use (whether it be pay or free) and watch the shows they want for significantly less than paying for even the most basic of twc cable packages. TWC is simply a company afraid of “cord-cutting”, or people cutting their cable packages to watch online streaming content only.

  49. Mike's reply

    Still waiting of TWC. Just like for a service call at my house (for example, when lightning knocked out my phone and cable… they showed up over a week later). That’s only one example; there are many others. TWC has the most abysmal service record of any “utility” company known to man. They just don’t give a flip about their customers. I’m ready to move.

  50. Charles's reply

    So, basically, the only reason this is taking so long is because Time Warner decided to screw over the internet only customers. It would be easy for ESPN to recognize which ISP the connection was coming from, but since we will have to log in every time, they are having to create new systems. A friend of mine was an internet only customer, and has now switched to U-Verse for internet when he found out that would not be available to him.

  51. James's reply

    I already dumped your crap cable service and switched to Directv long ago..and much to my excitement the difference in price was not nearly what i thought it was going to be…and Directv is AWESOME.

    But you know what, i decided to keep your internet. Mostly because i was trying to save a buck, i’ll be honest. But also because i really haven’t had any issues with TWC internet. Your internet has always been good to me.

    But along came this sack of crap. I don’t care if i have to pay 300x the amount of money for the other guy. I’M NOT GIVING TWC ANOTHER F’ING CENT.

  52. David's reply

    I can’t believe I waited patiently for Time Warner to finally sign an agreement with ESPN, only to see that I won’t be able to watch it as a broadband-only subscriber. This is the last straw. I’m canceling my service this weekend.

  53. Tony's reply

    I’m a little confused as to why you don’t allow BHN and TWC customers who pay for internet service from either company to access ESPN3 as the other ISPs who are contracted with ESPN3 do to bridge the gap until you have the authentication system all figured out…

  54. Dean's reply

    I appreciate the fact that TimeWarner is working to get us ESPN3, but I don’t like that you are trying to get us to believe it’s this brand new complicated task when every other major cable carrier in America has offered ESPN3 for years now.

    In the mean time I’ll continue using my parent’s Comcast log-in to access ESPN3 😉

  55. KED's reply

    This is absurd; this is taking almost as long as to upgrade the horrible Mystro (sic) crapware on the DVRs to something usable (like Passport was).

    IS THERE NO PROJECT MANAGER assigned to the project?
    IS THERE NO TIMELINE for activation??

  56. Albert's reply

    Why not just turn it on for everyone until you have the restriction in place? Sounds like a good PR move…

  57. Barnabas Newlin's reply

    I am so sick of the limited options online with Road runner. (I do not subscribe to the cable, olny the internet) Fortunately for me I can switch toAT&T DSL and get access to the ESPN 3 package for a speed that is not noticebly slower. So long!

  58. Matt's reply

    Congrats Time Warner on shipping my business to AT&T Uverse. Where they provide ESPN3 content RIGHT NOW for Internet only. None of your waiting, none of your BS.

  59. Keith's reply

    I moved out of a Time Warner town into a Comcast town and I couldn’t happier.

    I can watch NFL Network and ESPN3

    Have fun dealing with Time Warner

    P.S. don’t complain about them taking their “Time”, it is in the name.

  60. Michael's reply

    Many of us are stuck, Time Warner. Some of us live in Manhattan with no ability to switch to Dish and no access to Verizon FIOS (yet!). Some of us live in areas of the country with just one high-speed ISP. And while some of us have found work-arounds (usernames/passwords from people with good ISPs), there are still others of us who just have to miss the games that we want to see.

    That’s a dark cloud, Time Warner.

    But there’s a silver lining.

    We won’t be stuck forever. And while you may have us at your mercy today, you won’t someday. We’ll make the easy call to switch to something, anything else, and your PSUs will continue their steady decline.

    The next apartment I move into will be in a FIOS or Dish-ready building. I imagine that many others are thinking the exact same thing. Enjoy delaying your rollout of ESPN3 so that you can screw your internet-only customers (and in so doing screw your cable customers who have to suffer through the unnecessary delay). I’ll enjoy screwing Time Warner just as much, as soon as another option makes itself available.

  61. John's reply

    Just tell everyone what the date you are working on for the channel to become available. Shouldn’t be hard or are all the PR people that you employ doing something else.

  62. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @AJA, well….he did say pardon my french, which I haven’t heard since my father passed away! he would say that, and unload a barrage of F words! Hahahaha

  63. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @Austin….does TWC OWN your Apartment complex?? How is TWC crooked, if the managment of the complex signs a contract?? You said you were a student right? Maybe hit the books a little harder than the strip bars and booz son! What’s next….a monoploy????

  64. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @Rog….if you don’t subscribe to TWC CABLE service, we, the cable customers are paying your fair share of access to ESPN3. RR customers do not share in the cost. Turbo gives toy faster service and down loads and has nothing to do with the CABLE TV side of it. So based on that, it would NOT be fair for you to have what we pay for. Get cable service or NOT, maybe Clear is available in your area?

  65. Colin's reply

    Good Bye…Time Warner Cable! Hello AT&T… I can’t believe you actually expect people to eat up this garbage response about only allowing ESPN3 access to cable tv subscribers.

    ESPN3 is on the internet, not cable tv. How are you going to allow access to ESPN3 to cable tv customers who don’t pay for your broadband service? Yes ESPN3 is a “video application” but it doesn’t run on your “video service” aka cable tv.

    Don’t patronize us with lame excuses…you only have your interest in mind! Trying to buck the trend of cable tv subscribers dropping their tv packages and holding onto broadband internet to meet their entertainment/television needs.

  66. Trent's reply

    Bye Bye TWC. At&t is cheaper and they don’t BS people. Someone high up in TWC needs to get fired for this lame stunt you guys are pulling.

  67. drax's reply

    Dear TWC, yet again you move content to digital cable forcing viewers to “rent” your overpriced equipment. Once again you move content to overpriced tiers, and I’ve got money that says there is another rate increase in our near future regardless of what we subscribe to. Someday I’ll have an alternative for high speed internet, and you will be history. Come on FIOS, it can’t get here fast enough. I couldn’t give a crap about ESPN 3, and I don’t want to have to watch content that I pay for in my cable bill on the PC.

    Get tough or rollover is a joke. No matter which one you’ve purported yourself to have done we get a rate increase.

  68. Jack's reply

    What I am interested in knowing are the specific processes that need to be done by TWC to get ESPN 3 to its subs? If a deal has been reached, what specifics need to take place to go to the computer and get it? What else does TWC need to do?


  69. Andy's reply

    RT @Dean – I appreciate the fact that TimeWarner is working to get us ESPN3, but I don’t like that you are trying to get us to believe it’s this brand new complicated task when every other major cable carrier in America has offered ESPN3 for years now.

  70. zos throwin's reply

    The only reason a lot of us stick with TW is the availability of so many SU basketball games on Ch13. That’s it. And to call their offices and tfy to get information is a TOTAL waste of time. Very disappointed in so many ways. When will NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice be available?

  71. Upset Customer's reply

    TWC what are you going to about customers who have Xbox Live and want to use ESPN?

    I am currently beta testing ESPN on Xbox Live and there is not a login feature for me to authenticate and use ESPN3

    Seeing that I have no other choice for internet in my area, I am at your mercy and I find it very silly that your whole reason for authentication is to block paying internet only customers

  72. This Sucks's reply

    I’m an internet/over the air broadcast entertainment user. I will never sign back up for cable just because Time Warner is screwing the crap out of people who pay for their internet service. The only thing they are accomplishing from taking this position is forcing my hand to change over to DSL. I like cable internet, however if my ISP is not allowing me to do what other ISPs will, then what option do I have. If i had cable TV, I most likely wouldn’t need ESPN3. I was so excited about this deal going through, after canceling TV would have never imaged Time Warner would keep finding ways to screw me.

  73. Angel's reply

    I prefer the method tw is going with rather than what the other ISP are doing just watch in the long run their services will increase for having such a stupid model. What TW is essential for net neutrality

  74. Sam's reply

    Why can’t ESPN3 be offered as a separate item for Internet-only customers? TWC already offers extra channels for cable customers as part of sports or premium movie packages. Why not charge those people who only have Roadrunner accounts an extra, say, $5 a month for access to ESPN3 as an addition instead of asking all customers to pay?

  75. Orin's reply

    Yep, I agree with Colin. I’m getting on the phone right now to arrange a DSL bundle. I plan on ending my seven-plus year relationship with Time Warner Cable just as soon as my DSL is up and running.

    Broadband companies that charge roughly half of TWC’s access fees are providing ESPN3 to all users as a matter of course. TWC isn’t. In today’s competitive market that’s just not realistic.

    I had been planning to drop my landline in favor of bundling Roadrunner with TWC Digital phone. Instead, I’ll be getting a DSL + telephone bundle from my local carrier. So, as a result of their shortsighted ESPN3 decision, TWC is losing my business in two spaces. I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

  76. SeaBass's reply

    BTW, the “new complicated task” is implementing a way to block a segment of their customers from ESPN3. Every other provider that negotiated a deal with ABC/Disney is not attempting to block of subset of their internet customers so they can’t turn on ESPN3 until they have a implementation that will block their internet only customers.

  77. eleanor's reply

    You think you are giving us something, but I’ll visit friends who already get this service. Every time you add something for others who pay, I end of paying for the service one way or other anyway. There is no use in switching as cable and other services are always competing and one is as good or bad as the other. Non of your services are perfect and as it is I believe Verizon and Time Warner compete with mixing of the lines for installations to make neither of your services work properly.

  78. sports fans everywhere's reply

    “keep in mind that an authenticated video offering of this size and scope is unprecedented in our industry.”

    How can you say this when hundreds of other cable companies, (some of them big companies like Verizon) have had espn3 for years? it’s taking time warner way too long to catch up with the rest of the industry.

  79. Jack's reply

    While I have been for the most part happy with TWC service, and have had TWC for over 20 years, I think that by making ESPN 3 available only to cable subs, you TWC, are doing something that the competition is not doing. The competition is making ESPN 3 Internet-based only, as it should be intended. Requiring cable TV for an on-line based network, I am sorry to say, is a stupid move.

    I have agreed with many of TWC’s other business models and practices for many years, but requiring cable TV to get Internet ESPN 3 is not one of them.

    Customers who are canceling TWC. Make sure you tell them that forcing ESPN 3 to require cable TV access on TWC is the reason why. TWC, you should change this to allow ESPN3 to all Road Runner subscribers regardless of whether or not they subscribe to your cable TV offerings. There is still time to implement this change.


  80. John's reply

    The only problem with this response is that I subscribe to both TWC and Road Runner and STILL can’t get ESPN3 yet. My email to customer service is yet to be answered.

  81. AT&T and Verizon have provided's reply

    How do I get a lone and fund AT&T to come into my area so I can get rid of TW. I had an apartment with AT&T service with no complaints. Bought a house with only TW access. Can get Verizon phone but not DSL. What a shame. I will continue to promote all other companies vs. TW. You are definitely unprecedented in how you work very hard to make us pay for everything you promise to be better. Just like J. Caesar, you’ll meet your end some day!

  82. chris s's reply

    What if you only get TW’s most basic cable package, channels 2-13 and high speed Internet?
    So since I don’t get ESPN, I can’t access ESPN3 even though I already have Road Runner and a basic cable TV package?
    That’s BS TW.
    I may be switching to Verizon Fios yet/

  83. Joseph's reply

    From the website:
    How to Get Access to is available at no charge to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection from an affiliated internet service provider. is also available to fans that access the internet from U.S. college campuses and U.S. military bases.

    Your current computer network falls outside of these categories. Here’s how you can get access to

    Please select your internet service provider from the list. If you can’t find yours, select “Not Found” at the bottom.


    1) Apparently there will be a charge since it will only be available to Sport Tier subscribers

    2) Their site contains no wording about a cable provider, only Internet Service Provider.

  84. Andrew's reply

    Over 3 weeks since the “deal” and still not even a rough date of availability? Wish I could work for a company that blurts stuff out to its customers without any milestones/deadlines or any sort of accountability.

  85. Tim's reply

    Here’s the deal… Just moved from Arizona to California. I dont subscribe to cable TV for cost reasons… In AZ, I did the same. Unlike TW… Comcast was $10 less a month, faster, and included ESPN3 to internet only subscribers… Makes sense to me that you would include the Internet part of your ESPN deal to your Internet users. OI! I hope Clearwire gets to SoCal sometime soon!!!

  86. brian p's reply

    This whole move makes me think you are trying to prevent something that you can’t control. I’m sure is scares the crap out of all cable companies that streaming internet video is climbin drastically in its usage. With new technologies making it easier to access streaming video on your home television i can see why time warner used this method.
    although it might make sense to them at this point it is not going to stop the trend of moving to streaming internet over a cable company. I see this as an unfortunate business decision for the customers. Simply a financial preventitive band aid for time warner trying their best to prevnt the inevitable

  87. A Person Not Believeing TWC's B.S.'s reply

    “While you may be able to stream video online, it’s still video.” Yes, TWC, but it is video ONLINE! What are you going to do next, start claiming that You Tube is one of your “enhanced video products for your cable customers?” “We think it makes more sense to enhance the video products that our customers have already signed up for.” Translation, our company is getting crushed by its competition, our cable service sucks, so we need to do anything we can to convince people to get our crappy bundle packages because all people really want is our road runner internet. This is truly one of the dumbest business decisions ever made. I am going to take the cancellation penalty and switch over to FIOS as soon as possible. Somehow they figured out how to give their customers what is fair without making some pathetic b.s. excuse as to why they are being greedy.

  88. Johnny's reply

    You should take down this blog entry. It’s nothing but insulting to an already frustrated consumer base. We get it, you’re trying to implement the service in a different way than it is currently offered via other broadband providers. But your excuse for why it’s not yet ready is that you demand more control than every other provider so you can continue to maximize profits at the detriment of the users.

    You guys really thought people would be receptive to this? It just goes to show how completely out of touch this company is and has been for a long time with its customers.

  89. Keith Trimble's reply

    I buy your cable service & roadrunner. There is no excuse for me not to be able to use it NOW. You will probably figure it out by the time college football season is over.

  90. Steve White's reply

    I understand that authentication can be complicated, but I find it extremely hard to believe that you can not at least estimate a time when it will be available. In my business I have to estimate fixes all the time even though we don’t always know when it will actually be fixed, and we end up working around the clock sometimes to get things fixed, and other times we are ahead of schedule. Not giving any indication whatsoever, unacceptable!!! Most of your customers are intelligent enough to know sometimes things go wrong, but at least an estimate!!!! I don’t want to have to wait a year to get this, in fact I won’t wait that long.

  91. Dan's reply

    This is it, I’m done. $60 per month for Internet access and now online products are somehow not part of the Broadband package.

    This marketing spin is pure BS:
    “Because we see ESPN3 as an extension of our video product, we are making its available to all of our customers who subscribe to ESPN, ”

    Also I’m sure the ‘complicated process’ of installing this authentication is in fact due to the fact that Time Warner is tying this to the VIDEO product. Otherwise it’s just an IP verification and you’re logged in and watching (just like the 10,000 other providers who are using

    As bad as I hate the phone company and as solid as my TIme Warner home connection has been I’m canceling on principal.

  92. Pissed's reply

    Really? I mean your ISP sucks already. Now you are bending everyone over and expected to give us a big rim job….BS Story about Video this and that and whatever. I am going to switch to Direct TV and go with ATT 4G for my ISP. Bye idiots.

  93. Frustrated's reply

    I have to disagree 100% with your philosophy. Disney delivers ESPN3 via the internet for a reason. It is a web product, not a cable television product. The fact that Time Warner/Roadrunner refuses to acknowledge this is ridiculous. This is the exact reason I have DirecTV and will get a real internet provider the second I move or the exclusivity agreement at my complex expires.

  94. Frustrated's reply

    “How can you say this when hundreds of other cable companies, (some of them big companies like Verizon) have had espn3 for years? it’s taking time warner way too long to catch up with the rest of the industry.”

    It is taking so long because they have to authenticate you subscribe to ESPN TV. Verizon and all the others just give ESPN3 to all their internet customers as they and TWC should.

  95. David's reply

    I agree mostly with KED. Why is the firmware on the DVR so bad? I was going to take the box back, but found out that everyone I know with a TWC DVR has the same issue. I have to reboot every three or four days because of bugs and the double flicker every time I change a channel is very poor. I have to use the favorite channel function and scroll through the menu instead of flipping through channels because it would take all night with the lag.

    Horrible interface = disappointment every time I sit down to watch TV.

    TWC is cheap, though. I would switch if I could stand to pay $30 more for crappy service from someone else and get less decent channels.

    Obviously, this message is LIP SERVICE for those waiting inexcusably long for ESPN3, but I actually feel I should congratulate Mr. Simmerman for providing this lip service because at least we now know that they know how much they suck. I would love to read through the mountain of emails they have received. Why doesn’t Wikileaks publish those?

  96. NC Sportsfan's reply

    This is a rather lame excuse for the length of time to get access to ESPN3. Rather than making ESPN3 available to ESPN subscribers and requiring people to authenticate, it’d be a lot easier to implement ESPN3 as a full access application for everyone using Time Warner as their ISP like pretty much every other ISP/cable company in the world. This is a lame attempt to try to get people who use TWC for internet but use a satellite service for TV to switch. The day Fios comes to my town, I will no longer be a TWC customer.

  97. Tom Tone's reply

    I’m pretty sure the real reason TimeWarner is not allowing viewers access to is that channels 1950-1955 are the ESPN sports package channel and cost over $100 to purchase for college football season. Many people have probably already purchased this package, and TWC/ESPN want to keep the money. Therefore, will not be available until near the end (or after) college football season.

  98. Glenn's reply

    Time Warner is trying to spin the ESPN3 to their advantage by tying digital television to it thinking they will increase customer base to digital cable and internet service. In this respect what turned out to be about keeping the cable bill lower actually increases cable bills.

    What TWC cannot figure out at this point is how to filter the customers that do not have digital cable . The other ISP’s in my area do not offer television services so it is not their concern whether or not you have the ESPN TV services. They provide ESPN 3 regardless. Whether TWC’s thought process works or not is dependent on the customer. If we do not like the way Time Warner operates we should go somewhere else for the service. This is a risk that TWC is willing to accept based on the fact that ESPN 3 is not readily available. Our only option as a customer is to fulfill our contracts to TWC and drop them like a hot potato.

    As to the statements made above by TWC there is no reason I should need to validate that I am a digital cable subscriber. On other ISP sites I only need to click what I would like to see. It should be that simple with TWC also. Also, I am not frustrated, only more determined to change ISP’s when my contract is over.

  99. DoctorDave's reply

    I’m sorry, but it is ESPN that is doing the lying in this case. ESPN provides the Internet access to ESPN3, and if TW has an agreement with them, access should be open now. Thus, it is ESPN that should be explaining why access is not there. For years, they have been telling TW subscribers why they could not view ESPN3, so what is their reason now?

  100. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @ David

    The “double flicker” is in the settings. The box is using an auto detect of whatever the provider is sending, 780.1080I and changes the TV to the best setting. You can set it to be specific to any ratio, but not all providers use the same. CBS 1080I ESPN 780. FYI….

  101. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @ David

    Reading the rest of your post, It seems NO ONE provider could satisfy you. waaaa waaaa much???

  102. Joseph's reply

    “We do not currently have a concrete timeline for when ESPN3 will be available to our customers.”

    So what’s the best guess or even a soft date? Any date at all would be better than keeping it all quiet. I haven’t found a single bit of information anywhere about ESPN3 becoming available other than the original public release that the deal was done (almost 4 weeks ago now).

    This whole deal is like the small town mechanic. They can charge high rates and give crappy service because they know they are the only business for miles. Sure you could go to a neighboring town, but when you have no ride and no mechanic skills, you have to suck it up and take what is given.

  103. mjw149's reply

    This is terrible. You’re purposely spending a lot of money to keep your Roadrunner only customers from getting ESPN3? Good luck with the future of TV, guys. My Roku and I will be quite happy ignoring non-NFL sports for another year.

  104. Curtis's reply

    Well congratulations, you (finally) lost a customer in me. I’m in the Xbox preview program, and when I fired up the new ESPN application and read that most content wouldn’t be available because my ISP wouldn’t allow it, I immediately ordered U-verse.

    This (in addition to sketchy internet speeds) just kind of pushed me over the edge. I guess it’s been sheer laziness that I haven’t switched to U-verse since it became available in my area, but I guess my point is that something (seemingly small) like having ESPN3 support would have kept me as a customer.

  105. Shuki's reply

    I cannot believe TW. I pay for internet just like every other customer from every ISP. For some reason TW doesn’t believe that my forty dollars a month isn’t enough for ESPN3. What BS is that?

  106. DC's reply

    Count me as another lost RR customer!

    “We think it makes more sense to enhance the video products that our customers have already signed up for rather than to impose the service on every single one of our broadband customers, regardless of their interest.”

    Impose… are you kidding? Since when does having to actively search out a web site for content become an imposition. That was just insulting.

    I’ll be finding an ISP that caries ESPN3.

  107. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    It’s not “actively search out a website.” It’s “pay for the web content as a line item on your broadband bill.” Honestly, if you want ESPN3, go for it. But please keep in mind that this is an attempt to prevent customers from paying for web content they may not want — the TV business has evolved that way, but we don’t want to see the Internet go the same way.

  108. Bill Montgomery's reply

    The Cable TV business still doesn’t get the Internet. It’s not cable TV, and they will not have long term business success trying to treat it as such. I doubt many will miss Time Warner, Comcast, and the rest of their cohort when they are gone, in their present form, 10 years from now.

  109. Shauntei's reply

    @ Jeff Simmermon
    Out of all the valid comments that’s what you respond to!!!!! Lmao


  110. Hal's reply

    After receiving the “deal” email 4 weeks ago, I thought surely I could watch the game today. But low and behold, TWC disappoints yet again. I’m not sure how they will stay in business for the long haul. I am very close to going cable-free and just relying in the internet and local HD channels to quench my TV thirst. They aren’t even competitive price-wise, and still offer less HD content. Barf.

  111. Mosier42's reply

    @Jeff Simmermon

    Instead of adding the line item to the internet customers bill, they are adding it to the cable customers bill, many of which may not have internet and only a fraction might even use ESPN3.

    I agree, why charge cable customers for an internet service. If you’re going through the extensive verification process why not make it so customers can sign up or decline the service and be billed appropriately?

    I know the answer, because there’s not as much money in that.

  112. charles's reply

    all this is is an attempt to charge more for content other providers allow their subscribers for free much smaller cable companies are able to provide to their internet customers but not time warner and your snooty response to well if you want espn 3 go for it is the corporate attitude that does cause people to switch I have road runner and digital phone but thats not good enough to get the service. I dont think being forced to subscribe to cable is reasonable especially since your cable customer service is horrible I can go to another internet provider for the same out of pocket and get the espn3 without hassle or delay. You were forced to pay more for content so this is another way time warner pushes it on to the customers and then tries to justify their actions. When espn 3 is available and the broadband customers dont get it with no options then they will leave and you wont care because as much as you say you do you never do anything that shows that behavior

  113. MF's reply

    This is a low blow to all your Roadrunner users. It’s absolutely pathetic how you can justify not giving an internet based service to internet based subscriber’s.

    Looks like I’ll be switching to a lower standard of of internet speeds, who allow me to access ESPN3. I defended RR time and time again, and convinced the majority of my buddies to switch to ya’ll as it is a great service. But now with this, time to tell ’em all to switch (as they all wanted ESNP3) to a service that has ESPN3.

    This is a disgrace and a seemingly great company in my eyes, just lost my respect and any dignity you had as a company. I’m sure you’ll make boatload of cash this way and that’s all you care about. This move proves it.

  114. Rich's reply

    How hard is it to have TWC give ESPN3 the ip address of its Cable customers who have roadrunner so we can be authenticated when we go to the webpage??? Its been a month and its still not done?? Growing quite impatient here.

  115. Fedup's reply

    Sounds to me like the problem is that Time Warner does not want anyone watching ESPN 3 unless they are currently paying for ESPN. So, in the meantime, the many of us that are paying for ESPN have to wait and miss a lot of good games so that the very few people in this world who don’t pay for ESPN can’t watch it. I think this needs to be reevaluated. By the time TWC gets this worked out, football season will be over.

  116. Christian's reply


    By line item, are you saying that ESPN3 is an optional service to the customer’s whose ISP subscribe to ESPN3? Because I would be fine with that situation. Just like subscribing to the premium services of the NYT (although I would rather buy it direct from ESPN and cut out the middle man). Fortunately, I have both internet and cable from TWC, but if I was internet only, I would be VERY upset. Although I DO understand trying to make a stand for net neutrality. The cable structure is messed up enough, so there is something to be said for keeping it distinct from the internet.

  117. Justin's reply

    “But please keep in mind that this is an attempt to prevent customers from paying for web content they may not want ”

    No. I’m sorry, but it’s not. It’s an attempt to keep sports fan from cancelling their cable subscription and just watching sports on ESPN3, which is precisely what I was planning to do (after football season of course.)

    Oh well, as soon as I move to somewhere that will allow Direct TV I’ll be cancelling my subscription to both.

  118. Shuki's reply

    But Jeff,

    Explain to me why it is only an issue with TW that the cost might be “extravagant”. What other ISP has said that they cannot afford to either offer ESPN3, or that they need to raise prices. When I look at the list of ISPs that ESPN3 recognizes the list is extensive. In every business different items increase the cost of a given product, however, benefits are received by the consumer. This website is already one of the most trafficked and requested sites, why would this be a downside for TW consumers. Far more RR customers would be pleased than harmed.

    Microsoft has even justified the recent pay hike in XBOX-Live because additional beneficial services are being offered. Most noticeable one of these services is ESPN3.

    I can’t understand why TW believes it is better to anger consumers rather than give them some form of choice. If ESPN3 is going to be carried by TW, why not afford RR only customers the option of paying an additional two dollars a month to access ESPN3. it seems counterintuitive to have TW sign an agreement to carry a service but immediately turn around and tell TW’s paying customers “sorry, your money isn’t enough for the service even if the profits do benefit others who are deemed worthy.” What convoluted logic convinced TW managers that this was a proper strategy?

    One final question, why would TW choose to not offer a slightly increased pay package to RR customers, allowing them to purchase ESPN3 and increasing TW profit. Why would they choose to forego potential profit on a clearly positive NPV project and instead drive customers to their competitors.

    Merely stating that because one medium has evolved in such a way that change cannot be made is a couched statement made by a dying corporation. Successful evolution does not come from looking at history and fearing change. Successful evolution requires that new changes anticipate future problems and needs, not yesterdays solved struggles.


  119. Goodbye TWC's reply

    “It’s not “actively search out a website.” It’s “pay for the web content as a line item on your broadband bill.” Honestly, if you want ESPN3, go for it. But please keep in mind that this is an attempt to prevent customers from paying for web content they may not want — the TV business has evolved that way, but we don’t want to see the Internet go the same way.” – Jeff Simmermon

    The internet content would cost way less than what TWC is charging for it’s sports package. I keep seeing a lot of talk about how we should roll over or get tough but when it comes to saving us money from TWC that doesn’t seem to apply. You guys want us to support you so you don’t have to pay more to certain companies but when it comes to us paying more to your company it’s a totally different story. Try letting the people know exactly how much they would pay for this internet content compared to the TWC sports packages. This internet content costs less than a dollar per customer to TWC. I’m willing to bet TWC would charge us a lot more than that though. Stop making excuses as to why TWC doesn’t have what every other major ISP offers. It’s been a month now and we still don’t have what TWC told us they made an agreement to get us. Stop “rolling over” for TWC people and “get tough” on them.

  120. David 2's reply

    Thanks for the advice about the double flicker @Dread. I’ll try adjusting my settings.

    There are two Davids here. So I made only one rant the other day when I was very frustrated. For the record that’s only one waah. My team is sucking now, so not having ESPN3 isn’t driving me nuts and I can now be more level headed with my post.

    The point of my post was that I know that would not be perfectly happy with any provider given what I hear from my friends and what I have deciphered from their advertising. They are all flawed in some way and I did give TWC credit for their lower prices, which I said were notably cheaper. TWC offers lot of what I consider to be basic channels that other providers bundle into higher priced packages. Golf HD, for example and NickJr for the parents out there. If this were not the case I would leave and try to find a cable or satellite box that works as it should.

    I’m hoping that by crying about the quality of the firmware that someone at TWC would take note because their reps just offer to swap with other DVRs. I have done this before, loosing several recordings that my daughters really liked and it did not correct the problem. They just say reboot the device.

    It recently occurred to me to reboot each night before going to bed to avoid the jarbled and jumping screen. Duh. Now, TWC=tolerable until something better comes along.

  121. Glenn's reply

    In the first paragraph of the article “Because we see ESPN3 as an extension of our video product, we are making its available to all of our customers who subscribe to ESPN, instead of tying it to customers’ broadband subscriptions.” Does this mean I need to subscribe to a sports package other than the ESPN family already on digital cable? Why do I need to pay for ESPN3 with my cable television rather than my broadband? If I only had a cable television subscription, wouldn’t I be paying for something to which I don’t have access, but if I only subscribed to Road Runner, I wouldn’t have access to HMMM!

    As to Mr Simmermon: There are web sites I don’t want to visit now and never will, as well as television stations I am required to get and will probably never view, but pay for. The guy that does not watch ESPN will probably watch something that I don’t watch because I am helping with the cost of making it available, such is life. The internet is ala cart just like television, you pay for it all with one subscription without the ability to pick and choose. is included with other ISP providers subscription prices without any strings attached.

    We, as customers of Time Warner, are only asking you to do the same.

  122. Dave's reply

    “Honestly, if you want ESPN3, go for it.”

    Thank you, I will.

    It seems that every other ISP can offer ESPN3, but Time Warner thinks you should have to pay for their cable service in addition to Roadrunner in order to access the site. Why not require us to purchase your digital phone service also? Time Warner says this is in the customer’s best interest. Of course it’s in our best interest to pay more money for a service we don’t want in order to access a website everyone else gets automatically.

    Who actually believes that Time Warner is concerned with anyone but Time Warner?

  123. MachineShedFred's reply

    I wish that in my job I could announce something, and still not have it working a month later, or even have a general estimate when it will be working.

    That kind of freedom from accountability must be quite stress relieving. Score one for the Time Warner Excuse-o-Matic™, and all the subscribers take it in the shorts once again.

  124. dread pirate roberts's reply

    I understand that everyone is upset, but….you haven’t PAID more or been charged more. You have the same level of service you had before the contract dispute. I understand that not having ESPN3 yet is upsetting for some, but you aren’t being charged for a product you don’t have or have had in the past. If you think this is a reason to riot, get the pitchforks and villagers together and charge the castle. You have nothing more or less that what you had for the same price. I’m suprised there aren’t complaints about the new disney channel not availabe till 2012. Where are the letters to Disney? That is something we don’t have but are getting but don’t have yet, just like ESPN3. The new goalline is available. Has anyone tried that out? But by all means, cancel for something you haven’t been charged more for. (AT&T, has ESPN3.) This is America, and TWC has no contracts so put in your disco notice and move on. I hate to see people work themselves into such a state over this. The rhetoric is really over the top in some posts. Flame me, IDC. I love FB and will take advantage of ESPN3 when it becomes available. I don’t miss what I never had. Now….I want NFL Network!! 🙂 THAT I will pay for!! LOL

  125. Upset Customer's reply


    I respect and understand what you are saying but the problem is, I do not have a choice in my area.

    I cannot get ATT, FIOS, Comcast, or even Verizon DSL in my area.

    When TW is the only internet provider and they deny me services, all i can do is complain

    If I could cancel I would but if I did then Im back to a 56k dial up for internet

  126. Jack's reply

    I agree with DPR’s comments about the lack of availability of ESPN 3 at this time. Many Road-Runner only customers are upset that they will be required to have ESPN in order to get ESPN3 and that the other companies aren’t requiring this, so why should TWC?

    My take is how do we know that the requiring of ESPN to get ESPN3 was NOT a Disney condition as a part of the new contract negotiation? Maybe if TWC had made ESPN 3 available to Road Runner subs only, those subs might have seen a $2.00 increase on their bills just because of that. Maybe Disney/TWC acquiring all the other new services like more ABC on Demand, ESPN Goal Line (Seasonal), ESPN Buzzer-Beater (Seasonal), ABC Family and all the other channels, because of all those other channels, perhaps Disney wanted ESPN3 to be a part of TWC’s video service as part of the new deal. We don’t know the specifics. Can subs give Disney a free ride and hold TWC totally accountable in this situation? I am not so sure.

    However, I still disagree with TWC that ESPN 3 is an enhancement of their video product and believe that ESPN3 should be a part of Roadrunner and only a part of Roadrunner. But like DPR said, we haven’t lost anything over ESPN 3 not being ready yet. It’s not like Road Runner only subs had it for three months, and TWC took it away and said, “Sorry, you have to be a cable sub to get ESPN 3 now.” If TWC did that, I too would be LIVID!

    However, northing’s been lost, and if you get ESPN and Road Runner, you will be able to get whatever corresponding ESPN stations to which you currently subscribe. Streaming of ESPN Classic web video will require a subscription to the Sports Pass Tier. (Formerly, Digital Sports Package.) While it sucks that some divisions are raising the price of Sports Pass by $1.00 or so, Disney might have insisted on this as a part of the new deal.


  127. MF's reply

    Upset got it right.

    I pay TW/RR for internet access. And they are denying me access to ESPN3, by looping it into a video package. I’m paying RR to allow me to access the internet. What I choose to do with that access is up to me and me alone. With this move TW is deciding what I can and can’t access the internet. That is BS. You can’t make that sound good, nor can you anyway justify denying paying RR customers access to an internet based service.

  128. Brandon's reply

    I do think its unfair that when you have the ESPN service on your Cable TV package, that they also get ESPN3 online. I believe that if the ESPN3 website is for the internet, it should be used as an exclusive to Road Runner. But, it really doesn’t matter to me anymore. The only thing i care about, is that it actually gets up and running.

    @Upset Customer

    I’m the same as you. I have only TWC as my only choice in regards to cable, or internet in my town. So pretty much we are SOL.

  129. charlton's reply

    no espn3, no hbo go, no alternative service… hmmmm, i knew there was a snag with monopolies…

  130. Joe's reply

    Hey Time Warner, I have all your services and I have to say you guys stink. I see has availablity with all these local cable shops I have never heard of but you guys can’t get it to work????

    Also, still no deal with NFL Network. Absolutely pathetic!!!

  131. Dante's reply

    I’m extremely upset over TWC’s slap in the face to Road Runner only customers. Just this past month TWC RAISED my RR rate, so now I’m paying $64.95 a MONTH for your so called Turbo RR. My area’s TURBO RR is a whopping 15Mbps dl speed, not only do they short change me in speed, but they raised my rate $5 a MONTH. You’re good at raising rates for substandard service, but not good when it comes to offering more.

  132. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @MF You said “With this move TW is deciding what I can and can’t access the internet. That is BS” Now that is just BS! You can access ANY WEB SITE you want without restriction. Now AT&T on the other hand does limit what the search resluts return to AT&T users. IF a company wants to be included in that search, they have to pony up a few cents to AT&T to be included in the search results. RR does not do that. You can access ESPN3 all you want. You may not get the programming yet, but you CAN access it. It is not a blocked web site dude! Reality check, not rhetoric. Like the lady who said TWC is controling her LIFE through the TV, just silly. I’m waiting patiently for access. You have to consider what Jack pointed out, it may be a contract thing w/Disney, they own it all don’t they? Try sending the Mouse a message and see what they have to say.

  133. wveersfan's reply

    ESPN3 will be available to Road Runner only TWC customers.

  134. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    That’s actually incorrect. It will not be available to Roadrunner-only TWC customers.

  135. Matt's reply

    The only thing that is “very complicated to actually implement” is probably implementing the database sifting the Road Runner and cable customers from the Road Runner only and cable and lower grade internet package subscribers. An extension of their video services? Please. Don’t insult us.
    When ESPN3 was 360 I had the slowest speed of DSL through Verizon (756K, I think) and I was able to watch it with no lag. I also never subscribed to ESPN through Verizon either. So, I don’t believe it is an ESPN requirement. Could be, but highly unlikely. I’m looking tonight for an ISP that does provide it.
    So long horrible excuses. So long extremely inconsistent download speeds. So long TW.

  136. Muddy Socks's reply

    Mr. Simmermon,

    I have followed this conversation for a few weeks now and am not shocked to see that out of all the posts on this blog/website, this one has received an exponentially higher number of comments than any other post. It’s because your reasoning/excuses are terrible. It’s insulting that you believe that today’s media consumers would actually accept your line of “reasoning.”

    Your follow on comments on this blog and on twitter have only added insult to injury. By self-righteously saying that this “sets a precedent” is incredible. To try and put it under the guise of net neutrality is silly, too.

    Just call it like it is. TW just wants more cable customers because platforms such as playon, appletv, and boxee box are making it easier and easier to “cut the cord.” This is your way of “preventing” customers from doing that. (by the way, your recent post on that was “great’)

    please answer the questions directly and frankly. responses such as “it’s not fair, to our way of thinking” are hot garbage.

    Please explain why TW cannot just charge RR only customers an additional $5 dollars a month to have the ability to “authenticate” and gain access to ESPN3. If it’s because you want us to get cable and pay an additional $30-45 dollars a month, then just say it.

    There are so many things wrong with the way that TW has gone about this whole thing. I’m sure there a few lessons that you should be taking from your peers in digital media and the way that consumers access it. (ie music industry, book publishers, etc) Your attempts to maintain and rationalize your archaic business model are embarrassing and will be a great case study for students (PR in particular) in a few years.

  137. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    Muddy Socks,

    I honestly don’t know the answer to your questions. All I know is that we’re stuck with the current TV business model — where users pay for a lot of channels they don’t watch. It’s complicated and messy, and if we were to go a la carte the whole thing would collapse, so we really can’t support that, either. We don’t want our RR customers to have to pay for a website they’re not going to access and start the whole cycle all over again on a whole new platform.

    I’ve been told that I was bad at my job before, but that’s new: that I’m so bad at my job I’m actually making history.

  138. Muddy Socks's reply

    I normally never leave comments on things like this, but I am impressed that you responded so quickly. My point regarding the “PR Case Studies” was that I am just surprised at the manner in which you respond to customer’s frustrations.

    Based on a quick google search (kinda creepy, right?) I see that you already made history a few years ago regarding coffee and ice. Or maybe it’s just someone else with the same name…

    I believe that more and more consumers feel it’s their “right” to receive their content a la carte. You are spot on about the collapse. I, like many other people who have commented on this post, live in a place where TW is the only option we have for internet.

    I will continue to hold out for the day where the cable tv business model that has been shoved down everyone’s throats for so long, does collapse and there will be no cords to even cut. I’m confident that services I mentioned in my original comment, as well as Google TV are going to make that collapse come that much faster.

    Thanks again for the quick response.

  139. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @ Muddy socks….If you are a RR only customer that uses that access for e mail and casual surfing, then the increase of 5.00 per month on a service that is 44.95 per month, is a huge percent increase. And for a non sports fan, that would be unacceptable. It has to be tied in with the ESPN CONTRACT which is the TV part. There is NO money increase for ESPN3 on the TV side. You comment, “Your attempts to maintain and rationalize your archaic business model are embarrassing and will be a great case study for students (PR in particular) in a few years.” made me laugh, business major? MBA?

  140. Doug's reply

    As a recently new customer, I am not at all pleased about this. I do understand the time it takes to implement features and the complexity and fiscal difficulties of a deal like this. But the whole point of having ESPN3 is to not watch cable. Do you have to pay for content such as NBC’s website, which hosts episodes of their shows? Or Hulu? I don’t see how this is any different. Perhaps sports licensing is more complex, which I imagine it may be, but otherwise this is a frustrating inconsistency. I also don’t understand why other cable providers aren’t pursuing similar policies. To say that TW is not aware of other companies’ practices in this area is a lie. If you can give me some kind of reasonable explanation to these concerns, or a place where I can look into the details of sports content licensing a little more, I would appreciate it.

  141. MF's reply

    @Dread Pirate:

    Yes they are. I pay for RR to which allows me to access the internet. ESPN3 is internet. I can’t access it since i’m a RR only customer. Therefore they are deciding that I can’t access a portion of the internet. There’s no other way to look at/put it. They decided to be money greedy corporation and loop ESPN3 into a video package for cable users.

    Therefore they are controlling what I access on the internet, and chalking it up to some ludicrous BS excuse of people not paying for what they want. If there so concerned about that, can we expect some major changes to TWC, in-regards to the channels you pay for but never user/no interest in using? No? Didn’t think so.

    Honestly never expected TWC to become this greedy and this corrupt. Apparently I was to naive in thinking otherwise.

    “Try sending the Mouse a message and see what they have to say.”

    Because them allowing all other providers access to ESPN3 w/o purchasing a video package is a common theme. Wait, it’s only TWC.

  142. MF's reply

    *w/o = with

  143. dread pirate roberts's reply

    @MF. I hear what you are saying. ESPN3 is not blocked for you, like it isn’t for me, so I don’t feel I am being blocked out of a porton of the internet. It’s a “pay site” for lack of a better term. That being said, I’ve seen other “pay sites” that I don’t want to pay for, so I’m not allowed access. That is not being blocked from a portion if the internet. I’m wondering, what harm has been done to you? What has been removed from you? How much has your bill gone up? You and others keep saying TWC is greedy. Could it be a condition of the contract forced on TWC from Disney? Cout it be said TWC are greedy for wanting/DEMANDING something they don’t pay for?

  144. Muddy Socks's reply

    @ Dread Pirate Roberts

    I wasn’t clear earlier. I meant to say that I would love to see the $5 fee be an optional fee for RR customers, who are also sports fans. It would be asinine to impose that on every customer.

    I’m not a business major or have a MBA, but I did take a Technological Innovation Management course in grad school. 🙂

  145. Matt's reply

    Mr. Simmermon,

    Your logic and condescending rhetoric are beyond professional. We are not imbeciles.
    “No matter what you might think, none of us want ‘this to come true’.” That’s why everybody else throws it in as a SERVICE to their customers.
    You said, “Because we see ESPN3 as an extension of our video product, we are making its available to all of our customers who subscribe to ESPN, instead of tying it to customers’ broadband subscriptions.”
    And then you said 2 paragraphs later, “While you may be able to stream video online, it’s still video.”
    So, are you trying to find a way to keep that from your internet only subscribers too, considering it “an extension of our video product”? You acknowledge video content is available online, yet you refuse to be a SERVICE to your customers.
    I’ve heard it said that you haven’t raised prices because of this whole ABC/Disney/ESPN thing, yet anyways. So, why would you have to raise the price of the internet?

    If it were an extension of a “video product” then there would be a way to access it if I were a subscriber to Dish Network or DirecTV. It is not setup that way. ESPN3 refuses to allow individuals watch whose internet provider is not signed up with them. ESPN3’s websites states exactly, “ESPN3 is available nationwide, but you must subscribe to a participating high speed internet service provider.”

    You stated, “We think it makes more sense to enhance the video products that our customers have already signed up for rather than to impose the service on every single one of our broadband customers.”
    What an imposition! If it really is “an extension of your video service” will a cable only subscriber be able to access it if their ISP doesn’t provide it? I’m looking forward to that answer.

    You stated twice, “we think”. That’s the problem, you thought.

    You told us during these negotiations that you were going to get tough and not roll over. What comes around goes around. This customer is going to get tough. I hope more join the cause.

  146. Gary F.'s reply

    Okay..since this is going to take awhile to implement why not just make ESPN3 available to everyone for now and add in the restriction later? Seriously, once AT&T U-Verse is offered in my area I’m probably gonna consider switching. I prefer RR to DSL but ATT has a better lineup (including NFL Network and Fox Soccer in HD).

  147. sp's reply

    Here’s the problem:

    I can go to,,, they all have streaming video content. is an internet site that I would like to access. If I have to pay for it, then I have a choice to make. However, based on what I just read I do not have that option, unless I subscribe to TWC for video. As a Roadrunner only customer I am extremely dissatisfied with this situation. Adding an option to subscribe to is essential for TimeWarner to keep an important fraction of their Roadrunner only customers in my opinion. Having an additional line item to my bill for a service that I choose to subscribe to is not a problem for me.

    I will say again what I said when I found out I couldn’t get before the contract was agreed to: “fix it or you will loose customers.”

    If you don’t fix this soon you will loose me as a longstanding customer.

  148. Christian's reply


    You know, if you are upset about someone controlling what you see on the internet, you should really be mad at ESPN. They are the ones with the monopoly on content, and they are the ones holding that content back, forcing ISPs to buy in to it. I have cable and internet, so it doesn’t matter to me (although I, too, have no choice…I live in Manhattan and can’t get a dish, and FIOS isn’t here yet). I do kinda see the stand on principle here…maybe they were hoping our anger would be focused on ESPN for “making” them do this to us.

    But it is a silly argument, Jeff. You say cable customers pay for stations they don’t want, which you don’t want to happen to the internet. So your solution is to make a cable only customer pay for ANOTHER channel they either don’t want, or want but can’t use? Your solution is to make a bad situation (cable programming) worse, because it is already bad? Yikes. So what you are saying is that your cable business is martyring itself to save the internet? How very noble of it!

    Anyway, while I am pissed at ESPN, their content monopoly, and their blatant strong arming, I think TW really failed their customers at the negotiating table. Here is my theory: ABC wanted TW to pay for ESPN3 for RR, which TW refused to do. In negotiating the cable contract, they were able to convince them to provide ESPN3 as part of the cable deal for free (using that, “hey it’s really a TV service” argument, backed up by a bunch of laywers). Now they are going to increase the cable bill for something they didn’t really have to pay for, under the guise of doing us a favor, while trying to hide from RR customers the fact that they were really just cheapskates at the bargaining table.

  149. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    This is not at all about “controlling what you can and can’t see on the internet.” The Wall Street Journal and Suicide Girls, for example, are both pay sites. You either pay for their content or you don’t get it – simple as that. ESPN3 is also a paid content site — and every other cable company/ISP just buys its members subscriptions and passes the cost onto them. We have decided that we don’t like the long-term implications of that method, and negotiated a deal that we believe will avoid the “tiered internet” fears that are often discussed as worst-case scenarios in net neutrality debates.

    Ultimately, to us, this is about content vs. access. When you buy a video subscription, you’re paying for all kinds of video content from Comedy Central, HBO, ESPN, AMC, whoever else. When you buy a Roadrunner/HSD subscription, you are paying to access the Internet, where content may or may not be delivered at a price — for example, the New York Times is free, but the Wall Street Journal isn’t.

    I realize this comment is only going to inflame the people that are already angry, and it’s not going to make people who want football games online right this minute feel any better. But that’s our position on this, for better or for worse.

  150. Tired of the excuses's reply

    Mr. Simmermon,

    I guess you don’t realize that while you say you HAVE made a deal— that would include the present time. TWC made a deal that TWC customers who are paying for RR and the TWC sports tier would get ESPN 3. This deal is in place. So we aren’t getting what we are indeed paying for. Every customer who has RR and the sports tier, of which they are paying extra for, should be getting ESPN 3 as a part of this deal. Just because you say you haven’t figured out a way to deliver it to us or it’s taking time doesn’t mean it isn’t in place. We are paying for the ESPN 3 services because you guys say it’s apart of the deal that you have already made. So, unless you have a date that this deal is to take place then it is in place now. We are paying for the services that go along with this deal and not getting the entire service that we are paying for. Anyone can say we aren’t paying for this but the logic is flawed. It’s in a deal, the deal is in place, we aren’t getting it. It’s as simple as that. Every single person should be calling TWC and asking them why they aren’t getting what they are paying for. You PAY for RR. You PAY for your sports tier. TWC says you get ESPN 3 if you are paying for both of these services and you aren’t getting it. Stop saying we aren’t paying for it when we are.
    The Wall Street Journal isn’t apart of a deal that we pay for. ESPN 3 is apart of a deal that we are paying for. You can bring up any sites that you want that call for payment. They aren’t ESPN 3 and they aren’t apart of a deal that we pay for already. It is 100% about controlling what we can or can’t see because we are supposed to be able to access the content and you all are controlling it to where we can’t. We pay for it and we would like to have what we pay for. How many more excuses do we have to read?

  151. Brandon's reply

    @Jeff Simmermon

    Do you guys have any new updates to share regarding ESPN3? I am just curious to know. I can also understand why it will take time to implement, but im just wondering. I can also understand where you are going to net neutraility too. I wouldn’t like to see that happen, but it looks like its headed that way. Thanks!

  152. Upset Customer's reply


    You are 1000% correct that TWC stance with ESPN3 is just another log on the fire.

    I do not have nor do I want a cable subscription with TWC, but since RR is the only option in my area, I have no other choice for High Speed Internet.

    Currently I use the remote access feature (ridiculous that I have to even do it) to bypass TWC and I am able to watch ESPN3 but I want to use it via my Xbox 360.

    My issue is not that you want your customers to have a choice, I am more than happy to play an additional $2 or $3 per month for ESPN3 but trying to strong arm me into buying your cable service is unacceptable.

    As soon as FIOS is available in my area (which is early next year) you will lose me as a customer and I promise I will not be the only person to do so.

  153. Upset Customer's reply

    play = pay

  154. Brandon's reply

    What exactly is a “video” subscriber? I have Time Warner Cable service for both my Internet service as well as my digital cable service. Does that make me a “video” subscriber? If not, how does one become a “video” subscriber?

  155. Michael's reply

    Wow. This is bad news. Will be canceling RR and moving to Uverse.

  156. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    I’m just referring to people who get purchase cable from us.

  157. Joseph's reply

    I’m a Bright House customer, but they follow in TWC’s footsteps. I contacted them via chat:

    Me: I cannot watch the streaming content on when will this be available

    BrightHouse Rep: Thank you for contacting Bright House Networks Live Chat.

    BrightHouse Rep: I will be glad to assist you with that.

    BrightHouse Rep: ESPN is updating their databases for our customers. Unfortunately, I do not have any information as to when it will be available.

    Me: Brighthouse doesn’t have an anticipated date?

    Me: I thought the deal was done 5 weeks ago?

    BrightHouse Rep: The deal was done but we are are waiting on them.

    BrightHouse Rep: We have no control over their website.

    Me: So it’s in ESPN’s hands?

    BrightHouse Rep: Yes.

    Is this true that the current holdup is at ESPN? Or is this just a case of passing the buck?

    BTW, the rep still wasn’t able to even hint at an anticipated date for availablility…

  158. Upset Customer's reply


    and as a non purchase cable customer, why are you not providing me the option to pay for ESPN3 if you are hell bent on not charging all your customers for the service?

    If it’s all about choice then give me the option of getting ESPN3 without overcharging by forcing me to get your cable package?

  159. Mike's reply

    Sorry, TWC. Your plan for ESPN3 is on par with your customer service: awful. Some day you guys might figure out that your customers really dont like what you provide. The value proposition is pathetic, and once your customers find alternatives they will jump at the chance to leave. Don’t you think it would be smarter to provide a value proposition that endears your customer base to be loyal?

  160. Upset Customer #10974592...'s reply

    This is the last straw Time Warner. I’ve been a loyal customer for quite some time, and the only reason is I have no alternative in my area just yet. However AT&T U-Verse is headed my way in a short while so you will have me no longer. I am a Road Runner only customer because I cut cable service to save money in this economy, and I get more content online that I want than through your cable service. I was excited to hear about until I found out you are requiring cable service to get the website. So let me get this straight, I cannot access a website on my internet service, but my grandmother who doesn’t have any need or want for internet service can get if she chooses too? WHAT SENSE DOES THAT MAKE?!? You said it was an extension of your video service, so what is ABC, FOX, CBS, etc. sites who offer episodes online? I consider that streaming video, so is any different? May your company lose many customers over this.

  161. LTS's reply

    This is an absolute joke. If I had TV service but NOT Road Runner ESPN3 would be useless to me. You are tying an Internet service to a television service.

    Right now we’ve got no options in Rochester, NY. Frontier (DSL) is a bigger joke. Good news is in 2 months we’ll have Verizon 4G service and I suppose I will have to switch.

    And if that means my Xbox Live experience dies? Then Microsoft loses out. And if I can’t get ESPn3? then so be it.. Disney loses out.

    In the end you will just piss off more customers than you will make happy. Time Warner doesn’t get it. The market’s changing, accept it and find new places for revenue. Your TV service IS going to die stop trying to save it by crossing one service with another.

    It was bad enough with the bandwidth caps which were so restrictive it would have practically forced anyone who subscribed to a video service online to stop using it.

    Stop screwing the customers.. period.

  162. Not happy's reply

    My RR service just went up by $5 and TWC is blocking me from viewing a website? Correct me if I’m wrong here but is a web site that provides streaming video, like a lot of sites do. It’s just data that is coming through a copper cable that Im paying to access all of it. Go to and look at the list of cable providers that allow access to espn3. TWC is the only one I can see that isnt on the list. Now I’m not sure if the others are tying their access to being a cable subscriber but this just seems criminal to infringe on access to web content and trying to tie it to an unrelated service.

  163. Ticked off in Glendora's reply

    I love how TWC always tries to make it sound like they are only looking out for their customers and not wanting to unfairly bill them when everything points to the other way around. At least admit that you are trying to make more money with the policies you enact.

    Besides points made on some of the comments I read, it’s laughable that TWC says they don’t want to “…impose the service on every single one of our broadband customers…” when this is a broadband service through ESPN. So, it’s a compliment to video subscribers. What if that video subscriber doesn’t have internet access also? You’re subjecting them to the cost when they can’t use it. Stop pretending to care about saving the customer money when it’s the opposite!!! Do you think we’re stupid? If we’re reading press releases, we probably aren’t.

    Also stop talking fiscal responsibility when you’re prices and service really aren’t any different than other providers that offer more service. I’d already be with them if I wasn’t forced to use TWC for high speed access.

  164. JCI's reply

    I can almost guarantee you the reason they want to use authentication (sign in) is to better track who’s using it and for how long. As they continue to roll out consumption based billing, you will pay for all that bandwidth you are using while watching streamed video.

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