Forget about looking at pictures of your exes’ kids on Facebook. Forget about cat videos on YouTube and reruns on Hulu. What we are about to offer our customers under the beard of “TV Everywhere” is the greatest threat to workplace productivity since the three-martini lunch.
As of October 25th, Time Warner Cable customers with ESPN as a part of their video subscription will have access to a live simulcast of ESPN onto their computers as well as access to ESPN3.com.
At launch, the new authenticated service will give Time Warner Cable subscribers the opportunity to watch ESPN’s linear network online. In the near future, access to ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater will also be offered through this same process, as well as on other Internet enabled devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Consumers can access the channels through a centralized web site, ESPNnetworks.com.
ESPN3.com, ESPN’s live sports broadband service, will also be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers who get ESPN through their video subscription. ESPN3.com gives fans a 24/7 online destination that delivers more than 3,500 live, global sports events annually. Fans can toggle between up to 20 events in a main viewing window, and with a single click, jump to another event. Video can be viewed in widescreen (16:9) and normal (4:3) views and can be expanded to full screen or reduced to a compact size. Recently completed events are archived and available for on-demand replay.
Sure, this is added value to our customers. And yes, it brings ESPN to the fan who wants to watch the game on the train ride home, at the airport, or in the other room while their kids watch cartoons on the main TV.
But let’s call this thing what it is. It’s the mother of all value-adds to the biggest audience of all: the screwing-around-at-work network. The entire Internet economy is built on simultaneously enhancing and destroying workplace productivity, and now that’s going to a WHOLE new level.
Now our customers don’t have to sneak out to sports bars during March Madness or pull little radios out of their desks during the World Series. Now our customers can stream all the sports they like all day long — whether they’re at home, at the doctor’s office, or sleepwalking their way through an important conference call.
Every March, the same old stories come out about productivity slipping because people can’t tear themselves away from all the red-hot college basketball action. Some people buy ’em, other people think they’re bogus.
Scientists should have some pretty solid data for sure by March 2012.
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