Verizon FiOS subscribers with an Xbox (and an Xbox Live Gold account) can now use ESPN's WatchESPN service over their consoles.
Viewers can now stream popular ESPN shows including SportsCenter, College GameDay and NFL Live via their Xboxes, along with interactive features via the app's interface. For example, viewers can pick favorite teams and get customized information about their games, top players and highlights.
The new pact is yet another blow in the online content battle with FiOS, ESPN and Microsoft joining forces to make an authenticated cable subscription appear more attractive to users than over-the-top, Internet or other streaming options. The cost of the two services (FiOS and Xbox Live Gold) isn't inconsiderable, but the companies providing those services are going out of their way to demonstrate value to ever more uncertain end users.
FiOS's ESPN-related Xbox offerings have been expanding for years—clearly, gaming and live sports share plenty of fans in common.