How to Watch ESPN3

ESPN3 Basketball

ESPN3 Means More Basketball

Good news for Directcom Broadband customers–you have free, instant access to all sports events shown live, or on demand after the game, on ESPN3.

We are thrilled that more customers are accessing ESPN3 every day. We hope that you will come back and watch more events on ESPN3. Direct Communications pays Disney/ESPN for every one of our customers to have access to ESPN3, so we hope you will use this value-added benefit that comes with your internet service. If you are a Directcom Broadband customer, you will be able to watch ESPN3 events online while you are at home using a browser on your PC, or remotely (at work, for example) on a PC browser, if you activated remote access from your home PC.

Commonly Asked Questions about Watching ESPN3

How do I access ESPN3?

To access ESPN3, open a browser on your PC, go to our homepage directcom.com and click on the ESPN3 link, or go directly to http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/channel/espn3/  No sign-in is required to watch ESPN3 events for Directcom internet customers. ESPN3 must be accessed through a browser, and not the WatchESPN mobile app.

TIP: The one app that will work with our service  is the ESPN app on the Xbox. If you have an Xbox,  this is probably the best and easiest way to access the games. The interface and  resolution is fantastic.

TIP2: Most BYU Football games shown on ESPN are made available on demand on ESPN3 immediately after the game.

What’s the difference between WatchESPN and ESPN3?

There is a big difference between the ESPN3 network, and the WatchESPN app. ESPN has not made the situation any less confusing for customers of small companies like us by also recently changing the name of their ESPN3 website  to WatchESPN, just like the mobile app. WatchESPN is the portal to access content shown on all of the ESPN networks–including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNClassic, etc. ESPN3 was the first online sports network made available by ESPN parent company, Disney, and Directcom was one of the first small ISPs to sign up as distributor of that exclusively online network back in 2010.  Now, ESPN3 is just one of the networks included in the whole WatchESPN portfolio. All of our internet subscribers have instant access to ESPN3, but not to the whole WatchESPN suite or WatchESPN app, which is still reserved for Cable TV or Satellite TV customers who already subscribe, and thus pay for access, to all those TV networks. ESPN is extremely protective of their revenue generated from Cable TV distribution.

Why can’t I sign in and use the WatchESPN mobile app?

We are still receiving a lot of calls from customers who are trying to access the games on their smartphones via the WatchESPN mobile app, and not seeing us listed as a provider there. Please do not attempt to use the WatchESPN mobile app. We provide free access to ESPN3 for our internet customers via our home internet service. The ESPN servers recognize our IP address range and provide access to the games to anybody on our network. The WatchESPN app works quite differently, and is strictly for customers of the big national cable TV providers-–do not attempt to use the WatchESPN app from your mobile device, because it will ask you to choose and login to your satellite or cable TV provider. To access ESPN3, which is what all the games will be shown on, from your PC, go to our homepage and click on the ESPN3 link, or go directly to http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/channel/espn3/ If everything is working correctly, you will see a logo on the top right of the espn.go.com/watchespn website saying “Powered by Direct Communications”.

The iPad, mobile phones, and most tablets will not work with ESPN3 service because by default they will always try to get you to download and use the WatchESPN app, which is only for the big cable TV providers. If your tablet has a regular internet browser that works like a PC browser (the first generation Kindle Fire, for example) will allow you to access ESPN3 events within the browser on a flash platform.

Can I watch ESPN3 if I’m away from home?

We get a lot of calls from customers trying to access the games from their workplace. There is a way to watch the games online on a regular PC browser, but it requires prior setup from YOUR HOME in Eagle Mountain or Idaho. TO WATCH REMOTELY: In order to watch when you are away from home, you will first need to activate remote access. To do this you will need to set up an ESPN online account while in your home network (ie, using our internet connection or IP addresses) and then activate remote access by clicking on the “Remote Access” button at the top right. That will allow several days of remote access, after which you will need to return to your home network and reactivate remote access again.

In summary, as long as you are on your home network (that is, on Directcom’s network within Eagle Mountain) and using one of our IP addresses, you will be able to access the games if you are using a regular computer browser or Xbox. If you are not on our network, or trying to use a mobile device or the WatchESPN app, you will have difficulty.  We have even had a couple of customers not being able to access ESPN3 because they were logged into a work VPN while at home, and ESPN3 will only work within our IP range.

Can I watch ESPN3 on a tablet or mobile phone?

The iPad, mobile phones, and most tablets will not work with just the ESPN3 service because by default they will always try to get you to download and use the WatchESPN app, which is only for cable TV providers. If your tablet has a regular internet browser that works like a PC browser (the first generation Kindle Fire, for example)  you may be able to access ESPN3 events within the browser on a flash platform. ESPN3 is best accessed on your PC or laptop, or via good streaming players like your Xbox or Roku.

When I click on the featured sporting event in the player window it asks me to log in and select my provider.

If you are an internet customer only, please only click on events that are being shown on the ESPN3 network. The login window will pop up when you click on non-ESPN3 events. You are probably trying to watch something that is on a different ESPN channel. The most common frustration experienced by internet customers occurs when customers try to access events on the WatchESPN website, which are not actually ESPN3 events. You will be able to see listings for all events on all networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU etc, but only will be able to successfully watch those being shown live or stored on demand on the ESPN3 network. Please ensure you only select content with the ESPN3 logo listed next to the event. You can filter by network on the website so that you are only viewing available ESPN3 events.

But Direct Communications Cable is listed as a provider on the WatchESPN app. Why can’t I sign in?

Direct Communications Cable in rural Idaho provides access to TV Everywhere as a value-added feature to our regular Cable TV services. Cable TV customers in Idaho will now have access to the entire WatchESPN app, if those Cable TV customers subscribe to a package that contains ESPN. Regular internet customers  will still only have access to ESPN3 unless they also subscribe to Cable TV. We are required by ESPN to submit verification of each TV customer’s package several times a day, which they cross reference with who is signing in to the app. (As we mentioned,  ESPN is extremely protective of their revenue generated from Cable TV distribution, and is not interested in cannibalizing that revenue.)

We understand this may be confusing to our customers using ESPN3 through our website.

As usual, to access ESPN3 content, you must be accessing ESPN3 from our home network.  If a customer clicks on non-ESPN3 content, they will be asked to select their TV provider.  As part of TV Everywhere, Direct Communications is now listed as an approved provider.  However, unless the customer also subscribes to our cable TV service, and has already signed up for a “watchTVeverwhere” login, it will not allow them to authenticate.

The most common frustration experienced by internet customers occurs when customers try to access events on the WatchESPN website, which are actually not ESPN3 events. You will be able to see listings for all events on all networks, but only will be able to successfully watch those on the ESPN3 network. Please ensure you only select content with the ESPN3 logo listed on the far right as demonstrated in the following snapshot:

espn3

About Brigham Griffin
Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, resides in rural Idaho, and has been with the company since 2005. Brigham has an MBA from the University of Utah, and a BA in Communications from Brigham Young University. He also serves as an adjunct professor of marketing at Idaho State University.

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