ESPN recently announced the launch of ESPN Cricket Pass, a subscription-streaming service accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through a dedicated website and app that will show live and on-demand coverage in the U.S. of the 2016 VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
The launch of ESPN Cricket Pass draws on the success of ESPN Cricket 2015 and expands the network’s suite of digital products to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere. According to Damon Phillips, vice president, Digital Direct-to-Consumer Services, the service is, “a great example of leveraging our long-time investment in technology and digital product development to deliver content that may not yet have enough of a scale audience [in the U.S., at least] to make sense on our linear channels.”
ESPN is recognized and respected as a leader in cricket programming, and ESPN Cricket Pass will cater to both passionate and loyal cricket fans and the sport’s growing audience in the U.S. Phillips mentions that there are multiple ways viewers can live stream the IPL: Roku, and via iOS devices and programs such as iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and AirPlay. “We are in discussions with a number of distributors to offer the IPL 2016 season through pay-per-view on set-top boxes as well,” he adds.
In terms of considering other sports beyond cricket for this type of product, Phillips says the team is aggressively exploring opportunities that don’t currently exist on ESPN’s linear networks to serve new audiences. He points out, “We’ve done that for years with ESPN3, and we’ll continue to explore where direct-to-consumer services like ESPN Cricket Pass make sense also.”