ESPN is considering streaming MLS without a cable subscription

ESPN’s latest Major League Soccer news could be a boon for cord-cutters. At the moment, there are a few different ways to watch the sports channel’s soccer offerings, but they require a pay TV subscription to do so. According to Reuters, though, that could change in the future. Company president John Skipper says that he’s looking for ways to increase revenues for his company and sees a direct-to-consumer sales approach as a possible step toward that. The reasoning? Well, he forecasts that digital advertising revenues will be the “most promising” area of growth over the next two to three years. 

ESPN is considering selling online access to live Major League Soccer games to consumers without pay TV subscriptions, an experiment that could help the sports network find ways to generate revenue outside the traditional pay television system. Media companies, including ESPN parent Walt Disney Co , are looking to tap the potential of the growing Internet-based business that Netflix Inc and other companies have pioneered, while at the same time preserving the relationships they have with pay TV operators. Comcast Corp, Dish Network Corp and other pay television operators provide the majority of the No. 1 sports network’s revenue through fees they pay to carry ESPN’s cable channels and the Watch ESPN app. ESPN President and Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks, John Skipper emphasized that the network is committed to its current business model, which requires a pay TV subscription for access to the ESPN cable channels and its Watch ESPN app, but he also said there may be other ways to add revenue.

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