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ESPN plans online subscription cricket service

ESPNESPN is reportedly planning to offer subscription video streaming access to the Cricket World Cup, unbundled from ESPN cable TV packages.

According to a report by tech blog re/code, the US service could launch early next year ahead of the Cricket World Cup in February, and would mark the first time ESPN has sold OTT access to sports programming without requiring viewers to pay for cable.

The report claimed that ESPN’s plans are not yet finalised and that it is unclear what the pricing for the online subscription offering would be.

However, in May ESPN said it was mulling a plan to provide access to US Major League Soccer coverage over the web without the usual requirement for viewers to prove they have an existing pay TV subscription with an established distributor.

ESPN president and Disney Media Networks co-chairman John Skipper reportedly told an event in Bristol, Connecticut that the company was considering the launch of a direct-to-consumer offering, but that plans were still at an early stage.