There are many who pine for the option to watch ESPN or HBO without a cable subscription. And while apps like HBO Go and WatchESPN are a start, it's not yet enough to entice people to cut the cord. The Wall Street Journal explores why ESPN in particular is taking its time when it comes to streaming more games online. The answer, unsurprisingly, is money — while TV subscriptions have dipped slightly, they are still massively more lucrative than the web.
Because of this, the company has been slow to improve its web services for fear of enticing users away from cable. And there are other complications, like major sports leagues that would rather offer their own streaming services. The WatchESPN app may continue to spread and improve, but it's still far from the network's priority. "Our calculation right now is we're going to ride this," ESPN president John Skipper says of cable. "We're going to ride it as long as it makes sense."