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DirecTV customers can finally stream live sports with WatchESPN

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The satellite company's subscribers have waited years

We've seen it again and again: cable and satellite customers often get wedged between their TV providers and broadcasters whenever the two sides enter into hostile programming negotiations. And DirecTV's subscribers know that pain well. While Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, and Dish customers have been using WatchESPN — the sports network's live streaming app — for years now, DirecTV's own subscribers have sat on the sidelines and been blocked from accessing the TV Everywhere service on PCs, phones, tablets, set-top boxes, and gaming consoles. But that's finally changed today.

DirecTV and Disney (ESPN's parent company) have announced that the satellite company's customers have finally gained full, unbridled access to WatchESPN and other live streaming apps from Disney, including Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch ABC. If you're on DirecTV, the deal also lets you stream live ABC network feeds in a few major markets like Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. New video-on-demand content is also opening up thanks to the multiyear agreement, with DirecTV customers now permitted to stream ABC hits like Modern Family one day after those new episodes first debut on TV.

A wide range of sports programming from ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network, SEC Network and SEC Network+ is also now accessible to DirecTV customers, and the companies note that ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater will be available "when those channels are in season." Just as with other providers, you'll have to enter your DirecTV account credentials before you're authenticated and allowed to take full advantage of WatchESPN.