The old ESPN app on Xbox Live was mediocre at best. There were highlights and a few non-important ESPN3 live offerings, but not much past that.
That all changes today with the official launch of WatchESPN, an updated app that now features ESPN’s full slate of programming, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Goal Line.
Already on iOS and Android devices, WatchESPN provides content from ESPN for Xbox Live Gold members who receive ESPN as part of their cable subscription with Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, XFINITY TV from Comcast, and Midcontinent Communications.
I just tested the app out and from a sports-fan perspective, it’s a home run. Once you choose your cable provider and verify your log-in credentials online, you have live ESPN and ESPN2 programming, plus a whole plate of other features, highlights and replays a few buttons away.
My favorites are the dual-screen feature and the “My Sports” section. The app allows you to watch two live events at once, which I can’t even do on my cable box. The “My Sports” feature lets users customize their favorite teams and sports and then see those specific highlights, replays or live coverage all in one section.
There’s also the familiar “Bottom Line” ticker that that runs along the bottom of the screen with the latest news. By hitting the D-pad, users can easily cycle through other live events, channels and features.
You’re also able to rewind, fast-forward and pause content like a DVR would. Though I couldn’t get this function to work with live ESPN and ESPN2 content.
I’ll probably still watch live sports with my HD cable box, but I can’t complain about highlights, replays and live around-the-clock content all in one place. And the fact that you can navigate the app with voice or motion controls via Kinect is pretty cool as well.
Check out the short video demo above where I watch Monday Night Football and explore the bevy of features on this new app.
Reach staff reporter Taylor Soper at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Taylor_Soper