Fox Sports has indefinitely postponed the launch of the TV Everywhere companion service for Fox Sports 1 — set to bow Saturday to about 90 million homes — while ESPN released an update to its WatchESPN iPad app that adds enhanced live-viewing features.
When Fox announced plans for FS1 in March, it said the Fox Sports Go service would launch concurrently with the TV channel. The Internet-streaming service will provide around 1,100 live games and events per year from across Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 and its 22 regional sports networks, according to the company.
But Fox is still testing the TV Everywhere service and working out the kinks to ensure it’s “rock solid,” Fox Sports rep Chris Bellitti said. “We just decided to hold off on rolling out it out. We’re still tweaking it.”
Fox Sports Go will be “one of the most complex TV Everywhere apps ever created,” Bellitti added. “We need to pull in more than 230 broadcast, regional and cable feeds for authentication from across all our channels.”
ESPN, the most expensive cabler on the dial, currently offers WatchESPN across multiple devices and operators. The two biggest affiliates missing from the WatchESPN lineup are DirecTV and Dish Network.
The updated WatchESPN App for iPad adds a Live Toolbar with stats, scores, a live channel guide and ESPN.com on-demand clips, which are accessible from tabs on the bottom of the screen. The “Top Videos” feature, first introduced within WatchESPN on Apple TV, lets users watch on-demand clips in spilt-screen mode simultaneously with live programming.
Another enhancement for the iPad app, as well as the version of WatchESPN for iPhone and iPod touch devices, will list live programming of ESPN on ABC events and will redirect users to the Watch ABC App for access to that content.
On Thursday, Fox announced that Fox Sports 1 would be carried on all major pay TV distributors, including DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable — which as recently as earlier this week had not signed on to carry the channel. However, those three are debuting FS1 under deals for the predecessor Speed channel, sources said.
Fox’s TV Everywhere service, which it touted as “a groundbreaking mobile sports experience,” is slated to be available for iPhone, iPad, Android devices and web browsers. In addition to live streaming video, Fox Sports Go also will provide scores, highlights, news, stats and other content.
Fox registered foxsportsgo.com in June 2011, according to Network Solutions’ domain name database. The site is not currently live.