ESPN announced Thursday that it has agreed to buy DirecTV Now, the cable operator’s new streaming-video service, for an undisclosed price.
The deal comes on the heels of ESPN acquiring streaming-TV service HBO Go and a $1.9 billion deal to purchase Hulu.
ESPN also said it will stream its sports programming on the company’s ESPN App.
“This is a major milestone for ESPN,” ESPN CEO Brett Brown said in a statement.
“This will allow us to expand our reach to more people across the world.
This deal gives us a great platform for the sports fans in the U.S. and around the world, who will now be able to watch ESPN on their computers and tablets.”ESPN said it was also entering into a multi-year agreement to carry ESPN2 and ESPNU, both of which have been a mainstay of ESPN programming.
ESPN’s online video service, ESPN+, will now also be available in India and Turkey, while its streaming service, the ESPN App, will also be offered in those markets.
In a joint statement, ESPN president David Stapleton and DirecTv chief Mark Lazarus said that they “are proud to announce this deal,” adding that they are excited to continue to provide our customers with the best sports programming for years to come.”ESPN’s network will also receive new digital platforms.
ESPN is set to add a digital-first platform for its digital platforms and will debut a new mobile-first service that will allow users to watch content on smartphones and tablets.ESPN said that it will also launch an online-first ESPN.com website, as well as a mobile-only ESPN.tv site, the first of its kind.
ESPN will also add a sports-focused mobile app to the App.
The announcement comes amid growing competition between cable operators, who are struggling to compete with Amazon, Hulu and Netflix for viewers.
Cable operators have said they have no intention of losing their subscribers to Amazon or Netflix.