One sleepy Monday evening, when trudging back Eastbound and Down to the Island City of Alameda – I wanted to tune into a certain football team whose name is the Oakland Raiders play their inaugural shattering of expectations and hopes game. Imagine the frustration when, for a service that I have paid for, I am restricted by device from watching the game. If I’m restricted by bandwidth (3G / 4G vs. WiFi), I can understand that – the mobile providers don’t want to overload their networks with streaming data. If I’m restricted by account access, I can understand that as well – not paying for ESPN means I shouldn’t be able to watch the game on their network. What I don’t understand is the assumption that they’re making between viewing habits of a user on a phone versus a tablet (where the device restriction is lifted).
Does watching on a phone suggest that I’m away from my house, and not likely to do what, exactly? Buy stuff? If I’m on my tablet – it means I’m on my couch, and somehow fits into ESPN’s business model more? Flummoxed on their assessment of experience to try to differentiate between these two mobile device types, the tablet and phone. Furthermore, powers that be, if I’m on a bus or somewhere exposed to outside eyeballs – watching a ESPN game would cause more people to notice, and thereby want to watch / subscribe themselves. Restricting to hermit-level access does nothing to spread awareness of the brand or the features around mobile “Watch ESPN” access – possibly justifying a ever increasing cable bill, as well as stemming the ‘cut the cord‘ movement.
So, like any fanatic, I came home, fired up the iPad to find the Silver and Black trailing on their way to a 0-1 record, and subsequently fell asleep.