An article in GigaOm noted a curious detail about ESPN’s new TV Everywhere service that is now available to Time Warner subscribers. You can now access live and on-demand content from the sports network, but only if you are an authenticated subscriber to TW cable.
The curious detail is that the content is not accompanied by commercials. You don’t get uninterrupted programming, however. Instead, the commercial segments are filled with an animated ESPN logo. I suppose that watching the logo for minutes at a time might be less annoying than another repeat of some beer or luxury car commercial, but I’m not certain.
In any case, the GigaOm writer contacted ESPN for an explanation. Here’s the quote that he published from the spokeperson’s response:
Due to rights differences online and on TV, our authenticated channels currently feature an animated logo during traditional commercial time. In the future we expect to add commercials to the online versions of the networks, using the same system ESPN pioneered for live, dynamic commercial insertion on ESPN3.com.
So if you’re lucky enough to be able to get this service, enjoy the animated logo while you can. I expect that ESPN will be hot to “monetize” this new distribution medium for their content just as soon as they have some numbers to show the advertisers.