BRISTOL, Conn.—ESPN has become the latest media company to add support for Apple's SharePlay on its app, giving subscribers in the U.S. a way to view live sports and original content completely in sync with their friends while on a FaceTime call.
The upgrade allows users to SharePlay experiences with content across the entire ESPN app, including ESPN+ live streams, original content, and with TV Everywhere authenticated live streams.
SharePlay will initially be available for iPhone and iPad users, and will be coming to Apple TV in an upcoming app update, ESPN said.
“By adding SharePlay support to the ESPN app, we are bringing a live sports co-viewing experience to fans for the first time," said Brian Marshall, vice president of sports products & strategy, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “We are thrilled to provide a unique opportunity for friends and family to come together to root for some of their favorite teams and players, no matter the distance between them.”
Launched by Apple with iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, SharePlay offers a powerful set of features for shared experiences while on a FaceTime call.
SharePlay sessions can host up to 32 people and offer each participant in the FaceTime call the flexibility of choosing audio and subtitles in the language of their choice.
Later this month, when SharePlay support extends to the ESPN app on Apple TV, viewers who prefer a bigger screen will also be able to enjoy the synchronized content on their Apple TV while still sharing the moment with personal friends and family over FaceTime through their iPhone or iPad.
All users in the session must be logged into the ESPN app via TV Everywhere credentials or be an ESPN+ subscriber for ESPN+ exclusive content, and also have devices running iOS 15.1 or iPadOS 15.1 or later to use the feature.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.