ESPN adds its own flavor to iPad streaming

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As service providers Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) sort content legalities involved with giving their subscribers access to their programming on iPads, a leading programmer, ESPN, is doing its own thing.

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) programmer has launched "WatchESPN," an application that allows Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad and iPhone users who just also happen to subscribe to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS on their Apple devices. Unlike the cable plays, ESPN's offering isn't restricted to the subscriber's home. also unlike the cable offerings, ESPN plans to integrate special advertising on the service via its ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 networks.

"Our vision is to sell a dedicated and unique stream of advertising on the iPhone and iPad platforms" and experiment "with a different form of advertising that will be more interactive," said Sean Bratches, ESPN's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

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