NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Google (GOOG) Chromecast has added to its growing collection of video channels through its streaming TV service, most notably WatchESPN, allowing soccer fans to tune-in for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, that starts next week.
Google announced in a blog post on Tuesday that it has added apps including WatchESPN, Major League Soccer and Japanese anime channel, Crunchyroll as well as the ability to view photos via Google+, its streaming service. WatchESPN (ESPN is majority owned by Disney (DIS)) allows users to cast live sports content from their tablets and smartphones. Users must already pay for ESPN networks as part of their cable, satellite or pay-TV subscriptions.
"This means that next week, U.S. soccer fans will have the ability to watch all 64 World Cup games with the tap of the cast button (vuvuzelas not included). Of course, in addition to soccer, you can also cast all of ESPN's other sports content, from the NBA Finals and X Games to college football," Google said in a blog post on Tuesday.
Starting today, users can cast additional professional soccer matchups through the MLS Matchday app and MLS LIVE premium services, Google said.
Google has 17 additional apps on Chromecast including Netflix (NFLX), HBO Go, Hulu, Vevo, PostTV (from The Washington Post) and MLB.TV (Major League Baseball). But the number is small compared to channels featured on Apple (AAPL) TV and Roku and increasingly Amazon's (AMZN) Fire TV, launched in April.
Google sells its dongle, the device that connects smartphone to HDTV, for $35.
--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.