It is happening as I predicted it. HD streaming is getting to a point where you can find live events in HD for free. I was watching UFC 169 last night in 720p. Hell, that is better than any Acestream or Streamtorrent I could find.
I just read an article on how ESPN's #1 policy now is to protect the pay TV model. Anyone hoping for WatchESPN as a stand alone subscription is dreaming.