Chromecast dips its cleat in sports apps with ESPN, soccer channels

Chromecast sports app list with ESPN
Sports. Grumpycat.

Google Chromecast is finally catching up to its more athletic app streaming competition with new sports channels for ESPN and Major League Soccer.

The WatchESPN app is becoming "cast" compatible just in time for next week's 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

At $35, Chromecast represents the cheapest way to stream all 64 soccer games to a TV, as long as you can log into a cable or satellite account. The ESPN app isn't for cord cutters.

WatchESPN will also stream plenty of other non-soccer content, including the NBA Finals, X Games and college football.

More sports apps

Even more soccer matches can be streamed via the US and Canada-focused MLS app, though MLS Live requires a paid subscription.

The same applies to the MLB TV app, which started sporting the all-important Chromecast "cast" button in April, a few games after opening day at most stadiums.

And that's it. WatchESPN, MLS and MLB TV are the only three sports apps on Chromecast at the moment.

Google's streaming device is still missing NBA, NHL GameCenter, WWE Network and UFC TV, apps its rivals offer on the Apple TV, Roku 3 and Amazon Fire TV in one way or another.

Anime on Chromecast

For Chromecast owners who don't like sports and their dads can't understand why, Google has added the polar opposite today as well: the anime app Crunchyroll.

Anime on Chromecast

Anime arrives on Chromecast

Crunchyroll has 25,000 videos and 12,000 hours of anime, Korean drama and live-action titles. It also offers a paid service for episodes just one hour after Japanese TV broadcast.

The future of Google+ is uncertain, but Chromecast is treating diehard users who sync their photos and videos to the social network. They'll be able to stream album slideshow to a TV with the tap of the "cast" button.

Google is taking small steps with its almost-one-year-old Chromecast, especially now that the Roku Streaming Stick offers more than 1,000 apps in the same form factor.

Matt Swider