When you woke up Monday morning and decided to try to use ESPN3, you might have noticed something new and odd. Blackout maps for ESPN content on ESPN3. How? Why?
Well, it makes business sense for ESPN.
ESPN, much like Turner with the NCAA tournament, wants you to subscribe to their networks via cable or FIOS (I would assume other providers in the future too) when watching ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU live events online. So the user who has ESPN3 access through their ISP, but not access to the WatchESPN authenticated content as a DirecTV subscriber, loses the ability to watch ESPN and ESPN2 live events.
At this time, unlike the NCAA tournament on the Turner nets, you don't have a stand alone option to watch those ESPN & ESPN2 games. That's what ESPN3 was, but won't be going forward.
ESPN3 is now becoming a place for exclusive online content. Stuff you won't see on ESPN or ESPN2. For college sports, GamePlan and Full Court should remain the same. Just note that ESPN3 will still have online restrictions for SEC PPV and some regional games that might be available on local or regional networks in your area.
Still have questions? I highly recommend you go to ESPN3.com and go through the FAQ. I'm not ESPN and don't know 100% of the in's and out's of this change.