Microsoft in its conference today announced an exclusive deal with ESPN to air over 3,500 live events as well as sports clips from ESPN and ESPN3 this coming Fall on the Xbox 360 – all for free. The sports events include college basketball, college football and bowl games, Major League Baseball, NBA, international soccer, tennis – including all four Grand Slam tournament – and golf majors.
If that weren’t enough, the ESPN software includes Kinect functionality, allowing people to change channels and clips with both hand movements and vocal command – a la Minority Report. The functionality extends to fan participation such as polls, trivia and other social events.
It’ll be interesting to see if this is truly an Xbox 360 exclusive or a timed exclusive like Netflix.
“Read more…” for the full press release.
ESPN, Microsoft Enter into Exclusive Deal
Over 3,500 live events from ESPN3.com and ESPN.com clips delivered to the
Xbox 360 console this Fall
ESPN today announced a collaboration with Microsoft, exclusive within the
game console category, to introduce the ultimate interactive experience
for sports fans. The deal will bring ESPN3.com’s live events, ESPN.com’s
video-on-demand clips and sports highlights and other interactive features
to the Xbox 360 console.
Beginning in November, Xbox LIVE Gold members who receive their Internet
connection from an affiliated service provider will have access to more
than 3,500 live, global events every year via ESPN3.com – ESPN’s 24/7
broadband sports network – including college basketball, college football
and bowl games, MLB, NBA, international soccer, tennis including all four
Grand Slam tournaments, golf majors and more. Fans will also be able to
replay sports and events with full DVR control, pull up current scores
on-demand while watching the game and easily switch between events and see
what the most popular games are in the Xbox LIVE community in real time.
ESPN content and features available to all Xbox LIVE Gold members include:
* Daily Highlights: Access to ESPN.com video clips and daily sports
highlights streamed on-demand;
* Kinect for Xbox 360 Integration: Microsoft’s new technology allows
fans to control the content they watch with just their voice or wave of
* Team Affiliation: Declare favorite teams and see how many other
people in the Xbox LIVE community are also fans;
* Social Activities: Connect to the Xbox LIVE community with in-game
social activities like polls, trivia and prediction questions and more.
ESPN3.com is available in more than 50 million households nationwide –
two-thirds of U.S. broadband homes – via dozens of affiliated Internet
service providers including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter,
Windstream, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Mediacom, Conway, Grande
Communications and many more. It is also available at no cost to
approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military
personnel via on-campus educational networks and on-base military
ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports
entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports
assets. The company is comprised of six 24-hour domestic television
networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes) and
ESPN 3D, an event-based network. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS HD are
simulcast services. Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television,
ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN
Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com (broadband sports network) ESPN Mobile, ESPN
The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, and other growing new businesses
including ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn.,
ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of
The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent
interest in ESPN.
Jonah Falcon is a blogger for TMRzoo and GameStooge.com and covers all gaming consoles and platforms including Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP and computer games designed for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Jonah provides his readers with reviews, previews and up to date gaming industry news and rumors.