Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

Hmm. ESPN developing "interactive television programming" around baseball content

ESPN and Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced today that they have extended their new-media rights deal, allowing ESPN to stream live games on the Internet and add baseball content onto a number of platforms and devices.

But that news didn’t catch my eye. Buried deep was a little tidbit about ESPN also developing interactive television programming around baseball content.

Ding! Ding! Ding! What the heck does that mean?

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ESPN to launch Action Sports Network online in fall

Fans of action sports such as surfing, skateboarding, motocross, and snowboarding, your time has come. ESPN will unveil a new digital strategy today that’s aimed at you, not the middle-age male sports fan.

ESPN will launch in the fall the ESPN Action Sports Network, which will encompass a bunch of Internet sites dedicated to a specific “action sport.” The action sports network will offer coverage of events that are not carried on mainstream television, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“We felt like we were under-delivering on a year-round basis,” Dave Finger, director of action sports for ESPN Digital Media, told the LAT. “We felt like we were missing out on covering action sports with the same voice and authority that we bring to stick and ball.”

ESPN was the first mainstream media outlet to embrace “anti-establishment” athletes and their fans with the creation of the Extreme Games in 1995, which later became the X Games. The X Games, however, are held only twice-yearly, while the non-team, non-traditional sports included in the X Games are often “played” year-round.

ESPN’s extreme sports Web site,, will now become a part of the ESPN Action Sports Network.

It’s a great move by ESPN. Television will continue to be dominated by the big four sports — football, baseball, basketball, and hockey — and time slots are limited for other sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross.

Online, however, ESPN can cater to every sport with exclusive video and in-depth content with no time or space limitations. ESPN will expand original digital programming like “Guerilla Cam”, which takes fans behind the scenes at events, and the also will invite fans to upload and share their own videos in an attempt to build community around each sport.

From an RC beer cooler to an ESPN remote, digital lifestyle gifts for Dad on Father's Day

rc coolerThere are only a couple of more shopping days left until Father’s Day, that once-a-year event when wives and kids all across the U.S. buy Dad ties, aftershave, and other things he — let’s be honest here — will never use.

So to make shopping easier this year, we’ve assembled a few digital lifestyle ideas for your husband or Dad. Most of these are more expensive than Aqua Velva aftershave but, since we’re being honest here, these are what Dad might buy for himself, including a remote control beer cooler.

The obvious

The most sought-after Father’s Day gift on the planet will be the new 3G iPhone from Apple, which isn’t available until July 11. Until then, a hand-written IOU redeemable for the iPhone will do. Thankfully, the price is coming way down: $199 for the 8 GB model, $299 for the 16 GB phone. And since it now supports the enterprise with Microsoft Exchange syncing and other business-place features, the grumpy IT guys at Dad’s office will be happy.

Alternatives: none. Sure, we could argue for a Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry, or HTC smart phone, but why bother? Until Google’s Android phones are available — long after this Father’s Day is over — the iPhone will head Dad’s wish list.

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In a departure from business as usual, ESPN syndicates video content on AOL

espn on aolIn a significant departure from business as usual, ESPN for the first time is syndicating its short-form video content through AOL Video.

ESPN currently syndicates video on mobile devices but has restricted video clips to its own Internet properties. ESPN says the strategy has been successful as fans viewed videos more than 1.2 billion times in 2007, a 54 percent increase over 2006. On average, fans viewed more than 105 million videos per month last year.

So why get involved with AOL?

Despite the fact that ESPN was the 13th largest distributor of video on the Web in February (according to Nielsen’s VideoCensus), ESPN will get more distribution and exposure for its video through AOL — and the ad revenue that goes along with it. AOL gets more content to differentiate it from other video aggregators.

Videos via an embedded ESPN video player will include highlights from games and major sporting events, breaking news, as well as clips from ESPN’s original programming, including “SportsCenter Right Now,” “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” and “Around the Horn.”