ESPN Thinks Outside The TV Set — And Then Some

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In the 15 years since then-ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein started to think outside the TV set, the network has moved onto just about every platform possible. I’ve been writing about what is now a sports megaplex for much of that time as it expanded beyond analog TV and radio to the magazine, pagers, the web, broadband, cell phones, video games and HDTV. That may be one reason I appreciate the job Frank Rose did with his contribution to Wired’s TV 2.0 package — a look at ESPN’s multi-screen, multi-platform strategy and the way it’s playing out. You should read this one for yourselves but here are a few things that caught my eye:
— Real-time updates from ESPN.com will be part of the EA John Madden games designed for next-gen Xbox Live and PlayStation, taking advantage of the internet connections to avoid seamless access to sports info while playing the games.
— Much of ESPN’s focus is on managing and using the vast amounts of video downloaded daily, between 200-500 hours. One effort still in the works is a rights engine that would identify where the video can be used legally, a true need given the complexity of some of ESPN’s rights deals. Also in the works, video search and a new service that will retrieve video used on ESPN Motion and TV listings from across the networks. An eventual goal: making it possible to search and deliver in any medium.
— ESPN is aiming for a totally integrated, interactive experience when Monday Night Football moves over from sibling ABC in 2007.

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