— ESPN, Big East Sign 6-Year Deal: As of 2007-08 season, ESPN will have the rights to broadcast Big East basketball, football and some other sports on various ESPN networks; the basketball deal, which covers every inter-conference game, includes includes broadband net ESPN360. Release.
— AOL Launches 75 Team Blogs: The new blogs are part of FanHouse, an extension of its traditional sports reports that will cover NFL teams and NCAA football teams. Each has a dedicated blogger recruited from existing sports blogs. The social networking/User-gen options will include photos, videos and comments. AOL Sports already runs AIMPages for Redskins fans. Release.
– Cycling.tv is offering free broadband video coverage of this week’s Tour of Britain, the UK’s largest cycling event. Coverage includes the start and finish of each stage of the race, interviews with riders and rolling race results. The final stage will be covered in a 2.5-hour live broadcast on Sunday 3 September. Cycling.tv charges for access to other specialist coverage – $19.99 for 21 days live coverage of La Vuelta, the Spanish cycle race – and offers daily news round-ups for free.
— HorseTV starts broadband site: The launch of its online channel dubbed HorseTV Access. In conjunction with the network’s coverage of the 2006 International Equestrian Federation World Equestrian Games beginning Monday, the channel will provide a direct feed from the games held in Aachen, Germany.
— UK’s Sunset + Vine Expands New Media: David Stranks, former executive producer at 3, has been appointed head of new media at Sunset + Vine sports production company (“Gillette Word Sport”, etc.). Stranks will lead the company’s drive to produce broadband and mobile content; he’ll work with the interactive team from parent company Tinopolis. Sunset + Vine MD John Leach said in the release that the aim is to generate revenue from the start: “We already have a couple of properties to work with straight away.”
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.