ESPN will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a multiplatform weeklong initiative, “Content of Character”, starting Tuesday, Jan. 11, and ending on the national holiday, Monday, Jan. 17. Highlights include a two-hour “town hall” discussion about the current image of the black athlete with director Spike Lee and other prominent panelists, special segments on SportsCenter and Outside the Lines, SportsNation on location at Morehouse College (Atlanta, Ga.) and Southern University (Baton Rouge, La.) and vignettes featuring prominent sports figures speaking about the impact of Dr. King’s legacy.
A year ago on this date ESPN announced the launch of an event-based only 3D network which would air nearly 100 events in its first year. Today the company announced at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show that ESPN 3D will now air content 24-hours a day. As of Feb. 14, 2011, the network will show replays of previously televised ESPN 3D events when the network is not showing a live event.
ESPN today announced a new way for Sprint customers to access all things ESPN with one simple click. Part of Sprint ID, a service that downloads apps, widgets, wallpapers, ringtones and other content related to a person’s interest at the push of a button, ESPN’s ID pack allows fans to connect to their favorite teams and sports directly from the device’s home screen.
Owners of select Sprint devices such as LG Optimus S™, Sanyo Zio™, Samsung Transform™ and other upcoming Sprint devices will be able to choose the ESPN ID pack for instant access to scores right on their home screen, as well as have one-tap access to sports news, fantasy teams and their favorite ESPN programs including more than 900 live events per year on ESPN Mobile TV. Users can customize their device even further by choosing from a variety of ESPN wallpapers and ringtones.
“Collaborating with Sprint has allowed us to offer our audience a robust mobile experience that lets them stay in touch with everything they love about ESPN even when they’re away from their TV or computer,” said Matt Murphy, Senior Vice President of Digital Distribution at ESPN. “Sprint ID is an innovative concept that allows us to design a package of content that sports fans will appreciate when they’re away from home, such as checking the scores or watching their favorite sports. Sprint ID makes it convenient for them to get all the ESPN content they want with one click – eliminating the time and hassle of searching for everything themselves.”
The ESPN ID pack includes access to:
- ScoreCenter: Keep up with the latest scores and stats from 500 leagues around the world with the ESPN ScoreCenter app. With ScoreCenter, fans never miss another goal, run, or touchdown.
- Video On Demand: Watch news and analysis from ESPN’s experts whenever and wherever.
- ESPN Mobile TV: Catch the latest sports news and highlights, fan favorite studio shows, and more than 900 live events per year.
- Fantasy Sports: Connect to ESPN Fantasy teams on the go. With one-tap Fantasy access, it’s never been easier to check on an injury, make a substitution or accept a trade.
- ESPN Extras: Download wallpaper, ringtones, notifications and alarms from a variety of ESPN programs including SportsCenter, Pardon The Interruption, SportsNation and more.
For the second straight year, in 2010 ESPN and ESPN2 each posted their most-viewed year, as did the combination of ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic and ESPN Deportes), according to Nielsen. ESPN capped the year with its most-watched quarter ever and for the year led all cable networks in total-day delivery in key male demos – men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.
ESPN has launched its ScoreCenter application, popular on devices like the iPhone and iPad, to Internet-enabled televisions. ScoreCenter will first be available on Samsung Internet-enabled TVs via the Samsung Apps store, the world’s first HDTV-based application store.
The application provides fans with the ability to view scores and stats from a variety of sports with a touch of a button. Scoreboards and live game details can expand to include in-game stats, scores and schedules. Personalization features allow fans to customize their ScoreCenter experience by highlighting their favorite teams and leagues. Fans can also position the application to suit their preference, including across the top, bottom or sides of the screen. The video image adjusts accordingly, depending on the placement of the app.
ESPN and Xbox 360 are delivering a new and unique interactive experience for college football bowl season. In a new software update to ESPN on Xbox LIVE available today, sports fans will be able to engage in this year’s bowl games – available live on ESPN3.com – by playing the College Bowl Showdown pick ‘em against other friends on the Xbox 360 console. Users predict who will win each game, earn a score for predictions and compete against friends to determine a winner.
ESPN has acquired substantially all of the intellectual property of PVI Virtual Media Services, located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The acquisition will augment ESPN’s innovative use of virtual technology across its multiple platforms. Under this agreement, ESPN will hire substantially all of the highly-talented staff of engineers who have developed many of PVI’s virtual innovations. As a result of the transaction, ESPN will hold the rights to substantially all of PVI’s intellectual property including intellectual property which relates to virtual insertion, player tracking, iTV applications as well as 3D graphics development. In addition, certain rights to PVI’s technology have been separately sold to a third party.
During the game, the team will premiere the ‘4-pointer,’ a shot taken at a distance of 35 feet from the hoop which is almost 12 feet away beyond the NBA’s current 3-point arc.
‘The Globetrotters have been at the forefront of basketball’s evolution throughout the sport´s history,’ said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. ‘From the alley-oop to the slam dunk to the behind-the-back pass, the Globetrotters have long brought innovations to basketball that are now staples of the game, and we’re confident the 4-point shot will change the game of basketball going forward.’
ESPN Inc., announced Tuesday that it has finalized the sale of BASS, LLC to a group of investors including Don Logan, Jerry McKinnis and Jim Copeland. An agreement in principle was announced in August by ESPN and the transaction was completed Monday.
BASS is the largest membership organization of bass anglers in the U.S. with more than 500,000 members. It was purchased by ESPN in 2001 and includes several media platforms, including three magazines and a popular web site. The investor group is a powerful combination of business acumen and superior knowledge of the outdoors industry.