Playdom and ESPN Games Launch ‘ESPNU College Town’ on Facebook Featuring Assets from Dozens of Real Schools

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2010 -- ESPNU College Town

Playdom, in collaboration with ESPN Games, today launched a sports-themed social game on Facebook titled ESPNU College Town. Fun, engaging and easy to play,ESPNU College Town gives sports fans a chance to create and run their own virtual college campus, build an elite athletic program, and compete against their friends for bragging rights.

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Report: ESPN’s Canadian Clothing Line Sold Expletive/Hate-Filled Tee for Children

The Winnipeg Free Press recently reported on a report that one of the tee shirts sold by ESPN’s X Games Clothing Line, exclusively in Canada, is covered in apparent dialogue as a design element which contained an expletive as well as including the line ‘we started egging some trannies and that was some fun.’

According to the article, the offending shirt was sold in youth sizes 2-6 and has subsequently been recalled, pulled from the shelf and destroyed. According to an article from Global License, the line of clothing is produced by Total Kids Wear.

[via Qweerty]

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ESPN Debuts Nimble SpiderCam Technology During US Open Coverage

ESPN's SpiderCam at the U.S. OpenMaking its debut at a Grand Slam tennis event, ESPN’s SpiderCam at the US Open has taken viewers where they’ve never gone before for dramatic shots of Arthur Ashe Stadium.  The aerial camera system – which is exclusive to ESPN2 and its approximately 100 hours of US Open action – is suspended by four thin Kevlar ropes connected to large winches via pulleys high above the court surface on light poles at the four corners of the world’s largest tennis arena.  It moves in three dimensions, ranging from as low as one meter off the court to 33 meters high, from beyond one end of the court to the other and from side to side.  The camera can pan, tilt, zoom and focus, with the images sent via fiber optics wiring within the Kevlar roping.

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Disney/ABC Television Group and Time Warner Cable Announce Agreement, Expanded Services

Disney/ABC Television Group, ESPN and Time Warner Cable today entered into a long-term, wide-ranging agreement that will provide Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks cable customers the programming of ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and SOAPnet, as well as WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WTVD in Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, WTVG in Toledo, and associated HD cable networks. Subscribers will also have unprecedented digital access to online content and expanded Video On Demand services.

This extensive and expanded rights package, Disney Media Network’s most expansive content agreement to date, provides for:

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ESPN 3D to Offer In-Store Demos Nationwide September 10-12

Today, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® and ESPN announce a weekend of 3DTV programming events and demonstrations in retail locations nationwide. During National 3D Demo Days, September 10-12, 2010, knowledgeable sales staff will showcase the latest in 3DTV, as ESPN provides continual 3D programming from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

A recent study conducted by CEA found 64 percent of sales associates said shoppers are expressing a desire to experience sports in 3D (CEA’s 3D at Retail, June 2010). ESPN will provide this desired content directly to stores:

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ESPN Films’ FIFA World Cup Doc, ‘I Scored a Goal,’ to Premiere July 3 on ABC

Anchor Brian Kenny with legendary soccer player Pelé on ESPN's SportsCenter, May 25, 2010 © ESPNThe ESPN Films documentary I Scored a Goal will premiere Saturday, July 3, at 5 p.m. ET on ABC during the ESPN Sports Saturday programming block. The one-hour program represents one of ESPN’s most ambitious initiatives surrounding the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. The documentary features interviews with most of the 34 living men who have scored a goal in the title match of the FIFA World Cup, dating back to the first tournament in 1930. Among those interviewed are Uruguay’s Alcides Ghiggia (1950), Brazil’s Pele (1958 and 1970) and Ronaldo (2002), Germany’s Gerd Müller (1974) and Rudi Völler (1986), Holland’s Dick Nanninga (1978),  and Argentina’s Mario Kempes (1978, now an analyst for ESPN Deportes and ESPN International), all of whom represent countries still competing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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ESPN and Microsoft Announce Exclusive Content Deal for Xbox Live Subscribers

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.

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ESPN 3D to Launch Complete with 3D Ads from Sony, Gillette and Disney/Pixar

When ESPN launches ESPN 3D on Friday, June 11, three advertisers – SONY, Gillette and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 – will debut new commercials produced in native 3D.  Additionally, ESPN will introduce its first-ever 3D commercial from the award-winning This is SportsCenter franchise.

“The 3D advertising opportunity and marketplace is at the beginning so we are very excited to have three marquee advertisers on board,” said Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales.  “We have interest from several of our clients to include ESPN 3D in their packages and we will do everything we can to accommodate them.”

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ESPN Signs on Playdom to Develop ESPN-Branded Sports Games for Social Media Networks

ESPN Interactive today announced that it has reached a two-year agreement with Playdom, one of the leading social gaming companies, to develop ESPN-branded sports genre games for social media platforms.  The first two in development are slated to launch this Fall.

“Our deal with Playdom marks ESPN’s first major presence into the social gaming space,” said Raphael Poplock, vice president, games and revenue strategy and development for ESPN Digital Media.  “The sports genre for this category of games has gone virtually untapped thus far, and through this agreement, we have an opportunity to be in front of a highly engaged audience and at the forefront of what is currently the fastest growing games category out there.”

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ESPN’s Chris Berman to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Chris Berman © ESPNSix-time National Sportscaster of the Year Chris Berman of ESPN, will be honored Monday, May 24, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a tribute for his more than 30 years of contribution to the sports television industry. Over the past three decades, Berman has become one of the preeminent sports commentators of his generation. He has been with ESPN since October 1979 — less than a month after the network launched.  ESPN announced last month that Berman had signed a contract extension that will keep him at the network.

This year, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce selected just 28 names from more than 200 nominations. Other honorees set to cement a place in Hollywood history in 2010 are director James Cameron, actors Russell Crowe, John Cusack, Colin Firth, Adam Sandler, Emma Thompson and Mark Wahlberg, and musicians Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, the band ZZ Top and Roy Orbison (posthumously).

“A star on Hollywood Boulevard is an iconic honor that has literally blown me away,” said Berman.  “It speaks to 30 years of hard work for thousands of ESPN employees, and I am proud to represent each and every one of them.  I can assure you that this will be the only time that my name will be in a sentence with the likes of Clarke Gable and John Wayne.”

Berman is the leading voice and face of ESPN’s National Football League studio coverage as host of Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and halftime of Monday Night Football, the most-watched series on cable. He has also anchored ESPN’s annual NFL Draft telecast since 1987. His prognosticating alter-ego – the “Swami” – has provided weekly NFL predictions and observations on SportsCenter since 1979.  He also does Major League Baseball play-by-play, hosts the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby and hosts ESPN’s U.S. Open golf coverage.  A regular on SportsCenter for its first 11 years, he continues to anchor the show a handful of times a year.

(more…)

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