Fox Sports' Sprint Cup Viewership Down 6% NFL Cardinals' Amazon Series Debuts Source: Disney Buying 33% BAM Tech Stake Tirico Receives Warm ESPN Send-Off Multiple NFL Teams Pushing For St. Louis TV Online Network Changing Gymnastics Coverage NBC Swim Trials Audience Down Big ESPN Makes Moves In Tech Department ESPN Viewership Slightly Lower In Q2 Pistons Flagship Dumps Sports Format
ESPN'S ON-LINE SERVICE GETS A POWERFUL PARTNER -- PAUL ALLEN
Published March 10, 1995
ESPN plans an on-line sports service with Microsoft co- founder/Blazers Owner Paul Allen, offering scores, statistics, rotisserie baseball, and eventually ticketing, over the Internet and the planned Microsoft Network. The alliance between links part of Allen's growing collection of multimedia companies with Microsoft. The new sports service, which will be free to start, will first appear in April on the Internet as part of the World Wide Web. It will be available on the Microsoft Network when that commercial on-line service begins operating later this year. Allen's Starwave Corp., a Bellevue, WA, multimedia company, has been testing a free sports-information service called Satchel on the World Wide Web for several months. ESPN has offered its own service, ESPNet, on Prodigy for the past year. The only hangup in the new deal is the name of the service. ESPN wants to "retain a strong link" to ESPNet, while Starwave is "resisting the move." ESPN's exclusive one-year deal with Prodigy expires this month, so ESPN is looking to get its service on other online services, such as America Online and the Microsoft Network. The sports service would also affect Starwave's relationship with another online service, ATT's Interchange network. Starwave had agreed to launch a sports service for that new online service, but those plans are now on hold. Ad and subscription revenue from the new service will be shared by Starwave and ESPN. The service is expected to debut during the Final Four (Bart Ziegler, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/10).