SBD/Issue 87/Sports Media

Media Notes

Microsoft In Talks For ESPN To Provide
Live Streams Of Sporting Events To Xbox
In N.Y., Brian Stelter cites sources as saying that Microsoft has held "in-depth discussions with the Walt Disney Company about a programming deal with ESPN" that would make content available via the Xbox. For a "per-subscriber fee, ESPN could provide live streams of sporting events, similar to the ones available through ESPN 360." The sources added that Microsoft "could also create some interactive games in association with ESPN," though a deal "has not yet been struck" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19). PAID CONTENT's Joseph Tartakoff wrote an ESPN deal "would once again put Microsoft ahead" of Sony and Nintendo, "especially among male-dominated gamers, many of whom also are among ESPN's core demographic" (, 1/18).

NEXT GENERATION: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jonathan Clegg reported a "new wave of sophisticated online-scouting systems have revolutionized the way" European soccer clubs "track potential superstars." U.K.-based scouting consultancy Scout7 and Germany-based media solutions provider collaborated last year to launch the system, which "provides clubs with a world-wide feed of player information and video footage" for an annual subscription of about US$82,000. The database "covers more than 110,000 players from more than 160 leagues and 127 international squads, with 30 correspondents around the world constantly updating the system." Scout7 Managing Dir Lee Jamison "expects half of the top-flight clubs in England to be signed up ... within six months" (, 1/18).

GETTING IN THE GAME: MARKETING magazine's Andrew McCormick reports Google is "poised to become a powerhouse in live sports broadcasting after securing the rights to stream cricket's most lucrative annual tournament to a global audience online." Google's YouTube "will show 60 matches from the Indian Premier League, which starts in March." YouTube "wants to sign a global sponsor and multiple local backers as part of its strategy to make money from the coverage" (, 1/19).

DISAPPEARING ACT: In Orlando, Brian Schmitz reported Magic coach Stan Van Gundy last summer was "asked to appear in an ESPN commercial with his younger brother," ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy. Stan "at first agreed to participate if it could be shot in Orlando, given the Magic's long postseason run," but he "then backed out of the commercial after learning it was to be shot" in L.A. (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/17).

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