Mega sports site is working on a homerun deal with wireless carriers.
ESPN, the cable sports network that's mostly owned by Walt Disney Co., is reportedly knee-deep in discussions with at least one major wireless carrier in the U.S. to subsidize wireless connectivity for its users, meaning that its content wouldn't count towards a user's data cap. Sports fans would then be free to view as many videos on ESPN as they want without worrying about how much data they're chewing through.
The NCAA Football season is drawing to a close, which means bowl games are right around the corner. Keeping track of the who, when, and where during such a busy time of year can be a pain, but the folks from ESPN have you covered with the Bowl Bound app for Android devices.
Still steaming over Netflix's recent shenanigans and couldn't care less that it's going to be available on the Kindle Fire you pre-ordered? Well hey, you have options, and Amazon just sent us word that Hulu Plus is joining its selection of several thousands of apps that will be available on the Kindle Fire next week, provided you're down with the $8/month subscription.
Technological progress grows at different rates depending on the industry, and few industries have gained as much growth in the last several years as sports entertainment. With companies like ESPN leading the way in HD and then 3D television, the sports industry has pushed the rest of the entertainment business to improve and innovate.
There are a variety of ways to watch, listen, and follow your sports team these days. Things are almost to the point where a simply having a cable TV service isn’t enough to really get the full experience. We’re going to take a look at a number of services and gadgets that will both enhance your sports viewing experience and provide more flexibility in how and where you watch your sports.
Market niches become filled after awhile. And when they do anxious manufacturers, hoping to wring a few more dollars out of their product, will look to expand their usability. Gaming consoles, while widely used, are still a niche product--they appeal to people who want to game. Once gamers have had their fill, what’s Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony to do? Teach their consoles a new trick is what. Make them devices that are equally at home with fraggers and media viewers by broadening their ability to stream media from the Internet.
True enough, Xbox, PlayStation, and the Wii already have such capabilities. But their repertoire is limited. What’s needed is a broader selection of media content, so that more people will be inclined to purchase. PlayStation users, for example, can watch the BBC and Weather Channel, while Xbox and Wii users can tap into Netflix. But what about regular TV? There the options are more limited.
Microsoft is hoping to rectify this. It's now in ‘secret’ negotiations with Disney to bring ESPN to the Xbox. Microsoft is taking the view that Xbox Live is more than a gaming community. It’s also a cable channel, with 20 million monthly subscribers, and 1 million daily users. (Numbers comparable to the Cartoon Network and TBS.) Microsoft already has an interactive game show, “1 vs. 100”. And it is looking to make itself a “bigger player” in film and television viewing.
There’s a definite logic to such moves by console makers. There are a lot more of us who watch TV than game. And gaming consoles, already present in many households, are reasonable platforms for streaming media from the Internet. But what happens if this new market focus supplants gaming? Right now console gamers are getting a lot of TLC from console makers. Should they no longer be the industry’s ‘golden child’, will console gamers be orphaned in favor of soap operas and reality TV?
Although major ABC shows are reported to be at the heart of the discussions, the sources haven’t ruled out the possibility of the talks being expanded to include more content from Disney’s stable. Hulu is a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp with each having a 45% stake. A source has revealed that one of the arrangements being discussed is to allow Disney to be on equal footing with the two majority stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Disney and Youtube have struck a deal paving the way for ad-backed Youtube channels featuring videos from Disney and ESPN. These video channels will only be available in the U.S and won’t feature entire shows from the Disney stable. The ESPN channel and the ABC channel are scheduled to go live in April and May respectively. But, according to another paidcontent.org report, Disney’s deal with Youtube will not affect its talks with Hulu.
ESPN's "Ultimate Remote" looks nothing like the one Adam Sandler wielded in the move Click, nor can it manipulate time. It can't mute your girlfriend, and no matter what combination of buttons you push, you won't be able to call an audible and change the outcome of the SuperBowl. So can it still live up to its moniker and be the last remote you'll ever buy?
To learn what nifty tricks the Ultimate Remote can do, click through the jump.