ESPN and Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced an agreement that will add high- and standard-definition full-length games, television shows and video game programming to Xbox LIVE, the online games and entertainment network on Xbox 360. Effective immediately, fans of all ages can access a growing catalog of marquee sporting events and timely programming, including full-length NCAA college football and basketball games, Summer X Games 13, “World Series of Poker,” “The Contender,” “Madden Nation” and much more on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, the leading high-definition video download service.
“Establishing this relationship with Microsoft on Xbox 360 provides an innovative way to reach our target demographic through this dynamic next-generation entertainment console,” said Matt Murphy, senior vice president, Digital Video Distribution, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “This agreement embodies our mission to deliver the best sports content to fans, and does it through an exciting and robust platform that reaches millions of people.”
Through this agreement, Xbox LIVE users can download a variety of popular events and shows available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace each week, highlighted by the best matchups from the world of college football and basketball.
For video gamers, ESPN content on Xbox LIVE will include the 2006 and 2007 seasons of “Madden Nation,” an ESPN reality series taking fans inside the world of Madden NFL football competitive gaming. Additional programming will include the 2007 “World Series of Poker,” the 2007 season of “The Contender,” the full-length high-definition surfing documentary “Down the Barrel” and some of the best college football bowl games.
“This is a natural fit for us, as so many Xbox 360 owners are huge sports fans,” said Ross Honey, senior director of the media and entertainment group at Microsoft. “We are dedicated to providing our diverse community of Xbox LIVE users the premium entertainment content they want, and partnering with ESPN is a great example of our continued dedication in the video-on-demand space, especially in high definition.”
Currently offering more than 3,200 hours of premium entertainment content from more than 30 studios and networks, Xbox LIVE Marketplace is the only online service offering downloadable movies and TV shows in high definition.