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ESPN 360 comes to 360?

Microsoft is apparently in talks with the Walt Disney Company regarding a programming deal with ESPN that would see the channel streaming live sporting events through the Xbox 360 - which would be pretty nifty. This is in the states, but it might be interesting to see whether it would make its way over to this side of the pond, especially given the success the Sky Player app has had since its launch late last year.

The sport broadcasters already provide a similar service for those with high speed internet service providers, called ESPN 360, and a source close to the New York Times suggested that interactive games could be created in association with the channel. The paper said: ‘for a per-subscriber fee, ESPN could provide live streams of sporting events… (and) Microsoft could also create some interactive games… although a deal has not yet been struck.’ With 20 million Xbox Live subscribers however, it surely can’t be long before ESPN gets itself involved.

‘For both of the big guys, it’s about extending the value of the hardware platform,’ said Mike McGuire, a vice president for the research firm Gartner, speaking about Microsoft and Sony. ‘The devices are hooked to TVs and have broadband connections, and there are more and more opportunities to license movies and TV shows and deliver them in over-the-top models.’

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