Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ESPN & NHL Reach New Media Deal

They couldn't reach a agreement over broadcast rights but ESPN and the NHL were able to come to terms allowing the world's leading sports network to use NHL video highlights and data in their new cell phone, broadband and Classic cable channel services.
The ESPN deal involves putting NHL content -- including video highlights -- on Mobile ESPN, ESPN.com and the ESPN 360 broadband service. It also includes access to real-time NHL statistics and other data. While some rights are the same as ESPN had previously, others are new, including the soon-to-be-launched Mobile ESPN and an extra minute (to a total of three minutes) of highlights per game.

"ESPN as a company is still committed to covering the league," Kelly Laferriere, ESPN's vp programming and acquisitions.

Doug Perlman, the NHL's senior vp television and new media, said Monday that new media is crucial to its fan base of men 18-34 and men 18-49. "It's important for us to be a part of it," Perlman said.
This kind of high-tech ability to service a "niche" audience that's now coming onto the consumer media market has a lot of potential for the NHL to exploit in reaching out and connecting to it's fan base... and beyond. This deal I think represents a HUGE step in that direction.

In other related news:


Sports-information purveyors, mobile-phone service providers and video-game publishers have rushed to make handsets one-stop shops for football, baseball, basketball and hockey fans --

...In perhaps the best example of this trend to date, the ESPN sports-media giant this month begins selling an ESPN-branded mobile handset (made by Sanyo) with ESPN-branded wireless service (provided by Sprint Nextel) at Best Buy stores in Austin, Texas; Minneapolis; Reno, Nev.; and San Antonio. Other cities are due to follow in coming months.

The Sanyo MVP sports a special button with an "E" in ESPN's distinctive font. Pressing that button will hurl users into an ESPN realm with game scores, team updates, sports alerts, video highlights, graphical re-creations, access to fantasy-sports leagues and more.

Even closed, the high-end flip phone will offer a sports fix. On its small secondary screen, scrolling text will clue in users to the latest game results.
If your interested in what the exciting near future world of digital sports media will look like on ESPN check out this WIRED article on the subject.
...the idea that you'll only watch television by plunking yourself in front of a 60-inch plasma screen is growing quaint. Home networks will put TV on your desktop; a proliferation of wireless technologies, from 3G to WiMax, will let you take it anywhere. And in a few years, when the cable companies finally dump their bandwidth-hogging analog channels and go all-digital, they'll be able to offer broadband at speeds that will put TV-quality video on the Net. Professional television will no doubt remain distinguishable from the rising tide of videoblogs, but the age of one-to-many broadcasting will be over for good.
coool, bring it on, I'm ready for the new media sports revolution to begin.


sacamano said...

This from the folks who had Zarley Zalapski getting an assist on Todd Bertuzzi's goal last night. Zarley Zalapski!

I wonder how old the highlights showing up on my phone will be.

br. t. said...

Some mistakes are always made by any organization but overall I'll put ESPN's performance in the sport media field up against anyone out there.