Xbox 360 soon to stream ESPN?

The New York Times reports Microsoft has been in negotiations with Disney to stream live feeds of sporting events via its console.

by

Source: The New York Times.

What we heard: When they hear "Xbox 360," most people think "game console." Not the executives at Microsoft, according to the Times. In an article published Monday, the venerable newspaper reported that the software giant now views its online-enabled platform as more of a "cable channel" than a dedicated gaming device. Via the 360's Xbox Live service, Microsoft now offers numerous pay-per-view video options, as well as movie streaming via an embedded Netflix service.

Coming soon to a 360 near you?

Now, the Times reports that Microsoft has been in talks with the Walt Disney Company to bring its ESPN 360 service to the Xbox 360. The sport television channel's Web-based service, currently available through several Internet Service Providers around the country, allows subscribers to stream live sporting events, such as college basketball, soccer, and tennis. Anonymous sources told the newspaper that ESPN 360 would be available for a "per-subscriber fee," presumably referring to the Xbox Live Gold subscription fee. Officially, that fee is $50 per year, though it can be purchased cheaper via various online outlets.

The official story: "We don't discuss products, services, or games which may or may not come to the Xbox 360 platform in the future," said a Microsoft rep.

Bogus or not bogus?: Given the NYT's pedigree, the fact that Microsoft is talking to ESPN looks not bogus. However, by its own account, the paper says that an agreement to bring ESPN 360 to Xbox Live "was not imminent," meaning it could still fall through.

Discussion

187 comments
aGiantSquirrel
aGiantSquirrel

@Lex_Luthor_XLII Wow I almost forgot about this article. But yeah, good point, I didnt think about that. However, it would be nice if Last.Fm played more than just one song by the artist named on the radio station.

Lex_Luthor_XLII
Lex_Luthor_XLII

@aGiantSquirrel last.fm works like Pandora.com. It is illegal to play an artist's entire CD (or library) for free. Hence the variety. Copyright, anyone?

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

As long as it's an OPTION and not forced on subscribers. I'm all for it.

tootank
tootank

i hope it comes to aus, oh please come to aus.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

@Waldkrieger i'm with you my brother,, hahaha, why do I need another "ugly", if I already have a "pretty".

force_user1975
force_user1975

What a time to be a Microsoft XBox 360 fan. It really is the console with the best games and most to offer, especially online, yet instead of holding still with the best online service, they keep sweetening the deal.

cyclonebw
cyclonebw

UK can watch tv on PS3. I hate football so nothing special here.

aGiantSquirrel
aGiantSquirrel

@TripSe7en You make a good point about ESPN not playing every game and perhaps the xbox service might make that content available. Thank you, I was trying to figure the big benefit to this over just watching ESPN on tv, and I think you make a good point

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

I think they should offer a $50 a year straight up cable service. thatd be awesome. Or at least let us buy individual channels like on mobile phones.

dkslade
dkslade

I hope not, its because of ESPN that the college bowl games almost were not televised.ESPN has now even gotten the championship bowl game for 2012. I want as many sports channels like the rest with being able to watch cbs/abc/fox without worrying to pay extra.

Xtatic324
Xtatic324

Im lovin it. I hope it happens. I watch espn and play games on my free time. So this would be perfect for me.

madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

VERY important details left out: Would the streaming be in HD? Can you DV-R things? If not, why the hell not (for both questions)? That would be a large selling point. I'm not sure how much live streaming sports I need on my console since I have cable internet and use the same TV for both. Same for a majority of players. Good god. Make games, people. The cash wasted for this likely-DOA idea could have better been used for a new IP, or development of some pretty basic and expected hardware features like wifi and HD media in all future models. Sony: You've been mostly quiet about these types of features, and please don't feel forced to push on with more. PS Home is already a little too odd. Nintendo: Don't load a new Wii with anything of this, either. Keep it nice and simple. It's one reason we love you.

me729
me729

ESPN doesn't have that many good events anyway..... They have more retarded poker tournaments than actual sports.

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. One consumer benefit of this business model, should more cable networks sign on, would be 'a la carte' shopping for cable channels instead of purchasing conventional packages which likely include networks the customer may not necessarily watch. The benefit for the cable networks would be having an additional revenue stream while bypassing the cable companies altogether, avoiding the ever-increasing disputes over carriage fees.

Waldkrieger
Waldkrieger

@Worm209 Correct. X360 has become a social network and media player. Instead of relying on good quality games, they are deterring their focus onto other nonsense. Nonsense, might I add, that I have zero interest in or want on my game console. It's also rather pointless to have all this on a X360 when my PC is 10 feet away. Do I seriously want some dumb Last.FM when I have 150gb of music on my PC? Do I want to stream television when I can just switch to TV and watch in full HD? Do I want to log in Twitter or Facebook on a GAME console when I can do that on my PC already? No!! Too much emphasis on being social, not enough of the games. You can count me out of all this.

grasshopper6
grasshopper6

if i can watch soccer games normally not on tv i'll get a 360 hopefully they made it more reliable by now

aGiantSquirrel
aGiantSquirrel

@Shawcross (bluray doesn't automatically mean great games though) Are you serious??? doesnt mean great games... what games do you play? Surely titles such as Resistance, Killzone, LBP, MGS4, Uncharted, Yazuka, Infamous, Ratchet and clank, GT5, just to name a few of the popular releases. Or, Modnation raer, Heavy Rain, Mag, FF13 versus, for future releases must not be good either. All I have to say is that you must really love your Halo to neglect all these Wonderful games.

ForsakenWicked
ForsakenWicked

Now this would be interesting. I can see myself reading some sports news and then playing something on my 360.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

wopchop10 It's about time too. It took the arrival of Netflix to get me interested in Gold, I was fine getting demos weeks later. I really can't complain about them adding features, even if I don't use them.

BuRGHFaN1
BuRGHFaN1

As far as everyone complaining about "multimedia and not gaming console", do you blame Microsoft for trying to expand into different regions of entertainment? People dont need facebook and twitter on XBL but thats the way everything is going, social networking. I found friends on XBL thru Facebook that I had no idea even had a 360. it was a nice addition but I dont update my status on there every 15 mins. Get over yourselves.

BuRGHFaN1
BuRGHFaN1

if its not in full HD and available to people overseas, then i wont/cant use it. I hate not being able to download movies and other crap because I live outside the US.

wopchop10
wopchop10

in all honesty all these new applications microsoft has been hunting for (and mostly getting) is all an effort to make the gold membership worth buying. think about when u first got ur xbox 360 and heard that in order to play online u would have to play. although not everyone cried out in a rage everyone still had the same reaction. no1 wanted to pay for online capabilities. microsoft merely heard that outcry and now they've been making real steps to giving their consumers something worth paying for. whether i use all these applications or not (which i dont for the most part) i can see and appreciate what their trying to do

Worm209
Worm209

ACx7 Posted Jan 20, 2010 9:24 am GMT "is anyone else sick of all this media BS? It's a gaming console. Focus on the games. Same goes to Sony" Yep, i am with you on that

Worm209
Worm209

As they add more and more stuff, LastFM, SkyPlayer, Facebook etc i kind of get the feeling they are moving further away from the gaming side... you know.. good gaming with great connections.. the thing i bought this console for. Well i say THIS console but its kind of mutated since i bought it. Its.. i dont know.. basically its been infected with some kind of social networking disease and its not a hardcore gaming machine anymore. Its some multimedia hub & i want a cure. Pure speculation here but is the current trend of putting matchmaking into games anything to do with the addition of services like those mentioned? Taking the hosting away from players to free up bandwidth for other non-gaming rubbish that i dont want anyway? Anybody saying 'stop moaning youre not forced to use it' are correct, i know for a fact i will never use these features on my 360 as i dont want them but i dont want these services to adversely affect my gaming on my GAMES CONSOLE. Like what i said, if stuff like this means more matchmaking in games or other stuff that diminishes the quality of online gaming (and that includes having freedom of choice like custom online lobbies - something matchmaking does not offer) then i am 100% against the addition of new non-gaming services.

SpikedStrider
SpikedStrider

That would be nice and throw in Big Ten to purchase too. I could rid of my Cable all together. lol I don't like cable TV anymore. Most of the shows are on local TV and the kids are almost grown up. All I need is Sports and HBO online. I would pay for those.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

X360 will make you miserable,, (extortion business) :D

Bashers79
Bashers79

@alibabba13 Putting personal insults in your comments because someone doesn't like American football? In my book that makes you the scrub, a suck-up scrub at that.

Shawcross
Shawcross

@fps_d0minat0r Your right, I actually didn't mean to say inferior console I wasn't looking at what I was typing. I was meaning to say just inferior online service. The console is fine and Bluray is a great feature (bluray doesn't automatically mean great games though). Sure PSN will have a 256 player online but Live could find a way to do that too if it was actually interested in selling a 60 dollar FPS ONLINE ONLY game. Until PSN at least has out of game voice chat it isn't as good. Now back to this topic. This is once again showing that Microsoft is trying to expand its Live service for its paying subscribers. You pay for quality and Live delivers.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

If your gaming T.V. doesn't have a cable hook-up, this mighty be passably interesting. Hard to see most people paying for something they can get by merely clicking a few buttons on their remote, tho'. Curious to see how this service operates under blackout laws for local teams.

Sindred
Sindred

"and not once have I felt the need to use it's web browser (seeing as though I've got a PC for that exact purpose)." I think the same concept can be applied to this news story. I have a TV to watch ESPN on, and probably in better quality than what this service will offer. Also, as much of a fan of Mass Effect as I am, I think the notion that Xbox fans won't care about MAG is a ridiculous fanboy statement, in that I don't think MAG fans give a rat's ass about Mass Effect, and some of them could easily play it on their PC if said 360 isn't available. It goes without saying. Of course neither care about some game that may not even be in their genre of interest. You criticize this guy, but you're notions and statements are just as ludicrous as his.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

If there is no additional fee, I could see this as a useful feature added to XBL Gold. Whereas Facebook and Twitter are redonkulous to have as part of the subscription, this type of service does offer something worth-while -- but that also depends on what the service actually offers. If I can watch any NFL or NCAA game on this 360 service on-demand or in real time and in HD and at no additional cost, it may be more reasonable than if the content is more limited to ESPN exclusives. Comcast charges ~$7/month for a basic HD package. If sports is your only reason for that package and you already have XBL Gold, then this could be a good deal. If there are also other features like Fantasy football leagues then that also adds more value. At the very least, it's better than adding features to XBL Gold that you already get for free on many other devices. Would this make me re-subscribe to XBL Gold? No. But it COULD be a step in the right direction. _

Bashers79
Bashers79

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Bashers79
Bashers79

@fps_d0minat0r wondered how long it would take for you to turn up. You can't help yourself. Your still banging on about web browsers on the PS3. I've had my PS3 for about 4 months now and not once have I felt the need to use it's web browser (seeing as though I've got a PC for that exact purpose). In fact the only thing i've used my PS3 for recently is to play blu-rays (twice in two months). Also i very much doubt Xbox owners will care about the release of a FPS with 256 players at once, because they'll be playing Mass Effect 2.

RLJSlick
RLJSlick

This is really cool if it just cost a Xbox Live Gold subscription but I certainly wouldn't pay additional money for it. I just won't let companies like M$ nickle and dime me to death.

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

Wow, there sure is alot of douchebagery going on in this forum...

XanderZane
XanderZane

What makes this a good deal is you can watch older games and others that you miss. Sure I have cable and DVR, but I can only record 2 programs at a time and I don't always know when some games are on. Plus cable doesn't televise every game without a fee for sports package. Even if M$ charged an extra $5 for the service it would be well worth it to catch up on sporting events you may have missed. I watched some video of the CES on XBox Live and it was great, so ESPN sports would also be a nice addition.

biakcunghnin
biakcunghnin

Xbox 360 is the best . i love it. but no ps3

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

@ Shawcross 1) the word "fanboy" is a subjective term 2) everyone including "fanboys" have the right to read this article anyways. 3) i could name every single website offering sports news/videos and say xbox doesnt even have a web browser but im not. 4) as for inferior service, when exactly is xbox doing 256 players online? hasnt even beaten what ps3 did at launch. i would support you if you actually used factual evidence but by saying things like ps3 is the inferior console makes you sound silly. go and do your reserach when youve escaped the shock of post purchase cognitive dissonance. forgot to add....what happened with xbox and iplayer?

alibabba13
alibabba13

I really hope that this comes to England as well. I go to a big rugby school and we need more than a couple of matches at wembly to satisfy our love of American Football :D Bashersis probably just some scrub.

Vazzucious
Vazzucious

This is great. This is a feature i have been wanting for a long time because it just makes so much sense. This is great for college sports. ESPN 360 covers almost every game that isnt televised. Before i had my computer hooked up to my TV and it was a little bit of a hassle. Now its just a click and play.

xfall3nangel
xfall3nangel

I agree gaming tournaments would something Id be interested in, as for sports well lets face it, if i liked sports i wouldnt play games now would i

badman11226
badman11226

Nice they might as well give a web broswer, but its awesome to have to stream espn. I hope we are to able to stream other networks like comedy central.

Bashers79
Bashers79

If I was into sports I'd be playing the Xbox less. Besides im a Limey so I'm not interested in baseball, basketball or American RUGBY. Now, if they had channels with live feeds of gaming tournaments that might be worth watching. The only way I can see this service being free is if they make you sit through loads of ads. first.

LostSoul781
LostSoul781

It's cool for people that are into sports but I myself am not

FaintRain
FaintRain

who says no to more great applications? i don't :)

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

And for the non-sports athusiasts who think this is "Lame" and a "waste of bandwidth", what I really want to say to you would get me a warning, so I'll just explain why people who actually like sports could be happy about this: News Flash, but not every game that is played gets televised! Like my detroit tigers or Lions. If this is anything like the ESPN360 website, than the ability to watch all my favorite teams play on my tv is amazing!

Shawcross
Shawcross

This is going to be a great feature for Gold Subscribers. I don't think anyone will pay extra for it though so I hope its available to all Gold users. You can tell this is going to rock cause once again the PS3 fanboys can't help but come into a 360 related article to see how much better Live is getting month after month. Must suck to be on the inferior console and online service *cough* PS3

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

Man, I hope this goes through! If I could watch my Detroit teams (Even the Lions) down here in Florida where I live, I would be ecstatic! Good luck MS!