Microsoft's E3 2012 keynote has seen it kick up the video content by more than a few notches: it's adding 35 new content providers for the Xbox 360. Machinima, Slacker, Nickelodeon, Paramount and Univision are among the picks, but the real highlight is the sports push: the NBA and NHL will both have the live treatment that we've previously seen with the MLB. If you're a fan of the existing ESPN app, you're in for your own treat, too: a revamp, Watch ESPN, will provide 24/7 live video that includes sports from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU. The timetables for each rollout will vary, but you can be sure you'll have an even wider selection before too long.
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WatchESPN Coming Soon to ESPN on Xbox LIVE
Video subscribers to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV and Comcast Xfinity TV will have access to ESPN networks on the Xbox 360 console
As part of Microsoft's keynote at E3 in Los Angeles, ESPN and Microsoft today announced they have expanded their relationship for ESPN on Xbox LIVE to add WatchESPN as part of the service. The extended agreement will deliver authenticated versions of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line to Xbox LIVE Gold members who receive their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV or Comcast Xfinity TV.
Beginning later this year, ESPN on Xbox LIVE will deliver HD-quality live programming and events from WatchESPN through its unique interactive sports viewing experience. Fans will be able to access popular shows like SportsCenter, SportsNation, First Take, NFL Live, Baseball Tonight, College GameDay and others as well as live events from the NFL, MLB, NBA, soccer, tennis, golf, motor sports and more.
All Xbox LIVE Gold members will be able to access customized ESPN.com video-on-demand clips and sports highlights. Additional features include personalized sport and team settings, split screen viewing, voice and gesture control with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360, the ability to set reminders, receive live alerts, breaking news from ESPN BottomLine and more.
Launched in April 2011, WatchESPN delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN's linear networks as part of their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV or Comcast Xfinity TV. The service is now available to approximately 40 million households nationwide, and the app has been downloaded more than 8.9 million times since its launch and is steadily growing. It is available free for Android devices from the Google Play store and for Apple devices from the App Store, as well as online via WatchESPN.com.
The Web Transformed for TV
Microsoft will launch Internet Explorer for Xbox this fall in all countries where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available. Through the power of Xbox, the magic of Kinect and the intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass, you will be able to surf the Internet using your voice on your Xbox 360 and navigate using your mobile devices for an incredibly easy Web browsing experience on the television.(2) Whether it is a new website you want to check out on the big screen, an HD video you want to share in your living room, or your favorite website you check daily and want to view in the 10-foot experience, you will have the power of the Web now on your TV.
Entertainment Keeps Getting Better on Xbox
Last year, Xbox added voice search powered by Bing and the power of Kinect, making it easier to find the entertainment you want. This year, voice search is expanding to 12 additional countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland.
Adding to the current catalog of customized sports, TV, movies and music apps from world-leading TV and entertainment providers, this year Xbox will continue to deliver all the content you care about in unique ways.
Your home for sports. Microsoft announced more must-have sports experiences and content coming to Xbox this year, further establishing it as the home for sports fans everywhere.
NBA Game Time with NBA.com League Pass Broadband (U.S.) and NBA League Pass (outside of the U.S.). Fans who subscribe to NBA.com League Pass Broadband will have access to hundreds of out of market live games (blackout restrictions apply in the U.S. and some international markets), plus highlights from around the league and up to the minute stats of your favorite players.
NHL GameCenter LIVE™ (Worldwide except Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden). Hockey fans will be able to enjoy every moment of the live action as it happens on the ice, with live games (out of market and blackout restrictions apply), more in-game interactivity, and replays and highlights on demand any time.
ESPN (U.S.). Later this year fans will enjoy 24/7 live programming through WatchESPN from ESPN Networks – ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN U. All the favorites, including "SportsCenter," "SportsNation," "The Mike and Mike Show," as well as ESPN's coverage of the NFL, MLB and the NBA, will be live on Xbox.
Xbox also announced regional sports provider SPORT1 coming later this year to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
More TV and entertainment. Today, Microsoft announced more than 35 new content partners launching on Xbox over the next 12 months, including:
Absolute Radio – U.K.
Ameba TV – Canada, U.S.
BreakMedia – Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, U.K., U.S.
Comedy Central Stand Up – U.S.
Comoyo – Denmark, Norway, Sweden
Corus Entertainment's Franklin the Turtle – Canada
GameSpot TV – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
Headweb – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden
Indie Flix – U.S.
Machinima – All Xbox LIVE markets
Napster – Germany, U.K.
Nickelodeon – U.S.
Paramount Movies – U.S.
Picturebox – U.K.
Quickflix – Australia, New Zealand
Rakuten ShowTime – Japan
Revision3 – Canada, U.K., U.S.
Rhapsody – U.S.
RTL XL – Netherlands
Slacker Radio – Canada, U.S.
SnagFilms – U.S.
Terra (Sunday TV) – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico
The AOL On Network – Australia, Canada, Netherlands, U.K., U.S.
The Weather Channel – U.S.
The Whistle – U.S.
TOU.TV – Canada
TV3 – Spain
Twitch TV – U.S.
Univision – U.S.
Wuaki – Spain
Youzee – Spain