ESPN is expanding its distribution relationship with Microsoft, starting with a TV app that will let Xbox 360 viewers watch two college football games simultaneously, using the feeds from ESPN3.com.
Starting on Aug. 25, Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to choose two 720p high-def video streams (or one video plus a data screen) when they’re tuning in college games, according to published reports.
The split-screen arrangement means that fans can watch more of their preferred teams, not just the televised games on the networks’ schedules. ESPN has not yet confirmed the arrangement, which appears to be an expansion of last summer’s ESPN-Microsoft deal for Xbox delivery of sports.
Xbox telecasts - or should we call them “game-casts”? - can be paused or rewound for greater personalization. Viewers will also be able to set up “Reminders” and “Live Alerts” to receive the full dose of college game information before and during games. Xbox users who have the popular Kinect image-recognition accessory can manage their viewing with voice commands and gestures, according to Gizmodo.
The video app will include a “mini-guide” on the bottom of the screen, showing game highlights and updates of other games in progress.
Gary Arlen is president of Arlen Communications LLC in Bethesda, MD, and a long-time interactive TV enthusiast. Reach him at GArlen@ArlenCom.com