In what it terms as the first broadband/subscription-video-on-demand hybrid
service, ESPN will launch the EXPN, Action Sports On Demand service next
The channel will feature programming from ESPN's emerging X Games franchise,
as well as its action-sports library, ESPN executive vice president of affiliate
sales and marketing Sean Bratches said at a network press briefing
The channel will launch in February 2003 in conjunction with the network's
Winter X Games VII.
Operators can offer the service as either an Internet-based network tailored
to their broadband offerings or as a subscription-based VOD service, which
Bratches said could retail for $3.95, although no price point has been
Operators and ESPN will split revenues generated from the subscription
ESPN expects to begin selling the service to operators at next month's
National Show, with operator trials expected to begin during the summer.
Viewers accessing the services will get daily updated content with video
highlights and long-form content on-demand. Also included will be highlights
from skate parks and more in-depth coverage during the X Games, action sports
and music awards.
Bratches said most of the content will differ between the two distribution
platforms, but both networks will offer a daily, 30-minute action-sports-news
'We think there is a major market for this -- the ESPN consumer is more
likely to be the early adopters of technology,' Bratches said. 'EXPN Action
Sports On Demand will not only sell and retain cable-modem and digital-cable
customers, but allow affiliates to secure incremental revenue in the broadband
In response to operator requests, Bratches added that the network is
considering expanding its part-time ESPN Deportes Spanish-language service into
a full-fledged 24-hour network.