Liberate Technologies and ESPN have teamed up to bring interactivity to the
cable sports outlet's game plan.
The joint project will add enhanced ESPN programming to 'LiberateTV Platform
Compact' software, which runs on basic digital boxes, including the widely
deployed Motorola Broadband Communications Sector 'DCT-2000.'
Liberate has been involved in several interactive-TV trials, and it is in
deployment with Insight Communications Co. Inc.
The first crop of ESPN interactive additions will include ESPN Today Plus
Video on Demand, a virtual channel that will allow sports mavens to watch ESPN
game feeds with added links to commerce and advertising options. It will be
integrated with the Liberate 'VOD Hub' software to allow viewers to order
short-form and long-form VOD content and tailor the selections for viewing.
Also on the preliminary list is synchronous programming, a software addition
allowing viewers to get statistics on-screen for the games they are
ESPN Extra, a round-the-clock interactive sports-information update, will
also be provided.
'Compelling interactive-television content is another significant way that
ESPN creates value for its affiliates,' ESPN executive vice president of
affiliate sales and marketing Sean Bratches said. 'ESPN Today stands to act as a
powerful digital acquisition and retention tool for MSOs.'