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ESPN.com, the leading sports Web site, and Broadband Sports, a leading sports media company that produces and distributes proprietary sports content, have teamed up to jointly create and program a new Athletes Channel on ESPN.com. The channel complements ESPN.com's award-winning news, information and entertainment content by giving sports fans unfiltered interaction with their favorite sports stars. Broadband Sports is the official content provider for the Athletes Channel, which will feature commentary, news, chats, interviews and game analysis directly from the athletes whose personal Web sites are produced by AthletesDirect (www.athletesdirect.com), a division of Broadband Sports. ESPN.com is part of Walt Disney Internet Group (NYSE:DIG).
Broadband Sports' AthletesDirect hosts the personal Web sites for more than 350 world-renowned athletes and sports personalities across 19 sports, including Kobe Bryant, Anna Kournikova, Derek Jeter, Troy Aikman, Kevin Garnett, and Mia Hamm. The athletes use their sites to communicate directly with their fans through personal journals, chats, photos, and audio and video clips.
"We're proud to team up with ESPN.com, the premier sports Web site, and to be selected as the official programmer for the Athletes Channel," commented Broadband Sports CEO Richard Nanula. "This arrangement underscores our commitment to giving athletes access to a broader audience of hardcore sports fans worldwide and to providing our content to leading media outlets both online and off."
"ESPN.com is going the extra mile for serious sports fans by teaming with Broadband Sports to create a deeper and richer experience," said John Skipper, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Internet Group. "Broadband Sports' programming nicely complements our own award-winning sports content and enables us to provide our users with exclusive access to, and interaction with, some of the most sought-after athletes."
The agreement between ESPN.com and Broadband Sports also contains a co-branding component that will generate increased awareness for Broadband Sports' online properties and will increase traffic to the athletes' personal Web sites.
ESPN.com, the leading sports Web site, is part of the Walt Disney Internet Group (NYSE: DIG). WDIG manages some of the Internet's most popular Websites, including ABC.com, ABCNEWS.com, ABCSports.com, Disney.com, Disneystore.com, DisneyTravel.com, ESPN.com, Family.com, GO.com, Movies.com, Mr. Showbiz, NASCAR Online, NBA.com, NFL.com and Soccernet. The Internet Group also includes The Walt Disney Company's direct marketing business. Steve Bornstein is chairman of Walt Disney Internet Group, which is headquartered in North Hollywood, Calif., with operations in Sunnyvale, Calif.; Seattle; New York; Bristol, Conn.; and London. For more information, visit our web site at
Broadband Sports is a leading sports media company dedicated to serving the hardcore sports fan. The company uses its direct access to the world's top athletes and sports journalists to develop the most comprehensive and in-depth sports-related content, commerce and subscription-based services for the Internet's top portals, sports sites, and satellite and broadcast outlets. Broadband Sports' content can be accessed through leading Internet and broadcast providers, including AOL, eBay, DirecTV, Fox Sports, Lycos, Global Sports and Yahoo!, as well as through its own multimedia properties. Broadband Sports currently operates four online media divisions: AthletesDirect (www.athletesdirect.com), a leading provider of official athlete Websites; SportsWritersDirect, a leading source of in-depth team and player information; RotoNewsDirect (www.rotonewsdirect.com), a leading provider of fantasy sports information and services; and SportsAuthenticsDirect (www.sportsauthenticsdirect.com), an Internet retailer of sports collectibles and merchandise.
Broadband Sports, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and has offices in the San Francisco area and New York City.