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ESPN360 Adds Champs Channel

Sep 30, 2007  •  Post A Comment

World Championship Sports Network has inked a deal with ESPN to create a network for one of its revamped ESPN360.com broadband channels.
The 24-hour WCSN channel, which will be available to all 17 million households with access to ESPN360, will offer live event coverage from matches around the world, including worldwide competitions leading up to the Olympics.
“This is another platform that complements the model we are setting up here at World Championship Sports Network,” said Carlos Silva, president and chief operating officer of WCSN. “Our channel will help power ESPN360 product. It’s actually a little bit of a unique deal to them, and for us it becomes another platform to complement the television product.”
Last month ESPN said it would relaunch ESPN360.com as part of its efforts to create a true online sports channel that will feature up to 11 live sporting events at once. Among events to be streamed live at the site are college football, certain high school events, matches from the FIFA Women’s World Cup events and Australian Rules Football. Future sports could include anything from Greek soccer to Venezuelan football.
WCSN recently signed deals with FoxSports.com on MSN and Yahoo for events that include world championship events in gymnastics, cycling, fencing and Alpine skiing. In addition, the company plans to expand its presence on Sirius Radio.
The company also has scored a funding deal with private equity firm InterMedia Partners, which came in after WCSN scored distribution deals not only with digital outlets such as AOL, Yahoo, ESPN and Fox, but also in syndicated television.
“We believe that WCSN is a very valuable media property with an ability to tap into an advertiser-friendly audience that has been previously underserved by traditional broadcast media,” said Peter Kern, managing partner at InterMedia Partners. “WCSN controls a powerful set of rights and some of the best-produced sports content featuring the greatest athletes from around the world. Millions of sports enthusiasts have waited long enough for these events to be consistently available on all platforms.”
The new funding will continue WCSN’s goal of beefing up its coverage of world championships and other major international competitions in Olympic sports disciplines, many of which are qualifying events for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.
The company has exclusive rights and strategic relationships with several Olympic sports federations, including the International Federation of Swimming, International Association of Athletics Federations, International Ski Federation, the International Cycling Union and the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, the latter a recently announced deal that runs through 2012.
The company’s sports coverage includes more than 200 live annual events, offering 2,000-plus hours of annual original event programming and more than 10,000 hours of archival programming.

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