Disney Will Put ESPN3.com Sports Programs on Microsoft's Xbox Live Service

Walt Disney Co. will make its ESPN3 online sports channel available on Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox video game console, extending the programming to users’ televisions.

Xbox Live subscribers who pay $50 a year and whose Internet provider pays to carry ESPN3.com can now access the programming, Marc Whitten, general manager of Xbox Live, said today at the E3 video-game conference in Los Angeles.

ESPN3’s live video of 3,500 events, including Major League Baseball, soccer, college football and basketball games, will be available to Xbox Live Gold Members, Whitten said. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Broadcast and cable channels are seeking new ways to reach viewers migrating to the Web and video games for entertainment.

“Our fan base wants to be on all these screens, not just one,” Matthew Murphy, senior vice president of digital video distribution for Disney and ESPN networks, said in an interview. “We want to provide access to our content in as many places as possible.”

ESPN3.com is available to Internet subscribers of Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc., Cox Communications Inc. and 57 other providers, Amy Phillips, an ESPN spokeswoman, said in an interview. The Internet video service, which is carrying World Cup soccer matches, reaches 50 million homes through existing contracts, she said.

Disney, the world’s biggest media company, fell 31 cents to $33.93 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Shares of the Burbank, California-based company have advanced 5.2 percent this year.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, retreated 17 cents to $25.50 on the Nasdaq Stock Market and has declined 16 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Adam Satariano in San Francisco at asatariano1@bloomberg.net; Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

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