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Xbox Live to Stream ESPN?

Could ESPN be making it's way onto Xbox Live? Anonymous insiders who are close to the meant-to-be-hush talks say the supposed deal may very well come to fruition; however, it's not yet set in stone. Details of what may come include live streams of sporting events, and potentially interactive games with ESPN, who are branded under the Walt Disney Company.

This obviously isn't Microsoft's first go-around at revolutionizing the gaming console. In the latter part of 2008 they unveiled their Netflix streaming partnership for Gold members, they have an interactive version of NBC's 1 vs 100 as well as other videos and content for download and purchase/rental. We also saw them dive deeper into the social media aspect late last year with the addition of Twitter and Facebook.

Think of the possibilities if the partnership becomes reality. Interact with your friends on the same screen that the big game is streaming on via Twitter, Facebook, or even party chat. Create and manage fantasy sports teams right on your Xbox Dashboard. Create sports brackets and make pools using Microsoft Points as winnings. If done right, this deal could be a great benefit for die-hard sports fans and gamers alike.

In the bigger picture, this deal could be a big step in the evolution of Xbox as a home entertainment device vs being dubbed a gaming console. With the growth in popularity of set-top boxes such as the Roku, as well the Boxee Box and Pop Box (which were both introduced at this year's CES), this is a market that Xbox may very well have a big head start in considering that there are about 20 million Xbox Live users today. The device is already in households, and as more features and upgrades are added it's inevitable they will be used. If the ESPN deal goes through, it won't be long before more networks and content providers seek deals with the already popular service.

What do you think? Would you want ESPN on your Xbox? How would you like to see it collaborated with your Live account?

Source: New York Times

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