ESPN expands multi-platform football proposition

Editor | 04-12-2012

ESPN has enhanced its multi-platform global football initiative just as the season gathers pace and the key Christmas/January transfer periods approach across Europe.

The sports broadcaster claims that for the first three months of the 2012/2013 season it has posted 25% growth in online unique users for ESPNFC which brings together all of ESPN’s global football coverage under a dedicated multimedia brand and which is available online, via the mobile Web, smartphone apps, and on TV via the football debate and discussion show PressPass.

Across all devices and platforms, ESPN said that fans have spent almost 1.8 billion minutes on ESPNFC during the first three months of this season. Additionally, fans are said to have accessed more than 12 million videos across all digital devices and platforms.

At the heart of the enhanced package is ESPNFC TransferCenter, described as a “responsively-built digital destination” that will provide fans a real-time catalogue and multi-media connection to the stories, rumours, updates and player transfer news in leagues worldwide during the run-up to, and throughout, the winter transfer window.

The app is designed to automatically optimise for users across whatever device they are on — computer, tablet or mobile, etc — and displays content chronologically in feed-style layout in which all forms of content can be immediately consumed and shared across social platforms. The service will evolve to feature news, video, social media integration and player statistics.

Taking advantage of Microsoft’s platform upgrade, ESPNFC is expanding availability with the launch of a new free multi-device, multi-screen Windows 8 app optimised for multiple devices, including touch screen tablets and laptops, and desktop PCs. The app utilises the Windows 8 live tiles which provide users with dynamically updated content and offers ESPN’s Gamecast function, providing access to the live digital experience with commentary.

ESPNFC is also developing a worldwide network of writers, bloggers and analysts covering the latest news and developments 24/7, including a roster of its own blogs and contributors, and in the coming weeks will include an expanding affiliated blog network – pulling together some of the top independent voices in the football blogosphere.

Over the coming weeks, ESPNFC will launch a half a dozen new blogs, with new offerings around continental European clubs such as Roma, the MLS in the US, as well as subject-specific blogs.

Commenting on the developments, Arne Rees, vice president, ESPN digital media international, said: “ESPNFC is increasing the number of fans and brands who connect with our football coverage worldwide. ESPNFC is one of ESPN’s most significant global commitments to the sport of football and leverages the core strength of what ESPN does well – serve sports fans.”