I personally haven't logged much time on ESPN360, but there a bunch of people that do so each day. A multitude of Sports are covered by the online channel, and it's obviously the first glimpse into what the future of Sports will look like online. 360's VP, Damon Phillips, conducted an interview with Sports Business Daily, and discussed some what the future of online would look like in the years to come. Via SBD....
Q: What are some of the ideas that you have gained from what others are doing with online video?Again, I've never really gotten into online content outside of MLB TV, but from what I've seen of ESPN360, it's very comparable as far as picture quality and sound. I think streaming is perfect for out-of-market events, like the World Cup and NCAA Tournament, but I think it's a long ways away from catching on with the majority of the Sports viewing public. Good interview though.
Phillips: It’s really how they’re serving their user, and really creating ways to engage users to spend more time on their sites. Whether it’s the quality of the video, or quality of the audio, being able to have functions now like full screens, being able to introduce Web 2.0 features, … we’re always looking for ways to learn what some of the best practices are.
Q: How are you seeking to grow content in the areas of passion sports and wide world of sports in particular?
Phillips: We are really trying to serve those underserved fans. We just did the Pop Warner championship out in Disney World back in December, so we’re always looking for those type of events. From a soccer standpoint, we have a number of the top domestic leagues that are out there. Last year we did Italian soccer, Japanese soccer, Chinese soccer, Russian soccer, so we’re out there looking at content that is going to resonate with our users.
Q: Moving forward, what are some of the ways that you will seek to enhance the viewing experience to make it even more like watching on television?
Phillips: We are constantly improving our technology to deliver a crisper picture, video as well as audio. We also are introducing new modules that allow fans to interact with each other regardless of where they are. Stats integration is also another key component in terms of what we’re doing. So we’re constantly looking at ways to innovate, and a lot of those innovations come from fans themselves who give us ideas about how we can improve the experience, so we really take customer insights very seriously.
Catching Up With ESPN360.com VP Damon Phillips (Sports Business Daily - $)