ESPN inks multi-platform digital deal with MLB

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Sports broadcasting giant ESPN announced a digital rights agreement with Major League Baseball Advanced Media that will extend the network's extensive baseball coverage to the mobile platform. According to ESPN, the new deal--which runs through 2013--includes rights for its mobile initiatives ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Mobile Publishing and ESPN MVP as well as ESPN.com and ESPN360.com; the contract also covers portable media devices like the iPod and Zune, video game consoles, interactive television and other emerging platforms.

Most notably, ESPN Mobile TV may now simulcast all airings of Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball in addition to the annual Home Run Derby and other special MLB events for which ESPN retains television rights. ESPN's mobile channels will also expand delivery of baseball video highlights, both as individual clips and as part of original programming.

ESPN adds that in June 2008, its mobile web traffic increased 23 percent year-over-year, no doubt thanks in large part to its coverage of golf's 2008 U.S. Open.

For more on the ESPN/MLBAM deal:
- read this release

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