ESPN kicks off iPhone apps for local sports markets

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ESPN announced the launch of five local-based sports news and information applications targeting iPhone and iPod touch users in Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. According to the sports media giant, the free, advertiser-supported ESPN Local apps will boast breaking regional sports news, hometown team reports, local writers and bloggers, and a customized local SportsCenter--additional features include national headlines, GPS-activated weather updates, an interactive scoreboard, schedules and stadium guides. ESPN Local websites in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles welcomed close to 3.5 million sports fans in each month of 2010.

In related news, ESPN released the ESPN Passport app, a free download spotlighting next month's 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. ESPN Passport will allow fans to keep a record of World Cup matches they attend, upload mobile photos to social media platforms like Facebook and check-in at stadiums via GPS location verification--ESPN will in turn aggregate that user-generated content to document games from the fan's perspective on ESPN.com.

For more on the new ESPN apps:
- read this release

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