Right on cue around the X Games, ESPN (NYSE: DIS) has announced plans to launch an online action sports network, imaginatively called ESPN Action Sports Network. The online channel, slated for a fall launch, will have a slew of sites, each focused on action sports such as surfing, skateboarding, motocross and snowboarding. This will expand on its X Games franchise that it created more than a decade ago. The network also developed the EXPN.com website about a year ago to start offering daily content of different extreme sports, but that will now become ESPN Action Sports Network, the company says.
Besides it own content, it has done deals with sports information and product websites Surfline.com, Vans.com and Active.com to share content and do cross promotion. Expect it to also do some acquisitions in this space. ESPN has been active and has acquired smaller sports websites over the last few years.
By Rafat Ali