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ESPN Reaches Xbox Live Deal

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft and ESPN have reached an agreement to add high- and standard-definition full-length sporting events, television shows and video games to the Xbox Live online game and entertainment network for the Xbox 360 console.

The deal will make a wide range of sports-oriented programming and games available through the Xbox Live Marketplace HD video-download service.

Content will include key sporting events and timely programming, including full-length NCAA college football and basketball games, “Summer X Games 13,” “World Series of Poker,” “The Contender,” “Madden Nation” and more.

Through the agreement, Xbox Live users can download a variety of popular events and shows available on Xbox Live Marketplace each week, highlighted by the best match ups from the college football and basketball, Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN said.

For video gamers, ESPN content on Xbox Live will include the 2006 and 2007 seasons of “Madden Nation,” an ESPN reality series taking fans inside the world of Madden NFL football competitive gaming. Additional programming will include the 2007 “World Series of Poker,” the 2007 season of “The Contender,” the full-length high-definition surfing documentary “Down the Barrel” and some college football bowl games.

The Xbox Live Marketplace currently offers more than 3,200 hours of premium entertainment content over 30 studios and networks.