Xbox 360 gets in the game with ESPN content

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft has secured a distribution agreement with ESPN, further pushing its lead in the console-powered video download market.

According to details released by the two companies, users will have access to complete NCAA football and basketball games, as well as complete coverage of X Games.  ESPN's video game-centric "Madden Nation" series, as well as other original ESPN programming are also being delivered to the Xbox Live Video Marketplace.

NCAA games are available for $3 a pop for the standard definition version, or $4.50 for HD.  The games will be posted within 48 hours of their live broadcast.  ESPN shows will be $2 for SD and $3 for HD, the same pricing scheme seen for all other TV programming already on the service.

Currently the Xbox 360 is the only console that has premium video content available for download.  The Playstation 3 only offers game and movie trailers, and the Wii has no digital video downloads at all.

ESPN's parent company, Disney, announced this summer that it would bring full-length Disney movies to the service as well, including several that made their HD debut on the Xbox 360.