and MSN Team Up to Combine Best of Sports With Leading MSN Content and Services

, the most popular Internet destination in the world, and, the world’s leading sports site, today announced an agreement to deliver to consumers access to ESPN’s online sports content on the Web through the MSN network of Internet services.

Kicking off today, ( ) will be the exclusive sports content provider for the MSN sports channel ( ) and will have preferred positioning on the MSN home page.’s sports content will be uniquely integrated with MSN and will carry MSN branding and links throughout the site. MSN services will now be available directly from to the millions of consumers who visit both sites every month.

Consumers can move with a single click from’s comprehensive sports news and information, scores, highlights and fantasy games to their MSN Hotmail®
Web-based e-mail service, and then back to sports news and information can be placed on a user’s personalized MSN home page and eventually will be available via MSN Mobile.

“Working with an online leader such as MSN to make our content available exclusively to its vast audience is invaluable to our continued growth and leadership with fans, the industry and the advertising community,” said John Skipper, senior vice president and general manager of “Our experience proves that in addition to audience reach, working with multiple media properties provides a great benefit to advertisers. Adding MSN to the mix will only enhance the opportunities for both sides.”

“The combination of content and leading MSN services is a home run for all of our customers,” said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp. “The great brand awareness and popularity of ESPN coupled with MSN technology expertise will provide a platform for marketers to target an incredibly active and valuable segment of Internet customers.” will work with MSN on a comprehensive effort to deliver to marketers innovative solutions for reaching a targeted segment of online consumers across both MSN and

In the coming months, MSN and will continue to develop new ways to provide leading sports content to consumers. will offer Windows Media (TM) Technologies for high-quality audio and video sports segments. In addition, will accept Microsoft®
Passport as a sign-on solution so that, for example, consumers can logon to their e-mail and their fantasy game all at once. The sites will work together to further integrate their content in preparation for a fall update of MSN. will continue to be managed by ESPN Inc. and will remain directly accessible to all Internet users at .

About, a division of ESPN Inc., is the leading provider of sports on the Internet., which is also home to Soccernet and, also works in conjunction with the Walt Disney Internet Group. ESPN Inc., the Worldwide Leader in Sports, is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company comprised of six domestic and 19 international television networks, a recently launched interactive TV channel, the largest sports radio network, ESPN The Magazine,, sports-themed dining and entertainment establishments, event management, ESPN Enterprises, wireless and broadband services, and more. ESPN features the broadest portfolio of multimedia assets in sports marketing with more than 40 national and international business interests or entities.

About MSN

MSN is the world’s most popular destination on the Web, attracting more than 250 million visitors per month. Available in 33 markets and 17 languages, MSN provides consumers with their home on the Web — where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. MSN is located on the Web at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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