REDMOND, Wash., March 22, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the kickoff of sports content for Smart Watches for MSN®
Direct. Sports fans who subscribe to the MSN Direct service can now sign up to receive the latest information from ESPN on their favorite basketball teams, including updated scores, standings, game times and more. With detailed information and data delivered direct to their Smart Watch, fans can keep a pulse on their favorite teams while on the go, in a restaurant, at a meeting or wherever they don’t have access to a television or radio.
“Sports fans love to track their favorite teams and players, and now Smart Watches for MSN Direct allow them to do that and even more on their watch. The Smart Watch is the perfect timepiece for passionate sports fans who can’t be there to watch the game, but still want to follow the action,” said Eric Lang, general manager of the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative at Microsoft. “We are proud to offer the first of what will be many new channels of information available from MSN Direct.”
MSN Direct currently offers content for the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and men’s and women’s NCAA basketball (Division I) teams. MSN Direct subscribers can follow the teams that matter most to them and receive updated information before, during and after the game, including a pregame preview, game times, continual game updates, final scores with a post-game recap, and details on top scorers. Subscribers also can track playoff games and receive the latest standings and statistics. In the near future, subscribers will be able to sign up to receive ESPN content for Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), NCAA football and National Hockey League (NHL) games.
Microsoft is working with ESPN, the leading provider of sports information on the Internet, to provide the content for the MSN Direct sports channel. With its immense database of information, ESPN is able to offer complete, thorough and up-to-date information for a wide range of sports and divisions.
“We are pleased to be working with Microsoft to deliver rich stats, standings, updates and more to sports fans around the nation,” said Rick Alessandri, senior vice president and general manager at ESPN Enterprises. “We believe the Smart Watch is a fun device to receive sports information and are excited to see ESPN’s content on the wrists of sports fans.”
The new sports channel complements the existing MSN Direct content of news, weather, personal messages, calendar appointment reminders and stock quotes. Smart Watches and the MSN Direct service allow people to conveniently and discreetly receive the information that matters most to them, with just the flick of a wrist.
MSN Direct subscribers can simply add the sports channel to their current preferences on msndirect.com, where they can also personalize which teams and content they receive. New customers can choose from two MSN Direct pricing options: a monthly subscription rate of $9.95 (U.S.) per month with the first month free, or a payment of $59 (U.S.) for a full year of service.* Information about retail availability and service options for Smart Watches for MSN Direct can be found at http://www.msndirect.com/ .
About MSN Direct
MSN Direct, part of the Smart Personal Objects Technology initiative, is a new, specialized wireless service that combines technology and fashion to deliver customized and personalized information to people. Those interested in learning more about MSN Direct can visit http://www.msndirect.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* You will need a subscription to the MSN Direct service to take full advantage of all watch features. Subscribing to MSN Internet Software or MSN Dial-Up is not required to access MSN Direct. MSN Direct is available to residents in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada. To receive MSN Direct on an MSN Direct-ready device, you must be within an MSN Direct coverage area; check the current coverage maps available at http://www.msndirect.com/ . Internet access is required for the online activation of your MSN Direct account. A major credit or debit card is required. Activation and service charges will apply. Following your trial period, the then-current price for the standard monthly or annual prepaid MSN Direct service plan will be automatically charged to your credit card until you cancel your subscription. Prices are subject to change. Regular charging of watch is required for use. SAFETY FIRST: Watches can be worn anywhere, so use the service sensibly and safely.
The information contained in this press release relates to a prerelease software product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software product when first commercially released. The press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.
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