MSN and Combine for Online Sports Powerhouse

REDMOND, Wash., and LOS ANGELES, May 6, 2004 — Two of the media world’s most recognized innovators, the MSN®
network of Internet services and will team up to create an online sports destination offering fans and marketing partners a rich blend of exclusive editorial content, innovative customization and exclusive online video not available anywhere else on the Web. The new alliance will make the primary sports content destination on the MSN network and provide its users with unprecedented access and features related to FOX Sports and Fox Sports Net’s lineup of key events during the coming year.

“With this alliance, we’re combining the No. 1 sports broadcast and cable outlets with the No. 1 online worldwide destination to offer sports fans the ultimate online sports site,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft. “Consumers can expect a winning experience on via unprecedented video footage, exclusive content, personalization options, interactive features and exclusive coverage of the biggest sporting events in the United States.”

Ross Levinsohn, senior vice president and general manager of Fox Sports Interactive Media, said, “Teaming with MSN will enable new innovative services for consumers and unprecedented opportunities for advertisers.” on MSN will be the exclusive nonsubscription destination for fans to get a wide range of video content generated by called from its television network, Fox Sports and Fox Sports Net. Video sports content will be available via MSN Video utilizing Microsoft® Windows Media®
9 Series.

The site likewise will draw from the many Fox Regional Sports Report bureaus around the nation that Fox Sports Net manages. on MSN also will provide users with more than 100 full-length classic college football and basketball games.

Other key features of the site include the following:

  • Exclusive editorial content, including behind-the-scenes video from “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” “FOX NFL Sunday” and the upcoming nightly series “I, Max,” starring Max Kellerman. It will also offer opinions from key Fox Sports and Fox Sports Net personalities such as NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip, MLB analyst Kevin Kennedy and “Best Damn Sports Show Period” commentator Leeann Tweeden and many others. Fans can also get content from’s online relationship with The Sporting News, including columns, articles and information from one of the most trusted names in sports publishing.

  • Integrated, interactive features will sync the viewer of television sports with a robust online experience through features including Virtual Coach, Virtual Manager and Virtual Crew Chief; e-mail access to the booth; interactive games such as “Hit The Pros” and “Race The Pros”; and cohesive programming such as “The Ultimate Fantasy Football Show” and “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.” on MSN also will provide its users with a highly customizable resource for highlights and information from their region of the country, including up-to-the moment scores and statistics. The co-branded site’s personalization features include these:

  • Highlights and other information from Fox Sports Net’s daily regional sports reports. Sports fans will receive their regional content by providing their ZIP code.

  • An on-screen score strip that can be customized to offer a constant, scrolling list of updates on the sports and teams fans care about most

  • A personal sports scoreboard page that will offer additional information, scores and updates that can be selected by each sports fan on his or her My MSN home page

  • Updates via personalized MSN Alerts that will offer scores and breaking news on sports

  • The Sporting News’ acclaimed fantasy sports games and premium fantasy products

  • Customized playlists on MSN Video that will enable sports fans to view their favorite clips, highlights or commentaries, or watch game previews or classic college games in the order and at a time that is best for them

As part of the agreement, MSN and will team to provide all advertising on the co-branded site, allowing advertisers an enhanced one-stop shopping opportunity on MSN.

In addition, MSN and will work together with FOX broadcast and cable sales efforts to offer integrated packages of online and telecast elements tied to premier sports events such as the MLB All-Star Game, the NFL season, the NFC Playoffs and the 2005 Super Bowl.

“We’re excited to work with to offer even more enticing ad opportunities for marketers,” said Joanne Bradford, chief media revenue officer for MSN. “The combination of’s top-notch content and the strong reach of MSN provides a winning opportunity for advertisers.”

John Trimble, vice president of sales for, said, “This is going to be the most dynamic, unique and broadest opportunity in interactive sports.”

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .

About FOX Sports, Fox Sports Net and FOX Sports Interactive Media

In just ten years of existence, FOX Sports has earned 60 Emmy Awards for excellence in the presentation of the biggest sporting events on television, more than any other network during the same stretch of time. FOX Sports is the exclusive network broadcast rights holder for Major League Baseball, the exclusive network broadcaster of NFC regular-season National Football League games and a rights holder of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing. Fox Sports Net reaches more than 81 million homes through its 20 regional sports channels, and serves as the only supplier of national, regional and local sports programming. FOX Sports Interactive Media (FSIM) develops new media initiatives for FOX Sports and Fox Sports Net. FSIM distribution channels include Internet ( ), broadband, wireless and interactive television. is a comprehensive and entertaining online source of sports news, information, listings, games and special features about programming on FOX Sports, Fox Sports Net, FOX Sports Radio and much more from the world of sports. FSIM is owned and managed by FOX Sports Networks, a subsidiary of Fox Entertainment Group (NYSE: FOX), a division of News Corp.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, MSN 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

Related Posts