WCSN finds way to ESPN360 service

By Andrew Lippe

World Championship Sports Network (WCSN), a multi-platform distributor of Olympic and lifestyle sports via streaming to broadband outlets such as FOXSports.com on MSN, AOL Video Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Yahoo! Sports, has added ESPN 360.com to its broadband list.

“We think it’s pretty exciting,” Carlos Silva, President and COO of WCSN. “We put together a nice streaming package for them.”

Under the terms of the agreement ESPN360 subscribers (the service is distributed via cable operators with cable operators paying ESPN a monthly fee) will have free access to WCSN.com’s live event streaming service. Videos on WCSN.com are viewed in a Windows Media format and WCSN’s live streaming event subscription service is $4.95 per month/$49.95 per year for non-ESPN360 users.

Silva said there are four legs to WCSN. WCSN is a broadband distributor to numerous partners. Their syndicated series World Championship Sports is available on television in more than 45 million U.S. homes. They deliver 100,000 hours of programming on online as well as deliver content to mobile providers, Sirius satellite radio and launch their own sports channels on WCSN.com

Currently WCSN only streams 20 percent of their streams in HD. “The more the world goes to HD the more we will go to HD,” he says.

The transformation with ESPN 360 began with a pilot program back in April during the Swimming World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. “ESPN360 is focused on live streaming so this is a great fit for both of us,” says Silva.

Silva added that WCSN’s lineup complements ESPN’s offering. WCSN is affiliated with many Olympic and lifestyle sports including swimming gymnastics, track and field, cycling, beach volleyball, skiing, fencing, water skiing, judo and karate. “We are the only outlet in U.S. for fans of World Cup Water Skiing as we are covering every single race,” adds Silva.

WCSN also announced that it has closed significant financing with private equity firm InterMedia Partners. The new funding will continue WCSN’s mission to continue its International coverage and sign new deals with sports leagues and conferences.