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EA sign up with ESPN

Another new licence bagged by industry giant

If you were to sit a few hundred gamers in front of a wind turbine and then read them a steady stream of EA press releases then you would probably be able to power a small town. The howls of protest will no doubt come streaming in from all corners with the announcement that EA has acquired the exclusive rights to yet another sports brand. ESPN, the US sports broadcaster, has signed a 15 year exclusive deal with the giant softco. In what will be a massive blow for Take-Two, the company which previously held the rights, indeed after only acquiring them last year, the new deal will give EA access to ESPN's television properties and the possibly lucrative X-Games extreme sports competitions.

Curiously for ESPN, their new partners don't seem to have any intentions of using their newfound rights to increase the presence of the ESPN brand in the gaming sports market. Apparently EA are more likely to amalgamate the visual style and presenters of ESPN's broadcasts within their own rampantly successful EA Sports line. EA head honcho Larry Probst reckons "we don't anticipate changing anything significantly from what we are currently doing", which opens up the possibility that EA made this acquisition partly to withhold a potentially rich revenue stream from its competitors.

EA may soon move to have the English word sport re-badged EA Sport, what with their hoovering up of practically every major sports brand in the US and abroad.