ESPN and Xbox LIVE – Xbox 360 and Gold Membership Open a New Portal of Sports Event Coverage

Xbox LIVE and ESPN have teamed up, and sports events are taking on a whole new dimension. The ESPN feature introduced at E3 2010 is now reality. For the very reasonable price of an Xbox LIVE Gold membership, Xbox 360 gamers get access to live, high definition college and pro basketball, football, baseball, and soccer events plus much more. Pause and rewind the action with the Kinect-based full DVR controls. You get up to 3,500 events per year in addition to the ability to get real-time game scores from several leagues, let fans of the opposing teams hear your commentary in the Xbox LIVE community, and track all the latest league stats with My Sport. ESPN on Xbox LIVE is an excellent alternative to traditional cable TV sports coverage.

Getting Ready

You need to have a few resources ready in order to tap into the ESPN experience.

1. Microsoft Xbox 360 console

2. Xbox LIVE Gold Membership

3. US-based Xbox LIVE access

4. High-speed Internet service provider licensed with ESPN3.com

Installing the ESPN Software

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Your console needs the right software to interact with the ESPN feature.

1. Start your console and log in to Xbox LIVE.

2. Navigate to the Video Marketplace.

3. Choose ESPN followed by the “A” button.

4. Go to the Download Now option and press “A” to download the ESPN software.

5. After a moment, you’ll see a message telling you the download is finished. Go back to Video Marketplace and press “A”. The ESPN stream will begin.

Getting Back to Xbox LIVE ESPN Next Time

1. Start your console as usual and sign in to Xbox LIVE.

2. Make your way to the Video Marketplace.

3. Choose the ESPN option and press “A”.

4. Enjoy the seriously huge selection of games and other features.

Problems You Might Encounter and What To Do

Some issues accessing ESPN content might arise depending on your location and Internet connection. Other problems can result from quirks with the Xbox LIVE/ESPN interface.

  • Time Warner Cable subscribers–Time Warner does not currently hold an ESPN3.com license. However, this ISP is expected to join the growing list of ESPN3.com affiliates soon. See http://espn.go.com/espn3/afflist for details.
  • Limited access to content–Some programs are subject to blackout restrictions. Certain local broadcast stations or regional networks own the rights to some events and do not allow their content to be viewed on other networks.
  • Poor audio and video quality–This problem is related to the download speed and stability available from your Internet provider. Stable, high bandwidth broadband connections can achieve HD quality.
  • Blocked connection for eligible Gold members or location misidentification–ESPN3.com might wrongly determine you are ineligible to receive coverage. In some cases, the system may decide you are in Canada even though you are in the US. You can remedy this by resetting your network hardware as described at http://support.xbox.com/en-us/pages/xbox-live/troubleshoot/espn.aspx#reset.
  • No chat or party capability in ESPN–The ESPN software itself does not support chats or parties. Instead, first start your chat or party with Xbox LIVE and then start ESPN.
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by Aidan MacKenzie