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EA and ESPN sign 15 year licensing deal

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By Quinton Miles

Electronic Arts announced today the acquisition of the ESPN license in a long-term 15 year deal. In what is sure to be known as a final blow to many of its competitors, namely Visual Concepts, the new partnership is slated to include all of ESPN’s trademark content into all of the EA Sports lineup, including access to ESPN programming and personalities. The deal will also include integrated marketing opportunities on ESPN’s broadcasts and programming. Financial terms were not disclosed in the announcement.

“EA and ESPN have a shared belief that adding ESPN content will improve an already outstanding line of games,” said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports.

“This relationship was created to benefit consumers who are passionate about sports games,” said Larry Probst, Electronic Arts Chairman and CEO. “EA SPORTS recreates the real life experience fans enjoy while watching or playing their favorite sport; while ESPN programming captures the look, sound and excitement of the sports they follow. Together, we believe we can significantly grow the interactive sports category.”

What this deal also means is that Visual Concepts’ ESPN titles will be soon coming to an end. That’s right folks: no more ESPN Football, ESPN NBA, ESPN College Hoops, or ESPN MLB. With the exception of the football title possibly, the other games will retain their licenses with their respective leagues, so not all is lost.

While the agreement is for 15 years, an option to terminate the deal after 10 years will also be in effect. MyGamer will have more on this mega deal as it becomes available.

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