updated 02:30 pm EST, Tue January 3, 2006
iTMS adds ESPN, ABC
Apple has to iTunes from ESPN and ABC Sports, ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television, ABC Family, ABC News, Buena Vista Television, Disney Channel, and SOAPnet, as well as content produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. ESPN and ABC Sports are the first to offer sports programming via the iTunes Music Store, bringing fans a host of sports content with condensed versions of all four BCS Bowl Games from ABC Sports, as well as condensed versions of yesterday's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Nokia Sugar Bowl available today. Later this month, ESPN will make additional content available. Pricing is set at the standard $1.99 per episode, and all of the new content joins the other Disney ABC programming currently available for purchase on the iTunes Music Store.
"Our mission is to serve fans wherever they are by delivering high-quality content across dozens of multi-media platforms, now including the iTunes Music Store and viewing on the iPod," said George Bodenheimer, ESPN and ABC Sports President and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. "We are thrilled to be the first content provider to offer sports content on iTunes."
ESPN's expected content, to be added later this month, will include the Best Of The X Games; "SportsCentury" interviews from ESPN Classic's award-winning biography series; the popular "This is SportsCenter" commercials; and select ESPN Original Entertainment programs -- including "Knight School," the forthcoming reality program featuring Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight, which will premiere on iTunes.
Today's Orange Bowl and tomorrow's Rose Bowl Presented by Citi (the national title game, matching USC against The University of Texas) will be available the day after they air.
In addition to the ESPN and ABC Sports content, more programming from Disney ABC Television Group will also be available later this month on the iTunes Music Store, including such cable programming as ABC Family's original series "Wildfire," Disney Channel's popular animated series "Kim Possible" and "The Proud Family" and SOAPnet's original biography series "Soapography," as well as ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television library product including "America's Funniest Home Videos" and the popular 1970's Saturday morning "School House Rock" vignettes and episodes of Buena Vista Television's "Ebert and Roeper."
Free, ad-supported video podcasts from ABC News will be available, including daily segments from "Good Morning America" and the "World News Tonight" webcast, as well as ABC News Now's "Money Minute," "Medical Minute" and "Buzz Cut."
"We look forward to building upon the success of our initial iTunes offerings and are dedicated to providing consumers with a variety of high quality entertainment and news content that they can view at their convenience, regardless of time, place or platform," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney ABC Television Group. "We believe that making our content available on iTunes results in incremental viewing opportunities and also furthers awareness of our programs and brands."
Classic animated shorts produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and featured on Buena Vista Home Entertainment's upcoming "Disney at the Academy Awards," including the 1933 Academy Award-winning "The Three Little Pigs" and the 1935 Academy Award-winning "The Tortoise and the Hare," will also be available.