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A month later the second installment of ESPN Full Circle showed ESPN Full Circle: Bulls-Heat NBA Playoffs on April 22, 2006.
The game featured the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls.
That type of mobile success doesn’t come from nowhere. In 2006, according to These Guys Have All The Fun, ESPN presented to the Disney board with the idea for Mobile ESPN – a sports-centric mobile service. Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, a member of Disney’s board, did not mince words.
Although ESPN’s brand had a solid base to build on, their journey on mobile started very poorly. “Your phone is the dumbest ******* idea I have ever heard,” Jobs reportedly told George Bodenheimer, ESPN’s president at the time. The system used the the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) model to lease excess cellular capacity from Sprint.
ESPN has ridden the rise of satellite and then cable TV to the very top of sports programming, becoming a byword for sports coverage.
ESPN hopped on mobile early as well – continuing its trend of embracing new technologies to keep sports front and center for those who don’t just want to know, but need to know.
Megacast, formerly known as ESPN Full Circle, is a multi-network simulcast of a single sporting event across multiple ESPN networks and services—with each feed providing a different version of the telecast making use of different features, functions or perspectives.
Eleven networks and services have been involved with these specials, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile, ESPN3/Watch ESPN, ESPN.com, ESPN Brasil, TSN/RDS, ESPN International and ESPN Deportes.
The first Full Circle telecast covered the college basketball game between the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Duke Blue Devils, to honor the 1 year anniversary of the launch of its collegiate sport focused service ESPNU.We looked at how ESPN has evolved from one of the largest traditional media networks, to a publisher with must-have sports apps, and a strong, focused digital strategy.