Live sport on YouTube and X box

YouTube is to start broadcasting live sport matches for the first time after agreeing a deal to show Indian Premier League cricket. The site is now selling a sponsorship package for the coverage and will show 60 matches from the league.

Last month YouTube launched a sports hub featuring official video content from some of the world's leading sports organisations and events including the Paralympic and Commonwealth Games. The live Indian Premier League (IPL) coverage is due to start in March. YouTube will split revenues from the sponsorship rights with the IPL.

Meanwhile reports say Microsoft has held talks with Walt Disney about a programming deal with ESPN. For a per-subscriber fee, ESPN is to provide live streams of sporting events, similar to the ones available through ESPN 360, a service that is available from some high-speed Internet providers. Microsoft could also create some interactive games in association with ESPN.

Twenty million members of Xbox Live can surf Facebook, browse an online mall of movies and TV episodes and, if they pay, watch Netflix.

Nearly 60 per cent of American homes now have at least one console, according to Deloitte, up from 44 per cent three years ago.

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