ESPN has launched the ESPN Edge Innovation Center, aiming to collaborate with other leaders in technology to explore how new technologies such as 5G, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and mobile edge computing (MEC) can enable new ways for fans to experience sports. The ESPN Edge Innovation Center will include key partnerships in the categories of technology, consulting, connectivity and hardware.
From the early days of ABC Sports, to the development of technologies such as the Pylon Cam, MegaCast and pioneering approaches to remote productions during the COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN and Disney claim a heritage of embracing technology to better serve sports fans.
In bringing the Edge Innovation Center initiative to life, ESPN, working with the technology team in Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED), will explore opportunities to enhance sports fan experiences with global professional services and innovation company Accenture and Verizon, as ESPN Edge Founding Partners. Together, the companies will explore, develop and potentially adopt emerging technologies and approaches to enhance and advance the experiences sports fans and athletes have with ESPN’s world-class storytelling.
Accenture, Microsoft and Verizon each bring their particular expertise and technologies to ESPN Edge, while ESPN and DMED will help the partners explore adaptations and development of their emerging technologies to meet the needs of sports media, driving value for all parties involved.
“The sports media landscape has always been a sandbox for ground-breaking uses of technology and ESPN has a long history of being the pace-setter for creating new sports media experiences,” commented Mark L. Walker, Senior Vice President, Content Business Development and Innovation, ESPN. “Combining the remarkable capabilities of our founding partners, Accenture, Microsoft and Verizon with The Walt Disney Company’s technological expertise, ESPN Edge will be at the forefront of exploring new technologies and how we can continue to bring innovative firsts to sports fans everywhere.”