ESPN360.com is touting its exclusive rights to the N.C. State-Maryland football game this Saturday, meaning that you can view it live if you have the right Internet Service Provider. such as AT&T or Verizon. Unfortunately, Time Warner isn't on the list yet, but ESPN spokesman Paul Melvin says the sports cable television network is in "active discussions" with Time Warner, Comcast and other ISPs.
Meanwhile, anyone on campus with an e-mail address ending in .edu should be able to get the live streaming. The BrickHouse (formerly Playmakers) on Hillsborough Street across from Meredith College confirms it will show the game, through ESPN360.com, on two eight-foot screens (it's working on more), and The Upper Deck on East Whitaker Mill Road also is planning to have it. Another option might be Woody's @ City Market.
Sorry, message boarders. Melvin says the idea of a generous Wolfpack fan passing around a log-in and password that others can use won't work.
This is an example of the latest frontier for delivery that ESPN hopes to conquer.
"We've seen our distribution grow about 41 percent in the past year (17 million to slightly more than 24 million), and it has tripled in the past two years," Melvin said in an e-mail message, adding that total hours viewed last month were up 392 percent over September 2007, and ESPN, which says it's treating 360 like another TV channel, is finding that viewers are willing to stick with the live streaming.
Kirk Sporman of The BrickHouse says the quality is good, though he's heard complaints about the unavailability of 360 on Time Warner.
ESPN360.com has its pick of whatever ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU don't take. More to come on games of area interest to be offered. Here's a sampling of other coverage:
• NBA, Euroleague, and NCAA basketball (1,000+ men's and women's college basketball games scheduled this season)
• MLB games, NCAA baseball and softball, World Baseball Classic, Little League World Series and Global Baseball (Mexican, Venezuelan, Dominican, Israeli)
• NCAA football (300-plus games this season) and Arena Football League
• Soccer (UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup events, MLS, UEFA EURO, Italian Serie A, Portuguese Liga Sagres, Chinese Super League, Russian Premiere League, U.S. National team, select individual international matches)
• Tennis (including multi-court coverage of all four Grand Slam events and WTA Tour events)
• College hockey and lacrosse
• NASCAR (Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series)
• Open-wheel racing
• Major League Lacrosse
• Professional racquetball
• Polo (Argentinian)