ESPN Desperate For More Web Subscribers; It's 'Critical To Our Future,' Sales Says

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ESPN is revamping its online presence in hopes of increasing subscribers.

Increasing ESPN360’s popularity is “critical to our future,” said Sean Bratches, ESPN’s head of sales and marketing, to the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t say, ‘This is on the Internet,’ or, ‘This is on television.’ We look at it as a network.”

The subscription-based web site, which has over 50 million subscribers, will be renamed ESPN3.com and will increase the number of live events it streams.  The sports media group is also looking into making ESPN3 available on Web-enabled TVs or gaming consoles such as the XBox and Playstation 3.

“We want to take the best of the Web and take it to a TV-like environment,” said Damon Phillips, vice president of ESPN360, to the WSJ.

ESPN3 is expected to launch with the Yankees-Red Sox MLB season opener in early April.

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