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January 11, 2012

Exclusive ESPN app – on a Nokia Lumia near you

Mentioned yesterday at the press announcement for the Nokia Lumia 900 at CES, ESPN is bringing an exclusive app to Lumia phones – ‘a one-stop sports application for news, videos and scores’.

Courtesy of wpcentral

Always on the hunt for the story behind the story, we managed to grab a few minutes of Andy Castin’s time. He’s one of the clever boffins behind the new app, and was kind enough to answer the questions we knew you would want answered:

How does the new app differ from the previous app?

This is the first ESPN application built specifically for the Windows Phone OS, and takes advantage of its unique UE and design capabilities – specifically, the panorama. Also, there’s regionalized content, enhanced language support, personalization, additional sports, and other advanced features are all on the roadmap for future releases.

What features are you most proud of?
Users can easily navigate news, scores and social content from ten sports; NFL, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL, MLB, Soccer, Rugby, Cricket, and F1 – as well as featured on-demand video.

Why would you download the ESPN app?
Access to ESPN’s global portfolio of rights and content. Ease of use and speed of the scores/content updating. The panorama concept allows users to freely swipe amongst the most important content of the day, or within their favorite sport and deep-pin their favorite sport.

When will this app be available for other markets and what markets will it be available in?

The app is available now outside the U.S. and will be available in the U.S. early in 2012 with T-Mobile and AT&T phones.

What Nokia handsets will it be available on?
Lumia 800, 710, 900

What are your main competitor apps (who are you benchmarking against) and why is this app better?

[We’re competing with] CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports. ESPN’s content rights far exceed those giving fans access to rich content from major US and global sports. Users can deep-pin any individual sport panorama for fast access directly from the home screen. This feature is not available in competitive apps.

How does ESPN social Twitter work and how easy it is to integrate?

It has aggregation of ESPN’s Twitter feeds (tweets from programs and on-air talent) for that specific sport. For tweets that include a web link, users can tap to follow the link.

How easy is it to share scores with your friends?
Right now you can share stories easily with the functionality built into the Metro UI menu. The sharing of scores and video will be in future releases.

The app comes pre-loaded on Nokia 710’s but will it be pre-loaded on future WP7 handsets?
The current agreement is to pre-load ESPN on NwWP devices in the following markets: Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, UK, India, Indonesia, South Africa. The in U.S. The Hub will be pre-loaded on NwWP devices launched with operators in 2012.

How detailed are your news stories and how quickly will they be available?
It will always have the fastest breaking news and detailed stories.

Will there be news/stories for off-season sports?
Yes. In the U.S. it will focus on NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Football. Tennis, Golf, NASCAR racing and 2012 Olympic Games will be added to future releases. International markets will be covered by Soccer, Formula 1, Rugby and Cricket.

Sounds epic! (written by your resident Nokia Connects sports nut). Daniel Rubino from wpcentral got a demo on a Nokia Lumia 900 running the app yesterday (along with the CNN app, more of which will come soon), and has posted his photos and videos so we can all have a look.

So what do you think? Looks pretty sweet, right? Let us know what you’re looking forward to most @Nokia_Connects