ESPN Launches Local Sports Apps For iPhone

ESPN Sports Score app

ESPN Tuesday introduced five sports and news applications for the iPhone and iPod touch targeting five cities: Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

The new ad-supported apps will offer breaking regional sports news, hometown team reports, local writers and bloggers, and a customized local SportsCenter. They will also feature national headlines, GPS-activated weather updates, an interactive scoreboard, schedules and stadium guides.

Advertising opportunities within the local apps include banners, "presenting" sponsorships and ads dynamically inserted into the top stories carousel and in articles. The apps will also feature live digital audio from the ESPN Radio stations as well as in-app purchase opportunities.

Separately, ESPN launched ESPN Passport app, a free download highlighting next month's 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. The app will allow users to keep a record of the games they attended and upload mobile photos to share with social media properties like Facebook.

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With GPS-enabled devices, fans will also be able to "check-in" and confirm their attendance, allowing ESPN to gather user-generated content to provide the fans' perspective on ESPN.com. The new titles are part of an ambitious push into mobile apps by ESPN in the last year.

Among the more than two dozen iPhone apps its launched are ESPN ScoreCenter -- which boasts 6 million downloads since debuting in June -- as well as ESPN Radio and ESPN Fantasy Baseball 2010. More recent titles released for the iPad include ESPN ScoreCenter XL and ESPN Pinball.

The ESPN apps range in price from free to $24.99 for ESPN: The Mighty Book of Sports Knowledge by Steve Wulf.

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