ESPN Motion - TV meets Internet
February 18, 2003 10:12 AM   Subscribe

ESPN Motion It's been years in the making, but I can finally say that the Internet has finally met TV, through the medium of sports. ESPN and MSN have introduced ESPN Motion. Along with their site redesign, the once static front page is now a video. Right? You think. Usually this stuff doesn't work, but it doesn't require streaming or waiting (I must concede though that I am on a *very* fast internet connection). Basically you have to register for and then download a 500 KB file and run the installation. After a few minutes, it works fine. I think the program keeps the video updated in a cache on your hdd but it would require more research.
Note: you are required to have Windows 98 or higher, a fast internet connection, and Windows Media Player.
posted by meanie (12 comments total)
Works fine? My ass it does.

I download the installer, run it, wait for the "E" to pop up in the systray, click on it and I get...

a 70's style light show that throbs in time with the audio of what I assume would be the video. However, I don't get to see the video in that frame, just the light show. It's that way with all the "videos" that are available.

Then I find out it's going to ALWAYS download "video" to my computer, even when I'm not visiting the site. Thanks, but I like to control my bandwidth on my own.

And this systray item and resident program sucks up 4Mb of RAM, even when it's not doing anything? Weak.

And the links to the news stories on the front page are Flash (not html), so I can't right-click to view them in a separate browser/tab.

Considering I can view/visit every other web page that uses Flash/Shockwave/html/Java, the fact that this one gives me trouble is just poor. Who decided that "Flash=Better", anyways?

Thanks, but I'll stick to the non-Flashified version. And if that doesn't work (removed), then I'll just move on to CNNSI or Sportsline.
posted by grum@work at 10:22 AM on February 18, 2003

The chances of me installing special software to view a website is only slightly less likely than the chances of me poking out my own eyeballs.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 AM on February 18, 2003

i used to do lots of illustration for ESPN. their demographic is 15-to-20-year-old guys deeply into being perceived as "with it" (but who would never call themselves trendy despite obvious pointers) and obsessed with sports. i could see that oversimplified demo downloading this sort of thing.
posted by patricking at 10:46 AM on February 18, 2003

re: your statement that Internet has met tv.
If you thought about it, is just wrong.

With a tv everybody has the same access to cable and/or airwaves. Once it's set up you turn on the set and there you go.

The fact that you need at least Windows 98 and Windows Media Player means that Internet has *not* met tv. It means the internet has continued it's trend of proprietary systems which force people to make a choice of software.
posted by jeremias at 10:53 AM on February 18, 2003

As one of the 90% or so of people on the internet who do have Win98+ and WMP, I think it's a great technology. My connection is over a meg a second, so for me, the video is crystal clear. No load time at all. Honestly, beyond the Win/Linux/Mac wars, this is an amazing technology. First time I've been wowed by an internet tech in a few years.

Though the flash links are annoying...
posted by Kevs at 10:55 AM on February 18, 2003

With a tv everybody has the same access to cable and/or airwaves. Once it's set up you turn on the set and there you go.

Cable/satellite television doesn't come automatically, you have to order it to be installed. I think it would be ridiculous to criticize a television station for not being able to broadcast cable-quality television from their antennae, just because you don't feel like getting cable installed.

As such, if you visit ESPN everyday because you're with it and as obsessed with sports as I am, you pretty much don't blink when asked if you want to improve the quality of your experience. "Of course do."
posted by Stan Chin at 11:18 AM on February 18, 2003

Bleah. I abandoned after their last big redesign, when they relegated the actual content to a small fraction of their home page. I ended up going to, and was very happy with their low-bandwidth, high-content home page for many months. Then last month, Yahoo also decided to stop displaying a long list of scores and news links on the home page in favor of a large, useless banner; a "Featured Opinion" box; a "Photo Highlight" box; and other debris that pushed aside the content in very un-Yahoo-like fashion.

I'd much rather hear about a sports scores and news site that focuses on, well, scores and news, instead of crap like "ESPN Motion."
posted by delapohl at 11:28 AM on February 18, 2003

That redesign is for crap. Espn seems to be edging closer to's design standards on a daily basis. (Must. Fit. More. On Front Page.)

According to the reqs. you need the following:
a) A PC running Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP
b) Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or greater
c) Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 or greater
d) Macromedia Flash 5 plug-in or greater
e) A high-speed internet connection of 128kbps or greater.
f) Javascript and cookies enabled.

My grandmother needs her remote to watch tv.
posted by jeremias at 11:50 AM on February 18, 2003

I've only watched one video via the new service and the quality was good, better than I usually get on my poor cable modem service, which leads me to believe it is cached. Will I use it beyond the first couple of times? Probably not.

And, in reference to the post above about ESPN's online competition, Sports Illustrated is now running its own site at Guess the marriage with CNN fell apart.
posted by MediaMan at 8:45 PM on February 18, 2003

MediaMan: did you see where redirects you? maybe your's is somehow different, but i get redirected right back to
posted by jmd82 at 9:22 PM on February 18, 2003

i for one love the new ESPN motion... because i'm a poor college student without cable, but with high-speed internet, who loves sports -- it's quite possibly the best thing since sliced bread.

for those of you who aren't seeing it properly, i am truly sorry. go check it out somehow.
posted by ruwan at 10:35 PM on February 18, 2003

I'd have to agree with ruwan. Talked about it on SportsFilter already, but for those of us who are ESPNless but have ridiculous amounts of bandwith (the average college student), this is a godsend.
posted by swank6 at 4:31 PM on February 19, 2003

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