Electronic Arts Inc. has signed a 15-year agreement giving it the exclusive right to use the sports channel ESPN brand in its video games.
The leading video game maker’s deal with ESPN, announced Monday, is designed to bolster its dominance in sports games against competitors Sega Sammy Holdings and Take-Two Interactive.
The two firms gained ground on EA last fall by co-publishing a football game that sold at the cut-rate price of $20 (U.S.). Take-Two’s three-year agreement with ESPN expires at the end of this year, and EA’s deal picks up in 2006.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but sources close to the deal told The Wall Street Journal and New York Times that EA will pay at least $750-million, with some of the money to be used for commercials promoting the games on ESPN channels.