ESPN To Stream On Xbox 360--A Sign Of Things To Come?

The landscape of television is changing right in front of our eyes. Never before have we had so many content options and ways to consume that content, and it looks like the big media companies aren't shying away from the revolution.

ESPN, which has already announced plans to introduce a 3D sports channel within the next year or so, could very well be making a serious play for online viewers. According to rumors in the New York Times, ESPN could "provide live streams of sporting events, similar to the ones available through ESPN 360, a service that is available from some high-speed Internet providers." Did we mention that it would be providing that via Xbox Live?

Microsoft's console has been web-savvy for awhile now, as it was the first of the major consoles to support Netflix streaming, and the Xbox Live Video Store enables users to watch all sorts of video from within the UI. There's also the chance that Microsoft could create interactive games in a partnership with ESPN, but there's no sign of when the deal--if it's even real--will be unveiled to the public.

Despite the inconclusive nature, this all makes perfect sense. With more and more viewers shifting their TV viewing time to the Internet, ESPN would be helping itself out by being one of the pioneer networks to make a deliberate shift to offering content online. If the deal goes through, Xbox Live users would likely have to pay a fee to access to content, but if that means that they can rid themselves of a monthly cable bill that they pay primarily to get EPSN, the savings could be significant. Anyone think this is just a sign of things to come?