Mobile devices and home computers are creating a bigger audience for ESPN's sports content rather than cannibalizing its television programing, the president of the sports media company said on Tuesday.
Second and third screens like personal computers, smart phones and newer devices like Apple Inc's iPad are giving sports fans more viewing options, George Bodenheimer, president of Walt Disney Co's ESPN, said at the Nielsen Consumer 360 conference in Las Vegas.
People want to watch sports live and these devices ... are enabling access to sports like never before in our history, said Bodenheimer, who added that ESPN is tailoring content to match the capabilities of specific gadgets.
To that end, he said that nearly 10 percent of ESPN's audience that has viewed World Cup content has done so on a device other than a television.
ESPN, one of Disney's strongest businesses, has 53 TV channels around the world, including seven in the United States, as well as numerous Web portals.
The company, which also is embracing new TV technology, launched its ESPN 3D channel during the first match of the World Cup.
I want our company to be there if and when -- and I think in this case it's going to be when -- 3D takes off, Bodenheimer said.
ESPN in January unveiled plans for its 3D TV network, reflecting momentum in the industry to usher 3D into the home. The sports company said it would air 85 live sporting events during its first year, starting with the World Cup.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Las Vegas and Ben Klayman in Detroit, editing by Matthew Lewis)