EDITOR’S NOTE: Mark L. Walker joined ESPN in 2019 as Senior Vice President, Content Business Development and Innovation. In this role, he leads ESPN’s development center of excellence, with particular focus on driving content innovation in ESPN’s business, products and experiences.
We are so excited to announce that ESPN has launched the ESPN Edge Innovation Center, aiming to collaborate with other leaders in technology to explore how new technologies like 5G, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and mobile edge computing (MEC) can enable new ways for fans to experience sports.
The sports media landscape has always been a sandbox for groundbreaking uses of technology and ESPN has a long history of being the pacesetter for creating new sports media experiences, with technologies like the Pylon Cam, MegaCast and groundbreaking approaches to remote productions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Combining the remarkable capabilities of our founding partners, global professional services and innovation company Accenture; Microsoft, a leader in engineering and digital technology; and Verizon, one of the world’s leading providers of 5G technology, ESPN Edge will be at the forefront of exploring new technologies and how we can continue to bring innovative firsts to sports fans everywhere.
In bringing the Edge Innovation Center initiative to life, ESPN, working with the technology team in Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED), will explore opportunities to enhance sports fan experiences with the ESPN Edge Founding Partners. Together, the companies will explore, develop and potentially adopt emerging technologies and approaches to enhance and advance the experiences sports fans and athletes have with ESPN’s world-class storytelling.
ESPN will also host an inaugural virtual event, the ESPN Edge Conference, on Wednesday, Sept. 29. ESPN commentators Kevin Negandhi and Christine Williamson will guide the segments throughout the virtual event, with key topics including sports rights in the streaming age, reimagining the fan experience and more.