ESPN Acquires Vistas Unlimited

ESPN has acquired technology development company Vistas Unlimited. The move looks to further enhance ESPN’s use of virtual technology across its multiple platforms. Under the terms of the agreement ESPN will continue to employ a majority of the Plano, TX-based company’s employees.

“This acquisition represents ESPN’s dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation and technology development,” says Chuck Pagano, EVP, ESPN technology. “The team that is joining ESPN brings a wealth of knowledge on developing cutting-edge virtual components that enhance the fan’s enjoyment of a game telecast.”

Vistas Unlimited developed computer technology that delivers virtual insertions during live television broadcasts.  In doing so, Vistas Unlimited created new advertising opportunities for sponsors without physically altering the environment being televised.

In 2008, Vistas Unlimited was honored with the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award at the 29th Annual Sports Emmy Awards for the company’s development of the video processing and insertion of optimal putt paths for The Golf Channel on many of its PGA and LPGA broadcasts.  “The blue line” is a virtual line on the green showing the path the ball would follow on its way to rolling into the cup.  After the ball is hit, the viewer can watch it follow or veer away from the blue line.

The move comes on the heels of several other announcements from ESPN’s technology team, including the network’s plan to launch ESPN 3D later this year.

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