Empire of Sports – March Online Gaming Competition

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To sports gamers/fans wanting to try a different online competition Empire of Sports is holding a virtual Skeleton Championships where players try to beat everyone else winning real prize money in the bobsleigh.

While having a chance to win cash prizes does require a subscription to the game the first few qualification rounds are free to play so it might make for a nice distraction at the very least. It is taking place until March 28th so there’s a week of enjoyment to be had for anyone who is interested. The graphics are not fantastic but the game is enjoyable enough to be worth a look.

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Since Empire of Sports has been a bit under the radar to this point at it’s prologue (open beta) stage it simply can be considered an MMO where you start a character and level up by playing tennis, football, basketball, bobsleigh, skiing and finally a good bit of track & field. You have a small city environment to begin from with mingames and shops so that provides a nice change for RPG orientated gamers.

To take part be sure to check out empireofsports.com for more information and a list of prizes.

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The Olympics Brings in the Viewers

The Olympics are here, if you haven’t noticed! The results are coming in and the Opening Ceremony in Beijing was the MOST VIEWED EVER for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics. It had nearly 70 million total viewers, 14 million more than Athens (56 million).

NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY TOTAL AUDIENCE:
1) Beijing – 2008 – 69.9 million
T2) Athens – 2004 – 56.0 million
T2) Sydney – 2000 – 56.0 million
4) Seoul – 1988 – 51.2 million
5) Barcelona – 1992 – 50.2 million

“The Olympic Opening Ceremony captivated the American public in unprecedented numbers for a non-U.S. Olympics,” said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “It was a magical and memorable spectacle and a great way to start the Beijing Olympics.”

Of course you can catch all the coverage on NBCOlympics.com. Even this website has had a huge traffic spike: 70 million page views on Friday, 10 times more than the seven million page views on the opening day of the Athens Games.

2008 Olympics Video Coverage at NBC Olympics.com!

Major League Gaming, now on ESPN

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In what appears to be a healthy intermingling of the mainstream sports and gaming cultures, ESPN has struck a deal with Major League Gaming so that they can have shows on ESPN. Sounds pretty cool and the guys at MLG are ecstatic enough to release this press release. This elevates MLG’s status to biggies like the MLB, the NBA, the NHL and what-not, because ESPN will be giving complete coverage to the MLG.

That means you’ll be seeing player interviews, the 2008 MLG Pro Circuit Competitions, streamed matches, scores, statistics and so on. We’re definitely not talking about an oddly-timed half-hour show talking about how gaming tournaments are so weird. We’re talking a full-fledged sports deal that puts the MLG actually into the major league.

Check out ESPN’s flashy new site for the newfound affiliation, where they’ve already got the show going, with fresh MLG news and Pro Circuit stuff. Those not in the know might also be interested in ESPN’s Video Games site, where they try to be real cool and pretend they are good at covering video games like other major sites we won’t mention here. Just kidding.

This event has a profound impact on gaming, perhaps the largest since Halo 3’s humongous sales. With nerdy gaming tournaments getting showtime on ESPN, you know that the mainstream-gaming gap is being filled slowly. And while some might be annoyed by that, the more optimistic among us will tell you that this can only mean more people play games, more people make games and hopefully, games become cheaper and better!

So much for Utopia.

XM Radio Goes Podcasting

The fantastic service XM Radio has branched into podcasting, a field that I’m shocked as to why it took them so long to get into. XM Radio Podcasts has launched with 8 podcasts Bob Edwards Weekend, 60/20 Sports with James Carville and Luke Russert, XMSN This Morning with Coach Switzer, Basketball & Beyond with Coach K, XM Weekly Music, XM Artist Confidential: Green Room, Opie and Anthony Shorts, and Unmasked.

New episodes will appear in the podcasts the day after they are aired for XM Radio subscribers.

“By making these original XM series available through xmradio.com, iTunes and other popular podcast web sites, millions more consumers have an opportunity to sample some of the best in premium music, news and sports programming that you can only get as an XM subscriber,” said Eric Logan, XM executive vice president of programming.

I’ve added a couple of these podcasts onto StuffWeLike.com’s media player, The Pipeline.

Add The Pipeline – Podcasts to your page