ESPN Will Open its APIs to Third-Party Developers

ESPN hopes that geeks and sports go together. The mega sports media company has opened its doors to developers with a new ESPN Developer Center.

It’s the first time the network will allow independent third parties to access its trove of editorial content, stats and other data, all in an effort to encourage creation new Web and mobile apps. ESPN plans a full demonstration and explanation of its API plans at SXSW.

“The play for us is making sure we have our content in all these different digital ecosystems,” Jason Guenther, ESPN’s vice president of digital media technology, told Mashable. “Connected devices are only going to proliferate in every aspect of life, so it’s important that we can reach fans no matter the product or place.”

While headline data will be available to most developers, ESPN has put in place restrictions on some data, including player rosters, biographical information and individual statistics; team rankings and statistics; and scores and schedules. They’ll be available only to “premium partners” and the network itself, says TechCrunch.

ESPN has also been busy hosting numerous hackathons to give developers the chance to access ESPN data and create sports-related apps.

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