Microsoft announced the kickoff of sports content for Smart Watches for MSN® Direct. Sports fans who subscribe to the MSN Direct service can now sign up to receive the latest information from ESPN on their favorite basketball teams, including updated scores, standings, game times and more. With detailed information and data delivered direct to their Smart Watch, fans can keep a pulse on their favorite teams while on the go, in a restaurant, at a meeting or wherever they don’t have access to a television or radio.

“Sports fans love to track their favorite teams and players, and now Smart Watches for MSN Direct allow them to do that and even more on their watch. The Smart Watch is the perfect timepiece for passionate sports fans who can’t be there to watch the game, but still want to follow the action,” said Eric Lang, general manager of the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative at Microsoft. “We are proud to offer the first of what will be many new channels of information available from MSN Direct.”

MSN Direct currently offers content for the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and men’s and women’s NCAA basketball (Division I) teams. MSN Direct subscribers can follow the teams that matter most to them and receive updated information before, during and after the game, including a pregame preview, game times, continual game updates, final scores with a post-game recap, and details on top scorers. Subscribers also can track playoff games and receive the latest standings and statistics. In the near future, subscribers will be able to sign up to receive ESPN content for Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), NCAA football and National Hockey League (NHL) games.

Microsoft is working with ESPN, the leading provider of sports information on the Internet, to provide the content for the MSN Direct sports channel. With its immense database of information, ESPN is able to offer complete, thorough and up-to-date information for a wide range of sports and divisions.

“We are pleased to be working with Microsoft to deliver rich stats, standings, updates and more to sports fans around the nation,” said Rick Alessandri, senior vice president and general manager at ESPN Enterprises. “We believe the Smart Watch is a fun device to receive sports information and are excited to see ESPN’s content on the wrists of sports fans.”

The new sports channel joins the existing MSN Direct content of news, weather, personal messages, calendar appointment reminders and stock quotes.