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ESPN Purchases Virtual Technology Provider

ESPN has acquired Vistas Unlimited, Inc., which will help it go even more virtual on both the programming and advertising fronts.

The Plano, Texas-based technology proffers virtual insertion technology that can be used to overlay advertising or graphics into live coverage of sports, notably baseball, golf, basketball, hockey and rodeo.

Deal terms were not disclosed, but ESPN said it will continue to employ a majority of Vistas' employees.

Vistas Unlimited won the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award at the 29th Annual Sports Emmy Awards in 2008 for its "AimPoint" system, which is used by Golf Channel to analyze putting on PGA and LPGA broadcasts.

"This acquisition represents ESPN's dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation and technology development," said Chuck Pagano, executive vice president, ESPN technology, in a statement. "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."