ESPN buys technology company Vistas Unlimited

Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that ESPN has reached a deal to acquire Vistas Unlimited, a Texas-based development firm.

Vistas Unlimited has created “virtual insertion technology” to add ads or graphic elements to live sports coverage.

“This acquisition represents ESPN’s dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation and technology development,” said ESPN EVP of technology Chuck Pagano 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.”

Vistas Unlimited won a Sports Emmy in 2008 for its AimPoint system, which the Golf Channel uses to analyze putting by showing a blue line of the ball’s “optimal” path compared to the actual path it took.

For more about Vistas Unlimited, including video demonstrations of its products, visit its Web site.