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On The Verge Of 5 Million Users, Pulse Scores The First ESPN Deal

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In many ways, tablet-focused readers like Pulse, Flipboard, and now Editions, are the next phase of RSS readers. But they’re RSS readers that the masses will actually use because they’re actually user-friendly and oriented around experience and visuals. But because they’re so tailored for user experience, they often need partnerships beyond a simple RSS feed to bring in the necessary information to populate the apps. Today, Pulse has landed a massive fish in that regard: ESPN.

The sports category has always been a bit under-represented in the tablet reading space because ESPN content has been largely absent. ESPN is by far the biggest name in sports news, and Pulse notes their deal is the first time the sports network has agreed to syndicate their content to a mobile app that is not one of their own.

With the deal, the Pulse Sports category is being revamped to highlight this ESPN content as well as the other sports content from SB Nation, Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, and others. The ESPN deal will place major headlines in Pulse as well as tailored news for MLB, NFL, NBA, WNBA, college football, and college basketball. Within Pulse, you’ll also now be able to break down the area by individual sports to get just news about that sport (this includes sports beyond the major ones as well, such as MMA, tennis, boxing, etc).

In addition to this deal, co-founder Akshay Kothari tells us that Pulse should today cross 5 millon users across all the platforms that Pulse is available on (iPad, iPhone, Android). It was only a month and a half ago that the service hit 4 million users, just in time to announce their big $9 million Series A round of funding.

You can find Pulse in the App Store here. And in the Android Market here.