SBD/Issue 187/Sports Media

Red Sox, Comcast Set To Announce New Video-On-Demand Service

New Red Sox VOD Service Will Offer
Behind-The-Scenes Videos, Archives
The Red Sox today will announce a new video-on-demand deal with Comcast for the distributor’s digital cable customers in New England. Red Sox on Demand, a free offering to Comcast subscribers, will contain content developed by the club’s in-house production department including behind-the-scenes video, archival footage, farm system reports and other material. Not included will be full game replays or near-term highlight packages, as the video will be more feature-oriented in tone. The deal is an outgrowth of a recent sponsorship deal Comcast signed with the Red Sox, and also marks the latest MLB team to begin offering VOD services after clubs gained the right to explore such moves in late '07. "We have all this great content that really hasn’t had a proper place to live beyond the walls of the Red Sox office that now is going to get a home,” Red Sox Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Sam Kennedy said. “Comcast came up with this idea after we signed the sponsorship deal, and we’re thrilled to give this material, some which goes back decades, an avenue to find new audiences” (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). CSN New England Senior VP Steve Hackley: "If there's one thing that New England wants, it's more Red Sox. This is better than a channel. It's a library at your disposal anytime you want." In Boston, Johnny Diaz reports a Spanish-language version of the Red Sox Report also will be available. Comcast introduced a "similar project with the Celtics two years ago" and has deals with teams outside the Boston market including the Penguins, Braves and MLB Giants. The move "comes as Comcast tries to attract and retain subscribers at a time when some people are eyeing their cable bills as they look to slash discretionary spending" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/17). Comcast declined to comment on the terms of the deal, which is "part of a larger sponsorship" with the Red Sox (BOSTON HERALD, 6/17).

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