SBD/Issue 121/Sports Media

MLBAM Will Stream Live Events Online For ESPN Beginning In April

MLBAM Will Begin Streaming Live
Events Online For ESPN On April 4

ESPN360 hired MLBAM to provide the broadband site's technology infrastructure and operations support. The deal was announced today, with MLBAM starting to work with the broadband site April 4, coinciding with its name chance to ESPN3. The move will allow ESPN to offer more HD streaming of live events, plus picture-in-picture and split screen applications. It also will allow ESPN360 to roll out new features, like scores, chats and schedules. "Our seven-year relationship with MLBAM has grown from collaborations like ESPN.com and ESPN Insider, and the new ESPN3.com in April will take that relationship one step further," said ESPN Digital Media Senior VP & GM John Kosner. ESPN360 has about 50 million homes thanks to deals with companies like Comcast, Cox, AT&T and Verizon (John Ourand, THE DAILY). In N.Y., Brad Stone reports MLBAM "will handle the technology infrastructure and customer support for the nearly 3,500 live events that ESPN streams each year." ESPN had "previously used the services" of Utah-based Move Networks. However, Kosner noted that Move's system "required that customers download a special video player that uses Microsoft's Silverlight technology." ESPN "wanted to make its site easier to use by moving to a supplier that used Adobe's popular Flash software, which operates within the Web browser." MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman said that MLBAM and ESPN "might consider cross-promoting or bundling their offerings." They could "allow a customer who pays to watch New York Yankees games online to also watch World Cup soccer games or Grand Slam tennis matches, at a discount" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/8).

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