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Be Here cam to ride Finals backboards
Published June 4, 2001
Be Here Corp.'s recently rebranded TotalView technology will have its sports-television debut in the NBA Finals on NBC, when the company will position one of its patented cameras on each backboard, allowing NBC to capture wide-angle action and zero in on details of a play in nearly instantaneous replay.
Be Here CEO Andrew Thau would not disclose financial terms of the arrangement, nor whether NBC had committed to a certain number of uses of the technology in broadcasts. He said NBC could use TotalView at its discretion and he expected it to get increased use as the Finals progressed, especially coming out of commercials. When used, the replay will carry "Be Here TotalView" branding.
TotalView is Be Here's 360-degree camera system. NBC will employ it to cover a nearly 160-degree swath. The technology was used by "Entertainment Tonight" to film Academy Awards goings-on for later programs. NBC's Finals use will be the first television instant-replay deployment.
Be Here has done Web work with the NBA and the NHL before, and its TV and Web applications are two of a four-pronged business model that includes still photography and security camera services. The latter produce the bulk of Be Here's high-seven-figure revenue, said Walter Ramos, a partner in Snider Capital, which recently led a round of funding for Be Here that has netted $6 million, with another $2 million on the way. Philips Electronics NV, Intel Capital and Kodak were return investors. The company has raised $23 million since 1996.
"I wouldn't even call them an Internet company, to be honest with you," said Ramos. "We absolutely love the technology and did extensive due diligence on the patents, and alone they are worth a lot of money. We had that confirmed by the type of investors which stepped up to our round."
NBA Finals global TV scorecard
|91 telecasters, reaching 205 countries, will air the NBA Finals. The league series, airing in 41 languages, will be available to more than 750 million TV households.|
Among the telecasters that will be carrying the Finals for the first
time are Korea’s iTV,
Turkey’s DigiTurk, Estonia’s ETV, Botswana’s BTV, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s TV Hayat, Hungary’s Sport 1, Macedonia’s MRT, China’s Hubei TV and Mexico’s Superdeportiva.
|More than 30 international telecasters will be on site to cover the Finals.|