MLB.com will exclusively stream a free special presentation of MLB.TV when Randy Johnson makes his season debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at 10:15 p.m. (EDT). The game will be available without local blackout restrictions in the Phoenix broadcast territory.
"We are grateful for the leadership of Jeff Moorad and Derrick Hall in providing Diamondbacks fans this exclusive opportunity to see tonight's game," said Dinn Mann, executive vice president, Content, MLB.com. "By agreeing to lift the local blackout, FOX Sports Net Arizona demonstrated a tremendous spirit of partnership with the ballclub and the industry, giving Arizona fans a convenient way to enjoy Randy Johnson's highly anticipated return live on MLB.TV."
All MLB.com registered users can sign in with their current login information to watch the live video stream, while new registered users can gain instant access to the game tonight by creating an account with a valid email address and their birthdate.
The game will exclusively be shown on MLB.com and dbacks.com with FSN Arizona, which is the Diamondbacks rightsholder, unable to televise it due to a prior commitment to air the Phoenix Suns -- Golden State Warriors NBA game.
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Yahoo! and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, today announced a three-year video and advertising partnership that includes access to out-of-market MLB games on Yahoo! Sports.
Financial terms were not released.
The agreement will make MLB.TV available on Yahoo! Sports, bringing Yahoo! users more than 2,400 out-of-market Major League Baseball games each year, live and on-demand, through the 2010 season. Additionally, Yahoo! will exclusively manage online advertising sales for MLB.TV in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. This deal represents a continuation of Yahoo! Sports’ commitment to delivering the most compelling sports content on the web while significantly increasing the amount of high-quality video advertising inventory available to Yahoo! advertisers.
“This agreement exemplifies Yahoo! as the partner of choice to premier media organizations, as we’re providing MLB.com an opportunity to extend its reach to the largest possible audience, while at the same time maximizing monetization of its video subscription product,” said Todd Teresi, senior vice president of the Yahoo! Publisher Channel. “Partnering with MLB.com allows Yahoo! to offer our users an unmatched baseball experience, and also presents our advertisers with a new opportunity to reach a large, engaged audience of baseball enthusiasts.”
Yahoo! Sports will offer MLB.TV to fans in 11 countries, including the United States , Canada , Mexico , UK , Philippines and Germany . The games will be available through a co-branded player on Yahoo! Sports at http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb and MLB.com. During the first year of the deal, Yahoo! and MLBAM will jointly sell advertising for the video inventory, using Yahoo!’s advanced video ad format, Clickable, in addition to traditional pre-roll and post roll formats. For the remaining two years of the agreement, Yahoo! will be solely responsible for selling video advertising inventory for MLB.TV. All of this will be powered by Yahoo!’s industry-leading advertising management platform, AMP! from Yahoo!.
“Yahoo! has been a valuable partner with MLB.com in the past and this agreement represents an important evolution of our relationship with an industry-leading gateway to the Internet,” said Kenny Gersh, senior vice president, Business Development, MLBAM. “We are excited to leverage the popularity of watching live baseball games via MLB.TV with Yahoo!’s remarkable distribution portal and its well-established advertising sales capabilities.”
MLB.com launched its most significant MLB.TV upgrade to date on Opening Day of the 2008 season by offering MLB.TV Premium subscribers live out-of-market games in an enhanced video player with a television-quality picture through MLB.TV NexDef™ at either 800k or 1.2MB. (see details on MLB.com's 2008 product launch)
“Yahoo! Sports has established itself as the leading online sports destination by partnering with organizations like MLB Advanced Media to offer the most compelling sports experience to our users,” said Jimmy Pitaro, general manger, Yahoo! Sports. “The addition of MLB.TV to Yahoo! Sports helps solidify our position as a true leader in online sports.”
The agreement also provides that Yahoo! Sports will distribute MLB.com’s FastCast. MLB.com began offering live streaming video of games in August 2002 and launched the first full-season subscription video product in professional sports the following April. MLBAM reports that since that time, more than one million fans have subscribed to MLB.TV.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, announced today that its out-of-market video package, MLB.TV, reached unprecedented Opening Day levels by delivering over 1.7 million live game video streams and adding nearly 36,000 individual subscribers during the first two days of games from March 31-April 1. Both figures represent increases more than double the comparable activities from the same time period in 2007.
For those that get their MLB content online, this season sees the largest product offerings launch through MLB Advanced Media, and MLB.com in their history.
Starting on Opening Day, the following products will be offered:
Enhanced Gameday/Video Alerts
According to BAM, MLB.com has enhanced the real-time application with real-time video alerts, in-depth Game Previews, the MLB.com Daily Rewind recap and other game-specific video. The real-time video alerts, up to 10 per game, will be available via an exclusive free trial for the month of April (see details below). In addition, those watching Gameday online, Major League Baseball will provide precise pitch speed, trajectory and location data from all 30 Major League parks, including, according to MLBA, “unprecedented real-time pitch identification for every pitch thrown this season.”
Video Alerts – Mobile
Bob Bowman said in our interview with him earlier this year that near-realtime video for mobile devices would be coming shortly, and BAM is delivering on that news. Beginning on Opening Day, MLB.com will be delivering real-time video alerts to mobile devices. The alerts will appear within 2-4 minutes from the conclusion of the play on the field and will be offered to Team Alert subscribers at no additional charge from the current rate of $3.99 per month.
Fans can sign up by texting "GET (Club nickname)" to 65246. For example, a Mets fan would send the text "GET METS" to 65246.
MLB.TV in “NexDef”
In 2008, premium subscribers of MLB.TV can watch live games from their computers in “NexDef” at 1.2 megabits per second stream with a 16x9 widescreen format. All 2,430 out-of-market games in the regular season will be available live on both MLB.TV and MLB.TV Premium. (make sure and enter your zip code here to determine what is “out-of-market”)
The following are the three games being streamed in “NexDef” as part of the MLB.com free preview on March 29:
Cleveland Indians vs. Atlanta Braves, 1:10 p.m. (EDT)
Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals, 6:00 p.m. (EDT)
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 9:05 p.m. (EDT)
BaseballChannel.TV Offering Expanded Lineup
Beginning on Monday, March 31 at 9:00 a.m. (EDT), BaseballChannel.TV will be offering an expanded lineup of free content. The new channel lineup will include the debut of the MLB.com “Whiparound,” a live 60-minute show featuring news, updates and analysis directly from the field of that day’s home ballparks. Hosted by Noah Coslov and Paul Devlin, “Whiparound” will typically air from 6:00-7:00 p.m. (EDT) every weekday, but will premiere at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Opening Day to preview the first full day of games.
Along with the addition of “Whiparound” MLBAM will have other daily programs with Harold Reynolds and former USA Today baseball columnist Hal Bodley.
MLB Advanced Media announced today that MLB.com is offering fans the opportunity to challenge one of baseball’s most hallowed individual records and stake claim to the single largest grand prize in fantasy baseball history. “Beat the Streak presented by Mitchum” launches today on MLB.com with a grand prize of $1 million awaiting the contestant who can sustain a hitting streak of 57 games to surpass the legendary all-time mark of 56 games.
“We’re excited to bring a one-of-a-kind grand prize to a one-of-a-kind fantasy baseball game,” said MLB.com’s Gregg Klayman, the game’s creator. “Unlike traditional fantasy games, ‘Beat the Streak’ has an inherent simplicity that engages every fan – from the rookie baseball fan to the seasoned fantasy veteran – at the same level of competition.”
MLBAM says that since it launched in April 2001, more than one million contestants have played the free fantasy game on MLB.com, and a select few have come close to reaching the streak, including last year’s winner, Michael Karatzia of Sea Girt, N.J. Karatzia established a new all-time mark with a streak of 49 games, falling just a week shy of qualifying for last year’s $100,000 grand prize. Overall, there were a single-season-record 14 individual streaks of at least 40 games in 2007, more than double the total from the first six seasons combined.
“Beat the Streak presented by Mitchum” is a free fantasy game that gives contestants a chance to win $1 million if they can sustain a hitting streak of at least 57 games. Each day, contestants choose a Major League player they think will get a hit. If a selected player delivers a hit on that day, the streak continues and the contestant chooses either another player or the same player the following day. If a selected player ever goes hitless for that day, the streak ends. For example, Karatzia built his record-breaking streak last year using a variety of the top Major League hitters, including Vladimir Guerrero (9 times), Derek Jeter (8), Magglio Ordoñez (5) and Jose Reyes (4).
MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, CAA Sports and venture capitalists are preparing to launch a social-networking site that will allow athletes such as Derek Jeter and LeBron James to interact with youth athletes.The site named WePlay.comcontinues MLBAM’s vertical growth aspect, which includes continued growth at the MLB, minor league, USA Baseball, and youth levels.As reported by the Sports Business Journal:
The site, which was unveiled at the OnMedia NYC conference last week, blends the networking capabilities of MySpace and Facebook with some of the classic, instructional elements featured in SI for Kids like “Tips from the Pros.” It will launch in April and try to gain traction with more than 240 million people who CAA Sports estimates are active in youth sports.
“What we’re trying to do is actually bridge the gap between a guy who’s playing shortstop for the New York Yankees and some kid who’s playing shortstop in Sandusky, Ohio,” said WePlay CEO Steve Hansen.
As further reported, the site will get instant credibility from the stable of athletes within CAA Sports:
Six high-profile CAA Sports athletes involved in the site will raise its profile immediately. As founding partners in the venture, those athletes — Jeter, James, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, USA Softball player Jennie Finch, Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander and San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker — will have an equity stake in WePlay.
On December 20th, Hal Bodley ended his 25 year career with USA Today covering baseball. During that time, Bodley, much like veterans such as Murray Chass of the NY Times and Ronald Blum of The Associated Press, seemed to have his finger on the pulse of baseball as a business. As he himself wrote in his closing column for USA Today, he wrote “nearly 2,600 [articles] — some good, some awful, but none lacking my dedication and enthusiasm to inform and entertain our readers about the best game ever created.”
I contacted Bodley on that day saying that I wished him well, and he wrote back saying that he hoped to be writing again shortly. It seems it didn’t take long, as less than a month later, he is back in the saddle.
MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced today that Bodley will be writing for MLB.com as a senior correspondent.
“We are honored to have Hal playing an important role on our team,” said Dinn Mann, executive vice president of content for MLB.com. “Over the course of his career, Hal has earned a reputation as a respected, competitive authority on baseball. His contributions to the game and to the groundbreaking approach and coverage by USA Today cannot be overstated. Hal’s background as both a pioneer and leader in print and electronic media will serve our staff and audience tremendously. This key addition further advances our mission to deliver the best possible information and perspective.”
“After covering baseball for 50 years, the last 25 for millions of USA Today readers, getting this opportunity to remain active in the game with MLB.com and its expansive presence in the digital arena is both exciting and challenging,” said Bodley. “I can’t wait to get started because this is truly baseball’s Golden Era.”
Bodley, who has covered the game since 1958, has attended nearly every major event in the sport, including 43 World Series and 41 All-Star Games, has worked more than 4,000 games, has seen more than 36,000 innings played and has interviewed thousands of baseball personnel and six sitting Presidents of the United States. He has also written two best-selling baseball books: The Team That Wouldn’t Die, an account of the Philadelphia Phillies 1980 championship year, and Countdown to Cobb, a chronicle of Pete Rose’s 1985 pursuit of Ty Cobb’s career hits record.
Prior to joining MLB.com, Bodley served as baseball editor-columnist for USA Today since prior to the national newspaper’s startup on Sept. 15, 1982. He was with Gannett Company, Inc., for 47 years and prior to his work with USA Today was sports editor-columnist of the Wilmington News Journal newspapers for 22 years. Bodley was also a founder and former president of the Associated Press Editors Association. In addition, Bodley has served as a broadcast analyst for baseball with CBS Sports, NBC Sports, CNN and the Philadelphia Phillies television network.
As MLB’s revenues pass $6 billion this year, a key facet in that growth is MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), baseball’s interactive media and Internet company.
Today’s edition (Weds., 12/3) of USA Today sees a lengthy article on “BAM” by Jorge Ortiz entitled, “MLB's advanced media arm pulls in profits.” Maury Brown, the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network adds analysis to the article, pointing out how MLBAM is, in his opinion, baseball’s greatest recent achievement. As reported:
By the end of this year, MLBAM will have streamed more live events — upward of 12,000 — than any other website in the world, thanks to a powerful infrastructure put in place when MLB.com was launched in 2001 and had two significant upgrades.
Because of its huge broadband platform and technological know-how, baseball has emerged as the best option for several sports leagues seeking management of their online content.
"This is the most forward thing baseball's ever done. They're considered far and away the leader in providing digital content," says analyst Maury Brown, founder of the Business of Sports Network. "It's baseball's biggest success story that just doesn't get enough play. And it's something they have major bragging rights on."
Read more for comments by Bob Bowman, Gary Gillette and others. An outstanding piece the staff of the Business of Sports Network, and The Biz of Baseball recommends. As an example of MLBAM's growth, USA Today offers these figures within the article:
Can't make it to the Winter Meetings next week? MLB.com, will provide baseball fans with expansive live video coverage of the annual Baseball Winter Meetings from Nashville, Tenn., via its offseason subscription package, which is available at the following location. The broadcasts will commence from Music City USA on Monday, December 3 at 11:00 a.m. EST with the live announcement of the results from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 2008 Veterans Committee election.
Among the Winter Meetings programming highlights on MLB.com are: exclusive interviews with every Major League manager in attendance; live video of every press conference; breaking news updates; expert analysis from former Major Leaguers Harold Reynolds, Jim Leyritz, John Marzano and Billy Sample and former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Fred Claire (read The Biz of Baseball interview with Claire); and exclusive pick-by- pick coverage of the 2008 Rule 5 Draft beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, December 6.
Additional benefits to offseason package subscribers include:
On-Demand Video and Audio - Re-live the many milestone performances,great games and dramatic finishes from the regular and postseason in their entirety on-demand or utilize the video linescore feature to view any half-inning from any game in 2007.
Text Message Alerts - Text alerts delivered directly to a mobile phone provide instant access to offseason information, including breaking news, trades and free agent signings.
Spring Training - Live video and audio broadcasts of select Spring Training games from the Grapefruit League or the Cactus League as players prepare for Opening Day 2008.
Arizona Fall League - Subscribers can access on-demand video broadcasts produced by MLB.com from the prestigious prospect league, including the 2007 AFL Championship.
Hawaii Winter Baseball - On-demand video broadcasts of select games from the island development league in which the Yankees' Joba Chamberlain made his pro debut in 2006.
MLB.com shop discount - Receive a 10% discount off the next purchase from the MLB.com shop. Offer expires on April 5, 2008.
MLB.TV Dreamseat Sweepstakes - All subscribers are automatically entered in the sweepstakes where one grand prize winner will receive a Dreamseat Team Home Theater Recliner (estimated value - $1000). Deadline for entry is November 30, 2007.
Imagine Sports Inc., a leading online multiplayer sports gaming company, has announced a deal with MLB Advanced Media, L.P. (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, to bring officially-licensed content to its award-winning, online baseball simulation game, Diamond Mind Online. The agreement grants Imagine Sports the rights to include Major League Baseball league and team logos, data, player names, and images in its innovative online baseball game, making Diamond Mind Online the most authentic baseball multi-player simulation game available. As part of the deal, MLBAM will also promote Diamond Mind Online on the homepage of MLB.com's popular fantasy section.
"Our mission has always been to bring our customers the most authentic, realistic, and fun baseball experience possible," said Dayne Myers, founder and CEO of Imagine Sports. "With this relationship with MLBAM, we're adding even more realism and features to the game for our growing fan base of baseball and online gaming enthusiasts."
"Imagine Sports shares our passion and deep understanding of the game of baseball," said Kenny Gersh, SVP of Business Development of MLB Advanced Media. "Baseball simulation game-players demand statistical accuracy, and Imagine Sports' unparalleled technology and commitment to authenticity made it a natural fit for expanding our brand into the online multi-player simulation market."
The deal adds significantly to the large list of features in Diamond Mind Online, which allows game-players to compete like a real baseball general manager, including drafting players, setting lineups and making trades. With this relationship with MLBAM, game-players will be able to utilize all of these features with over 3,500 current and historical MLB players. Utilizing a game engine developed and refined over the course of 20 years by renowned baseball statistics expert Tom Tippett, today Diamond Mind Online is widely regarded as the most sophisticated and accurate baseball simulation game available.
In celebration of the partnership, Imagine Sports will be offering all fans free trials of Diamond Mind Online® on their website at: www.imaginesports.com. In the free trial, fans will be able to choose from 24 historical teams like the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as current teams from baseball's modern era.