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Get Your Clicks: MLB.com and a Blackberry PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 14 August 2007 11:33

MLB.comMLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball and Research In Motion (RIM) announced today that BlackBerry smartphone users can now access MLB.com using a single click.

Fans can now download an MLB.com icon to their BlackBerry smartphone, allowing immediate access to the MLB.com mobile website with a single click. The MLB.com icon can be downloaded for free by visiting mlb.com from any BlackBerry smartphone and selecting the "Put this icon on your BlackBerry home screen" link.

"We are excited to partner with an industry leader such as RIM to provide millions of BlackBerry subscribers instant access to our comprehensive mobile content offerings," said Adam Ritter, Vice President, Wireless, MLB Advanced Media. "This integration will allow fans streamlined access to the MLB.com mobile site for the latest scores, standings, statistics, fantasy news and team information from all 30 Major League clubs wherever and whenever their needs arise."

"BlackBerry customers value the ability to stay connected to a wide range of information in their personal and professional lives," said Mark Guibert, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Research In Motion. "The MLB.com mobile site makes it easier and more convenient than ever for baseball fans to satisfy their curiosity and stay on top of the game."


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Google, Microsoft, and Others Go After MLB & the NFL PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 02 August 2007 00:30

 MLBA high-tech group that includes Google, Microsoft and other companies have filed a complaint asking the Federal Trade Commission to regulate how Major League Baseball, the National Football League, NBC Universal and Dreamworks Animation Inc., among others, announce copyright warnings.

The complaint outlines the growing online content distribution market and how that content is regulated. Google recently purchased YouTube for $1.6 billion, and Microsoft has plans to enter into the online video market. 

According to the AP, the Computer and Communications Industry Association seeks to have the FTC order the leagues and companies to stop using current copyright language and launch a marketing campaign to inform consumers of their rights under fair use laws.

"The bottom line is that the copyright holder is not the final arbiter of how his work can be used," said the group's spokesman Will Rodger. "Copyrights are granted by the federal government and it's 'we the people' who decide where to draw that line between what's legal and what is not."

 
Watch Your Home Television... on Your Phone PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 21 June 2007 01:20
Sling Media on a PhoneTake your television with you and watch sports anywhere... on your mobile phone.

Sling Media today announced that its SlingPlayer™ Mobile software client is now compatible with Microsoft’s new Windows Mobile 6 operating system. SlingPlayer Mobile gives Slingbox owners the ability to watch and control their home TV from a network-enabled Windows Mobile powered device. With today’s announcement SlingPlayer Mobile is now compatible with devices that run Windows Mobile 6 Standard and Professional editions, Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. SlingPlayer Mobile is available for download from Sling Media’s U.S. , Canadian, and UK web sites, which can all be accessed from www.slingmedia.com.

“Windows Mobile 6 is powering a whole slew of new, feature-rich multimedia smartphones, and Sling Media is happy to announce SlingPlayer Mobile support for this next generation mobile platform,” said Blake Krikorian , co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media. “SlingPlayer Mobile is one of the only applications on the market today that, when combined with a Slingbox, gives customers their full living room television experience on a mobile phone, including the ability to control a DVR. We look forward to continuing our support for Windows Mobile-based products, providing customers with the best possible mobile TV experience available.”

SlingPlayer Mobile is available for U.S. customers from Sling Media’s web site. The retail price of the application is $29.99. SlingPlayer Mobile is available for Canadian customers, as well here . The retail price is $34.99 CAD. SlingPlayer Mobile is available for UK customers here and can be purchased for £19.99 GBP, including VAT. A localized Japanese version will be available in the weeks to come from Sling Media’s web site. All versions of SlingPlayer Mobile include a 30 day free trial.

“Windows Mobile helps people stay connected to the information they care about whether they are traveling or staying close to home,” said John O’Rourke, general manager at Microsoft Corp. “New features in Windows Mobile 6 like support for wide screen viewing will offer SlingPlayer Mobile customers an enhanced mobile TV experience for viewing their favorite TV programs.”

SlingPlayer Mobile gives consumers their entire home TV experience, including local channels, local sports teams, video on demand, pay per view, etc. Any program that you can watch on your sofa back home, you can now watch via a PC, Mac, or Windows Mobile-based device anywhere you can get a standard network connection (3G Cellular, WiFi, USB). In addition, SlingPlayer Mobile users can also control their home digital video recorder (DVR) to watch recorded shows, pause, rewind, and fast forward live TV, or even queue new recordings while on the road.
 
Harold Reynolds Hired by MLB.com as Broadcaster PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 11 June 2007 12:31

Harold ReynoldsHarold Reynolds, who was fired by ESPN for what was deemed by them to be sexual harassment of an intern (see court documents regarding the Reynolds case here in PDF format and can be read here in our Business of Baseball (BOB) Documents library. The complaint by Reynolds can be viewed here) has been hired today by MLB.com to be a broadcaster.

Terms of the deal have not yet been announced.

While it has not been mentioned, with the MLB Network slated to launch in 2009, Reynolds might be tapped in a role for the fledgling channel when it launches.

 
Free Ride: Clemens Final Tune-Up Free on MLB.com PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:06

Roger ClemensFans interested in catching Roger Clemens possible final tune-up game before heading back to the New York Yankees can do so tonight (Weds., May 23rd) through either MLB.com or MiLB.com. Clemens will pitch for the AA Trenton Thunder tonight at 7:05 pm (ET).

The game offer is part of a collaboration between MLB.com and ESPN

 
Northern N.J. to Get SportsNet NY HD on Verizon FiOS TV PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 17 May 2007 08:53

Verizon FiOS TVIf you're a Mets and Jets fan in Northern New Jersey, tomorrow as Verizon FiOS TV launches SportsNet NY in High-Definition on Channel 831.

"We're delighted that SportsNet NY in HD is joining our Verizon FiOS TV lineup in northern New Jersey," said William Foshay, Verizon's general manager for the New Jersey region. "FiOS TV delivers incredible picture and sound clarity, and New Jersey viewers will enjoy the excitement and color of the Mets and Jets in high def on FiOS TV."

With the addition of SNY, Verizon now offers 28 HD channels in northern New Jersey, and Verizon FiOS TV subscribers there will get SYN in HD at no additional cost. The channel is also available to FiOS TV customers in Mercer County and New York. Customers need an HD-capable TV and an HD set-top box to get started with HD programming. SNY will continue to be available in standard definition on Channel 67.

SportsNet New York features over 120 regular season New York Mets telecasts and provides live sports and local news coverage through four sports news shows. It is also the official year-round television home of the New York Jets, providing viewers the most exclusive coverage and access to the Jets organization and players, plus preseason games. SNY also televises other professional and collegiate sports, including basketball and football games from the Big East and Big Ten conferences, as well as boxing, classic sports, event programming and exclusive interview and magazine programs.

 
Fruits of MLBAM Deal with Tiger Woods Becomes Visible PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 08:44

Tiger Woods MLBAM Early last month, Tiger Woods, through his official website TigerWoods.com, chose MLB Advance Media (MLBAM) to be the exclusive wireless partner for the creation and distribution of Tiger Woods content and, in coordination with IMG, the exclusive advertising and sponsorship sales agent partner for the official Tiger Woods website.

Today, emails through MLB.com started advertising the aspects of the agreement (click the image provided to see a larger version).

MLBAM will be responsible for the development, hosting, creation, operation and distribution of all Tiger Woods wireless content. This will include: the development, hosting and operation of the exclusive Tiger Woods mobile WAP site, which has launched today on mobile phones at wap.TigerWoods.com; the creation and maintenance of a wireless page on TigerWoods.com describing the available wireless content; the creation and distribution of Tiger Woods ringtones, wallpapers, text, photos, alerts, wireless video and video messaging; and mobile sweepstakes and standalone trivia and fantasy games. The WAP site will have live scoring updates, hole-by-hole, a live scorecard and leaderboard and news, schedules, tips, photo galleries, and bio information. For up-to-date news on Tiger Woods, MLBAM has created a "Tiger Text" program where fans can text "SCORE", "NEWS", "TIPS", "MOBILE", or "TIGER" to 55222. In addition, MLBAM, in coordination with IMG, will be the exclusive sales agent for advertising and sponsorships on the TigerWoods.com website. TigerWoods.com is hosted and operated by IMG Media.

 
Ensequence, Inc. Rides MLB.TV's Mosaic Wave PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 10 April 2007 04:43

MosaicPortland, OR. based Ensequence Inc. will announce today it will receive $40 million in venture capital from an undisclosed source. Who is Ensequence Inc.? They're the creators of Mosaic, the user interface that MLB.TV provides to allow users the ability to watch 6 games at one time, get stats, change the audio feed to a particular game on the screen, and select from those options to view on the screen in a larger format. As reported by the Oregonian:

"This changes the dynamic of how video is watched on any device," said Dalen Harrison, Ensequence's founder and chief executive.

The package of baseball games, called Mosaic, costs about $120 for the season that started a week ago. Subscribers can fill their screen with any six live games -- though in Portland, Seattle Mariners games are blacked out because of local broadcast restrictions. Fans also can call up past games, enlarge any game to fill the screen, or sign up for alerts when certain players come to bat.

The article further reports:

"We're really at the inflection point where a lot of our fans have high-speed Internet connections and fast computers," said Justin Shaffer, vice president, MLB Advanced Media.

Ensequence won't say how much its deal with Major League Baseball is worth, but said it's an important opportunity to demonstrate its technology in a high-profile way. The company also would not disclose its annual revenue.

Ensequence is playing in a crowded but fragmented field, said James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research.

"When you decide to go into interactive television, you're competing with nearly everybody," he said -- with broadcasters, Web sites and cable companies all trying to add features to their video.

To read more on Mosaic, read Maury Brown's article for Baseball Prospectus (no subscription required for this offering):

 The Ledger Domain: MLBAM Wants You Wired

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Apple to Provide MLB Content Via iTunes PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 30 March 2007 08:37

Apple ComputersApple Computers announced today that it will be providing Major League Baseball video highlights for the 2007 season on the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com), allowing access to games on the go.

MLB video on iTunes will include a daily 25 minute “MLB.com Daily Rewind” highlight show and two weekly “Games of the Week,” featuring full versions of the best games from the National and American Leagues. Customers will be able to download individual episodes of “MLB.com Daily Rewind” and each “Game of the Week” for $1.99, or purchase a Multi-Pass for a month of Daily Rewind shows for $7.99 or a Season Pass for every “Game of the Week” at just $19.99.

“We’re thrilled to be teaming with iTunes to give baseball fans access to MLB highlights via the world’s most popular online TV store,” said Kenny Gersh, senior vice president, business development of MLB Advanced Media. “We’re excited that baseball fans now have the opportunity to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in a unique way by taking MLB with them on their computers and iPods wherever they go.”

“iTunes has become the ultimate destination for accessing top sports video content and now our customers will be able to enjoy America’s favorite pastime whenever and wherever,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “By offering a 25 minute daily highlight show we’re giving millions of fans a great way to enjoy action from their favorite team and catch up on all the top plays from around the league.”

To kick off the deal, iTunes is offering the “MLB.com 2007 Season Preview Show” as a free download for iTunes customers. In addition to daily and weekly highlights, baseball fans will also be able to download episodes of the “MLB.com Baseball’s Best” series showcasing classic baseball games from the past. Individual episodes of “MLB.com Baseball’s Best” will be available for $1.99.

The deal comes nearly six months after MLB asked Apple to pull their MLB related content from iTunes due to content control concerns by MLB Advanced Media. 

 

 
Senior MLBAM Exec Dinn Mann Talks New Media PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 15 March 2007 01:24

MLBIn an interesting roundtable discussion with MLB Advanced Media Exec VP & Editor-in-Chief Dinn Mann, Dan Courtemanche, svp-marketing and communications, MLS; Dick Glover, vp-new media and broadcasting, NASCAR; and Steve Hellmuth, svp-operations and technology, NBA Entertainment by Brandweek, the topic of new media (Internet, smart phones, etc) was the topic. Here are some excerpts from Dinn:

  • On the potential of new media - You cannot fight [technology] and you have to make not only your content available but your brand—your entire experience—available. Fans expect to be able to engage, to feel like they can visit the stadium at any moment and there's always a game going on, whether a classic game or current game or previewing a future game. People expect this on a 24/7 basis, year-round. A venue for a sporting event is still the best place to go and experience that event. But to bring as much of that experience as you possibly can through digital media is vital. It's really up to the intellectual property owner to make his content available and make his experience translatable into this new media space. And the word "new" should be dropped from this discussion. It's not new anymore, it's just media. It's fun to try to expand the business and not treat the Internet as merely an extension but as an actual part of the core business.
  • On how you ensure pay-for content delivery, such as Extra Innings doesn't hurt your network broadcast - All baseball games are available online but we still black them out to honor the TV restrictions. We work with television partners and they've gotten a lot more open-minded in many cases about experimenting. The way of the world is to make the content available as readily as possible. People expect to see it. As soon as mobile networks improve a little bit more, people will expect to see that material on their phones.
  • On deals such as NBA's YouTube partnership and whether deals like these offer some control over user-generated content - You don't want to go around sending fans cease-and-desist letters; that's a rather preposterous notion. The key is a strategy to make the content available. We all know you have to get a thicker skin in today's world because media is so prevalent. Then there's the issue of whether the content looks like it was officially sanctioned, or is something you're making available because you recognize the universe of fans [that] wants to participate? For example, there's no reason you shouldn't have "sports-aoke," where people routinely are recalling their version of something that just happened in a game. The important thing is not to fight it; it's to help enable it and optimize it.
 
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