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MLB.com Adds Twitter Integration to Gameday, MLB.TV PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 30 July 2009 15:48

As our Social Networking and Sports Summit outlined, those that follow baseball are highly engaged in using Twitter.

Now, MLB.com has integrated Twitter into both Gameday and MLB.TV. By adding hashtags such as #RedSox, #Yankees tweets will be picked up and displayed accordingly (#RedSox for Red Sox games. #Yankees for Yankees games, etc.).

Tweets can be made from the Twitter interface, or from within Gameday and/or MLB.TV. The system was first tested as such during the MLB Draft and All-Star Game.

See the images below for how the interface now looks:

Gameday with Twitter
Gameday with Twitter interface
MLB.TV with Twitter interface
MLB.TV with Twitter interface

Source: MLB.com


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Record 223.5M Votes From 17.8M Ballots Cast on MLB.com for All-Stars PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 03 July 2009 09:48

2009 ASGFan balloting for the 16 elected starting position players in the 80th All-Star Game, to be played Tuesday, July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, came to a record-setting finish last night with the conclusion of the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot on MLB.com.

Overall during the All-Star Game Sprint Online Balloting program, 223.5 million votes from 17.8 million ballots were cast at MLB.com and the 30 individual Club sites. Both figures are the largest figures recorded in the nine years of online balloting at MLB.com, surpassing the previous records established in 2008.

The American and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2009 MLB All-Star Selection Show presented by Pepsi, televised nationally on TBS at 1 p.m. (EDT). MLB.com will provide comprehensive coverage of the All-Star Teams, including high quality video and details of every All-Star, immediately following the announcement. MLB Network will air a special MLB Tonight All-Star Edition, simulcast on MLB.com, at 6 p.m. (EDT) with expert analysis and a look at the players on the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote ballot.

Also after the conclusion of the show, fans will once again select the final player for each League's 33-man roster via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote exclusively online at MLB.com. Fans will also be able to cast votes by text exclusively on Sprint capable phones. Standard text rates apply.

The 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from two lists of five players, one from each League, over a four-day period. American League All-Star manager Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays and National League All-Star manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies each will designate five players who will be the candidates for the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote. Balloting will continue until 4 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, July 9. The winners will be announced exclusively on MLB.com shortly after the balloting closes.

Source: MLB.com


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLBAM, Cox, and the San Diego Padres Announce In-Market Deal to Stream Games Online PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 29 June 2009 11:10
PadresCox Communications, the San Diego Padres and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, today announced an agreement that will allow customers who subscribe to Cox’s High Speed Internet service to purchase a package of San Diego Padres game telecasts for live in-market online viewing. This landmark agreement signifies an innovation in the way viewers can watch live professional sports, by offering a live in-market streaming product that includes games with local television rights.

Using an authentication process that will be enabled and managed by MLBAM and Cox, Cox High Speed Internet customers can watch Padres games live on their computer anywhere in the Padres television market, including at work or at home.

Padres fans can learn more about the product and purchase the package on web pages accessible from Padres.com and Cox.com. The Padres.TV product, available for a one-time fee of $49.95 for the remainder of the season or $19.95 for any 30-day period, is scheduled to launch on Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. (PT) with Channel 4 San Diego’s Rockies-Padres broadcast. Where available, games will be delivered with high definition quality picture, using the highest quality live streaming pioneered by MLBAM this year in its MLB.TV Premium package.

“We are very pleased to partner in this important joint effort to deliver greater access to Padres fans within their local market,” said Bob DuPuy, President and COO, Major League Baseball. “The agreement presents additional opportunities for fans to stay connected to the Padres while providing them the flexibility and convenience to do so when they cannot be at Petco Park. San Diego also marks the second franchise to take this significant step by offering in-market streaming and I expect additional Clubs to follow in the near future.”

“We're proud to be at the forefront and breaking new ground among professional sports franchises by offering live in-market online viewing to our fans,” said Tom Garfinkel, President and COO of the San Diego Padres. "We're committed to creating more choices for how our fans experience Padres baseball here at Petco Park and beyond.”

“Now Cox customers have another convenient way to enjoy Channel 4 San Diego’s award-winning coverage of Padres baseball,” said Craig Nichols, Vice President and General Manager of Channel 4 San Diego.

The announcement between MLBAM, the San Diego Padres, and Cox marks the second in-market online streaming media announced in the past week. Last week, MLBAM, Cablevision, YES Network, and the Yankees announced the first deal of this kind.

Source: MLB Advanced Media, MLB.com


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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Padres to be Next Team to Stream In-Market Games Online PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 28 June 2009 07:30

PadresLast week, when the Yankees, Cablevision, YES Network, and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced that they would begin streaming games online in two New York markets, it marked the first time that in-market games could be seen with MLB.TV only streaming out-of-market games (see Yankee In-Market Games Begin Streaming on July 8, Others Markets to Follow). With the deal centering around a club-owned RSN, the question on many minds was whether such deals could be brokered by clubs that did not have a majority or minority stake in an RSN.

At the time of the announcement, MLBAM said that a second in-market live game streaming product was expected to be announced the week of June 29.And, while baseball did not announce via conference call which market that might be, sources said to The Biz of Baseball that the Boston/New England market with NESN and the Red Sox.

But, in a turn that may have been unexpected, according to Ourand and Fisher of the SportsBusiness Journal, the San Diego Padres through Cox Communications will be the next club to see such a deal.

With the two deals in place, baseball expects to see the “logjam” lifted, with “a majority” of clubs reaching such agreements over the course of next season, according to MLB President Bob DuPuy last week when announcing the Yankees’ deal.

A question has been, how would revenues be split between MLBAM, who is providing the infrastructure to stream the game feeds, and the other parties in clubs, RSNs, and cable providers. According to a June 19 memo obtained by the SBJ, the revenue splits have been a case of intense vetting.

The terms for local streaming deals, outlined in a June 19 memo that Commissioner Bud Selig sent to all 30 will see MLBAM being paid half the revenues, with the other half of the related revenue “going to local interests, such as the participating team, its regional sports network and the local cable provider. The 50-50 split between MLBAM and the local interests is ‘net of operating costs to participating broadband and wireless service providers,’ according to the memo.”

As further reported:

While each streaming deal will be different, in large part because of how the local half of the revenue is divided, Selig noted “the same relative terms” will be used in all future in-market streaming agreements.

Selig, however, hinted the revenue splits are not cast in stone and could change in two years. In 2011, he intends to review the structure to “determine the fairness of the allocation and the impact upon industry economics.”

The Yankees on YES package announced last week, will be available for a one-time fee of $49.95 for the remainder of the season or $19.95 for any 30-day period, is scheduled to launch on Wednesday, July 8 at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) with the YES Network’s Yankees-Twins broadcast. The package will only be available to Cablevision subscribers with YES Network throughout the Yankees home broadcasting territory.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Yankee In-Market Games Begin Streaming on July 8, Other Markets to Follow PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 13:10
Yankees
Cablevision YES

In-Market Streaming Packages Not Seen as a Replacement for Dealing with MLB's Blackout Policy

Major League Baseball announced today it will launch this July a landmark pair of in-market subscription products, including Yankees on YES, to deliver live games online within their respective home broadcast territories. Upon launch, these will be the only live in-market streaming products in professional sports to include games with local broadcast television deals.

“These agreements are an important part of our global effort to give fans greater access to our game,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “It is important that fans in local markets have portable flexibility to stay connected to their favorite team if they can’t be at the ballpark, and I believe this represents a significant step in that direction.

MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, has entered into a partnership with the YES Network and Cablevision to provide eligible Cablevision customers throughout the Yankees home broadcasting territory with access to YES Network Yankees telecasts live on their computers. The offering, which will be implemented through an authentication process managed by Cablevision and MLBAM, will be available exclusively to Cablevision customers who subscribe to the Family Cable (expanded basic) level of television service and Optimum Online.

The Yankees on YES package, available for a one-time fee of $49.95 for the remainder of the season or $19.95 for any 30-day period, is scheduled to launch on Wednesday, July 8 at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) with the YES Network’s Yankees-Twins broadcast. Beginning immediately, eligible Cablevision subscribers can review FAQs for the product and purchase Yankees on YES at Yankees.com, YESNetwork.com and Optimum.net. Major League Baseball became the first professional sports league to make every game available online for out-of-market fans in 2003 and since that time has delivered over 250 million live video streams. It now is also the first to make this number of live games available online for fans living in a home team territory such as the Yankees.

Game features, such as MLB.TV's fantasy tracker will not be available through the Cablevision/YES Network package.

A second in-market live game streaming product is expected to be announced the week of June 29. While baseball did not announce via conference call which market that might be, sources have said that it is likely in the Boston/New England market with NESN and the Red Sox.

As for how this landmark development sits against the blackout policy in place with MLB's online out-of-market package, MLB.TV, and television package, MLB Extra Innings, MLB president Bob DuPuy said that it should not be considered a substitution. MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman said that the blackout issue is MLB.com's number one customer service question.

Issues surrounding clubs that do not have a majority or minority ownership stake in RSNs, such as the Yankees with YES, and possibly the Red Sox with NESN, Bob Bowman said that deals could be reached to allow for in-market streaming, but that they would be structured differently.

As to whether small revenue making clubs will find this news one more reason to ask for constraints on higher revenue making clubs that can tap into in-market streaming agreements has not yet been voiced. Even if clubs will eventually be able to tap into such agreements, the Yankees, and possibly Red Sox, will get a jump on these new revenues before others do.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Deal Between Cablevision, YES, and MLB to Stream Games Online Locally to Be Announced Today PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 09:40
Yankees
Cablevision YES

A 12pm ET conference call has been set to announce the landmark deal between Cablevision, YES Network, and MLB Advanced Media that will allow Cablevision subscribers that have the YES Network tier will have the ability to see games streamed online in New York market. As first reported earlier this month, the deal is a trial balloon of sorts to see if other carriage in the New York area might be available.

For those that have followed MLB’s blackout policy, the carriage deal is a breakthrough as the Yankee games streamed will be available in-market, something that has been unavailable prior through the use of MLB.TV, baseball’s out of market online package.

The deal also sets up a potential “Pandora’s Box” scenario in which other club-owned RSNs would look to launch in-market streamed games. The Red Sox and Orioles are but two clubs that have looked into the possibility. If so, it will create a have and have-not issue based on the new revenue stream for clubs that are in the position to foster carriage deals through their club-owned RSNs.

Today’s conference call has Bob DuPuy, president, Major League Baseball, Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner and co-chairman, New York Yankees, Tracy Dolgin, president and CEO, YES Network, and Bob Bowman, CEO, Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) as the principles making the announcement.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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In Wake of La Russa Suit, Twitter Set to Role Out Verification System PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 18 June 2009 20:46

Twitter verification

In an attempt to thwart impostor profiles on Twitter, the social
networking giant is preparing to role out a verification system.

Social networking giant Twitter is in the midst of Beta testing a verification system in an effort to thwart fake Twitter profiles. The addition of the system comes in the wake of a suit by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who was prepared to sue Twitter over a fake profile created by someone claiming to be him. Similar accounts have been created for high profile individuals in baseball including Bud Selig, Theo Epstein, and Peter Angelos.

According to a report by Ryan Corazza in a special article for ESPN:

Although Twitter thought La Russa's lawsuit was flimsy at best, it still prompted its creators to react and improve their service by creating verified accounts. As Biz Stone wrote on Twitter's blog: "We do recognize an opportunity to improve Twitter user experience and clear up confusion beyond simply removing impersonation accounts once alerted. ... The experiment will begin with public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation. We hope to verify more accounts in the future but due to the resources required, verification will begin only with a small set."

The beta version of verified accounts went live late last week, signaling Twitter's shift from a Wild West free-for-all.

You can follow the Business of Sports Network, and the REAL Maury Brown here on Twitter. For more on the Verified Account Beta being rolled out by Twitter, see their dedicated help page.


OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK:

BREAKING: Major Teams in F1 to Break Away, Form Own Series - BusinessofSportsNetwork.com


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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MLB.com Sees Record 332.5 millon Page Views for '09 First-Year Player Draft PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 12 June 2009 16:12
MLB Draft
MLB.com

MLB.com announced today that its live coverage of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft drew 332.5 million page views and 29.8 million visitors over the three-day event, shattering traffic records for the comparable draft time period. The total page views represents a 75 percent increase over the 2008 mark of 189.5 million, while visitors were up more than 30 percent year-to-year.

In addition to the live broadcast of the first round on MLB Network and MLB.com, this year’s round-the-clock coverage on MLB.com included the integration of Twitter into the live interactive media application, Draft Caster, and the real-time searchable database of every draft-eligible player, Draft Tracker. Fans embraced being part of a Draft-related online conversation while following the Draft live on MLB.com as the designated hashtag “#mlbdraft” consistently ranked among the most popular ‘Trending Topics’ on Twitter.

Source: MLB.com


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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MLB.com Taps Twitter for Tuesday’s MLB Draft PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 08 June 2009 15:36
2009 MLB Draft
Twitter

MLB.com announced today that it will launch the first online social community integration of the First-Year Player Draft by utilizing Twitter into its live interactive media experience, the MLB.com Draft Caster, beginning Tuesday, June 9. This additive feature will allow fans to watch Draft coverage live, including direct access to a searchable database of all eligible players, their biographical data, statistics, scouting reports and video, while offering the opportunity to connect and engage in Draft-related discussions with other fans, MLB.com reporters and Draft experts, industry insiders and numerous Draft-eligible players such as @Michael_Trout, @Eric_Arnett, @JacobMarisnick and @DrewStoren.

On Twitter, any posting utilizing the hashtag “#mlbdraft” will be displayed within the MLB.com Draft Caster live during the three-day event. Registered members of Twitter can also enter commentary to join the Draft conversation directly from the application.

The 2009 First-Year Player Draft will be held at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, NJ, beginning live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6:00 p.m. (EDT) on June 9. Following the live broadcast of the first round, MLB.com will be the exclusive destination for every pick through the final round on June 11, streaming each of the nearly 1,500 selections live. Here are highlights of MLB.com’s content offerings:

  • Up-to-the-minute reporting leading to the Draft’s first pick
  • On-demand Draft recap video programs for all 30 Clubs
  • Live video look-ins to Draft ‘war rooms’ of select Major League clubs
  • Live audio-only simulcast of entire Draft
  • Interviews with Hall of Famers, Club dignitaries and 2009 draftees
  • More than 150 original stories, including behind-the-scenes perspectives from all 30 Clubs
  • Enhanced video scouting reports for 100 of the top Draft-eligible prospects
  • Scouting video for over 700 Draft-eligible players
  • Complete history of the Draft, including full Draft listings dating back to 1965
  • Photo galleries capturing the event

Source: MLB Advanced Media


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Follow Maury Brown and the Business of Sports Network on Twitter Twitter

 
Tony La Russa Suing Twitter Over Impostor Profile PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 08:59

 
Twitter

As I reported last month, Twitter may be one of the greatest tools available for social networking. But, as I also reported, the capacity to have impostors is very real. In the first day, I decided to follow “Peter Angelos” and “Theo Epstein” who are not, in fact, the real individuals. Both had images of the baseball execs, but when reading through the Tweets, it was clear that neither were the real deal.

Now, a court case may eradicate such impostor profiles.

The case is La Russa v. Twitter, Inc. and deals with one Anthony (Tony) La Russa and an imposter profile on the popular social networking site. As the case description outlines:

Anthony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, sued Twitter after an unknown Twitter user created an account at twitter.com/TonyLaRussa and pretended to post updates as La Russa. The fake Twitter page included La Russa's photo and a handful of vulgar and apparently Cardinals-related updates. One line of the "profile" suggested it was all a fake: "Bio Parodies are fun for everyone."

La Russa's complaint alleged that the fake Twitter page constituted trademark infringement and dilution, cybersquatting, and misappropriation of name and likeness.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, La Russa's attorney tried to contact Twitter before filing the lawsuit, but got no response. Hours after the lawsuit was filed, Twitter removed the fake La Russa page and its postings.  According to the Superior Court docket, the case is still pending.

As mentioned, Twitter is a fantastic networking tool for those that follow sports, and sports business. You can follow the REAL Maury Brown and the Business of Sports Network on Twitter.

Tip of the hat to Will Leitch via (you guessed it) Twitter


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Follow Maury Brown and the Business of Sports Network on Twitter Twitter

 
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