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Baseball streams to fans

Wed, 08/28/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

With the strike deadline looming, fans are trying to soak up every bit of baseball out there. Earlier this week, 30,000 fans connected to the first-ever live video stream of a Major League Baseball game.

The game, featuring the Texas Rangers vs. the New York Yankees, was streamed in high-definition 300K broadband video at MLB.com. "One of the goals of the Web cast was to expand the reach of the game throughout the world," says Daria DeBuono, director of streaming media at MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet arm of MLB. Roughly 10 percent of the viewers were from outside the United States, representing 60 countries.

To protect the interest of local broadcasters, the game was blacked out in the local television markets. The blackout denied about 12,000 fans the ability to watch the game on their computers.

Broadband and baseball have become fast friends. MLB.com and RealNetworks Inc. have a pact to stream radio broadcasts. The league also signed a deal earlier this year to broadcast 80 games in the high-definition television format.

MLB.com plans to stream one live game a week for the remainder of the season, that is if there is a season to stream.

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