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Real tries to hit one out of the park

Thu, 09/05/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

Ever wish you could listen to the game of favorite baseball team without having to go to the ballpark or sit glued to your television? Well, RealNetworks, and Major League Baseball believe they can make dreams come true with their Gameday Audio Mobile service.

The wireless service is designed to stream live audio feeds of Major League games to fans' mobile phone or PDA.

AT&T Wireless is the first carrier to offer the service. For $19.95 a month, subscribers gain access to an unlimited number of games during the rest of the season. To access games, users dial #MLB or hit "enter" on their browser-enabled wireless device to access the live audio broadcast.

At the end of last month, RealNetworks and MLB.com teamed to stream the first live video broadcast of a Major League Baseball game. MLB.com is streaming one live game a week on its Web site through the end of the season.

Baseball is not RealNetworks' only passion. The company also has sports deals with the NBA and has teamed with FOXSports.com to stream non-televised Big 12 football games online.

Forget traditional video-on-demand and voice over DSL —sports-on-demand is the killer broadband app everyone has been searching for, according to Mark Kersey, an ARS broadband and cable analyst.

Sports-on-demand, or SOD as he affectionately calls it, enables sports fans to purchase individual games or a season package to watch games of their favorite team(s). "The accessibility factor of Internet-based SOD is by far its greatest asset and is in stark contrast to Internet-based VOD sites offering streams of popular movies such as 'A Beautiful Mind' that can easily be rented from the local video store," says Kersey.

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