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October 25, 2005

Live Baseball Video Coming For Cell Phones, PDAs

Courtesy of TechWeb News

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Baseball fanatics looking for live action might not have to search any further than their cellular phones or mobile devices next season.

Major League Baseball (MLB) hopes to begin streaming live video in the United States sometime in 2006, said Alex Pigeon, director for international business development for MLB Online Services, Inc., at the Yankee Group Mobile Entertainment Summit in San Diego on Monday.

But that's not all. Wireless will also change the in-park experience. "Kids will have the ability to send text messages in a ball park and see their edited version on the jumbotron," he said. "They'll pull out their cell phones and play a trivia game, and the winner of that game can identify where they're sitting in the stands."

And MLB also is considering electronic ticketing through cellular phones, so fans with season tickets don't grab the wrong day's seats as they're heading out the door to the ball park. global positioning technology also is being considered to provide park goers with multiple camera angles in the stands from their cellular phones. Then there's the ability to play a game during the seventh inning stretch, such as guess the speed of the ball as it comes off White Sox outfielder Scott Podsednik's bat.

Watching a live sporting event from a cellular phone or mobile device is the primary driver for consumers willing to shell out $35 extra monthly, beyond the cost for voice service, according to a study conducted by Qualcomm Inc.'s MediaFlo Technologies division, which specializes in technology and services for wireless multimedia content delivery.

"Eleven percent of the survey participants were willing to pay $35 monthly over what they pay for voice service," said Omar Javaid, senior director of business development at MediaFlo Qualcomm, who revealed the results at the Yankee Group conference. "About 90% were willing to pay $10 monthly above what they pay for voice service, and more than 50% were willing to pay up to $20 a month more."

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