Sunday Night Football Starts Streaming in September

SNFOne sure sign that the summer is coming to a close? People are gearing up for football. And while the NFL may be behind some of its sports league brethren in terms of online video, you will be able to watch all 17 Sunday Night Football games live on the web this season.
Games will be available on NBCSports.com and NFL.com, and just like last year, coverage will feature four different camera angles to choose from. Unlike last year, the games will be shown using Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Silverlight, not Adobe’s (s ADBE) Flash. The games will be available in HD and will offer DVR functionality as well as slow-motion replay.
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Setanta Offers Premiere League Football Live Streams

Are you crazy for European football? Resorting to low-grade pirated streams in the middle of the night to get your soccer fix? Now you can watch live games in a premium web streaming environment from pay TV channel Setanta Sports. The company today officially unveiled the U.S. version of its new Setanta-i at the NAB Show, and showed me a demo earlier this morning (video embedded below, sorry for the shaky camera work!).

Setanta had previously offered minimal paid online streaming, but “people tolerated the interface for the content,” said Setanta director of new media Stephen Michael. “It was not TV-like.”
Now, for $14.99 per month, users can access many (but not all, as Fox and Sky Sports split access rights in some regions) games from the English Premiere League, as well as the Champions League, cricket, rugby, and boxing. The quality is meant to be high enough so you can use your jumbo living room TV to watch, with bitrates up to 1.8 Mbps.
Setanta-i uses Microsoft Silverlight (s MSFT) and is powered by Swarmcast (meaning you will need to download both Silverlight and Autobahn), with content management by Irdeto and design by EMC Conchango.
In part because it’s using some of the same vendors, the service’s features are similar to MLB.tv. Some highlights include DVR capabilities, picture-in-picture and the ability to snap directly to goals in previously played games. Michael said he expects tens of thousands of concurrent live viewers to use the platform. Versions are available in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada.

10 iPhone Apps for Sports Freaks

Back in the day, you used to have to count the hours until your favorite sports team took the field or court, and there was precious little to do in between games. Fortunately, now there are a metric ton of apps in the App Store that help you while away the hours until tipoff or first pitch. Here are my top 10 favorite.

Baseball (free)

baseball4 If you follow baseball, then you know half the fun of the game is talking about player stats. When a player steps up to the plate, guesses on what they are about to do are largely based on what they did during their last at bat, last game, and last season. Keep statistics on each player right at your fingertips with Baseball. Stats go back as far as 1871 so the next time you’re having a friendly argument about whether Evan Longoria is the next George Brett, you’ll have hard, cold data to back you up.

NFL Live (99 cents)

nfl-livePredictably, there are around eleven billion football apps in the App Store. I’ve probably tried most of them, but my top pick for this category is NFL Live. It corrals all the news from ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, and Fox Sports in one place and even features offline browsing. NFL Live tracks scores in real-time and also allows you to email links right from the App.
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Vid-Biz: Hulu, Cuban, College Football

Kilar on Original Content; in a Q&A, Hulu CEO says he expects library content like recycled TV shows will remain the biggest “bucket” of premium content, but originals like Dr. Horrible will be the fastest-growing segment. (MediaPost)

Cuban Acquires Stake in Carmike Cinemas; Cuban, who also has a stake in Landmark Theaters, bought 9.4 percent of Carmike for $2.8 million. (Associated Press)

College Footbal Scores Online; ESPN online served up more than 101 million college football feature and highlight video streams this season. (MediaPost)

Warner Music Acts Upset Over YouTube Yanking; Amanda Palmer, an artist signed to a Warner subsidiary, says Warner has no bargaining power and even if it did get more money from YouTube, it’s unlikely she’d see any of it. (Techdirt) See our previous coverage.

Blinkx Releases New Ad Format; the “un-roll” is like a branded barn door that slowly opens as the content begins to play. You can see the demo here.

CBS: Live Sports Online is “Additive”

Time to eat crow. My Crimson Tide lost to the Florida Gators over the weekend. While it was a heartbreaker, the enormity of this game gave me the opportunity to contact Jason Kint, senior vice president and general manager at CBSSports.com, to see how well it performed online.
sec_championship

CBS (s cbs) remains tight-lipped about exactly how many people tuned in to watch the game online on Saturday. Kint said that the number was small, but for a big game like the SEC Championship, which was going to be on television, CBS doesn’t need them to be big. “It’s not cannibalistic, it’s additive,” Kint said. “Most people are going to watch it on TV, and the online audience then is entirely additive. SEC Championship is a small number, but it’s incremental.”

While the number of people who logged on may not have been huge, the time they spent online was (at least in terms of other online video). According to Kint, the average time spent per viewer watching the Alabama vs. Florida game was “north of 60 minutes.”

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