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Live Video Coverage of NBA Game

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and RealNetworks are joining forces to stream live video coverage when the Dallas Mavericks host the Sacramento Kings on Friday, April 13. The video will be available on both Real.com and NBA.com.

Before you sell the TV and run out and sign up for DSL, take a deep breath. This is not the beginning of continued live Internet delivered video coverage. This is a test, and only a test. Brenda Spoonemore, VP of Internet Services for NBA.com explained that the NBA was using this as a practice run for what could be a more extensive venture into streaming video coverage for a new league. "We have a minor league launching in the fall, called the National Basketball Development League, we see that as the first true Internet league."

Spoonmore indicated that the league would be looking to this trial run to help find out what fan's usage patterns are. "We plan to experiment with some other things this summer with the WNBA, and the summer leagues, and then roll that into an overall digital strategy for the D League," said Spoonmore.

It would not seem to be a coincidence that the first NBA live webcast would feature the Mavericks, owned by the outspoken Mark Cuban, who purchased the basketball team after selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo. "As someone who was there at the birth of the webcasting industry, to be part of the first broadcast of an NBA game is very exciting,'' said Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, in a statement. "The ability to watch an NBA game from almost any Internet-enabled device opens the NBA to fans worldwide. This is just the beginning and I'm proud that the NBA is on the forefront of the digital delivery of content and that the Mavs are a part of this watershed event.''

The Webcast this Friday, will use a combination of video from the TV broadcast feed as well as from BeHere 360 degree cameras, and will have four choices of audio feeds: home, away, Spanish and Mandarin. The streams will be offered for the RealPlayer only.

The NBA and RealNetworks are not strangers, having announced a multi-year partnership this past January where RealNetworks will provide live Internet broadcasts of NBA.com TV and NBA.com's Audio League Pass through RealPlayer GoldPass. The NBA has been offering a paid subscription service (Audio League Pass) for audio only coverage of most NBA games for several years.

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