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Searchable Streaming Video on NHL.com

While sports have traditionally lent themselves very easily to the Internet, the leagues have been reluctant to take advantage of technologies such as video streaming because of the difficulties with quality, the limited broadband audience, and the big money tied up in television broadcast rights. But, the professional sports leagues have started paying serious attention to streaming media recently. They are taking advantage of the interactive and personalized opportunities of the Web, and are beginning to offer searchable video clips of games.

This week the National Hockey League (NHL) announced it is teaming up with Virage ( www.virage.com) to bring personalized highlights of the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs NHL.com beginning April 11. Under the agreement, Virage will provide NHL.com with the infrastructure to create and publish an on-demand, searchable video database of every playoff game. The current agreement with the NHL is only for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Virage entered a similar agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB) in January, under which Virage will be creating an online searchable video database of all the 2001 MLB games. And the NBA has been working with Convera to bring all of its present and past games into a searchable archive.

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