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Yahoo! Adds Top College and University Sports Teams to Its Line Up

The new collegiate athletic season officially kicks-off this weekend, and several colleges have partnered with Yahoo! Broadcast to stream their games over the Internet to displaced sports fans and alumni everywhere.

In order to gain the exclusive internet broadcast rights to these games, Yahoo! Broadcast has signed separate agreements with three sports marketing and Web development organizations- Learfield Communications, Englighten Sports and ISP Sports. Fans will be able to access the streams through Yahoo! Sports ( http://www.sports.yahoo.com) and Yahoo! Broadcast (http://broadcast.yahoo.com)

The three marketing agencies collectively represent 22 colleges and universities, including Alabama, Colorado, George, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Syracuse. In most cases, Yahoo! Broadcast will be encoding the local radio feed and packaging the audio with multimedia features, such as statistics and a real-time application that illustrates the game down by down as you listen. Yahoo intends to capitalize on its investment through in-stream ads and merchandise sales.

There will be more audio streams available then video; however, what will be available to the fan will depend on the team and game. According to Howard Bell, CEO and President of Enlighten Sports, sports that are less frequently televised, such as women's basketball, will be webcast with video.

"The viewership may be big, but the conflict with TV and radio broadcast rights is small or non-exsistent," stated Bell. In addition to the games, fans can tune in to coaches' shows and selected press conferences.

With the addition of these 22 teams, Yahoo! Sports now has live and archived programming from more than 475 professional and collegiate sports teams. According to Bell, the Internet is a good medium for sports because of its tendency towards data and facts. He believes that it is a more satisfying experience for the viewer when they can interact. After all, How many times have you screamed at your TV when your favorite team is losing?

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