San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 6, 2007
SportsJunkie.tv Inc., an unprecedented online producer of live sports "fancasts," announces the launch of an Internet channel at http://www.sportsjunkie.tv that will be streaming video from the fan's point-of-view as major sports events unfold, starting today with All-Star FanFest in San Francisco.
In a live format made possible through a pilot program with MLB.com, the initial fancast, entitled "Dr. Doug's Big, Fat Baseball Adventure," features Dr. Doug Yarris, a life-long San Francisco Giants fan who is attending numerous events surrounding the 2007 MLB All-Star Game in San Francisco from July 6-10. Events include FanFest, All-Star Workout Day, the Home Run Derby, various celebrations, and the Mid-Summer Classic itself.
Dr. Doug, who will often be flanked by his 19-year-old son, Travis, is wearing a small video camera and microphone on the bill of his cap. The equipment is connected to a wireless broadband network through a small laptop sitting in a backpack, allowing Dr. Doug to stream video and audio to viewers who visit the MLB.com-licensed SportsJunkie.tv fancast.
The camera, instead of focusing on Dr. Doug himself, points outward and captures everything he sees and hears apart from any televised action (on the field). This fancast gives fans who can't be there in person a chance to live vicariously through a fellow fan, supplementing what they ordinarily see on TV. As part of SportsJunkie.tv's partnership with MLB.com, Dr. Doug has unique access, allowing him to generate video content from various locations in and around the events.
"Not only will this provide visitors to the site with hours of additional content around a major sports event, it also represents a way to exhibit Major League Baseball with an interactive and experimental twist," said Dinn Mann, Executive Vice President of Content at MLB.com. "It will be as if Dr. Doug is taking fans wherever he goes. The truth is he'll be auditioning something that could catch on, boosting innovation and the trend of providing behind-the-scenes content as a companion to traditional coverage."
The footage from this first-of-its-kind effort will be available live outside of broadcast rightsholder windows, and the portions that are blacked out will be available on-demand at both SportsJunkie.tv and MLB.com thereafter. Throughout All-Star Week, Dr. Doug's camera will keep rolling, and the resulting on-demand content will be spruced up with highlights of on-field action and available for viewing at MLB.com.
At the end of each day, Dr. Doug will stream a talk show of sorts, called Dr. Doug's Daily Cleaning, in which he will turn the camera on himself, give his observations from the day's events, and conduct a live chat with viewers.
"I've been going to baseball games my whole life, but I've never had an opportunity like this," Dr. Doug said. "One of my goals is definitely to catch a ball during the Home Run Derby. Somebody let the kayakers in McCovey Cove know that the dentist is on his way, and he's got a glove."
Dr. Doug was, in fact, within a few feet of snaring the ball from Barry Bonds' record-setting 73rd home run in 2001. Subsequently, there was a legal dispute over ownership of that ball, and he became one of the key witnesses for the plaintiff in the infamous court case.
"We happened upon Doug when we were making 'Up for Grabs,' a documentary about the absurd custody battle that erupted over the No. 73 ball," said Mike Wranovics, CEO of SportsJunkie.tv and director of the aforementioned film. "Doug ended up being one of the best things in the movie. At screenings, everyone always wanted to know about 'that funny dentist.' Now he's about to have an experience that most baseball fans could only dream about. And thanks to the fancast, he'll be able to share it with them."
Technology behind Dr. Doug's Big, Fat Baseball Adventure is being provided by Justin.tv, the San Francisco company that started the around-the-clock lifecasting phenomenon in March of this year. The difference with SportsJunkie.tv content is that it will be focused specifically on sports fans. And rather than presenting an individual's life 24 hours a day, it will focus on the fan's experiences that relate to his/her team's season.
"We're excited to be partnering with the SportsJunkie.tv guys because their fancasts will be adding an intriguing new angle to the lifecasting mix," says Justin.tv founder Justin Kan. "This is exactly the type of content that we hoped would emerge in the space we launched."
Wranovics said additional sports fancasts are in the works.
"We think this first one could be the online sports event of the year," said Wranovics. "But we plan to roll this concept out around multiple hotbeds of fan interest. Over the next several months, we'll be seeking effective partnerships in order to deliver entertaining channels where sports meets real life."