NHL season on ice –at least for now
The National Hockey League and players are in lock-out mode, effectively putting the 2004-05 season on ice until players and management can resolve thorny financial issues, not the least of which is a call from owners for a cap of players’ salaries.
Besides fans, ESPN2, ABC, FOX regional sports networks and NBC will be left without professional hockey until the players and owners resolve their differences. Collegiate hockey and coverage of other sports are likely to take up the slack.
NFL renews rights agreement with Japanese broadcasters
National Football League fans in Japan will be able to watch games this season on NHK, NTV and Gaora thanks to renewal of television agreements with the league. NHK will broadcast ABC Monday Night Football and offer other games on pay TV. It also holds the Japanese rights to broadcast the Super Bowl in HD.
One regular season game each week will be broadcast in HD on NHK’s Hi-Vision, and two games produced in SD will appear on NHK-BS. Gaora will broadcast as many as six weekly games.
Sports network launches ESPN Motion for Apple Macintosh
ESPN.com has launched ESPN Motion, its video tool, for Apple Macintosh users.
Previously available only for Microsoft Windows OS computers, ESPN Motion delivers high-quality video content to sports fans multiple times daily on ESPN.com. The tool allows more than 2 million active users per month to view original content, highlights and clips from ESPN studio shows without buffering or streaming.
For more information, visit http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/motion/showcase/index.
Vyvx opens Austin TV switching center
Vyvx has opened a new television switching center in Austin, TX, that will serve as a point of presence to allow broadcasters to connect to its fiber-optic network.
The company will offer 45Mb/s fiber video service to serve the needs of sports, news and special event broadcasters requiring connectivity to 50 major markets. Vyvx also offers an MPEG-2 compressed fiber video service with transmission at 3- to 22Mb/s.
For more information, visit www.vyvx.com.
MLB approves Colorado Rockies, FOX Cable Networks limited partnership
Having received final approval from Major League Baseball, the Colorado Rockies and FOX Cable Networks have consummated an agreement to add FOX Sports Baseball Holdings, a subsidiary of FOX Cable Networks, as a limited partner in the club.
Both parties originally announced an agreement July 8.
CSTV, Mountain West Conference launch regional sports network
College Sports Television (CSTV) and Mountain West Conference have announced a 2006 launch of Mountain West TV, a regional sports network focused exclusively on the intercollegiate athletic conference.
Mountain West TV will produce exclusive live coverage of up to 40 Mountain West Conference football games and 120 men's and women's basketball games per year.
TOM Online, ESPN STAR partner for multimedia soccer coverage
TOM Online, a wireless Internet company in China, has entered into a strategic partnership with ESPN STAR Sports, a sports broadcaster in Asia, to bring English Premier League soccer content to its tom.com portal.