The companies will Webcast live video from match-ups between colleges in the Big 12 division, beginning Aug. 31 with either Texas A&M against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette or the University of Nebraska against Troy State. The deal will only be available to subscribers of RealNetworks'SuperPass, a service that charges $9.95 a month for programming from outlets such as ABCNews, CNN and Major League Baseball.
Live Webcasting of video remains an experiment for professional sports leagues, media companies and Internet services. The idea is to offerto people who reside outside of the local markets, while also avoiding any conflicts with broadcast networks that have paid hefty fees for exclusive broadcast rights.
The announcement comes on the heels of Major League Baseball's first-ever live video Webcast of a game earlier this week. The game, between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers, was available only to people outside both teams' metropolitan areas so as not to strip local viewers away from their TV sets. About 30,000 people tuned in, 10 percent of whom accessed the stream from outside the United States, according to MLB.com
The league hopes to stream one live game per week for the remainder of the season. That will depend on whether league owners and players can negotiate a deal before the playerson strike Aug. 30.
Fox and RealNetworks plan more Big 12 live video streams, but would not disclose which games are slated to run.