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Borders to Webcast store events

Customers will be able to watch in-store author readings and artist performances though the book retailer's Web site, Borders is to announce tomorrow.

Borders customers will soon be able to watch in-store author readings and artist performances via the book retailer's Web site.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders plans to announce tomorrow that it has teamed up with digital media company Centerseat to launch Borders Vision. The site, which is slated to launch during the first quarter of next year, will contain streaming videos of Borders store events as well as related events such as author interviews that Centerseat produces outside of Borders' stores.

"We're taking one of the best and most ambient aspects of our stores and giving it a home online," Borders spokesman Rich Fahle said in a statement. "These events have value, are of interest to our customers and we want to share them."

The announcement comes as Borders tries to gain traction in the online book industry, which has been dominated to date by e-tail powerhouses Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Unlike Barnesandnoble.com, Borders has not spun off its online unit, choosing instead to keep it in-house and tie it closely to its stores.

Borders is already rolling out kiosks in its retail stores that will eventually let consumers browse store inventory and order books through the company's Web site.

As part of the partnership, New York-based Centerseat will videotape two to three events at Borders stores each week. The videos will be linked to books and CDs that Borders sells, and Centerseat will receive an affiliate fee for products sold through the Borders Vision site.

The companies declined to say what format the videos will be in, saying only that they would be streamed to users. The companies said the videos will be available to users who have a dial-up connection, as well as those that have high-speed Internet access.