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Fall classic goes online

Baseball fans can get most of the thrills of the World Series online this year, including tickets to the games between the Florida Marlins and the Cleveland Indians.

Baseball fans can get most of the thrills of the World Series online this year, including tickets to the games between the Florida Marlins and the Cleveland Indians.

TicketMaster sold over 4,000 tickets through its Web site before the games sold out in three days. The tickets were either delivered or available for pick-up at the stadium, with sales confirmed by email for those who purchased online.

Bob Perkins, vice president of TicketMaster Multimedia, said that fan feedback from the online ticket sales was very positive. "They thought it was very convenient. They loved the service."

This is the latest example of how companies are drawing traffic by offering complementary Net content and services to television and other media events. This strategy was seen earlier this year for the season premiere of ER, as well as for the Oscars awards show in March.

Perkins said that buying online is not as big a security issue for TicketMaster customers as it is for others. "We're a trusted brand name. People have been giving us their credit card over the telephone for years. It's not a big leap to give it out over the Internet," he added.

For fans who can't make it to the ballpark, other offerings are available on the Net. Highlights, analysis, statistics, and player interviews are featured on the official World Series site. The site, a joint venture among NBC, MSNBC, and Major League Baseball, also links to what is being called a "wirecast" of the fall classic.

The wirecast, put together by Total Sports and the Associated Press, is a play-by-play, real-time graphical account of the games. Team and individual statistics are also available at the site.