Coming to the small screen

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Service providers and leagues are also looking to make streaming video more interactive. Next month, MLBAM plans to adopt Microsoft’s new Silverlight media player, which is designed to make the game broadcasts more customizable for fans. The size of the screen can be expanded or shrunk down easily, for instance, and fans will be able to view updated statistics or even highlights from other games.

ESPN, meanwhile, is also focused on using ESPN360 to provide complementary coverage of events shown on its networks. That strategy was on display in June when ESPN360 provided a live broadcast following Tiger Woods during an entire round of golf’s U.S. Open.

In the end, the adoption of the Internet as a way to access live sports may come down to expectations.

“People increasingly expect to see an [event] online and see it live,” Bowman said. “It increasingly will matter less and less whether people see it on a big screen TV [rather] than a laptop.”

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