CCrane WIFI2 Radio

Baseball Teams Become ISPs

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, August 5, 1999

Playing hardball with the Internet. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Professional sports teams make a big chunk of their profits by selling the TV and radio rights to their games. Don't look now....but the Internet is becoming a piece of that pie too. Both the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles have sold their Cyberspace rights to American Cities Studios and UltraStar Internet Services. Among other things, fans will be able to sign up for team branded net access for 14.95 a month....and get an email address with their name at theorioles or theyankees.com. The way Yankees business development VP Joseph Perello describes it, it's another milestone for the Internet...

"The way we now are looking at the web site is the same way we look at radio and television. It's not only a very effective way to reach our fans and to have our fans stay informed, it's also a very important revenue source for the team."

While a lot of the web content will remain free, fans who subscribe for Internet access through the team will get to paritipate in chats with players and coaches. 3D chats are in the works too...

"We could create Yankee Stadium here in an environment. Someone could log on, walk into Yankee Stadium, chat with Derek Jeter."

The Internet, is making it to the big leagues.