Notes from the Online Video Underground

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Notes from the Online Video Underground

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Sports Frenzy: More Than the Score Online

The Olympics are in full swing in August, and has blanketed the Internet with streaming and on-demand coverage (see "Summer Olympics Stream to a PC Near You" for more on the games; video will be available on-demand at for a couple of weeks following the competition). But the Olympics aren't the only sporting events getting the gold treatment these days--you can find in-depth coverage of virtually any sport you can imagine (well, maybe not buzkashi) online.

Unlike sites that boast full episodes of TV series programming, sports-centric sites often charge a fee (typically a subscription fee) and target true enthusiasts of the sport. Major League Baseball, CBS College Sports XXL, the NBA, and NHL's Center Ice Online all charge a subscription fee for access to games and other content (CBS College Sports XXL even covers press conferences).

Universal Sports shows gymnastics year-round, not just during the Olympics.
Universal Sports shows gymnastics year-round, not just during the Olympics.
Sports such as gymnastics, beach volleyball, rowing, swimming, and track and field receive generous attention at (formerly; by subscription), which launched as a streaming-video network three years ago. NBC Universal recently purchased a controlling stake in the World Championship Sports Network, and content from the site will be spun off onto a new cable network, Universal Sports. doesn't show football games in their entirety, but it does post clips and highlights, plus wrap-up shows, for free.

Many sites provide some type of short-form content for free on their site, or distribute their content elsewhere. For example, the NHL offers video of games for free via Hulu and Joost, and for pay via Amazon Unbox and Apple iTunes.

One of the most limited sports options online is It delivers full coverage of such events as soccer, rugby, cricket, and Wimbledon tennis, but there's a catch: It works only with AT&T Yahoo (SBC) and Verizon broadband network connections. So much for catching Venus Williams's 127-mph serve.

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