Thursday, March 25, 2010

Major League Soccer's slick new video service debuts in Seattle

Tonight's Sounders game is an especially big opener for Major League Soccer, which is using the Seattle game to debut new online services for fans, including a high-def streaming video service.

Not coincidentally, a lot of the services are based on technology from Microsoft, which is a major sponsor of the league and the Sounders.

U.S. soccer fans on average are more technologically inclined than the general public, and the league is counting on new digital services to keep growing its popularity, said Chris Schlosser, MLS director of digital strategy.

Schlosser, a former product planner in Microsoft's MSN group, led the development of entirely new Web sites for the league and individual teams that are also debuting at today's game.

"It's one of the most significant investments our [league] ownership group has ever made,'' he said. "They clearly see our fan base is digital and the future growth of our league is driven by continued growth in the digital space."

The new online video service, called MatchDay Live, will stream up to three games at once and provide digital video recorder-like features, including pause, rewind and "instant replay."

"This really changes the experience for the MLS," said Chris Wagner, executive vice president of NeuLion, a New York-based company that built the player for MLS.

CLICK HERE for the entire post from The Seattle Times

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