Aug. 22, 2003
BERKELEY - Cal alumni, fans and students across the country will be able to follow the Golden Bears by listening to real-time coverage of Cal athletic events, highlights, press conferences and coaches' shows on the Web. Cal Athletics is partnering with Yahoo! Sports to deliver real-time audio broadcasts of Cal football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and other sporting events throughout the 2003-04 athletic year.
By registering at Yahoo! Sports through the Audio/Video link at CalBears.com, alumni and fans will be able to support the Golden Bears by selecting one of two subscription options provided by Yahoo! Sports. A portion of all revenue from each subscription goes directly to Cal Athletics.
The Yahoo! Sports audio offerings are available for both broadband and dial-up users, and enable fans to listen to the broadcasts from the official radio partners of Cal Athletics. As a result, alumni and fans living outside the Bay Area will be able to follow every Cal game as if they were back on campus and listening to the familiar voices of the Bears. This year, Yahoo! Sports will be providing fans with higher-quality audio streaming, and more content from several other participating schools.
"We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Yahoo! Sports on this new service for our fans," said Robert Hartman, Chief Marketing Officer for Cal Athletics. "By offering this service to subscribers for a nominal fee, Cal Athletics will have the ability to provide quality interactive features and unique access to fans worldwide."
All of the schools that are making audio content available via Yahoo! Sports this year - including Cal - will offer the following subscription packages:
School Pass subscription - users can access all broadcasts for Cal Athletics on a monthly or annual basis. For example, users can pay $4.95 per month or $29.95 per year to gain access to all streamed sports broadcasts and features for only Cal.
College Pack subscription - each participating school will be integrated into and offered as part of the College Pack subscription for $9.95/month or $59.95/year. This package allows users to access broadcasts for ALL schools.
In addition to Cal, below is a partial list of the schools that will be featured in Yahoo! Sports' College Pack:
- Arizona State - Oregon State - Alabama - Washington State - Michigan - Duke - Oklahoma - Kansas - Virginia Tech - Indiana - Pittsburgh - Iowa - North Carolina State - Georgia Tech
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Why are fans being charged for something that used to be free?
Despite efforts to continue providing free-to-user services, entities such as the NBA, Major League Baseball and most college programs, as well as leading media sources ABC, CBS and CNN, have shifted to a service that requires payment for access to live game audio and other multimedia. The movement toward a pay model was determined after careful evaluation of several factors. It was decided that this subscription-based service would best serve the student-athletes, parents, alumni, fans and students, while affording Cal Athletics the greatest opportunity to provide quality, on-demand programming of its athletic events.
Hosting multimedia and streaming broadcasts are expensive to facilitate, and this subscription service will allow fans to continue to experience both audio game broadcasts and other features.
Why has Cal selected Yahoo! Sports as its partner in this endeavor?
Yahoo!'s experience in Internet service is second to none, and Yahoo!, Inc. has also been a loyal and valued partner of Cal Athletics. In fact, last year when other collegiate athletic programs first decided to use a pay-to-listen model, Yahoo! was willing to continue to provide streaming for partner schools at no cost, in order to be better prepared to make the changeover at this time. Yahoo! brings vast experience in this industry, and will be a reliable and cooperative partner for Cal Athletics and program subscribers.
What programming will be included?
The same programming that has been provided in the past will be included in the subscription package. In most instances, this includes audio game broadcasts for football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. The weekly Cal Sports Magazine show, select press conferences, and coaches' shows will also be offered. Additional selected audio features and video highlights may also be included, as made available by Cal Athletics.
What options are available to a subscriber?
Individuals may subscribe to Cal Athletics programming on the "School Pass" package on a monthly or annual basis. This is intended to satisfy the fan who may be interested in only one sport (i.e., football for three months) as well as the fan who wants to receive all programming available. The annual subscription cost will involve a savings over a month-by-month subscription.
Each subscribers will also be able to add the overall "College Pack" option, which will include nearly 40 additional major college athletic programs for a monthly or annual fee.
What software will be required for users to access the content?
All school broadcast content will be available in the Windows Media format, which is the same format that was used on Yahoo! this past school year and is the most widely available streaming format. If any users do not have this software already installed on their computer, Yahoo! provides a Media Helper that allows easy installation of the necessary software at no charge.
How will users know how to find school content?
The school content will be accessible primarily through CalBears.com, the official website of Cal Athletics, but will also be extensively promoted by Yahoo!
As an annual donor to Cal Athletics, do I have to pay for this service?
Bear Backer donations in every form are truly essential to the success of our student-athletes and sports programs, and Cal Athletics is grateful for all contributions. However, donations made to any scholarship or athletic fund have no bearing or relation to the costs associated with audio streaming or multimedia hosting. This service is funded by user subscriptions and, similar to the purchase of officially licensed merchandise, a portion of each subscription is contributed to Cal Athletics.