As all tennis buffs know, Wimbledon 2008 started today. And as all tennis buffs know, finding matches to watch live that are not top seeds can be difficult. Tourament organizers know this, and that’s why they’ve introduced the Wimbledon Live service.
For a flat fee of $24.99 (approx. £12.65) tennis fans can stream live matches to their PCs (Mac and Linux are not supported) or download up to 250 matches in the .wmv format after the match is complete. It’s a great way to catch matches that may, or may not, be broadcast on the TSN and NBC networks.
Here’s the essentials:
- As noted, PC only (Windows XP or Vista). Sorry Mac and Linux.
- It’s available to all countries except Spain and Germany.
- All video is 384 x 288 with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The service works with Windows Media Player 10 or 11 only.
- Matches from eight courts can be watched live by streaming to your PC. Downloadable matches will be available after midnight British Standard Time, which is 7 p.m. Eastern Daily Time in the U.S.
- Wimbledon Live also includes match highlights, interviews, and archive footage.
Wimbledon Live is great news not just for tennis fans but sports fans worldwide. It’s another example of sports leagues and major events broadcasting not only on the networks (which pay big bucks for the rights) but also via streaming on the Web. This is important for fans who cannot watch matches at work during the day, who miss live matches on TV, or whose DVR fails to record.
We wish Wimbledon Live was free like March Madness and the U.S. Open, but it’s a start and another league/association that realizes the importance of streaming live events on the Web at the same time as traditional broadcasts.