"Nostalgia's a fad," Stan Kasten, then president of the Atlanta Braves, said in 1996. "This is classic." He was talking about the brand-new Centennial Olympic Stadium, which was designed to be converted after the Atlanta Olympics into a state-of-the-art baseball stadium for the Braves, at a total construction cost of $209 million.
Mark Cuban, the boisterous fellow who sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1998 and later bought the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, now wants to own the Chicago Cubs. He's submitted a bid which the the Chicago Tribune reports has made it through a first round of eliminations. Don't get your hopes up, Mark: Former Deadspin editor Will Leitch wrote here in January that he'll never get the Cubs, or any other baseball team, because he's far too nuevo rico for the stuffy Major League Baseball owners' club.
Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel detailed how the personal video-broadcasting startup plans to break the profit barrier. His scheme? Setting up a transaction system so that users can pay to view content. He pointed to live sports as an example of something people have been willing to pay for in the past. Justin.tv does make it easy for anyone with a webcam (or video cable) to pirate broadcasts of sporting events.
Subscribers to MLB.tv, Major League Baseball's paid game-broadcasting website, pay either $19.95 per month or $119.95 per year to watch live baseball on their computers. Theoretically, that is. So far this season all some fans have seen is a lot of swing-and-a-miss from MLB.tv and its technology provider, Microsoft. Switching to Microsoft's Silverlight, a supposed alternative to the Flash technology that runs YouTube and most other video sites, caused opening-day glitches for which the league's technocrats apologized Customers tell us it hasn't gotten much better since. Giants fans may be used to that kind of failure — watching Randy Winn, Bengie Molina and Ray Durham hit 3, 4, 5 will do that — but others are peeved.
Lifecasting site Justin.tv has come a long way since banning a broadcaster for one night of indecent exposure — that is, sexual acts. There may be less porn now, but other illegal content now graces Justin.tv's servers. Right now I'm watching a stream of Fox Sports Net West's broadcast of the San Diego Padres playing the Los Angeles Angels. Last night, more than 2,000 people watched the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers play. Given Major League Baseball's draconian online reporting rules — no more than seven photos from any game; audio and video clips can be a maximum of two minutes and can't be streamed live — we doubt the MLB is happy about this.
Did I anger the instant-messaging gods? First, Facebook sends IMs asking me to join up when I'm already a member. Today I received three separate IMs from Major League Baseball. All three said the exact same thing. While not yet the scourge that junk faxes, spam, and ads on text messages are, IM spam, also known as "spim," is increasingly a problem. I get two to three spim messages a day, most of them on MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Most of them tout porn and pump-and-dump stock scams. Have you received any interesting spim? Send it our way. MLB's contribution to the genre comes after the jump.