Comcast SportsNet has announced that it will provide Chicago-area cable subscribers with the ability to stream live Chicago Bulls games on the Internet as part of a test it plans to conduct during the remainder of the current National Basketball League season.
Starting on Friday Mar. 19, fans will able to log onto CSNChicago.com and watch the Bulls take on the Cleveland Cavaliers live in HD, as long as they can prove they are subscribers. Specifically, fans will need to provide their names, e-mail address and cable providers, then establish a user name and password to view the game via their computers.
To further engage Bulls fans that can’t, or don’t necessarily want to be glued to their TVs during games, Comcast’s online viewing option will feature several unique extras. For example viewers can pause, rewind and fast forward the game whenever they’d like. Plus, they can access Facebook and Twitter to interact with other Bulls fans while watching, and even participate in a live chat forum featuring commentators from Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com.
The test, which will encompass six games along with several playoff contests, marks one of the few occasions that a local cable company has streamed sports on the Web for free. It’s also an early test of the subscriber authentication requirements and processes that many believe will become standard procedure for folks who want to watch cable programming on the Internet.
“This represents the next logical step forward in the inevitable convergence of TV and the Internet,” added Steve Schanwald, Chicago Bulls executive vp-business operations. “