Filling up on sports coverage

Gas pump with TV screen (silent

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

BOB MOON: If you're a sports fan on the go, you've got all kinds of new ways to fill up on the latest in sports news. One new venture will put high-definition TV screens at gas pumps starting out in major cities playing constantly updated sports news and highlights along with some ads, of course. That's just one of the innovations to keep sports fans up-to-date 24/7. David Carter has been looking into this. He's the executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute. Hi David!

DAVID CARTER: Good morning.

MOON:So it's looking like a veritable sports smorgasbord out there really, but how likely is it that people are gonna fill up on all there is that's being offered here? Is this really going to be a big opportunity for sports marketers?

CARTER: Well I think it really is. It's not just sports marketers. It's anybody that's out there trying to reach folks. The rapid emergence of technology is at the forefront and sports fans, who have this voracious appetite for all things — highlights, statistics, you name it — are looking for additional ways to pull that content into them.

MOON:What am I being offered now as a sports consumer that I haven't had access to before?

CARTER: Well I mean you go back and some people are still adopting the fact that you can get highlights and other information on your iPod or through your cell phone or PDAs, all that stuff has become rather customary. But we saw a couple of things this week: First of all was GSTVS, Gas Station TV now going to be rolling out these hi-definition televisions at gas stations. Those will be showing highlights from ESPN at the gas station and so that's a little bit of a strange place, you might think, to reach sports fans . . .

MOON:It is.

CARTER: Yeah but maybe more traditionally this past week, if you're a basketball fan, you're now able to download NBA playoff games from last season and this year for about $3 a pop.

MOON:Now am I going to be able to go back to some of those famous highlights and pull those into whatever device I mihght have?

CARTER: I think eventually you're certainly going to be able to do that because these video libraries are out there and there's just no doubt that you're gonna see a lot more of that information and video available.

MOON:Now this is coming available really fast here it seems to me. Do the sports marketers face any challenges as they rush to offer these new services? I'd imagine that there's probably as much risk in being first in the sports arena as there might be in not taking advantage of the latest technology.

CARTER: Well I think that's correct but for me, the primary challenge may really begin and end with the athlete themselves. They're likely going to want to be sure that they get their fair share of these emerging revenue streams.

MOON:Aha!

CARTER: They always do.

MOON:Athletes aren't really accustomed to getting residuals are they?

CARTER: No they're not, but I guess one of the other things we're seeing about this is as these things lurch forward, sports again is becoming much more like the entertainment model.

MOON:David Carter is executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute. Thanks for joining us, David.

CARTER: Thank you.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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