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Online Video Partners Bolster Tennis Channel

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate tennis lifestyle, has partnered with two online video suppliers for its Australian Open and 2010 Web video services. Beginning with the Australian Open coverage on the network right now, RayV, a global leader in providing turnkey solutions for television over Internet Protocol, is managing all of the site’s live, Grand Slam match streams, marking the first time Tennis Channel has offered broadband coverage of the Australian Open. Also in effect this week but continuing past the conclusion of the Australian Open, Tennis Channel is utilizing Unicorn Media’s “Media-as-a-Service” software for all online video player needs. This includes on-demand match highlights, interview footage, and clips from networks series and specials.

Both partnerships are being activated during a typically high-traffic two-week period for www.tennischannel.com. As with tennis’ other major championship events, the Australian Open attracts heightened interest from die-hard tennis aficionados and casual sports fans alike.

“As tennis fans continue to gravitate toward broadband enjoyment of their favorite players and events it’s vital for Tennis Channel to make these platforms available,” said Robyn Miller, senior vice president, Tennis Channel. “With RayV’s and Unicorn Media’s live and on-demand video services we’re not only able to offer this additional access to our Web visitors, but also to ensure that it’s the highest level of quality in the marketplace today.”

RayV is facilitating three live courts per day during the first week of the tournament, and an additional daily match the second, by way of a multiple bit-rate, encoded stream that offers a higher quality picture than has been available to www.tennischannel.com visitors in the past. In addition to selecting from matches that are not being carried on the network’s television air, users can chat with other online viewers or connect with their Facebook friends at the same time. They can also access interviews, highlights and sweepstakes information.

“RayV is delighted to be working with Tennis Channel on this exciting project,” said Doug Billman, RayV Head of Sport. “Our multichannel offering is clearly attracting tennis fans online with a wider choice of high quality viewing and, given RayV’s efficient delivery platform, that means successful live streaming is good business - not a liability - for a partner.”

Unicorn Media is managing all aspects of www.tennischannel.com’s on-demand video services, both during and after the Australian Open. Like RayV’s live-match streams, Unicorn Media has developed a high-quality picture via multiple bit-rate encoding, and higher bandwidth and storage for the network. Web visitors are treated to a streamlined, cleaner path to the site’s on-demand video offerings, with new features that include video thumbnails and a designated space for user comments.

“With live online viewing on the rise, it’s exciting to see companies like Tennis Channel utilize our Media-as-a-Service™ solution, providing them with the ability to increase video quality while decreasing cost of delivery and storage,” said Bill Rinehart, CEO and Founder, Unicorn Media. “Our solution also gives Tennis Channel the technology to syndicate that high-quality content to any screen and then analyze its performance in real-time.”

RayV was founded in early 2006 by the team that revolutionized Telecommunications with the invention of Voice Over IP. RayV is a global leader in providing turnkey solutions for TV over IP. As the preferred partner of leading TV networks and operators, RayV has successfully deployed hundreds of channels worldwide and is servicing a rapidly growing audience of viewers experiencing high quality TV over the Internet. RayV Productions specializes in extremely low-cost, hi def production of unscripted content. RayV takes pride in working closely with its partners to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges they face in today’s ever-changing environment of content delivery. Among the top-tier content providers and distributors with whom RayV has collaborated are the NBA, Blizzard, DirecTV, Fox Soccer, Comcast Sports, Shanghai Media Group and AB Groupe, among others.

Unicorn Media, Inc. has developed an innovative Media-as-a-Service™ solution that changes the way content owners deliver their valuable video assets online. Unicorn delivers a comprehensive suite of services to upload, manage, syndicate, analyze and monetize live or on-demand media content to any Internet-connected device. Leveraging a globally distributed software platform and proprietary API, Unicorn Media has developed a Smart Syndication Technology™ that empowers customers to deliver high-quality video content, cut costs, accelerate time-to-market, reduce complexity and gain a competitive analytical advantage - all through a single vendor. Founded by Limelight Networks founding CEO, Bill Rinehart, and headquartered in Tempe, AZ, Unicorn Media, Inc. has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and London. Unicorn Media is a privately held, self-funded company. For additional information, please visit: unicornmedia.com.

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

 

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