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High And Inside (A Phone)

Baseball fans looking for live action might not have to search further than their cell phones or mobile devices next season. Major League Baseball hopes to begin streaming live video of ballgames in the United States sometime in 2006, says Alex Pigeon, director of international business development for MLB Online Services Inc.

Major League Baseball already has a deal with Idetic Inc.'s MobiTV to stream video clips from games that already have been broadcast on TV.

But U.S. telecommunications carriers must upgrade their infrastructure to get the data rates needed to handle live video, says Dan Zucchi, executive director at Telenity Inc., which provides technology and services for wireless networks. "To deliver the content, data needs to travel at 256 Kbps, but today's average is about 56 Kbps," Zucchi says. If the infrastructure isn't ready, service in some cities may be spotty and broadcasts most likely will have at least a five-minute delay, he said.

Another issue is that carriers don't have the technology to honor blackout zones, as required by the Federal Communications Commission, if a television station has exclusive rights to broadcast games.

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