Apple's iPhone already has a
geolocation function built it.
MLBAM now has a patent using
geolocation that could allow users
to see streaming video of games,
but be blacked out based upon
It has been something that has driven fans/consumers crazy: MLB’s broadcast blackout policy. Those that use MLB.TV have noted that, based on location, the blackout policy is enacted.
But, there isn't just a dark side to this story. There has been talk for some time (including here at The Biz of Baseball) that if the technology were available to allow dynamic geolocation tracking, MLB Extra Innings for mobile devices would not be far behind.
It seems that MLB Advanced Media (MLBA) is well on the way to that goal.
On behalf of the MLBAM Board of Directors, Chairman Bob DuPuy announced today that the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball has been granted a United States Patent for a system and method for verifying access based on a determined geographic location of a subscriber of a service provided via a computer network.
“It is an honor for MLB Advanced Media to receive the special recognition that constitutes a United States Patent,” said DuPuy. “The patent issuance is also representative of the innovation the MLBAM technology team demonstrates by remaining at the forefront of interactive and advance technologies. This entire team is to be congratulated and commended for its achievement.”
The full text and images of the United States Patent #7,486,943 are available here. MLB Advanced Media believes it marks the first United States Patent directly issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to the baseball industry in the modern era.
The patent states that, "The system and method can also apply to promotions, sweepstakes, contests, fantasy games, sale of goods and/or services, and targeted advertising."
In a key sign that MLBAM is not idle in pushing the technology envelope, it was mentioned in today’s press release that “the company has an additional 10 patent applications pending approval.”
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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