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MLB.com's At Bat for iPhone, iPod Touch Top-Grossing Apple App for 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 13 December 2010 08:39
At Bat
At Bat for iPhone and iPod Touch was Apple's top grossing app for 2010

MLB.com At Bat 2010 for iPhone and iPod touch was named the highest grossing application by Apple in its second annual iTunes Rewind for the App Store. At Bat, which delivered the first full season of live video for every game and introduced the At The Ballpark mobile in-venue experience, finished first overall across all categories of paid applications for 2010. In addition, MLB.com At Bat 2010 for iPad was recognized as the highest grossing application in the sports category.

Baseball fans utilized At Bat 2010 to follow Major League Baseball games every day from the application’s debut in Spring Training through the final out of the 2010 World Series. During the 2010 MLB Postseason alone, At Bat was accessed 37 million times, a 236 percent increase over the 2009 Postseason.

Neither Apple nor MLB Advanced Media would divulge the total gross revenues earned through At Bat sales in 2010. At a $14.99 sales point, if 1/3 of the 37 million postseason accesses were purchases, and accounting for a 5 percent take by Apple, MLB would have grossed approx. $176 million in At Bat revenues last season, alone.

Subscribers to At Bat 2010 were able to access their MLB.TV subscriptions to watch live home and away broadcast feeds for every out-of-market regular season game with enhanced features such as statistical overlays and controls to pause or rewind live action. The application also delivered every radio feed, in-game video highlights and MLB.com Gameday.

This year also marked the debut of At The Ballpark, a mobile in-venue experience within At Bat 2010 for iPhone. By utilizing the Apple device’s core location technology, fans were able to check-in to any of the 30 Major League ballparks and, subsequently, receive access to an array of exclusive features, including social media, interactive venue maps, concession menus, personal profiles and video highlights. MLB.com also partnered with Aramark and the Philadelphia Phillies to launch a pilot program in September for mobile food ordering through At Bat 2010.

During the off-season, MLB.com At Bat 2010 is available free from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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MLB.com At Bat Mobile App Now Allows You to Order Food at Ballpark with iPhone PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 23 September 2010 14:20
At Bat
Why stand in line? At Bat 2010 for
iPhone, you can order your food and
have it delivered right to your seat.

When MLB.com said at the beginning of the season that a function called “At the Ballpark” would be coming to At Bat 2010, the mobile device application, many wondered just how far it could go. With geolocation at the heart of the functionality, the initial release timed at this year’s All-Star Game offered fans the ability to look at seating charts and conduct social networking with others at the game they were attending.

It was a fair first test, but we’ve always saw the potential yet untapped in At Bat, and the latest improvement released was right on our list.

Today, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the Philadelphia Phillies and ARAMARK, the food and beverage partner for 12 MLB teams, have announced that fans at Citizens Bank Park can use their iPhone to order food and have the items delivered to their seat.

It is the latest addition to “At The Ballpark”, for the At Bat 2010 apps for iPhone, that allows fans to check-in and manage their own experiences at the ballpark.

By utilizing the Apple devices’ core location technology, MLB.com At Bat 2010 can verify a fan is inside the ballpark and, subsequently, grant access to an array of exclusive features, including the ability to order food. During the pilot program, fans at Citizens Bank Park can order a selection of some offerings described by MLB.com and ARAMARK as some of the “most popular menu items” directly from their seats, including a Philadelphia cheese steak, Tony Luke’s Roasted Pork, Bulls BBQ Turkey Sandwich, Planet Hoagie Italian Hoagie and Eastern Shore Crab Cake Sandwich.

Fans will have the ability to order food from their seats via the At Bat 2010 mobile application by providing their seat location and a valid credit card which is then securely processed through Citizens Bank Park’s MICROS 9700 point-of-sale platform, powered by MICROS Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCRS). Ordering food via At Bat 2010 does not require fans to have a pre-authorized account prior to beginning the purchase process.

“We are thrilled that MLBAM and ARAMARK have chosen Citizens Bank Park to launch this new application, and look forward to taking our fans’ game-day experiences to another level,” said Michael Harris, director, marketing and special projects, Philadelphia Phillies.

“As baseball fans continue to embrace mobile technology, we recognize the importance of identifying innovative opportunities to provide food and beverage services at baseball games,” said Marc Bruno, president, ARAMARK Sports, Entertainment and Conventions. “We are excited to work with MLBAM and the Phillies to give fans a new way to experience games at Citizens Bank Park.”

“Going to the ballpark always has been a shared experience for fans, whether they’re among families, friends or business associates. The innovations we’ve introduced through mobile technology, including this debut of mobile food ordering at Citizens Bank Park, are intended to further enrich those personal experiences by making them more convenient, authentic and applicable to popular social networks,” said Adam Ritter, vice president, wireless development, MLBAM.

We’ve always loved the At Bat application, and this latest is no different. With the exception of streaming video, this may be the best functionality yet introduced. Since we’ve been on the mark for seeing out to the future, let’s raise the bar higher…. How about purchasing merchandise from the Team Store? Since ARAMARK is tied to many of them, the addition might simply be a matter of pointing to a a like system. But, really, can’t we all dream?... Wouldn’t it be great to know how long the lines were for a given restroom before leaving your seat?

At Bat food ordering

Source: MLB.com


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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MLB.com Offers"At Bat 2010" at 50% Off For Remainder of 2010 Season PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 02 September 2010 07:51

At Bat

With the playoff home-stretch upon us, those fans sitting on the fence with mobile devices trying to determine whether or not to dive in and get an app to follow Major League Baseball, now have a good reason. MLB.com has announced that it is offering a limited time discount of 50% on its lineup of mobile applications for Apple, BlackBerry and Android devices. Now through September 7 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT), fans can purchase MLB.com At Bat 2010 in the Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World or Android Market for a one-time fee of $6.99.

At Bat 2010 for Apple, BlackBerry and Android devices provides exclusive mobile access to live Major League Baseball games through the final out of the 2010 World Series. Every radio feed, including home- and visiting-team broadcasters, and in-game video highlights are at fans' fingertips, as is the real-time presentation of official pitch tracking data with MLB.com Gameday.

In addition, subscribers to At Bat 2010 for Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad can access their MLB.TV subscriptions to watch the live home and away broadcast feeds for out-of-market regular season games (blackout restrictions apply, make sure and see details) and get access to an array of enhanced features such as statistical overlays and controls to pause or rewind live game action. At Bat 2010 also offers the At Bat.TV Free Game of the Day, subject to blackout restrictions.

MLB.com At Bat 2010 will be available for the remainder of the 2010 regular season and postseason.


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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Version 1.3 of At Bat 2010 for iPhone, iPod Touch Sees Improvements to "At the Ballpark PDF Print E-mail
Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 08:00

At Bat

It didn’t get much attention at when the functionality was released at this year’s All-Star Game, but for users of Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch that have MLB.com’s At Bat 2010 installed, it could be a game-changer in the future.

“At the Ballpark” is functionality that allows you to have personalized information within At Bat, specifically tied to games you have attended. Using proximity based information, you can “Check-In” two hours in advance of a game, see a seating chart of the ballpark you are in, use social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook to chat, not only with those at the game, but across the social networking platforms.

On Monday, MLB.com released Version 1.3 of At Bat 2010 that sees the addition of:

  • “My Profile” which lists the final score of every game you have attended, a list of ballparks you have been to, and how well your team has fared in each of the outings you have attended.
  • Twitter improvements, including reply, re-tweet, and linking support
  • Support for local Twitter hashtags
  • Improved Facebook check-in status updates
  • Searchable ballpark map directories
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements
  • The searchable ballpark directory seems the coolest addition.

We have yet to try it out, but in the future we envision the ability to use geoloation, such as is in Google Maps to have a “pin” follow you through the ballpark to find that elusive ATM or restroom. In the future, the addition of paperless ticket to At Bat or if you were in premium seating, the ability to order from a menu and have it delivered to your seat.


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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Bloomberg Releases iPhone, iPod Touch App for Baseball Analytics PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 10 June 2010 18:14

Bloomberg L.P. today announced the latest addition to its widely expanding sports platform, the BLOOMBERG SPORTS FRONT OFFICE BASEBALL 2010 app for iPhone and iPod Touch. The new state of the art product has been designed to take Bloomberg’s recently launched baseball analytic tools and deliver them to mobile devices, giving the baseball fan a new way to enjoy the best statistical analysis and comparisons on the web. It is available in the ITunes App Store beginning today.

“Whether settling a baseball argument or making the right move for your fantasy team, this latest product now puts the power of BLOOMBERG SPORTS Front Office tools literally in the hands of any baseball fan, in a format that is fun to use and very easy to understand and share,” said Bill Squadron head of BLOOMBERG SPORTS. “The app is a must-have for any fantasy player or baseball fan on the go.”

Designed especially for fantasy players and avid fans, the BLOOMBERG SPORTS Front Office Baseball 2010 app includes the ability to:
view detailed breakdowns for every MLB player, including status, overall and position rankings, comprehensive news, current and next match-ups, biographic details, and dozens of batting, pitching, and fielding stats across multiple seasons;

  • find the best replacement for your fantasy team in seconds;
  • choose any four stats to create your own ranking;
  • view performance over time in the trend chart, tapping and holding for stats (one finger) and changes (two fingers);
  • use the radar chart to compare a player’s “multi-stat profile” with league benchmarks;

Available in the iTunes app store (www.itunes.com/appstore/), BLOOMBERG SPORTS Front Office Baseball 2010 application is free to download, providing access to the features mentioned above for the top 10
players. Information for all MLB players can be accessed by purchasing an upgrade that is available for $4.99. Subscribers to BLOOMBERG SPORTS Fantasy baseball web tools can access the full app for no extra charge by using their current log in information.

Bloomberg iPhone app
Bloomberg iPhone app
Bloomberg iPhone app

Source: Bloomberg


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

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In-App Advertisement Seeps Into "At Bat 2010" for iPad PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 03 June 2010 23:47

No longer just "At Bat 2010" for iPad,
MLB.com has sold the presenting rights
to Prudential Insurance.

There’s little denying MLB.com’s “At Bat” app for mobile devices, such as Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, is a winner in terms of functionality. It’s an award winner, and has ranked at the top or near it in terms of popularity in the iTunes App Store for months.

When released in July of 2008, At Bat was an instant success. At $4.99 for half the season, it was a steal. For the full season last year, it jumped to $9.99 and saw the addition of streaming video, and this year, it’s up to $14.99.

The cost of iPhone and iPod touch is still well worth the price, but if you purchase an iPad, you’re on the hook for an additional $14.99 as it’s a completely different app for the platform.  And remember, to get a full slate of available games (remember, blackout restrictions apply), you’ll need an MLB.TV subscription for $79.95 a year, or $19.95 a month.

The pricing of what we’ve reviewed as “a great app that keeps on giving” is being highlighted as the app, no matter the platform, has delivered the goods without any distractions.

But, now, that’s beginning to change.

Recently, the iPad version of At Bat 2010 began adding in-app advertisement. Beginning with a splash screen that has Prudential Insurance as the presenting sponsor, to placement of hot linked “outfield wall ads”, MLB.com is tapping into monetizing At Bat beyond the cost of the applications and MLB.TV subscription.

Embedded ads
Not just something to see, these "outfield wall" ads in the iPad  version of
At Bat 2010 are hot linked to a Prudential website

The hot placed ads in Gametracker is either a brilliant bit of advertising, or annoying intrusiveness, depending on your point of view. Touching the Prudential logos on the virtual outfield wall will trigger a prompt asking if you wish to shut down At Bat 2010 for iPad and launch iPad’s Safari browser to the Prudential site.

Popup

Tap an ad on the outfield wall, and you'll get prompted to shut down
At Bat 2010, and navigate to a website via iPad's Safari browser

In talking with power users of At Bat 2010 for iPad, what is of concern is the proliferation of this type of in app advertisement placement. Will ads crop up elsewhere in the app?

Some will see this form of advertisement as a small potatoes affair, while others have said that they understand ads in free apps, but one for $14.99 with possibly $79.95, or more a year, attached…? Stop the blatant money grab. Odds are, the in-app advertisement is here to stay, and when Apple’s OS 4.0 is released with iAd, in-app advertisement will be here to stay. Doing ads tastefully, without being a distraction will be the key. MLB.com will have to do a dance on a tightrope to make sure that ads don’t distract from what has been an otherwise fantastic product.


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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"At the Ballpark" Functionality Coming to "At Bat 2010" By All-Star Game PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 22 May 2010 17:24

At Bat 2010

When MLB.com released this season’s iteration of their wildly successful “At Bat 2010” for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, one of the questions on baseball and tech geek fan’s lips was, “What is ‘At the Ballpark’ all about?”

At or near the All-Star Game, we’ll find out.

At the time of the product release just before Spring Training, all that was known of the functionality was that the new feature would provide “customized, proprietary content to fan-experience tools and more.” Vague, no?

Well, MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman announced this past week at SAI’s Startup 2010, that the upgrade for At Bat that leverages geo-location will allow fans to get access to exclusive content – including a replay of that "bang bang play at second base," said Bowman.

There will also be a social media component to the upgrade, including the ability to chat to others at the ballpark, ala Twitter-esq functionality.

More details as we approach the All-Star Game on July 13.


Maury BrownMaury 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, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. 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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It's a MLB.TV Free Weekend for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad Users PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 24 April 2010 10:41
At Bat 2010
MLB.TV is free the weekend (blackout restrictions apply) for those that
have MLB.com's At Bat 2010 for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Free is a very good price, and you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but if only MLB.com had done this on a weekday when the issue of national blackouts weren't in play.

Yesterday, MLB.com announced that, "As a thank you to baseball fans for making At Bat 2010 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad the top paid sports Apps in the App Store, MLB.com will offer free live streaming video on those mobile devices via MLB.TV on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25. This free weekend of MLB.TV will be made available exclusively to At Bat 2010 subscribers on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, subject to blackout restrictions.

MLB.TV subscribers can watch the live home and away broadcast feeds for every regular season game, subject to blackout restrictions, and get access to interactive features such as up-to-the-minute statistical overlays (see the image above) and controls to pause or rewind live game action.


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. 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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MLB.com's "At Bat 2010" Now Available for Apple iPad PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 03 April 2010 21:11

At Bat on iPad

When the sneek-peek of MLB.com's At Bat for iPad was shown at the iPads unveiling in January, baseball and tech geeks alike drooled over it. Now, it's finally available.

At Bat 2010 for iPad, is now available on the App Store. Fans can purchase the app for the entire 2010 regular and postseason for a one-time fee of $14.99 from the App Store on iPad (download here). The app joins the lineup of At Bat mobile apps developed by MLB.com. The MLB.com At Bat 2010 App for iPhone and iPod touch currently ranks as the top-selling sports app in the App Store.

“Apple has delivered once again for the audience with the launch of the groundbreaking iPad,” said Dinn Mann, executive vice president, content, at MLB.com. “This device's portability and performance make it a tremendous landscape for the enjoyment of baseball, and our developers have tailored a larger-screen live experience for it, for fans, that truly is a game-changer.”

Features include:

  • Video highlights over Pitch F/X
  • Click on a pitch's trajectory to see detailS
  • MLB.TV icon. Flip to video of the game
  • Gameday Audio icon. Flip to the home or away radio feed for the game.
  • Pitcher/Hitter match-up detials (bottom bar, middle)
  • Lineup. Scroll through the lineup
  • "Baseball cards" - Click on a player image and get ther stats, much as a baseball card appears.
  • Boxscore, Field, Summary - Details that have been in the current At Bat, but now one, or all, appear as widgets on screen.
  • Widgets over video - Any of the statistical info in widgets can now be displayed over video.
  • Game score displayed on outfield wall, ala Fenway Park
  • Top bar allows you to scroll left and right through the day's games

In addition, fans can customize the in-game experience to view detailed box scores, game summaries and player statistics or watch video highlights and listen live to the home or away audio broadcasts.

MLB.TV subscribers can watch live home and away broadcast feeds in high definition for every out-of-market regular season game and get access to enhanced features such as statistical overlays and controls to pause or rewind live game action. MLB.com also will offer the At Bat.TV Free Game of the Day to all At Bat 2010 for iPad subscribers, subject to blackout restrictions.

The App was developed exclusively for iPad by MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball.

Below are additional screenshots, but for those that don't yet own an iPad, scroll down to find a video demo of it on Apple's website and get a better taste (http://www.apple.com/ipad/apps-for-ipad/)

At Bat on iPad
At Bat on iPad
At Bat on iPad

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Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. 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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kgb Teams Up with YES and NESN for Interactive Trivia Segments PDF Print E-mail
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Mobile Devices
Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 02 April 2010 11:48
YES Network NESN

The Yankees and Red Sox agree on very little. But both saw the benefits of interactive trivia segments powered by kgb's 542542 text answer service for their broadcast partners. Beginning after Sunday's opener fans will be able to text answers to trivia questions using a system powered by kgb.

"As Opening Day approaches, kgb is gearing up to answer millions of questions during the course of the season. We have legions of baseball fans who use kgb 542542 as their go-to resource for every imaginable baseball question," said Bruce Stewart, CEO of kgb Mobile and Digital. "We're thrilled to partner with NESN to bring the team trivia question to every broadcast this season, and we're expecting our fans in the New York area to take their best shot at a tough kgb trivia question every day on the YES Network."

NESN's package will air during the network's pregame Red Sox coverage. Viewers of Olympia Sports presents The Boston Globe Red Sox Gameday Live will be encouraged to text in the answer to that day’s kgb Red Sox question as well as submit a baseball question of their own that could be featured during a later telecast. This regular segment will be called the NESN.com Question of the Day powered by kgb. The deal also includes kgb television spots during NESN’s Red Sox pre-game and game coverage.

For YES, the trivia package will air later in their postgame wrap-up, when viewers will be challenged to text in the answer to that day’s kgb baseball trivia question. In addition, kgb television spots will air during YES’ Yankees game and post-game coverage, and kgb spots will air on “Mike’d Up: Francesa on the FAN,” Mike Francesa’s daily radio show on WFAN, which is simulcast on YES.

The deals allow kgb to branch into the interactive sports marketplace following the success of providing wholesale and retail information services. The company served more than a hundred million consumers globally and answered nearly a billion questions in 2009.

Partnering with NESN, the top rated regional sports network in the country, and YES, the most-watched regional sports network in the country the past seven years, gives kgb exposure to some of the most passionate baseball fans in the nation. NESN and YES will roll out interactive services for viewers ahead of the other broadcast partners of Major League Baseball's teams.

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Joe TetreaultJoe Tetreault is Managing Editor 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 can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball

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