(from Sports Business Journal, February 11, 2013) Fans are finding more ways to stay at home to watch the big game. Televisions are becoming cheaper, and the convenience of watching the game at home fits people’s schedules more than going to the game. The Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, is looking at ways to get the fans back in the stadium seats. Brooklyn has partnered with Cisco to improve the in-venue experience for fans. Cisco has introduced technology that provides exclusive video feeds via mobile devices at live events. With this technology, fans are able to receive high-quality live video, game replays, and commerce opportunities to smartphones and tablets. “This validates a lot of the ‘competing with the couch’ issues and challenges that we have been talking about for some time,” said Dave Holland, Cisco Sports & Entertainment’s General Manager and Senior Vice President, “It creates the portal by which owners of teams can actually know who’s in their venue, and have a means by which they can communicate and let [fans] opt-in for services or maybe even transact business.”
Over the next few weeks, cameras will be set up in premium spaces for a behind the scenes feed from the Calvin Klein Courtside Club or the Nets’ practice court. The system is only as good as fans’ ability to receive access to the content. Barclays Center is outfitting its building to meet the needs of StadiumVision Mobile. The building installed 275 Wi-Fi access points, with 100 in the seating bowl alone, to support fans simultaneously connecting to the application to watch live video. The Barclays Center application, which can be viewed on iPhones and Android devices and most tablets, debuted February first, after arena officials spent the last three months testing the live-video component. To access the live video, fans enter the facility and connect to the building’s Wi-Fi system, where they can download the free arena application. The Brooklyn Nets hope this will eliminate some of the fan’s desire to watch the game from home.