IFL goes online via Neulion
By Andrew Lippe
Beginning Monday the International Fight League (IFL) will
reach fans via on the Web via a new relationship with Neulion, an IPTV provider
that provides similar networks for the National High School Coaches Association
and the National Hockey League (more than 1,700 NHL events have been broadcast
online via Neulion). The deal complements IFL TV deals with Fox Sports Net and
on Mark Cuban’s HD Net.
“Neulion are pioneers in video distribution platforms,” says
Jay Larkin, IFL CEO. Larkin says fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and the IFL
are an Internet-savvy bunch so the deal makes perfect sense. The IFL owns all
of its distribution rights and currently distributes highlight packages of
league competitions on You Tube. “The goal was to find broadcast quality
distribution on the Internet,” adds Larkin. The IPTV network can also be
used by players and coaches to scout upcoming opponents.
Chris Wagner EVP and co-founder of NeuLion, says the IPTV
network will offer everything from live PPV action (subscription based) to free
VOD services. The IFL will also syndicate video to Yahoo and Amazon with
Neulion handling the encoding of video for the different formats. Data rates
will range from 300kb to 1MB. “If you like MMA, you will be glued to this
video player,” adds Wagner.