NFL to offer time-shifted broadcasts of games

Summary:Audible.com has inked a deal with the National Football League to make MP3-based recordings of its games available to NFL fans that want to listen to time-shifted broadcasts of their favorite games on an MP3-capable device (computer, iPod, cell phones, handhelds, etc.

Audible.com has inked a deal with the National Football League to make MP3-based recordings of its games available to NFL fans that want to listen to time-shifted broadcasts of their favorite games on an MP3-capable device (computer, iPod, cell phones, handhelds, etc.). The content deal puts Audible in the spotlight at a time when the art of podcasting is sneaking up on the company's business model, which is to act as the e-commerce middleman between audio providers who charge for their content, and consumers who want to hear that content on their digital technology.

In contrast to paid content through a middleman like Audible, podcasting removes the middleman and allows content consumers to subscribe directly to a multimedia content providers' channel (known as an RSS feed). Already, a couple of public broadcasters have forsaken the Audible route for podcasting. A recent press release from NPR affiliate and podcaster WNYC for example said "Distinct from fee-based services like Audible.com, podcasts are free and can be saved to iPods (hence, the name) or any other MP3 player." Chances are however, there will be those content providers (for example, book publishers) that will never want to offer their content for free and for them, middlemen like Audible provide a fast way make their content available at fee through an established e-commerce engine. What do you think? Join the discussion below using ZDNet's Talkback.

Topics: Mobility

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David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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