For alumni across the country, listening to Princeton athletics just got much cheaper.
In recent years, listeners have been able to hear radio broadcasts of Tiger sports events by calling Teamline at a cost of more than $40 for a two-hour game.
For today's NCAA tournament game in Hartford, however, Teamline will have high-tech competition – from the Internet.
The University has finalized arrangements with Audionet, a Dallas-based company, to broadcast today's first-round contest over the Internet, according to Associate Director of Athletics Kurt Kehl.
Listeners will need to download RealAudio Player or Microsoft NetShow on to their computers to hear the game. The broadcast – hosted by WHWH, a local radio station – will be free and begin at 6:40 p.m.
This will be the first time that Audionet has broadcast a University sporting event, said the company's Sports Marketing Manager, Nada Usina.
The University has broadcasted men's basketball and hockey games over the Internet before using its own Website. However, the volume of listeners has been too great for the server to handle in recent weeks, Kehl explained.
The University's version of Teamline is one of the most popular that the company operates. From August through November 1997 Princeton's Teamline ranked fourth in number of callers out of 265 schools that use the service, Kehl said.
And that was before basketball season began.
Kehl attributed the popularity of the University's Teamline to the fact that Princeton sports events are rarely broadcast over national TV, leaving alumni across the country with few options for listening to games.
Audionet can handle more listeners than the University Website and does not charge the University to broadcast the games. The company generates revenue through primarily through Website advertisements. Audionet provides similar services for more than 130 colleges around the country.
The first game the University broadcasted on the Internet was the Jan. 26 contest against the College of New Jersey.
Kehl and Usina said Audionet would probably broadcast men's basketball and football games next year. "We look forward to doing many future games," Usina said.
Kehl said the University, which is moving toward putting all radio broadcasts of sports events on the Internet, will broadcast games that are likely to draw large listening audiences on Audionet. Smaller games will be kept on the University Website.
Kehl noted that the free broadcast of games over the Internet could diminish the number of listeners who pay for Teamline.
Teamline is operated by an independent company that broadcasts games in cooperation with a local radio station – either WHWH or WPRB.