The struggling Cubbies may be in the NL Central basement — currently 13.5 games out of first — but hey, they’re on the cutting edge of interactive TV.
Now with AT&T’s U-verse TV, Chicagoland subscribers can get a 360-degree view of the Lovable Losers’ homes games on WGN. The telco’s Chicago Cubs Multiview app lets U-verse TV viewers pick from the main WGN-TV Chicago game broadcast plus six alternate camera angles (including above home plate, third base, first base and center field), and watch any four on a single screen.
Chicago Cubs Multiview will be available to all U-verse TV customers in the Chicago area on channel 780. The app is available at no extra charge for the Cubs home games that air on WGN for the rest of this season, starting with the Sunday, Aug. 8, matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.
“This is a great app that gives fans even more ways to watch the Chicago Cubs,” said Wally Hayward, EVP and chief sales and marketing officer for the Cubs. “Cubs fans will love choosing their own camera angle to follow every play during remaining home games broadcast on WGN.”
Well, unless they turn off the TV in disgust first. The Cubs are 2 for 8 in their last 10 games, as they struggle through the rest of manager Lou Piniella’s swan-song season.
AT&T tested the multiple-camera angles concept in October 2009 with a Mavs Multiview app in Dallas featuring multiple camera angles for two Dallas Mavericks preseason games.
And the feature has popped up online: For example, during the 2009 postseason MLB.TV’s Internet-streaming service allowed subscribers to watch up to four camera angles on one screen, from among up to 10 camera feeds.
Recall that MLB several years back offered AT&T the opportunity to create a host of new interactive services, including individual 24-hour channels for every team in the league, according to George Kliavkoff, former head of MLB Advanced Media and currently head of Hearst’s Entertainment & Syndication group (see Did AT&T Pass on Baseball Bonanza?)
“The promise [of U-verse TV] was, this was going to leapfrog what cable and the satellite guys could do,” Kliavkoff said at an industry event last fall. “At the end of the day, it’s a Comcast me-too service — it’s undifferentiated.”