Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks Tap BIAP to Create EBIF-Based Interactive TV "Team Widget"

--Cuban: "We Believe in the Future of the EBIF Platform and in Interactive Television"

Plano, Texas-based interactive TV software provider, BIAP (note: last year, the company--whose name is an acronym for Broadband Interactive Applications--secured a five-year license agreement for its ETV User Agent with Time Warner Cable--see [itvt] Issue 8.23 Part 2B), announced Monday that it has signed an agreement to develop what it describes as "the first ever professional sports 'Team Widget'" for the NBA's Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks. According to the company, the new TV widget will be available to all pay-TV operators that deploy the US cable industry's EBIF platform (which is designed to enable interactivity even on the low-resource set-top boxes that have been widely deployed by US cable operators). Their deal calls for BIAP and the Dallas Mavericks to jointly produce the new widget and to use it as a template that will be scalable across the EBIF platform and that can be offered to other professional sports franchises and NCAA sports teams.

According to BIAP, the Mavericks Team Widget will provide in-depth and real-time statistics and scores, breaking team news, video highlights, interviews, and in-game play-by-play. It is scheduled to be ready for deployment by the beginning of the 2010 NBA season. "We are thrilled to work with Mark Cuban and the Mavericks to expand the world of EBIF applications and interactive television," BIAP EVP, Patrick Peters, said in a prepared statement. "Mark and the Mavericks provide a unique leadership position that will help establish not only a new platform for the Mavericks, but help the development of the industry and support the open standards necessary to make it happen." Added Mark Cuban: "Partnering with BIAP to produce the Mavs Team Widget is great for us. We believe in the future of the EBIF platform and in interactive television. It is a natural extension to give Mavs fans and HDNet viewers [note: Cuban is also the co-founder and chairman of HDNet] the best experience we can if they're not in a seat at the game."

BIAP offers a CableLabs standards-compliant EBIF platform for Cisco (Scientific-Atlanta), Motorola and tru2way set-top boxes, and also offers a product called AdWidgets, which it bills as an EBIF- and SCTE-130-based end-to-end advertising system ("from campaign management to delivery to viewer measurement"). It claims to be the first company to deploy EBIF market-wide on Cisco set-tops, including low-memory legacy units.

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