U.S. Open tennis boosts streaming video for final Grand Slam event

Live streaming of major sporting events continues this week as the U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the final major event of the year for tennis in the U.S., and the last Grand Slam event of the 2010 season, starts play today. More than 150 matches were streamed during the 2009 event, won by Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro, who is missing from this year's competition due to injury.

This year will see live HD streaming of USTA's world feed (click here) from every day of the tournament. USTA.org says it plans to stream more than 200 matches, an increase of 30 percent over last year, from all courts, Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court 13 and Court 11. It says some 600 hours of play will be streamed live within the United States. IBM's Interactive Media Console will allow for full interactivity, including picture-in-picture match viewing, user commenting, and live match stats.

The abundance of live streaming is possible because of a deal USTA struck with its broadcast partners, CBS, ESPN and the Tennis Channel.

Online streaming of live sporting events is becoming increasingly popular, and is generating massive hits for websites. The PGA said it saw record numbers at the U.S. Open this month, the FIFA World Cup recoded huge numbers in June and, increasingly, sports organizations are embracing the concept of streaming live events.

Related articles:
PGA.com scores with huge streaming numbers, unique visitors
CBSSports.com streaming Tiger Woods live at the Masters
FIFA World Cup pushed TV Everywhere, 3D TV expectations
Nielsen: ESPN scores big in June with World Cup online streaming
Sports Illustrated, Turner Sports form digital partnership