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Boston Fans Help Cover Live Events With Their Smartphones

Fans are encouraged to shoot horizontally for the best picture.

Boston, Mass. — NESN, New England's highly rated sports network, tried an experiment this week involving its coverage of the Boston red Sox Major League Baseball team: encouraging fans to shoot video with their smartphones—perhaps capturing a unique angle of a disputed play—and then incorporating that video into the main live game coverage. Going forward, NESN will also spotlight fan videos during Red Sox post-game shows, NESN Sports Today and the next day's pre-game show. Call it citizen sports journalism, as NESN said it would have access to potentially a million camera sources per night (that's how many people watch at least part a typical regular season game).

Boston fans are being encouraged to send in cellphone video shot at the game that might be incorporated into live telecasts and other shows. NESN said it plans to integrate a wide range of replay angles by fans shooting game action from their seats at Fenway Park or on Red Sox road games. The network will also showcase videos from fans watching Red Sox games in communal settings at bars and restaurants, at home with their family, on college campuses and man caves, or even while traveling throughout the country or the world.

"There's really no limit to the replay angles, reactions and creative ideas fans can shoot and submit," said Joseph Maar, NESN's Vice President of Programming & Production, Executive Producer, in a statement. "The proliferation of mobile video devices has exploded to the point that nearly every fan watching a game can shoot their experience—be it a play that happens near them, the reaction of family members and friends during a key moment, or commenting directly to our announcers."

Maar said they'll also showcase fans calling a home run or sending in a historic Red Sox moment they shot during a prior game.

"With over one million viewers watching some part of a Red Sox game on any given night, the time is now to bring our fans' perspectives into our nightly telecasts," Maar said.

Fans are encouraged to shoot horizontally for the best picture. They can submit videos by going to or by texting their video with the keyword ONTV to 536536. NESN collaborated on this new feature with Burst, a Boston-based provider of mobile video streaming technology that helps users create, manage, publish and monetize mobile video content. Burst's technology also allows fans to submit mobile video directly to broadcast TV without an app download.

NESN's has already had success adopting fan-generated videos. After the Red Sox won the World Series last October, the network produced a season-ending Red Sox commercial with 100 percent of the footage shot and submitted by fans. NESN also included fan-shot footage in the network's year-in-review film "Band of Bearded Brothers," which featured video from the stands at Fenway Park during the last moments of Game 6 versus St. Louis. Both the commercial and the film were recently nominated for New England Emmy Awards.

NESN's game telecast already many interactive features, such as real-time results from fan voting via texting, fan Tweets in the telecast, and fan photos as part of the AT&T Fan Photo segment.

Celebrating 30 years in 2014, NESN is delivered to over 4 million homes throughout the six-state New England region and an additional 5 million homes nationally as NESN National. is the most visited regional sports network website in the country. NESN also produces a number of distinctive programs under its umbrella Original NESN Entertainment (ONE). NESN is owned by Fenway Sports Group (owners of the Boston Red Sox) and Delaware North (owners of the Boston Bruins).