RealNetworks Hoops It Up
RealNetworks last week announced a multiyear deal with the National Basketball Association under which RealNetworks will offer audio broadcasts of NBA games as well as NBA.com TV, the leagues Internet television network, as part of its GoldPass subscription service. Financial terms were not disclosed. Separately, RealNetworks says it has signed up more than 150,000 paying subscribers to the GoldPass service, which launched in August.
NTT DoCoMo, Japans largest mobile phone service provider, says it will team up with Sony Computer Entertainment to jointly develop and market wireless games based on Sonys PlayStation system. The companies will work with six partners, including AT&T Wireless Group, KPN Mobile and Telecom Italia Mobile, to develop new services in their respective markets.
AOL To Go
America Online last week announced a deal with Sonicblue, which sells the Rio digital audio players and other consumer electronics, to let AOL members access e-mail and send instant messages via Sonicblues Diamond Mako handheld organizer. Under the agreement, Sonicblue — formerly S3 — will bundle AOLs software in retail packages of the Diamond Mako, and AOL will promote Sonicblues device on its service. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hungry Minds Lays Off 130
Book publisher Hungry Minds, formerly IDG Books Worldwide, last month said it will lay off 130 of its 700 employees. The New York company — whose titles include the For Dummies series — says it expects lower earnings because of weakness in its Internet operations and its core computer book business. Hungry Minds also plans to close three of its six locations, offices in Chicago; Foster City, Calif.; and San Francisco. The company says the restructuring will save it about $16 million per year.