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BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY NEWS: MLB Properties Partners With Clear Channel Properties

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) has entered into separate partnerships with Clear Channel Entertainment Properties and The Finish Line, Inc. (Finish Line) to launch the second season of the MLB Authentic Collection integrated marketing program "Access To The Show." The partnerships will make MLBP an "Exclusive Category Sponsor" of the Projekt Revolution Tour 2004, Bonnaroo Festival 2004 and 25 additional Clear Channel Entertainment "Summer of Live" concerts, and will include a national retail partnership with Finish Line n in support of the program.

"Access To The Show" is designed to showcase the MLB Authentic Collection line of apparel, which includes the exclusive jerseys, headwear and outerwear that are identical to what is worn by players on all 30 Clubs, on-site at the concert events and at retail. As part of the partnership, MLBP will receive exclusive branding rights for the MLB Authentic Collection at the Projekt Revolution Tour 2004, Bonnaroo Festival 2004 and select "Summer of Live" concerts. Major League Baseball Properties and "Access To The Show" also will be included in all tour advertising and marketing materials.

"Access To The Show" includes the MLB Road Show traveling Major League Baseball experience, which will be on site at each of the concert tours. The MLB Road Show, which is designed with special "Access To The Show" decor, includes pitching and batting cages and video game kiosks featuring MVP Baseball from EA Sports. It will also include Internet kiosks where concert-goers can purchase MLB licensed products directly from the Shop section of, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. As part of the "Access To The Show" program, the MLB Road Show has been completely redesigned to speak specifically to the concert audience at each of the participating tours.

"Access To The Show" also will include a national retail partnership with Finish Line, which will serve as the official retail destination for the program and will offer concert-goers special promotions. Finish Line will support "Access To The Show" with extensive floor space and in-store entrance signage dedicated to the MLB Authentic Collection along with exclusive sweepstakes and radio promotions tied into the Projekt Revolution Tour.

As part of the partnership with Clear Channel Entertainment Properties, MLBP has been granted rights to exploit several retail opportunities. On the Projekt Revolution Tour, MLB Authentic Collection merchandise will be available at concert merchandise kiosks and the MLB Road Show will be accompanied by the NERV, a 39-foot mobile merchandising unit owned and operated by the New Era Cap Company, the exclusive supplier of the MLB Authentic Collection Headwear.

MLBP and with Clear Channel Entertainment partnered for the first time in 2003 when the inaugural "Access To The Show" program went on the road with Lollapalooza 2003, Ozzfest 2003 and "Summer of Live" 2003.

"We are very excited to partner with Clear Channel Entertainment Properties and Finish Line to market the MLB Authentic Collection line of apparel to audiences at these highly-anticipated concert events through the "Access To The Show" program," said Howard Smith, senior vice president of Licensing, Major League Baseball Properties. "This program gives us a unique opportunity to reach fashion conscious music fans in their environment and introduce them to the appeal of the MLB Authentic Collection as a line of fashionable sportswear."

"The synergies are great for Major League Baseball Properties because we can provide a dynamic forum to showcase their sportswear and their brand, and enable them to reach the very audiences that they target, our concert-going fans," said Bruce Eskowitz, president of Clear Channel Entertainment Properties. "This program was developed specifically for the interests and business objectives of Major League Baseball Properties, and the result is a very fun, appealing enhancement to these particular concerts and festivals."

"The "Access to the Show" program provides Finish Line with an excellent opportunity to interact with our core consumers where they are hanging out this summer," says Kevin Flynn, Finish Line's senior vice president of Marketing. "At the same time, we are able to strengthen an already successful partnership with Major League Baseball Properties." –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Amex Partners With CCE In Canada For Front Of The Line Program

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — American Express has signed a deal with Clear Channel Entertainment in Canada, to expand its Front Of The Line program. Under the terms of the deal, Amex Card members have preferred ticket access to select Clear Channel Entertainment events throughout Canada in advance of general public sales.

"The addition of Clear Channel Entertainment is an unbeatable benefit for our Card members," says Ava Kelly, director of advertising for American Express. "Clear Channel Entertainment is well known for organizing fabulous entertainment events and concerts. Already this year, Clear Channel has partnered with big name artists like Sting, Madonna and Phil Collins. For select future shows, Card members will be the first in line to access the best seats at the hottest shows. It's great news."

"We are excited about welcoming American Express on board as a new partner," said Shane Bourbonnais, executive vice president, Clear Channel Entertainment Canada. "2004 has already shown itself to be a big year with top level Artists touring North America. American Express Card members will have the special privilege of purchasing tickets to these great shows before the general public."

American Express is also partnered with House of Blues Concerts, another major concert promoter in the Canadian marketplace. This relationship provides Card members with ticket access to selected concerts before the general public, as well as reserved allotments of tickets to many concerts during the public on sale period. In recent months, American Express and House of Blues Concerts have brought Card members preferred ticket access to shows such as Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and Christina Aguilera. Card members
also have an exclusive entrance at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto and access to the "Front Of The Line Club" VIP lounge facility.

In its 15th year, the Front Of The Line program was created to reward Card members by offering preferential access to top-quality seating for a wide range of artistic, cultural, theatrical and sporting events. The service is offered to all American Express Card members and is cited by one-third of Card members as the reason they choose the Card. Card members can also use points from Amex's Membership Rewards program to obtain tickets to many of these events. A $3.50 service charge is applied to all tickets purchased through the Front Of The Line program. All other regular service charges also apply. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Canadians Show Heightened Awareness And Public Support For Copyright Protection

(CelebrityAccess Media Wire) — A national survey has shown that almost nine out of ten Canadians believe that recording artists and songwriters have a right to copyright protection. The survey, conducted between April 12-19 POLLARA Inc., highlights that a significant majority of Canadians disagreed with the recent Federal Court decision which suggested that it is not illegal to upload music files on the Internet. 63 per cent of Canadians said that when an Internet user makes copies of thousands of music files available to others anywhere on the Internet, it is a violation of the copyright of the composers and artists. More than seven in ten of those surveyed had heard of the court decision.

Of the respondents who were aware of the private copying levy, 55 per cent believed that the levy did not grant the right to upload music for others to copy on file sharing services such as Kazaa.

"The recent, widespread publicity on the Federal Court ruling seems to have heightened the awareness of the Canadian public to copyright issues and the results of this national survey are encouraging in terms of the high percentage of support for protecting music rights," said Brian Robertson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Cflix Teams With MusicNet To Power Music Service For Yale University

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Cflix and MusicNet have formed a partnership that will dramatically improve the choices that college students have to access digital music. Cflix, a video on demand provider for universities, will launch a new offering called Ctrax to offer an economical legal music alternative for students. MusicNet, an online music service provider, will power the Ctrax service which is available as a pilot at Yale University. Cflix has been offering its media content to universities including Yale, Duke, Wake Forest and the University of Colorado for more than two years. MusicNet provides a full-scale, customizable digital music solution to some of the world's biggest brands including AOL and Virgin.

MusicNet will provide Ctrax with a subscription service and download store featuring more than 700,000 tracks, original programming, playlists and other features. Additionally, the Ctrax service will incorporate community features specifically for Yale University to provide an outlet for locally produced music and video. Yale University students will have access to the first production release of the service and test both functionality and aesthetics to provide feedback.

As many as 20 colleges and universities will be rolling out the Ctrax service for the fall. Ctrax works through the university's local area network with files stored locally to deliver faster and more reliable music content. The Ctrax service will be available for below market prices making it very appealing to the cost-conscious student population.

"We are the only provider in the digital media space that is solely dedicated to the college marketplace," says Brett Goldberg, president of Clix. "Cflix has had great success in delivering video on demand to students across the country so music became a natural extension to add to our existing relationship with top universities. In order to take our success to the next level, we partnered with the world's best digital music provider MusicNet to enhance the way students will experience their music."

Chuck Powell, director of Academic Media and Technology, Yale University commented: "We're very excited about partnering with Ctrax on services that offer students legal online music options at a great value. We think we've clearly heard there is some real demand for these sorts of services and having the opportunity to let students choose and demonstrate their interest level is an excellent next step."

"This will revolutionize the way the music world interacts with college students," said Alan McGlae, CEO of MusicNet. "For the first time, two of the leading companies in their respective categories have come together to deliver a legitimate offering that will super-serve college music fans. Cflix's reputation for delivering rich media to colleges coupled with MusicNet's digital music platform and extensive catalog will assure a great product offering. We are thrilled that Yale University and other colleges are adding this great service for their students." –Jane Cohen and Bo Grossweiner

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American Bandstand To Dance Again In 2005

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — 19 Entertainment has joined forces with dick clark productions to re-launch "American Bandstand," the longest running network television show in history. "American Bandstand" will be executive produced by 19 president Simon Fuller, Dick Clark and Allen Shapiro, the architect of the deal and president of Mosaic Media Group, which is the controlling shareholder in dick clark productions. A nationwide search for a host will immediately begin for the new "Bandstand" competition, which aims to debut next summer.

"'American Idol' is one of the very few music formats to have been successful on network television in the U.S. for many years. 'American Bandstand' was the first and longest running," stated Fuller. "Dick Clark is the father of American music television, and the prospect of the two of us working together to bring 'American Bandstand' back to all its former glory, whilst giving it a 21st century twist, is very exciting indeed."

"The 'American Bandstand' brand is one of the strongest in the history of television and remains, in the hearts of millions, the quintessential American show," said Shapiro. "We are thrilled to be working with Simon Fuller, who has his finger on the pulse of music television. His success with 'American Idol' and the vision he brings to television programming is a perfect fit to work with Dick Clark to continue the Bandstand legend."

Commenting on the new "American Bandstand," Dick Clark said, "Bringing back an American tradition like 'Bandstand' has always been a dream of mine, and I can't think of a better person to partner with than Simon Fuller, whose foresight in trend-setting television shows and music will surely bring the show new luster and then some."

"American Bandstand," which ran on ABC-TV for an unprecedented 30 years (1957-1987), allowed musical artists to perform live or live-to-track, which inspired the writhing of a stage full of young male and female dancers. With a format that was often imitated, its impact on fashion and establishing trends was unmatched. The prominence of "American Bandstand" as a social and cultural phenomena was profound in other ways as well, its name and image finding their way into popular song lyrics, television shows, board games and record collections.

Simon Fuller is represented by CAA. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner