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Ex-Stanford players to watch '72 Rose Bowl win

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STANFORD, Calif. (AP)

Former coach John Ralston and members of Stanford's 1972 Rose Bowl champion team will reunite Wednesday night to watch their special performance and gear up for the Cardinal's annual showdown with archrival California in the Big Game.

This is a special time for the Stanford program, ranked No. 14 this week and set to receive a bowl berth for the first time since 2001 - and Chris McCoy knows it.

The Cardinal (7-3, 6-2 Pac-10) are coming off consecutive upsets of then-No. 7 Oregon and then-No. 11 Southern California.

McCoy, founder of the new media startup YourSports.com, planned this reunion event for the Rose Bowl team and others only hoping for such hype. The commercial-free viewing party of the '72 game, which the Cardinal won 13-12 over Michigan, will be held at a sports bar near Stanford.

The 26-year-old McCoy is developing a demand-driven business model in which groups get together and crowd-fund a game they want to see, meaning participants pay a small fee of about $10 to have Your Sports purchase the media rights so the contest can be shown via Webcast for a party or event - or even just in the family living room. The company's catch phrase: "No such thing as an away game." If not enough people pay, the game would be blacked out.

"You have fans who are missing games," said McCoy, who plans to launch this winter with a limited number of high school basketball games. "The vision is to put games online. Now we have a business model for sports broadcasting that makes it legal and profitable if the demand is there."

The idea came to McCoy, a one-time pitcher at University of Washington with no real ties to Saturday's Big Game, several years ago while growing up in the southwest Washington state town of Kelso. The city's Babe Ruth team reached the World Series and fans had no way to see the games in Clifton Park, N.Y., so McCoy recruited some film students and made the trip himself. He attempted to Webcast the games, but with little success. His uncle back home caught bits and pieces.

He's learned from that first go-round and believes this idea will catch on.

McCoy has since found investors for Your Sports through his baseball ties and time as an instructor, then moved his show from Seattle to the Bay Area's techno-savvy Silicon Valley just last month to generate interest and growth.

"Fans and local sponsors are telling you what it's worth," McCoy said of a given game. "The whole idea is to prove a new business model for sports broadcasting. It's logical. The economics line up. It's coming."

McCoy believes what he provides can become a successful fundraising tool for schools, which are filming many football and basketball games anyway. So, why not broadcast the games on the Internet and make some money from those willing to pay to watch?

"Right now we're executing crowd-funded viewing parties to prove this new business model can work for sports broadcasting," McCoy said. "The next step is to release the platform for any team to generate revenue from its online TV rights by streaming its games online."

Tagged: Stanford

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