Mark Cuban: Dispute with ESPN rooted in automated content

DALLAS (AP) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says his decision to revoke the credentials of two ESPN writers who cover his team was driven partly by concern that automated game reports could eventually replace human-generated content.

Cuban said Monday that he banned Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon from Mavericks home games to bring attention to the issue of companies using automation in sports coverage.

The Associated Press, in a partnership with Automated Insights, produces automated stories on minor league baseball but does not use the technology for most of its sports coverage. The AP has at least one reporter at all games in the four major professional sports and most major college football and basketball games.

Cuban told The Dallas Morning News that ESPN had informed the club that it wouldn't have a reporter at every game and would rely on wire services. Barry Bedlan, AP's sports product manager, said ESPN ''has relied on us for years.''