When live streaming video company Ustream.tv launched last year, it set out to dominate one niche: politics.
It’s done well so far: The RNC entrusted the 16-month-old startup to handle live streaming for the Republican National Convention. And it has made inroads in Democratic politics — it hosted the Daily Kos’ Netroots convention, and serves as official live streamer for the Obama campaign. But Ustream won’t get Obama’s coronation: Rights to the Democratic National Convention are going to telco heavyweight Level 3 (LVLT), which also happens to be based near the convention in Denver.
But while UStream.tv won’t get the convention, it will have … a live feed of a bunch of cranky, but well fed bloggers. The company is the live streaming partner for a two-story temporary structure in a parking lot near the convention known as The Big Tent, where hundreds of bloggers will pay $100 and get four days of unlimited food, beer and Wi-Fi in return.
UStream co-founder Brad Hunstable thinks interest will be high for a peek inside The Big Tent. He’s negotiating deals with big news portals to carry UStream.tv’s live feed. How did UStream.tv land the big show for the Republicans but not the Democrats? Hunstable has a theory: “The Democrats dominate on the Web right now, which has forced the Republicans to be more aggressive and open-minded in adopting new media. That helped us.”
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