In today’s fast-paced world, while the number of channels of television programming available is increasing rapidly, the time available to watch them remains the same or is decreasing. Users desire the capability to watch the programs time-shifted (ondemand) and/or to watch just the highlights to save time. In this paper we explore how to provide for the latter capability, that is the ability to extract highlights automatically, so that viewing time can be reduced.

We focus on the sport of baseball as our initial target—it is a very popular sport, the whole game is quite long, and the exciting portions are few. We focus on detecting highlights using audiotrack features alone without relying on expensive-to-compute video-track features. We use a combination of generic sports features and baseball-specific features to obtain our results, but believe that many other sports offer the same opportunity and that the techniques presented here will apply to those sports. We present details on relative performance of various learning algorithms, and a probabilistic framework for combining multiple sources of information. We present results comparing output of our algorithms against human-selected highlights for a diverse collection of baseball games with very encouraging results.