NBC Criticized For Not Streaming London Olympics’ Opening Ceremonies

The first controversy in the first Social Media Olympics has already occurred before one medal has been awarded.

With Twitter, Facebook tablet use and social media phenoms Instagram to Pinterest abuzz with activities, what didn’t happen was streaming content of the spectacle of the Opening Ceremonies.

According to an Associated Press report, NBC has received its share of complaints for not streaming the traditional pageantry start to the Olympics online. Instead, the occasion was reserved for the network’s Friday telecast.

Deadspin, the irreverent sports site, posted the link the the BBC’s stream of the ceremony under the headline:

“How To Watch The London Olympics Opening Ceremony Live (And Give The Finger To NBC)”

Christopher McCloskey, an NBC spokesman, told the AP the network had no plans to stream the opening ceremonies because the spectacle doesn’t translate well online. NBC also didn’t stream the opening ceremonies in Beijing, China, in 2008.

James Raia is a freelance journalist in Sacramento, California. Visit his website: www.tourdefrancelife.com.

GameChanger Stepping Up to the Plate With Live AAU Baseball Tourney Streaming

Seven Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) summer baseball tournaments held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Florida and continuing through June 30 are available on GameChanger, the mobile and web tool that delivers real-time local amateur baseball and softball game updates.

Founded in 2009 in New York City, GameChanger provides live pitch-by-pitch updates, stats and instant game stories.

The AAU will stream real-time game information to globally subscribing fans.

“Our tournaments have traditionally attracted top coaches and players – and the enthusiastic fans that follow them,” said Debra Horn, Senior Manager of AAU Baseball. “This year, we did our research and picked the simplest, most accessible – and free – technology out there to step up our overall experience: our teams will be using the GameChanger mobile app to digitally keep score – and automatically beam play-by-plays to fans anywhere in the world.”

Now used by more than 45,000 teams, the free GameChanger scorekeeping app, available on Apple and Android devices, allows amateur baseball and softball coaches and scorekeepers to log each play using its simple, touch-screen app.

As each play is recorded, the app then streams live pitch-by-pitch updates to the Internet, where fans anywhere can follow in real-time from a web browser, mobile browser or the GameChanger mobile app.

“We’re bringing technology to AAU Baseball and amateur sports that, until recently, was reserved strictly for big leaguers,” Ted Sullivan, CEO of GameChanger Media, said. “This partnership continues to highlight a shift in the way youth and high school baseball teams collect and manage their data, where fans anywhere can keep up with the action just by using their mobile devices.”

James Raia is a California-based journalist who writes about sports and leisure. Visit his golf site at golftribune.com


SportStream’s rebirth Focuses on All Sports

One of the first sports chat and fan interactive apps that we looked at here at Mobile Sports Report was one called SportStream, at the time the first app from a startup developer named Evri, which was also focusing on developing a real time content engine.

A lot has changed since last September when the app was first being shown around it had a football focus, was part of Evri and ran on both Android and Apple’s iOS platform. Well that has all changed. iPad users will love the new version of the app, currently it does not run on other platforms.

That is not too surprising considering how prevalent it is for tablet users to employ the device as a second screen while watching sports and a bigger display is easier to follow all of the chatter rather than using your phone.

Evri has set the app free to be a standalone development, although it is being led by Will Hunsinger, who led its development at Evri. It has its own funding from Vulcan Capital, also the venture capital firm that has funded Evri. Its first round of funding netted the company $3.5 million from Vulcan.

There is also a change in focus or possibly an expansion rather. Initially available as a SportStream Football as a place for fans to gather, follow scores and post comments, and that is no longer available, although it said that it will add that feature when the season begins. It currently handles the end of the NBA season as well as MLB. Hockey will also be added when the season starts up later this year.

You can add teams as favorites, and their games will be automatically added to a feature called game picker, but you can add any game that you wish to that feature as well. Tap the screen to enter into viewing the game info and check in to a game from the game picker list to participate in the conversation. Once checked in you can also post to twitter or Facebook.

The app does have one very nice feature that many will probably find very useful, that is the ability to filter out twitter streams and block specific users that are uninteresting, rude, or for whatever reason that you might want including simply data overload. The app uses a Facebook check in, which seems to me to be a bit limiting because many might not want to use that avenue to access it.

It seems that almost daily a new chat app is available; some like Bantr and Golf GameBook aimed at one specific category of fans and others including FanCru, GrabFan, JockTalk and PlayUp open to a broader base of fans and so more directly compete with SportsStream. However almost all of its rivals have come out on iPhone first, while SportStream selected the iPad first.

It is hard to predict how the interactive fan sites and apps will work out, but I suspect that the market is already reaching its limits as to how many apps it will support. However having a big cash funding round should help serve SportStream very well. Many other apps appear to be mostly self funded and as Facebook has shown, generating ad revenue from mobile is tough and so may take longer than some developers have.