Friday Grab Bag: Where is the MLS TV deal?

For those of you who managed to miss it the Major League Soccer season started recently and its broadcast contract, which many had expected to be finalized sometime last winter, is still unfinished business.

Awful Announcing does a good job pointing out the issues, which have to do with how each side perceives itself. An interesting note showing the increasing popularity of the sport is that the average MLS attendance is greater than the NBA or NHL’s.

Android flaws could make upgrades a danger
System updates are a fact of life for most mobile phone users and a recent report from researchers at the System Security Lab at Indiana University and Microsoft have found a vulnerability that could enable hackers to take over Android systems.

It is not a real threat as they did a proof of concept test only but the threat would be in the form of an app that waits for a system update and then takes gains access for privileges that it had not had previously. Interestingly it only works if you have a fairly old version of Android running.

FIFA Exec paid millions for votes
If you ever wondered how sun-baked Qatar managed to win approval to host the World Cup during its summer this story might help explain it: FIFA executive Jack Warner appears to have made millions off of the deal.

According to a piece in the Telegraph a Quatari company paid Warner millions after the country won the vote. The Big Lead has a list of his apparent transgressions over the past few years that shows a long history of shady dealings.

NBA pondering new TV deal
MLS is not the only sport that is taking its time in finalizing its next broadcast deal as the NBA is also taking a leisurely approach on its current round of negotiations. However the NBA is in a much stronger position.

According to the Sports Business Daily there are a number of interesting options being considered at this time including adding an additional broadcasting partner, bringing its digital rights in-house and moving NBA on TNT off of Thursday night. It looks like big changes are in the works.

Drones can read Wi-Fi messages?

A report in the International Business Times is saying that you should turn off your smartphone’s Wi-Fi because drones that are flying overhead can monitor the conversation, using a pretty simple trick that I think many of us would fall for.

A drone overhead could present itself as a free Wi-Fi network, something that phones are constantly looking for. Then if a user connects it can intercept traffic. Boy would they be bored with reading my stuff.

Love baseball and need a date? MLB has you covered!
Major League Baseball has joined forces with online dating site to create club-focused singles pages, because apparently there was a need for this. I am not kidding it seems that some rabid fans, say Yankee fans, whose first question is to ask “Who hates the Red Sox?” [editor’s note: insert joke for “getting to first base” here.]

It will be interesting to see how this works; maybe MLB could do the same for the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, or even a dating site set up for stats nerds, which is almost the same as the D&D group.

NBA Fans Leap onto Digital Bandwagon with Soaring Viewership


As we mentioned a few weeks ago the NBA has moved to provide access to its playoffs to a wide variety of platforms including iOS mobile devices, PCs and Kindles. The results are now in and it has resulted in record setting traffic.

The push was done by NBA Digital, a group that is jointly managed by the league and Turner Sports and resulted in the just concluded NBA Championship series having an all time cross platform consumption for the league across its properties that include NBA TV,, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile,, and
The NBA Mobile had huge increases in page views and video streams with more than 138 million page views, up 91% vs. 2012. There were a total of 4.5 million video streams during the 2013 NBA Finals, which represented a 126% increase over last year. The mobile app that is published by the league, NBA Game Time, had a 110% download increase compared to last years’ finals numbers.

NBA TV’s NBA GameTime experienced all time viewership as well with an average of 128,000 total viewers for both shows, numbers that represent a 28% increase compared with last year.

Hopefully this is a trend for the future among all sports. MLB has embraced mobile access for years while the NFL seems stuck with an older, much less encompassing model. As users continue to cut off cable and broadcast television and rely on Amazon Prime, Netflix and others for much of their viewing options, new methods to gram fans will be needed in the future.

NBA Playoffs: Available in Live TV, Mobile and Online


The NBA Playoffs are around the corner and an onslaught of information and games are out there waiting for you, and the NBA along with its digital partners has organized it so that users can watch live games, catch highlights online and get full information while mobile.

The push is being orchestrated by NBA Digital, and if the name does not mean that much to you, you are are still likely to know a number of the components that make up that entity which include NBA TV,, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile,, and It is jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports.

First up is NBA TV which will be broadcasting approximately 1,500 hours of game coverage and will offer the possibility of multi-screen coverage and as many as nine first round games as well as pre- and post-game programming. The network’s live game telecasts will tip off with the Miami Heat hosting the Milwaukee Bucks (first round, Game 2) on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

However it should be noted that not all of the games will be on NBA TV, and if you are looking for additional information about games you have watched and others that were played that you did not see then the NBA’s web site, NBA.Com, is the place to look as it will serve as a centralized point for all playoff information including both live video coverage and video highlights.

Among the many offerings at the site a key feature will is the ability to see live games and overtime on TNT Overtime, which also includes some unique camera angles for a different view of the game. For social media fans there is also a section called Social Spotlight where you can track and contribute tweets, photos and other media.

The mobile users have a great deal of access to all of the NBA.Com features as well as ones tailored for mobile platforms. The app, NBA Game Time, is available for both Android and Apple iOS users and provides a bracket view, series dashboards, live scoring, and game alerts, among other features. A version for iPad users, NBA Game Time Sponsored by State Farm also offers synchronized video, scores and updates delivered in real-time.

iPad now on Duke’s hard court

Duke University’s men’s basketball team is the latest college sports team to adopt a tablet as a major training tool as the school revealed this week that it was going to eliminate notebooks and move over to Apple’s iPad.

The school will be providing the latest version of the iPad with a 64GB storage capacity and players will have a range of information ranging from the static such as schedules and scouting reports, to live video of the teams’ plays as well as those of rivals and scouting reports. Also included will be tracking software and the ability to wipe the memory if they are stolen or lost.

Tablets are gaining ever increasing acceptance across a wide spectrum of usage models and sports, often viewed as so old school that it is still considering the typewriter, has actually been at the forefront of adoption.

There are at least eight NFL teams that have moved away from paper notebooks and onto iPads including the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens. MLB and the NBA have also been quick to follow suit.

Colleges have seen what their professional brethren are doing and have also started to adopt the technology. At the start of this season Stanford University adopted the iPad for its football players. Ohio State announced earlier this year that it was going to outfit all of its student athletes with iPads over the next two years. Other schools moving in this direction include Syracuse and the University of Colorado.

The one constant I am seeing is that almost all of the schools and pro teams are using Apple’s iPad as the tablet of choice and that is a great PR boost for the company (not that they really need it), but if rivals want to get high profile positioning of their tablets they might be well rewarded by going after some teams. I guess we might see this change a bit when the Windows 8 tablets come out next month, but then again maybe not.

Looking for NBA Games? BuddyTV wants to Guide You

One of the challenges to following sports playoffs is that the games are often carried on multiple channels, sometimes overlapping time slots and sometimes not- the question is where is the game? Well BuddyTV Guide is seeking to solve that question.

BuddyTV Guide is a free app that has been available for some time for Apple iOS and Android owners, but it has added a feature that targets fans of the current NBA playoffs and should enable them to more easily follow the various contests.

The app has added an “NBA Playoffs” feature that will enable users to find all of the games from now until the end of time, or rather until the NBA Championship end. It has automatic updates and is designed to use local airtime and channels so no worries about thinking a game starts in ET and it is not.

The nice thing about this feature in my mind is that as teams are eliminated and advance the listings automatically update themselves so that they are always current. This brings to 4 the number of curated lists at BuddyTV, the others are Most Popular, Watch List and Upcoming all of which update automatically each time a user logs in.

The NBA Guide brings to 4 the number of curated lists at BuddyTV, the others are Most Popular, Watch List and Upcoming all of which update automatically each time a user logs in.

At a basic level BuddyTV Guide is designed for a user to log in to their cable, sync it with the app and then program in your favorite shows and channels. You can have it not follow channels that you are not interested in as well. It will also make recommendations based on previous viewing history and favorites.

The smartphone can act as a remote control and is also compatible with a range of additional devices including AT&T U-verse receivers, DirecTV DVRs, Sony Internet TV with Google TV, Logitech Revue, TiVo Series 3, TiVo Premier, and any devices controlled by Google TV and Samsung Smart TVs.

There are other solutions to finding games such as NBC’s local channel finder for the NHL playoffs, but that is an online feature rather than a phone app, which is a bit more convenient.

I like this and hope it is a trend of the future. Some leagues, particularly the NFL are relatively easy to know when and at what time the games are played while others such as, well pretty much everybody else has a much more varied schedule that is more difficult to follow.

Consumers slamming NBA mobile sports app downloads during playoffs

NBA Game Time app downloads up 250%

 There have been more than 680,000 downloads of the 2010-2011 National Basketball Association’s NBA Game Time free mobile application since the beginning of the playoffs, according to a report by Mashable.

The NBA Game Time surge marks another example of exponential growth in watching sports on iPads and smartphones when games really start to count. As reported, the NCAA’s March Madness on Demand (MMOD) application generated not only record downloads, but heavier than expected video downloads and longer user sessions then anticipated.


Turner Sports continues to lead in mobile sports production

In total, the NBA Game Time has exceeded 2.5 million downloads during its 82 regular-game season and playoffs, a 250 percent increase from the 2009-2010 campaign. NBA’s numbers were confirmed to Mashable by Turner Sports, which is in its third year managing digital properties for The Association.

The NBA's digital leader, Bryan Perez

Bryan Perez confirms NBA apps surging

NBA Digital senior vice president and general manager Bryan Perez told Mashable that NBA Basketball’s lightning-fast pace creates difficult production problems for a broadcaster, but the point has come where the games can be rendered quickly enough to provide consumers with a fulfilling experience.

 NBA Game Time is available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android, as well as such connected device platforms as Apple TV, Google TV and Vizio Internet apps.