Viewers flock to on-air and digital PGA Championship broadcasts


The Turner Sports decision to present an aggressive online presence for the PGA Championship as well as strong over the air coverage resulted in strong results as the event sees big growth in viewership in both areas.

The over the air broadcast of the 2013 PGA Championship from the Oak Hill Country Club East Course in Pittsford, N.Y., shown on TNT received the network’s highest rating for the event in 3 years with an average of 1.6 million viewers, up 54% from last year. It had an average of 1.2 U.S. house hold rating, a 50% increase from last year.

Probably as no surprise most of the top regions in terms of viewership are also hot golfing destinations and all rated much higher than the national average. They were markets for all four rounds of coverage on TNT were Las Vegas (2.7), West Palm Beach (2.6), Columbus (2.4), Greenville, S.C. (2.4) and Orlando (2.3).

While the broadcast numbers were strong, the digital numbers were even stronger, showing that there is a large market that wants to experience sporting events but often cannot get away to view them on television.

The PGA.Com umbrella that handles both mobile and broadband streaming delivery was up 69% during the Championship and live streaming hours across platforms are up 85% compared with 2012.

Fourth of July Early Grab Bag — NBA Draft Numbers, Facebook stealing user info?

The Facebook Android app has apparently been downloading users’ phone numbers to Facebook’s servers upon installation and initial launch, regardless if the app is used or if the user even has a Facebook account, according to Norton, the antivirus company.

Facebook has told Norton that it has deleted the numbers from its servers and that it will release a updated version of the Android app that will prevent that from happening in the future. I guess the question I have is that it certainly seems intentional, and with all of the other privacy concerns facing the company why did they not stop this earlier?

Apple patents “iWatch”
It appears that the long rumored Apple watch may actually be real and coming closer to a consumer electronics store near you. Multiple sources are reporting that the company has applied for the “iWatch” trademark.

Apple execs have hinted that a wearable computing device could be in its future but have so far not yet come out and said that the company is indeed working on something along these lines.

MLB Embraces the Military with ticket program
Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) has teamed with GovX, an online military and government discount shopping destination for U.S. Armed Forces and government agency personnel with the purpose of allowing teams to create privileged ticketing programs and recognition events specifically for active, reserve, retired and veteran U.S. Military as well as those who serve and protect including police, fire, EMS and related federal, state and local government employees.

GovX will first create a verified ticketing system for the targeted groups and then work with individual teams to create programs for the military and first responders.

Google Glass adds voice commands and enhanced browsing
Speaking of wearable computing Google has added a web browser and has enhanced the voice commands for its Google Glass platform. The Glass, which is attached to a smartphone, can now both alert a user to incoming text messages and read them to the user or display them for the user to read.

The web browser will, among other things, enable users to view web page n multiple formats including zoom and look around, a feature that is controlled by head movement.

Yahoo buys video sharing firm Qwiki
As the battle for embedded features escalates among social media players Yahoo has taken another step forward with its deal to acquire Qwiki, a company that has created a mini-video sharing format that will rival the increasingly popular Vine app.

The deal is the second major one that the company has made in recent weeks, following its $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr in May. The terms for the Qwiki deal have not yet been announced.

ESPN had second best viewership for NBA Draft

Depending on which article that you read at the site ESPN had its second best viewership NBA Draft with the 2013 draft, or it was tied for best, or maybe both. This release says that Nielsen rates it as the second best for the broadcaster, with an average viewership of 2,999,000.

This release said that the draft broadcast was tied for the top rated since 2003. I suspect that as the numbers were examined they arrived at the second place standing.

Friday Grab Bag: Bannister returns, Big Ten embraces Android

A sip of soda cost Ronaldinho $1.57m?
Apparently drinking the wrong soda can be costly as Brazilian soccer superstar Ronaldinho found out. He appeared at a press conference for his new team, Atletico Mineiro sipping a Pepsi, which happens to be one of the teams’ sponsors.

However Coca-Cola happens to be one of Ronaldinho’s sponsors, with a deal valued at $1.57 million. Apparently the powers that be at Coke’s headquarters were less than pleased and canceled his contract.

Big Ten moves to Android

The Big Ten Network has expanded its mobile reach with the release of BTN2Go for Android. The app, which enables subscribers to the Big Ten Network via their cable supplier, to view a huge range of sports on smartphones, tablets and via the web.

They will be able to watch live feed of all of the networks programming that includes more than 40 football games and 100 men’s basketball games among the hundreds of programs. The app is available at Google Play.

2/3 of new mobile buyers opt for smartphones, Nielsen says
The latest newsletter from Nielsen Wire shows that the in the second quarter of 2012 smartphone growth has continued unabated. Currently 54.9% of all US mobile phone subscribes now use a smartphone as of its June 2012 study.

Two out of every three new phone purchases were a smartphone during the last three months. According to the survey Android is the operating system of choice with 51.8% of all users adopting that platform while 34.3% use an iPhone from Apple.

Despite past results RIM Exec takes upbeat view
Research in Motion has seen things go from bad to worse as it reports losses, declining customer base and delays in its next generation smartphone, a product that it is hoping will bring it out of the doldrums that surround the company.

However there is a light cutting through the clouds according to Frank Boulben, RIM’s chief marketing officer said that the late delivery of its BlackBerry 10, after the important Holiday shopping season, will actually benefit the company as it will allow carriers to prepare and allow it to have the spotlight to itself.

Microsoft/Motorola Patent tiff on hold

Microsoft and Motorola have decided to wait until the hearing over Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing obligations is heard later this year before continuing their patent lawsuits against each other.

While this will slow the lawsuit issue to a degree it does not affect any potential ruling by the International Trade Commission on two complaints involving the two companies, according to a piece in Electronista.

Microsoft is also aiming at Apple- Shock

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has said that it is a new day at Microsoft and that its Surface tablet will be taking on all comers, including Apple, vowing not to leave any market segments uncontested to its rival.

According to an exclusive in CRN Ballmer said that the company and its partners had ceded some areas in the high tech space to Apple and its innovative ways. Areas that Microsoft plans to now more fiercely compete include the consumer cloud and in the area of hardware/software innovation, he said.

It is interesting that one of the reasons Apple is still around as a company is because Microsoft invested $150 million in 1997, a deal that eventually netted Microsoft almost 19 million shares of Apple stock for an average cost of about $9 per share. Microsoft has since sold the stock.

NBC has an Olympic app-if you are a subscriber
NBC Olympics has developed the NBC Olympics Live Extra app that will enable users to watch every event live, which will run to an estimated 3,500 hours of coverage, according to a report from Michael Hiestand in USA Today.

The app will be available for Apple’s iPad and iPhone platforms as well as some Android devices. However NBC will only allow access to viewers who get NBC’s MSNBC and CNBC channels — that’s about 100 million households out of the 114 million total U.S. TV households.

London Olympics salutes Roger Bannister
Roger Bannister, now Sir Robert Bannister, the first man to break the sub-4 minute mile barrier carried the Olympic torch on the track where he broke the record 58 years ago. As part of the relay for the torch as it arrived in London he walked on the track and then handed it off. There is speculation that he will be selected to light the cauldron to start the Olympics.

Tablets continue to erode PC sales
Market research firm Gartner has reported that for the seventh consecutive quarter sales of PCs have continued a trend of anemic growth as demand lessens in favor of tablets. However it notes that economic weakness in both the US and Europe are also contributing to the poor demand.

According to the company sales in the second quarter were 87.5 million units with Hewlett-Packard the market leader followed by Lenovo and Dell.

Social news site Digg sold
Once high flyer Digg, a social news site, was a top destination on the Internet and it saw its valuation numbers soar with its popularity, but as with many popular sites, its appeal waned and viewership fell off as other newer technologies took its place.

The drop appears to now be complete as the site has been sold for $500,000 to Betaworks, which gains the site and its technology, which will be incorporated into a new unit that Betaworks will announce in the future, according to the New York Times.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Windows 8 apps, Motorola’s FTC Issues

Just days after Apple received an injunction banning Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 being imported into the United States Apple has received a second injunction against Samsung. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who granted the first injunction, has also granted one that prevents the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

As with the first injunction Apple must first post a bond, this time $96 million to cover damages if the case is ultimately decided in Samsung’s favor. The judge ruled that it was likely that Samsung infringed on four Apple patents.

FTC looking at Motorola patent licensing practices
The Federal Trade Commission is looking at how Motorola licenses its patents with an eye out as to how the company deals with licenses for its patents that are adopted as industry standards. The FTC has sent investigative demands to the company this week, according to Electronista.

The FTC is examining if Google is living up to its requirements to meet fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of the patents and follows a similar investigation that has just been opened by the European on FRAND violations. A ruling against Motorola could have a major impact on the various lawsuits it currently has ongoing with rivals such as Apple and Microsoft.

HP eyes business with next generation tablet
Hewlett-Packard has said that its first Windows 8 tablet will not chase the consumer market but will instead be focused on the business side of the industry. The first offering will run on an x86 processor and run Windows 8.

It does possibly also plan on offering an ARM-based system that will use the Windows RT version of Windows 8 for consumers but has not publicly committed to that move just yet, according to PCWorld.

Asus to release Audio Dock for Nexus 7

Asus, Google’s manufacturing partner for its Nexus 7 has said that it plans to release an Audio Dock for the tablet later this year. According to Pocket-Lint it will be designed to look as if it is part of the Nexus 7 and will also come in black.

The dock will be designed to charge the tablet as well as hold it upright so that a user can watch videos at the same time, according to the article.

Pebble smartwatch unveils SDK

The Pebble e-paper smartwatch, the poster child for Kickstarter success stories, has taken its next step to mainstream product with the release of its software developer kit at the Google I/O show last week. It will be interesting to see if the support from the developer community matches the huge support it received from individual investors.

Upcoming Summer Olympics fuel increased spam

Silicon Angle is reporting that there has been an upsurge in spam that is seeking to exploit fans interest in the upcoming Summer Olympics in London. Seeking to plant malware on your system or just pushing some product that you have never heard of or care for it does not matter, they are coming for you.

According to the article, the number of message titles is large and growing. An example includes:
• 2012 Games Entertainments Co-ordinator
• 2012 Olympic Draws
• 2012 Olympic Promo
• 2012 Olympic Promotion Board United Kingdom – South Africa
• 2012 Olympics, A Lottery For The Future
• 2012 Summer Olympic Lottery
• 2012 Summer Olympic/Paralympic Games

Microsoft thinks global with Windows 8 apps
Microsoft has said that when it starts shipping its upcoming Windows 8 operating system users in 180 countries will be able to have access to the growing number of apps being developed for the operating system. While the list is a work in progress the company said that most nations will have access to ts Marketplace and App hub. According to PC Mag, apps are currently available in only 63 countries for the current Windows Phone and Windows 7 operating systems.

Nielsen starts tracking top YouTube Channels

Nielsen has started tracking streaming video on YouTube’s growing family of partners and the first results are in about who is included in the Top 5 . The race is led by Vevo, followed by WMG, Machinima, Fullscreen and Maker.

The names in some cases might not ring a bell, but the traffic is enough to make you stand up and take notice. Vevo has 695 million streams and 41 million unique viewers! Maker, the #5 drew in an impressive 9.6 million unique viewers. All of this is just for the month of May, 2012. One interesting tidbit was that more than half of the viewers to each channel were under 35 years of age.

Friday Grab Bag: Tons of Tablet Tidbits

So how many apps are too many?
A recent report from Neilsen called the” State of the Appnation” has some very interesting insights into how many apps users of smartphones have on their devices. With 88% of all smartphones running either Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating system the report mainly speaks to this market.

The average owner has 32 apps while over half have at least ten more loaded on their devices. An interesting tidbit is that the more apps you have the more time you spend using your apps. An issue that seems to be at the top of everyone’s list these days also appeared in the study where 73% were concerned about how their personal data was being used.

Wearing Skechers is not a workout-Who would have guessed?

The Federal Trade Commission has dropped the hammer on exercise shoemaker Sketchers over its claims that wearing its products would help tone your lower body muscles and help you in losing weight. Apparently they do not.

The company, after a bit of thought and possibly a great deal of lawyer talk agreed and is now on the hook to payback $40 million in refunds. The Consumerist predicted this last year and you should head over and see its coverage.

Windows Tablets by Thanksgiving?
Cnet is reporting that the first batch of tablets from developers that have adopted Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system should be here in November, and that Intel will be inside. The OS will support multiple operating systems it reported, claiming that it will be able to handle multiple versions of ARM, Intel as well as AMD.

It is interesting that what is also expected is a wave of hybrid systems, tablets that have physical keyboards and probably other iterations. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook took a stab at what he viewed the futility of hybrids during Apple’s most recent earning call.

The Intel-powered devices will use an as yet shipped processor from the company called “Clover Trail” that is a dual core processor in its Atom family.

Source: SCP Auctions

Lied about playing in the Super Bowl? Well now you can get that ring
Sadly Lawrence Taylor’s life continues its downward trend and he is being forced to sell one of his two Super Bowl rings at auction Available from SCP Auctions the ring, from Super Bowl XXV has two large football shaped diamonds surrounded by seventeen smaller diamonds.

The ring also has Taylor designed into as well as his uniform number. At last look the bidding was at $67,000 and is expected to rise significantly before the bidding is closed on Saturday. According to news reports he has not said why he is selling the ring.

Tablet Traffic soaring according to Adobe
A study from Adobe is showing the big and growing impact that tablets are having on web traffic, according to a report from eWeek. The report shows that tablet traffic is already growing 10 times that of smartphones and that it estimates that tablet traffic will represent 10% of all website traffic in two years.

The result of all of this is that it should encourage developers and web site operators to ensure that they have optimized for that traffic since, at least currently, tablet users represent a wealthier portion of the population and so more likely to purchase services and products.

Google to go direct with Tablet?
A report from the Wall Street Journal said that all signs are pointing to Google going direct with next generation smartphones and tablets that are being built for the company. The devices will be available under its Nexus label and are expected to be available in the Fall holiday selling season.

The reason for the move is apparently to eliminate wireless carriers that add their own special sauce so that the devices sold via their sales channels will only work on their wireless networks. The move will likely put it in direct competition with current allies such as Samsung and Amazon.

Facebook’s next goal- Bigger Mobile presence
The Facebook pre-IPO road show is winding down but the message has been delivered-We are going to monetize mobile Facebook its executives have said consistently while talking to investors across the country.

It s mobile app is very popular, just not very cash flow positive and it has said that it will be looking to reverse this as it appears that the mobile version is now fueling a great deal of the company’s growth. The company has recently ramped up its app development efforts

HTC smartphones blocked at US customs due Apple ITC ruling
If you were waiting for the latest smartphone from HTC, say the HTC One X, your wait just became a bit longer as Apple has gotten the US Customs to block entry into the United States the HTC One X and the HTC EVO 4G LTE, a move that could really harm the HTC EVO 4G LTE which is expected to launch today.

This move is the result of a ruling by the US International Trade Commission from last year that found that HTC infringed on an Apple patent and that all devices that used the technology from HTC would be barred. However speculates that HTC has included workarounds to the patents in these offerings.

Apple also granted a patent
Apple has also been awarded a patent for soft keyboards used with its iOS. The patent is called “Method, system, and graphical user interface for selecting a soft keyboard” and that pretty much explains it, right?

Well according to The Inquirer, Apple has had a related patent for three years and that the current one describes in detail how the soft keyboard relates to user interfaces and how they are used in selecting soft keyboards.

Friday Grab Bag: Are Replacement Refs in the NFL’s Future?

Mashable does a nice job showing how fast eight technologies have penetrated the US market since the telephone was patented in 1876. The speed upon which each succeeding generation of technology grows is interesting as many of them piggybacked on older technology. I mean you cannot have these technologies until electricity reached all of the country.

I was interested to see how relatively slowly the Internet caught on compared to mobile phones, but I guess that is partly due to a number of issues from slow connections early on, lack of a substantial amount of meaningful content ( I mean at one time one of the most popular site on the internet was watching a coffee pot) and emerging rival modem standards that helped confuse non-technical users.

From the charts it looks as if it is possible that the two emerging fields, tablets and smartphones are headed to being the fasted technologies adopted to date. Smartphones make sense since they are an extension of an already known commodity but tablets are a relatively fresh start. The data covers the past five years and the numbers from the next five look to be very interesting.

NFL still not produced evidence on Saints bounty program, NFLPA claim
The NFL Players Association continues to claim that it has not been given “specific, detailed evidence of player involvement in a pay-to-injure program.” Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFLPA has an opinion piece in USA Today in which he stated that punishment demands evidence and the league is not willing to produce it.

He claims rather than produce the evidence the league has used media leaks, pr campaigns and character assignation to manipulate public opinion.

Apple wins one
Apple, on a recent losing streak in the legal department won a case this week when a judge threw out the Proview Electronics Co.’s trademark lawsuit against Apple. The case, which has bogged down Apple in China, has ruled that Proview cannot sue Apple in California.

The case revolves around Apple’s purchase of the iPad trademark from Proview and then Proview claiming it did not sell the rights to the iPad name in China. The two are reportedly looking at a cash settlement but are far apart on the terms.

St. Louis Blues sold
The NHL Board of Governors has approved the sale of the St/ Louis Blues hockey team to Tom Stillman, a beer distributor, for an estimated price of $130 million. Stillman has been a minority owner of the team since 2007, Yahoo! reports.

The team has been for sale for the last two years, ever since the current ownership group, led by Dave Checketts and his Sports Capital Partners Worldwide, started to look around. It had originally been looking for investors to buy out Towerbrook Captal Partners which held 70% of the team but could not find investors.

Google wins a bit more in trial versus Oracle
After a jury ruled that Google did infringe on Oracle’s API copyrights but could not reach a decision on if that action was protected by the ‘fair use’ doctrine that allows copyrighted material to be used Oracle asked the judge to throw out Google’s ‘fair use’ defense.

The judge declined saying he did not think that it would be correct for him to rule in favor of Oracle. Experts now expect at least a partial retrial of the first portion of the case.

Who do Crowdfunders Invest in?
We have started talking a lot about crowdfunding, but mostly in relation to just a very few efforts, and yet that industry is starting to emerge as a huge source of funding for startups, enabling a wide variety of developers to get seed money and more to launch products.

Well if you were interested in a breakdown by category of where the money is going at Kickstarter wonder no more because there is now a great graphical breakdown of the effort. A few interesting facts-50,000 projects have sought funding since it opened its doors in 2009 and film and video is the top pledge earner, with $60 million pledged to date. There is a host of interesting information so head on over and take a look.

Replacement officials in the wins for NFL season?
Fox Sports is reporting that the NFL has started to look at replacement officials for the upcoming season in case it cannot reach a new agreement with the NFL Referees Association- currently the talks are at an impasse.

The league is asking its officiate scouting department to help identify potential replacements with an eye out for recently retired college officials as well as current officials at a variety of levels of the sport including semiprofessional leagues. The NFL used replacement officials in 2001 at the start of the season.

Smart Shoes the next trend in computing?
Computer scientists from e Telekom Innovation Laboratories, the University of Munich, and the University of Toronto have taken a step forward on a research paper on the next generation of wearable computing with the publication of a joint paper entitled “ShoeSense.”

The gist of the paper apparently calls for the development of sensors that would be placed in shoes that have the ability to understand customizable hand and arm gestures that are then relayed as commands to a smartphone. Users would be able to then send messages without appearing to while in meetings, at dinner and other places that it is not always appropriate to do so on the handset.

Nielsen looks at smartphone owners in US
A recent report from Nielsen shows that smartphone ownership continues to rise in the US and is now the preferred handset of more than 50% of Americans, actually 50.4%, up from 47.8% in December 2011.

Android is the dominate operating system with a 48.5% market share then followed by Apple’s iOS with 32%. Research in Motion’s Blackberry platform has 11.6% followed by Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and then others.