SendtoNews inks digital distribution deal with PGA Tour


Cloud-based digital sports media distributor SendtoNews has another feather in its cap as it has signed an exclusive multiyear deal with the PGA Tour that gives SendtoNews the rights to distribute PGA digital video to U.S. local news sites.

This continues a slow and steady expansion of the multimedia digital sports distributor. It had signed a Canada-only deal to distribute NFL video and signed deals with the LPGA Tour and NASCAR last year to joining a growing list of partners that include major names such as the English Premier League, and Formula 1 as well as lesser known sports leagues such as Rugby Canada, the American Hockey League and the World Archery Federation.

The deal with the PGA Tour will enable SendtoNews to serve as a centralized distribution point for PGA tournament highlights, player interviews, commentary and other video content that it will make available to its partners via its digital News Partnership Network.

The company describes its News Partnership Network as one that is comprised of comprised of thousands of top national, regional and local sports broadcasters and publishers. It provides the highlight videos and other packaged products and its partners share advertising revenue.

The videos can be seen on members’ web sites, and increasingly popular method for getting news for fans as opposed to print editions. It would be interesting if SendtoNews could find a way to directly access fans. It would certainly be nice to do something such as subscribe to a NASCAR feed that provided me with all of the highlights and interviews since I imagine that its partners pick and choose what they broadcast. A driver that is not a fan favorite but has something interesting to say is probably shut out currently.

Fox Offers Mobile and TV Options with start of English Premier League

the Barclays English Premier League

Well the Euro 2012 is over, the Summer Olympics are over and now ramping up is the Barclays English Premier League that starts up again this weekend and Fox Sports will continue to broadcasting of the matches with the first broadcast dates already set.

The first match will be broadcast this Saturday, early in the morning on the East Coast as West Brom kicks it off against Liverpool, followed later in the day by Newcastle vs Tottenham. Both of these matches will be live with additional games scheduled that will be taped.

Last year’s final day of the season brought on some major surprises as Manchester City won the

title for the first time since 1968 when it beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 on the last day of the season even as rival Manchester United was celebrating on the field when it believed that the titles was theirs. The title was decided on goal differential and Manchester City scored in the waning moments to clinch the title.

It will be hard to beat an ending such as that this season but Fox will be providing not only the games on television but also has a full set of solutions for mobile fans with Android and iOS solutions as well as providing the ability to watch via computer.

Fox offers solutions for the mobile fan as well with its FoxSoccer2Go which has a huge array of leagues and matches. Aside from the Premier League, of which it will broadcast 270 matches, it also has Europa League, UEFA Champions League and NCAA Soccer. In all it expects to broadcast a minimum of 100 matches a moth for the 2012/2013 season. It also covers rugby.

It has an on-demand feature that provides replays of matches for between 3 and seven days after the conclusion of the matches, depending on the league.


Will the Facebook App Center be a Boon to Sports App Developers?

The list of places that you can go and search for the app that scratches your most current itch has just gotten one stop longer as Facebook has formally launched its latest service that it is calling the App Center.

What makes the site look like it might have real legs is that it is not just focused on one operating system or platform, but rather seeks to be a one stop shop for the Mobile Web, Android and iOS users, and the company said that it believes that it can be the destination site for mobile application users.
A user can view apps, select the one that they want and then download it vie either from the App Store or from Google Play. There is one caveat, the apps have to be designed to be used on Facebook and all apps need to have a Facebook login.

While one of the problems that I have found in recent times perusing app stores is that there are just so many I spend a good deal of time either honing down my search or just reading the specifications of a specific app.

Facebook is seeking to help with this issue by prominently displaying apps that garner solid reviews and ratings from users while dropping ones that continually get poor numbers. In addition it has established developer quality guidelines and apps that do not follow them will also not be displayed.

I wonder if and how sports apps will take advantage of this. Drop by a team’s official web page and you can see how popular it is and how often it gets ‘likes’ I chose the San Francisco Giants and the page has 1.4 million likes. Boy does that give a developer of an app about the team a focused market.

Of course MLB might have something to say about apps being liked on the page, a quick look shows that the huge majority of links on the site are to official MLB sites, but not all of them. This is the same with all major sports but could actually be a better tool for developers looking at niche markets.

Rather than hope a fan of say rugby is going to search iTunes for rugby apps, they could have the app mentioned on a team page with a link to the Facebook App pages. Since this effort is just getting off the ground and the paid app portion is still in beat it will take a while to see if this shakes out well for the app developers in sports and out.

Rugby’s HSBC Sevens World Series Ends this Weekend

If you are a fan of rugby, and are looking for something to watch this weekend, then you owe it to yourself by tuning into the HSBC Sevens World Series 2011/2012 with the final matches being held in London, England this weekend.

The length of this series makes the NBA and NHL playoffs appear to be short by comparison. Counting this weekend’s games there will have been nine rounds that started last year with the first matches being played November 25-26th. So far New Zealand is in the lead with three series wins and a total of 150 points followed by Fiji at 139 and then England at 123. The United States is tied with Kenya at 11.

I would have watched more of the games but aside from catching a rerun on this week I had no idea that this event was even taking place. I did notice that it does have roughly 88, 000 likes on Facebook but really that is a drop in the bucket compared to other sports. Apparently the second day will be broadcast live in the United States on NBC.

While I do not quite understand all of the rules, even though they have been explained to me more than once, I have to say that I have always enjoyed watching the sport. A while back I was in France when its national team beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup and the town I was in celebrated all night. The person in the bar I was in chatted with me all night, apparently failing to notice that I had no idea what he was saying.

I do not want to call this a bad example of marketing yourself because it could be that I just have not been on the right sites or watched the correct program to see when the matches were being held. Still it seems to me that on a sport such as this, which has a large international following but a small, yet avid US following, a bit of marketing might be in order.

Part of the issue could also be just the way that I find out what is on the television at night. I often just look in the local paper, although I am breaking that habit. The problem is that the local paper does not always list all of the games that will be on- mine often misses Cubs baseball on WGN, football on the NFL Network and baseball on MLB’s network.

Hopefully events like this, and non US mainstream sports such as cycling and sailing will get more media savvy and learn how to get their message, and news about their events, out to the viewing public.