Why did Olympics streaming soar, and broadcast TV fail? Podcast episode No. 7 explores why online sports is winning

The drop in prime-time TV viewership for the recent Rio Olympics was a bit of a head-scratcher for many, especially in light of the soaring numbers for online viewership of the same games on various streaming outlets. In the STADIUM TECH REPORT PODCAST episode 7, hosts Phil Harvey and Paul Kapustka explore and explain why this shift from scripted to live happened, and what it means for all types of live sports content going forward. Give it a listen now!


Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes!

New app features, streaming opportunities for March Madness


The NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball tournament, or as it is better known March Madness, has already started but there is still time for those that wait until the 13th hour to get their act together to both follow the tournament as a fan and your bracket as, well also a fan.

First and foremost is watching and following the games and Turner Sports, along with NCAA.com and CBS Sports have simplified that by making all of the games available online, with some requirements for the viewer. You can go to the March Madness main page for more information; the key is finding the “Select TV provider” button in the upper left corner as you must have a qualifying TV service contract to watch online. The effort by Turner et al may shake up how future major sporting events are broadcast and garnered solid reviews in Fast Company. There is also a twist for the Final Four television coverage, where there will be separate announcing teams on alternative Turner channels. The SI roundup has a good description of what’s going on, television-wise.

Pretty much any newspaper, blog, web site and sports channel has a contest, ranging from billionaire Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans’ offer to pay $1 billion to anybody that picks all 64 winners to local office and bar pools.

The next games start Thursday and many pools allow you to enter up until just before tipoff of that round. If you are looking around for something that is not in the mainstream but will connect you to everybody that you might want to chart with, or talk trash with.

An app launching in support of the iPad in time for the tournament is called FanKave, and it functions much like you might imagine. You enter a ‘Kave’ for each game and can talk, both online and using voice, with friends or rivals while receiving play-by-play results. A nice feature is that from a Kave a fan can post to a variety of social media sites such as Facebook without needed to open a separate app for that.

The app supports more than simply the basketball tournament, with the NFL, NBA and NCAA football available now and MLB and FIFA World Cup 2014 expected soon. It is currently available only on the iPad platform but its developers said that iPhone and Android versions are expected soon.

A more established mobile app called theScore is also trying to make hay while the tournament’s sun shines by adding a number of additional features that revolve around March Madness. Among the new features is an ‘upset tracker’ that uses push notification to let users know that an underdog is leading with 5:00 minutes in the game.

There are plenty of established apps as well and pretty much everybody I know has multiple ones to follow both the tournament but also teams that they are interested in. Checking out specific schools can get you apps that (sometimes) enable you to closely follow the team’s progress through the tournament.

Sprint Partners With NBA, Brings ESPN Games to Mobile for Free

It’s like the prayers we offered yesterday were answered — today we are hearing that Sprint is partnering with the NBA to build an exclusive mobile app and will show the league’s ESPN broadcast games for free, provided that you have a phone and a plan with the nation’s No. 3 wireless carrier.

Though it’s not out yet the Sprint NBA Mobile app is promised by this year’s season-starting games on Christmas Day, and it won’t cost anything for Sprint subscribers who have an unlimited data plan. The only hitch: It will be available only to Android-based phones, so those who rushed to buy an iPhone from Sprint are apparently left on the mobile-viewer bench.

But still. According to the Sprint press release, here is what is coming in the new app:

The app will include access to in-game and post-game video highlights, news, scores, stats, live home and away radio broadcasts, in addition to providing direct access to live ESPN NBA Games via Sprint TV’s ESPN Channel.

Sprint also says that you will be able to buy a subscription to the NBA League Pass service we mentioned yesterday for a 20 percent discount through the Sprint App — still too expensive for us but if you are a hoops junkie and are at a decision point for a mobile phone, these deals make it pretty much a no-brainer to go with Sprint.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Barnes & Noble Enhances Nook Color

OnLine’s new apps mean Tablets can be gaming consoles
Cloud gaming developer OnLive has developed a set of apps that bring console gaming to tablet and mobile (i.e smartphones) platforms. The company said that this will open up top ranked, high performance games that were once only available on consoles to a market that is at least 500 million strong.

The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller enable a player to use a Wi-Fi network to play a program that is stored in the cloud and streamed live to the tablet, phone, PC or Mac. A user must own the program and once purchased it can be used on any device.

OnLive currently has a stable of 25 games that have been adapted to work with touch screen devices including L.A. Noire, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and Defense Grid Gold. The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller uses technology that the company is expected to be available soon for a list price of $49.99.

Barnes & Noble enhances Nook software
Barnes & Noble has released a software upgrade for its Nook Color, a move that brings the low cost device closer in features and capabilities to its more expensive Nook Tablet as well as rivals from other developers.

Among the new found features is access to Barnes & Noble’s huge Marvel graphic novel collection via Nook Comic, streaming movies and TV shows via Netflix as well as the Flixster app for on-the-go access to digital streaming media.

In all the company said that it added 100 enhancements that ranged from increased font size to the ability to read books in either landscape or portrait mode. Head over to Cnet for a fuller listing of features as well as some issues with the product.

Microsoft to offer Open Source Apps for Windows 8
ExtreameTech has reported that the advocates for Open Source software have won an unexpected ally with the announcement that Microsoft will allow open source apps at its Windows 8 app store.

Microsoft has long been a foe of the open source movement, but entering the app space much later than rivals Apple and the Android lineup it needs a boost and it appears it is taking a chance that one of its rivals is willing to take.

While Apple prohibits open source apps for its iOS in its store Microsoft has stated that it will allow apps developed under a license from the Open Source Initiative and that the OSI license will trump the Microsoft Standard Application License Terms that have tough sharing provisions.

The lack of open source apps has not seemed to hurt Apple yet as it just reported that it just had its 100 millionth app downloaded from its Mac App Store.

The Patent wars heat up
Motorola won an important ruling in German courts last week that could shackle Apple and force the company to pay out royalties and make changes to its technology. The court ruled that Apple has failed to license one of Motorola Mobility’s patent technologies.

Motorola could seek an injunction preventing Apple from selling products that contain the technology in dispute, which basically means no iPhone or iPad sales in Germany if granted. Apple said that t will appeal the ruling.
If Motorola wishes to have a sales injunction enforced against Apple it will need to post a $133 million bond to cover costs in case Apple later prevails in court. Motorola has licensed the technology in question to others but wanted to charge Apple at a higher rate.

Looking for an Android to call your own?
Not exactly what Harrison Ford was in a search and destroy mode in “Blade Runner”, but not like any phone you have used before, a strange new communications technology is emerging from the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) .

Called the Elfoid P1, it is a prototype tele-operated android that will, in the future, mimic motion and appearance of that of the users, hopefully conveying a more human sense to phone conversations.

Sadly it is not a machine that you can send to work in your place but rather a pint sized device that stands in as a phone and resembles, well here is a photo you can decide for yourself what it resembles. Not sure I would want to whip one of these out of my pocket at a business meeting to update my calendar.

If you have an interesting product or app showing at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show that you think we might be interested in drop us a line.

Big Online Crowds Expected for CBS Live Stream of LSU-Alabama Matchup

Live broadcast of College’s #1 vs #2 could change the market.

One of the biggest college football games of the year, regular season edition, is coming this weekend in the LSU-Auburn matchup, and in a sign of the growing importance of presenting sports in all mediums it will be available as streaming media from an online source.

In addition to presenting the game on regular broadcast television, CBS is pulling out all the stops by not just putting the game live online, but also by beefing up its social-media efforts, soliciting fan reactions both prior to and after the Saturday contest.

CBSSports.Com has said that it will be streaming the game that pits No. 1 LSU versus No. 2 Alabama, with the game being presented at CBSSports.com/SECLive. The live streaming video is also available via the Internet to iPhone and iPad users who have downloaded the free CBS Sports app available at cbssports.com/mobile.

Fans can comment online and send tweets while watching from a computer or an iOS device

The broadcast is the centerpiece of CBSSports’ aggressive weeklong coverage of the matchup. That included daily coverage at the Alabama/LSU Central page or the CBSSports.com’s Eye on College Football Blog.

CBSSports has streamed SEC games in the past as well as conference championships on both its website and to iOS devices, with an audience that hovers around six figures — but this is different. Jason Kint, senior vice president and general manager of CBSSports.Com told Fierceonlinevideo.com thats “It’s the biggest football game across all platforms,” and added that he sees this event as a breakthrough for streaming media.

While over the years many big matchups have been touted by the networks only to have them come up short, CBS is playing this one like it could be a preview of the BCS Championship game. The amped-up buildup, plus the stature of the SEC (and its five consecutive BCS championships) should make this online broadcast a far cry from the ho-hum acceptance that many streaming events have received in the past.

Second tier Olympics events, often broadcast at odd hours have garnered little attention and even smaller audiences and have in some ways turned people off to using mobile and handheld devices for watching sporting events, although MLB.com and the NFL have been aggressively pushing out into some segments of this market.

CBSSports will not stop its coverage with the game but will also have its usual postgame show, “5th Quarter with Gary Danielson” as an interactive afterparty. This site can be found at cbssports.com/gary.

ESPN kicks up Xbox service in time for College Kickoff

ESPN plans to launch a revamped version of its ESPN360.com live sports service in time for users to for the start of the college football season. The latest version is designed to give viewers enhanced customization so that they can fine tune their broadcast watching experience.

Slated for release on Aug. 25, which not so coincidentally is just a week before the Sept 1 start of the NCAA Division 1-A season starts, so that if you rush you will be able to watch that Villanova at Temple game that has been intriguing you all off-season. Snide comment aside ESPN will be making over 400 regular season games available as well as 31 bowl games.

The live sport streaming service, available on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console will now feature a host of additional features and upgrades, with possible the most interesting being the ability to have a split screen so that you can watch two games, or programs, at once.

There are many more ranging from a live college scoreboard, the ability to use a Kinect controller from Microsoft to gain voice control capabilities that will enable a user to pause, rewind, play and skip all using voice control. Upgrades will also allow users to set reminders, receive live alerts if they wish add the ESPN crawler at the bottom of their screen for scores and other sports news. This can be personalized to feature a users favorite sports and teams.

The deal is available to customers of EXPN’s Internet and broadband partners which show ESPN.3 and includes include Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks and Suddenlink Communications.