Thanks to ED Kain, I learned that the Superbowl was streamed over the Internet. So I can watch it while doing various computer stuff at my console instead of on my laptop while sort of watching it on TV. I am only sort of watching it because there is little that interests me less than a game from a team from New York (that doesn’t play in New York) and a team from Boston (that doesn’t play in Boston, but doesn’t call itself Boston, either) playing for a championship. Even the fact that it’s a rematch to the game that proved what a travesty the NFL playoff system is.

Really, the streaming of sporting events is still relatively unexplored terrain.

There is no reason why any game in which there are cameras should not be available somewhere. Kain mentions less popular sports, but I would add to that less popular teams and leagues.

Among the various subscriptions/services I have having to change credit cards on includes CBS All-Access. CBSAA simply plugs in to the jumbotron of the home team and hooks up audio from the radio announcers. No one is going to confuse it with a televised event. For instance, you see a “GO WILDCATS! ROAR!” in between plays, because they’re trying to get the Wildcat fans riled up. Also, in football, there are no replays because they don’t like fans looking at the jumbotron and seeing what a moronic call the refs just made.

I was able to watch 8 of the Southern Tech Packers 12 games last season on bonafide television (excluding post-season), with an additional two on ESPN3.com (which is a traditional broadcast feed), and the last two on CBSAA. Comparatively few teams allow you to watch all 12 games. And almost none where you can watch all of the basketball games. It’s great to use streaming to plug in those gaps. And, if you’re willing to go the jumbotron route, it’s comparatively cheap to do so. I’d also like to see them add college baseball to the mix.

The only non-traditional sport I like to watch is rugby. Every now and again I see them on BBCA. I sometimes watch because the sport is interesting, but I never have any context. Given the chance, I might follow a rugby team of some sort. Or maybe I would get into lacrosse and watch the NLL.

The sports networks are always trying to find something to get us to watch. Particularly during football season, when they are throwing money low-bar conference teams (MAC, WAC) to get them to play a game on a Wednesday night. They’ve thrown their weight behind women’s basketball, soccer, and college hockey. I don’t know whether it’s stranger that they show people playing cards on cable, or that it was more successful than all of the others. The problem with trying to add new sports, at least from my perspective, is that coverage is so scattershot I can never get into it (or figure out the rules, in some cases). If I stumble across a lacrosse game between the Buffalo Bandits and the Rochester Knighthawks, I know the likelihood that I will ever see either of these teams again is slim. If I knew that I could follow a team, I might get into it.

The trick is to come up with a good advertising model (whether we’re talking about lacrosse or Big Sky Conference football). CBSAA is based on subscriptions and doesn’t bother to run ads (most of the time, sometimes you get the radio ads). ESPN3 is based on backroom deals between your ISP’s and ESPN. ESPN3 does run ads, but most of the time when it’s a commercial break, you’re looking at a black screen as they run a different set of ads (usually the same ad over and over again). Not only is it a place to add ads, but the ads would be *welcome*. Watching the Superbowl, the adspace is mostly taken up by Dwight Shrute asking you to click on ads and watch them.


Category: Theater

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11 Responses to Sportstream

  1. Kirk says:

    “The only non-traditional sport I like to watch is rugby. Every now and again I see them on BBCA.

    Rock on, dude. I’ve been watching it on Fox Soccer Plus for about a month now. They have lots of small games, some attended by fewer than 10,000 people. I’ve been meaning to post on it for awhile but haven’t gotten around to it.

    I take it BBCA is BBC America? To date, I’ve caught only one Rugby game on them recently, England vs. Scotland in the Six Nations Tourney. They don’t seem to be carrying that tourney with the same gusto they did last year.

    I have no idea how to stream video from them. It seems a little beyond my ability.

    Anyway, NBC will be airing a College Sevens Tourney this upcoming weekend. I think it’s on Saturday. That should be good.

    Watching all this Rugby has got me thinking about buying a jersey or two. The Leicester Tigers have probably my favorite design. It doesn’t hurt that, unlike many other teams, I’ve actually heard of their main sponsor. They’re also a fun team to watch.

    http://www.worldrugbyshop.com/90211.html

  2. Kirk says:

    As for the Super Bowl, I’m glad I recorded it. Skipped Madonna, skipped most commercials, wouldn’t dream of watching it as its presented. It’s the most over-hyped contest the world has ever seen. (However, I’m not sure why one would stream it. Lack of a DVR?)

    As for the teams, I figure it’s just a contest between two wealthy areas of the country, leaving the rest of us out of contention. Also, perhaps this Super Bowl was a referendum on the economy as it is today? I figure some areas are recovering nicely, while others are still mired in near-depression.

  3. trumwill says:

    I take it BBCA is BBC America? To date, I’ve caught only one Rugby game on them recently, England vs. Scotland in the Six Nations Tourney. They don’t seem to be carrying that tourney with the same gusto they did last year.

    Yeah, I watched a bit of that one the other day. I wish it was more like soccer where I could sign up for a special package and get to watch more than a game so I can learn more about it, instead of just a one-off game to fill some airtime.

    The airing of the college tournament sounds interesting. Like something I might be able to follow.

    Also, perhaps this Super Bowl was a referendum on the economy as it is today?

    Maybe, though a realsuch game would probably be between the Texans and the Cowboys, the way things are currently going.

  4. ScarletKnight says:

    I learned that the Superbowl was streamed over the Internet.

    The NFL would lead you to believe that this is illegal during the regular season, because it diminishs the value of Sunday Ticket. However, since the Super Bowl is nationally televised anyway, I wonder what their opinion would be of this.

    I am only sort of watching it because there is little that interests me less than a game from a team from New York (that doesn’t play in New York) and a team from Boston (that doesn’t play in Boston, but doesn’t call itself Boston, either) playing for a championship.

    Man, those grapes must be sour.

    Even the fact that it’s a rematch to the game that proved what a travesty the NFL playoff system is.

    You mean like how Alabama is national champions, even though they split with LSU this season?

    Or maybe I would get into lacrosse and watch the NLL.

    That’s an odd choice. Can you elaborate as to why you prefer indoor lacrosse to outdoor? Or is it simply a matter of indoor getting more media coverage?

    As for European football, I root for Liverpool and Bayern Munich, but I admit that I follow them very casually. I used to watch Australian Rules Football when I was a kid. I liked the uniforms the officials wore and their signals.

    Kirk: As for the teams, I figure it’s just a contest between two wealthy areas of the country, leaving the rest of us out of contention.

    (Blush) Well, we try…

  5. trumwill says:

    However, since the Super Bowl is nationally televised anyway, I wonder what their opinion would be of this.

    Since it was on NBC’s website, I assume that they were cool with it.

    Man, those grapes must be sour.

    I’m hip to rooting for just about any team that isn’t from those two cities. I’d even give Boston a pass, if they hadn’t been such whiny-babies about the Red Sox for so long.

    You mean like how Alabama is national champions, even though they split with LSU this season?

    I’m the first to admit that the BCS (actually, it was the damn humans – the computers got it right) blew it this past year. That said, Alabama won over 90% of its regular-season games. The Giants won less than 65% of its.

    That’s an odd choice. Can you elaborate as to why you prefer indoor lacrosse to outdoor? Or is it simply a matter of indoor getting more media coverage?

    Coverage, mostly. On the other hand, to the extent that I can stomach either, I prefer indoor soccer to outdoor. Maybe I’m just allergic to the outdoors.

  6. ScarletKnight says:

    Since it was on NBC’s website, I assume that they were cool with it.

    LOL oh ok, well then yes of course they were ok with it. I forgot that NBC streams all of its NFL games. When you said you found out about the stream from someone else, I was thinking of an illegal stream, which happens on Sunday afternoon.

  7. Kirk says:

    Chris Christie on the “New Jersey Giants.” From a few weeks ago.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xx2iTKPiPY

    On a related note, Rutgers head coach is going to be coaching the Bucs this year. I hope it works out.

  8. ScarletKnight says:

    @Kirk

    Christie is right. The Giants and Jets are both New Jersey teams in every way except their names. The name situation was a big deal when they first moved here, but enough time has passed where no one cares anymore.

    As for Schiano, he has the Belichick seal of approval. While he improved Rutgers, he wasn’t able to take them to the next level. Of course, the pros are a different animal.

  9. trumwill says:

    New Jersey even provides alliteration. For both teams.

  10. DaveinHackensack says:

    The Super Bowl was awesome, the NFL playoffs system is great (what could be better than a sudden death, win-or-go-home tournament?), and Madonna’s half time show was the best one since Bruce’s.

    As for Christie’s comments, NJ passed a law years ago (in the ’90s?) that any new sports team playing in NJ had to have “New Jersey” in its name. It seems to have been scrapped, though, because a quick search tells me that the NY/NJ Metrostars are now the NY Redbulls.

  11. DaveinHackensack says:

    The Giants always seemed like an NJ team, because they trained here as well as played here, and most of the players live here (as do some of the great former players like Simms). Whereas the Jets used to train in Long Island. But now both teams train here.

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