Archive | May, 2012

Why Social TV is Perfect for Live Sports

14 May

Social TV for Sports

Social media is increasingly being integrated into more and more mediums. The second screen phenomenon has emerged. Many people now watch television while engaging on another device e.g. laptop, phone, tablet. Social platforms such as Get Glue allow users to “check-in” to programs they are watching and encourage conversation in real time. While many marketers focus on episodic content live sports is also being heavily affected by the social landscape.

As a transplanted sports fan social media often is the only way I can discuss my favorite sports teams with my friends. Live tweeting an Indiana vs. Michigan basketball game during winter break was actually the first time I used twitter with any sort of real interest. Seeing a run of “WATFORD FTW!!!” tweets made me feel slightly closer to Bloomington, Indiana than a restaurant with one TV in Milwaukee.

And I’m not the only one who sees those updates. Big events happen in sports on a nightly basis. That’s what makes it so great. When someone in my online social network says, “Phillip Humber is about to throw a perfect game” or “Paul Pierce is going off!” It puts that event on my radar.

Networks and advertisers are trying to find ways to involve social media into sports such as what WWE did. As more of these types of ideas pop up we’ll certainly continue to see social become a bigger part of the sports landscape.

Related Articles:
How Social TV is Changing the Field for Sports-Ad Age
Web Browsers and the Real Time Web 

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Will Someone Please Disrupt the Television Industry

2 May

Evolution in TelevisionWhen Netflix had their big PR snafu and I thought the online streaming/DVD service might be cooked. I among others believed that a better, more advantageous competitor could come and steal their lunch money.  And then something unexpected happened…Netflix reneged  everything and went back to the way it was for the most part.  Not only was there no competitor waiting in the wings (Hulu had already been around) people clamored for the reuniting of Netflix.  Maybe we’re not really ready for the next evolution in television?

Everyone consumes television in slightly different ways. Some people like to record their favorite shows and watch them on their own time. Some people have appointment viewing and need to watch it live. Others stick to on demand, only watching what they want when they want without preconceived notions. Right now there are several options to specific needs.

Cable Subscription

This is the most stoic option. You get a plethora of channels for one flat monthly service fee. You can watch all the television your little heart can handle for that price. However, there are also a-la-carte options. You can increase your channel package size, add DVR and watch programs outside of their designated air times, use on demand for spur of the moment or out of season programming, add premium channels, and purchase movies. Each item comes with an upcharge that can make your bill look like the U.S. Census.

Online Subscription Services

There are a couple out there, but Netflix and Hulu Plus have this market pretty well cornered. With a nominal fee you essentially have an expanded on demand service at your fingertips. Movies and shows can be summoned from nearly anywhere provided you have a screen of some sort and an internet connection. If you want to watch a sporting event you’ll most likely have to tack on the individual sports service (e.g. MLB.tv) and hope you’re team isn’t subject to black-out rules. You’re also locked into whatever programming that service has rights deals to.

Pay As You Go Services

By this I mean your virtual stores, your Amazons and iTunes of the world. The pros and cons are pretty clear here. You get full freedom to decide your entertainment landscape (sans sports), but the more you add the more the cost balloons.

So what is the perfect service?

The answer is, at least in my opinion, that it doesn’t exist. My utopian television experience is a mix of all three. I would like the option to pick and choose my channels a-la-carte, have each show’s content available on demand after debut, then buy outlying programs on an individual basis. That way my experience is personalized and everything is in one place. It may be a looooooooong while before anything like ever happens, but a boy can dream can’t he?

Unfortunately, the powers that be don’t understand that a whole sale change like this will essentially eliminate piracy as we know it. I’d rather pay a fair price for legal (and safe!) media than pirate any day. Until then I’ll be crossing my fingers that the U.S. doesn’t follow suit with the U.K. and ban the Pirate Bay!

Related Content:
Xbox Live Usage Outstrips Multiplayer Gaming in U.S.
BT Missing from Pirate Bay High Court Blocking Order
TV Universe Continues to Contract, Nielson Attributes Declines to Census, Technology Too