Sports More Accessible Than Ever Before
You don’t have to even 30 years old to remember a time when finding out the sports scores was entirely dependent on reading the back page of your dad’s newspaper over breakfast, catching the last few minutes of the news, watching match of the day or hearing the gossip at school.
Sport has moved on a lot from those days and is now more accessible than ever before thank goodness. You can watch almost any sport at any time on all devices and access scores and data more quickly than ever thought possible. The Sports Techie community blog enjoys being at the center of this universe.
Sports Techie Stories
One of our global readers watched Newcastle vs Norwich last week at the airport on his tablet. He’s not even a fan of either of those clubs but his international flight was delayed and he wanted something to do. It was well worth the premium WiFi update because it was such an entertaining match I was told. If you had told the 10, 15, even 20 year old person that he could watch a live football match with a top quality picture on a screen the size of a hardback novel but barely thicker than the cover his mind would have been blown.
Whilst on honeymoon in Mexico a few years ago a female follower wanted to watch her team play but she didn’t know what channel they would be on. She pressed her iPhone home button down, asked Siri and instantly received a link to the TV schedule of the channel it would be on.
Such is the wonder of new technology all you need is an internet connection and you can watch sports on whatever device you have – phones, tablets, laptops, PCs and Smart TVs or OTT boxes, even the watches are getting in on the action.
And it’s not just the live event available at your fingertips – you can get scores, player data and analysis, YouTube clips, blogs, podcasts and quotes in seconds. You can track player performance better than ever before and use that information to improve your fantasy team which you can access via another app – in the old days you had to calculate it yourself as part of some underground fantasy movement.
Pre 2005 you had to wait between sporting events for your sports entertainment but now you can access highlights, old matches and compilations in second. You can play video games against people from across the world, enjoy something from the app store such as a free kick game like ‘Kick-Flick’, taking a few turns on Spin Palace’s themed golf slots ‘lucky shot’ at http://www.spinpalace.com, scoring some conversions in a Rugby World Cup app or shooting some hoops on a basketball game.
Predicting scores has been taken to a new level with the sheer amount of big data available to us. When a fellow community member was young he would err “help his dad fill in his second” football pools form which he would then walk all the way to the betting shop to place and wait for the results in the papers. Now he’s an adult and he’s doing it for myself he open up one of the many apps available to himself and place it in seconds. He can access the in-play market which has completely revolutionized the betting scene. Modern technology is responsible for that. Instant and stable internet access has opened up a world of opportunity.
The changing face of technology has largely been positive and we now have news channels dedicated to sports and apps like Sun Goals keeping us up to date with the scores. Sports Techie have nostalgic love for Ceefax but they don’t miss waiting an age for it to load, pressing 302 and watching 15 pages scroll before they got to the scores they wanted or exasperatedly telling their dad cricket was on 340 now not 197. The internet, smart phones, Sky Sports News and more saw off Ceefax but shows like Match of the Day survived. Modern technology complements the best of what already exists and improves on what could be better. Many had one TV when they were a child and if they wanted rugby scores and someone else wanted cricket or football they’d have to fight over Ceefax. No such problems now.
The red button was the first revolution and I’m excited to see what the next will be and how that will replace or complement traditional broadcasting. The changing face of how we access sports has also seen off some much loved programs but largely for the better.
Golaccio! Who else remembers watching Football Italia and the Gazzetta program on a Saturday morning to catch up with Serie A? If you do you’ll probably remember that Gazzetta showed highlights from the previous week. Week! Imagine telling fans of Juventus now that they’ll have to wait a week to find out the latest on Paul Pogba and co.
The thought of actually waiting for scores now must be as strange as concept to the youth of today as the idea I could watch a live football match on a handheld, wireless device would have been to me.
Sport Techie, no question the evolution of sports and tech is forever intertwined and has been for many a generation both across the pond and here in the states. The proliferation of mobile devices is indeed a tool Generation X to the millennial and now Generation Z all rely on for real-time sports info, live game streaming and now online gaming matches such as eSports.
U.S. fans used to get scores, standings and breaking news from daily newspapers, a weekly Sports Illustrated magazine subscription and the late night George Michael Sports Machine show Sunday night on NBC. I was a teenage lad when Mr. Ted Turner invented the SuperStation WTBS and began broadcasting via satellite and cable outside the Atlanta area. WTBS delivered properties like the Atlanta Braves, Georgia Championship Wrestling (that eventually became the NWA and WCW) as well as CNN sports at 11:30 pm across the nation over cable TV to adults and youth alike in order to satisfy our sport fixes. CNN was for years the nation’s go-to source for sports and their announcers such as Nick Charles (RIP) and Fred Hickman were nationally recognized before the likes of Chris Berman, Stuart Scott (RIP) and now Scott Van Pelt.
Just this week ESPN Founder, Bill Rasmussen, began follow us on Twitter which is quite the honor, thank you. He incorporated in July, 1978, launched September 7, 1979 because of cable technology and the rest is sports history.
Linda Cohn is an inspiring female sports announcer pioneer that began her TV career back east in the early 8o’s, moved to ABC for national role, was then hired by KIRO in Seattle in the early 90’s and finally landed at ESPN where she is today a role model for women and girls around the world thanks to worldwide exposure on ESPN.
All these broadcasters have been witness to the merger of sports and technology in ways no one ever thought possible.
My brother and I recently discussed Showtime “Inside The NFL” and how they share highlights of football games from the past weekend and the idea that this iconic show may actually be a dead model because most fans already have seen their share of highlights during gameday or at the very least by Sunday evening on SportsCenter, regional sports networks and local newscasts.
Social media has become an integral part of the sporting environment all over the world. Teams and players tweet daily to the delight of fans. The recent MLB on TBS NLDS, NLCS and wildcard MLB postseason baseball games set viewing records. Facebook streamed NBA training camp sessions as a league first and last night they delivered virtual reality to fans during opening night on TNT thanks to Turner Sports and NextVR. Don’t get me started on the NFL because they truly push the envelope of sports tech and next gen stats to never before seen heights.
My two-year old can watch the Little League World Series, the X Games and an assortment of Georgia high school games on our iPhone, iPad and computers, then peruse Comcast Xfinity On-Demand and any live sporting events on HDTV in five minutes or less if he wanted after watching Dance Time Boys.
What a Sports Techie world we all truly live in and the future is sure to be more sports technology-centric as was the past.
See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.
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