Tag: scoreboard apps

Sports Scoreboard Apps–Relevant to the Olympics


Follow the 2012 Olympic games on your iOS or Android phone | CNet

My Comments

London 2012 Official Results App

London 2012 Official Results App

Whatever side of the world you are on, you will be wanting to keep tabs on the Olympic Games in London. For example, you may want to know whether your country is clawing the Gold medals or a favoured athlete is performing well in the sport you are watching. It can even extend to knowing when a new world record has been set or broken.

But the problem is that you may be watching it during that Olympics party that you are attending or hosting at home and everyone runs in to the living room for that key race where that record is being set or broken. Or you are watching an Olympics event in that crowded bar and you want to make sure you can get that drink without missing that record-breaker or gold-medal performance. A good thing to do is to equip your smartphone with an Olympics sports-scoreboard app. Like most apps of this kind, these are offered for free by a sports publisher or broadcaster or one of the official sponsors of the sport.

These apps will benefit people who are on the other side of the world where the activities occur overnight and they may not be able to follow them in real time. Here, the sports scoreboard apps can be useful for checking on the scores for the events that just occurred as part of starting your day’s activities so you can decide whether to watch the replays or not.

Your local official broadcaster, like the NBC in America, may run a scoreboard app for the major mobile platforms. There is also a good scoreboard that is offered by Samsung for both the iOS and Android platforms. This one offers the scoreboard for each of the fixtures as well as a medal tally and the ability to track an event or athlete. The limitation with this is that you cannot track a country team, whether for team-driven or individual-driven sports. ScoreMobile currently offers an “event alert” for medals and breaking news, but nothing more.

It is still worth considering these apps as part of “tooling up” your smartphone or tablet computer for the Olympics so you can have the best value out of these games when you use these devices.

Online rights for sports and cultural events–what could be done?

After hearing the latest furore about Optus delivering delayed broadcasts of the AFL and NRL football matches to their mobile subscribers, I have thought that something needs to be done concerning how online and mobile rights for sporting and cultural events are worked out.

Typically the online and mobile rights for these events are bought by ISPs or mobile carriers for exclusive distribution to their subscribers. This has become a thorn in the side of sports and cultural bodies, existing radio / TV broadcasters and similar groups due to various limitations that could exist.

For example, most radio stations run an Internet-hosted simulcast of their regular broadcast and this has extended radio to the iPhone and popularised the Internet radios such as the ones I have reviewed on this site. What has happened lately is that radio stations that call AFL or NRL football matches using their own talent have had to run alternate programming on their Internet feeds so as to placate Telstra who have exclusive rights to these matches.

Similarly, Optus running a broadcast-IP setup and cloud-recording arrangement to deliver the football to their subscribers has ruffled Telstra’s and the football leagues’ feathers.

This can cause issues not just with ISPs and mobile providers but can affect companies who deliver any form of IPTV services which is a growing trend with the arrival of next-generation broadband services. It could even extend to usage environments such as hotels and apartment blocks implementing “broadcast-IP” tuners to deliver broadcast content from a rooftop aerial to the building’s LAN with Internet-enabled radio / TV equipment connected to the network showing or playing the content.

What needs to be looked at for defining online rights to a sporting or cultural event is whether the online use is simply a verbatim use of an existing radio or television broadcast or data available on the scoreboard; or whether it is an extended mixed-media interactive use of the content. The “verbatim use” would be something like diffusing broadcasts from a broadccast-IP tuner to a broadcaster simulcasting an audio or video feed of the broadcast to the Internet and providing a user-interface just to gain access to that stream. It can also encompass someone who writes a mobile scoreboard app with their own interface.

This is compared to an enhanced online service with extra data on the game being provided alongside the broadcast of that game, such as on-demand video, a Web scoreboard or a highly-strung scoreboard app with the leagues’ logos.

Here online / mobile rights could be split in to two categories – a default simulcast rights for existing broadcasters which requires verbatim use of the sportscast including all commercial and continuity material normally broadcast; and an enhanced online right for online providers who buy that right. The latter right should then enable access to the content by users associated with competing Internet and mobile providers under the same terms as the rights-holder’s subscribers. There could also be a raw-data right for people who prepare their own data applications like sports-magazine Websites and online scoreboard apps.

For the league or cultural-event organiser, they could be in a position to sell multiple online rights classes or choose to offer “verbatim-use” (simulcast) rights to existing rights-holders as a way of bolstering broadcast-rights packages/ As well, private-network use of broadcast material, including time-shifted copies, should be qualified as a standard fair-use right for users of that network such as a household or a hotel’s employees and guests.

What needs to happen is a common sense of “working out” broadcast rights for live sporting and cultural events so that uses commensurate with broadcasting are protected yet the organiser can sell advanced-interactive use rights to online and mobile providers.

Sports scoreboard apps–a very useful mobile app class

ScoreMobile scoreboard app

ScoreMobile scoreboard app

If you look in your mobile platform’s app store, there are quite a few sports apps which turn your smartphone or tablet in to a scoreboard or leaderboard for your favourite sporting events. Some of the scoreboard apps allow you to monitor a particular team’s games, view league ladders or see on-demand video of game highlights. Examples of these include the ScoreMobile apps; and the “Footy Now” / “League Now” apps for the AFL and NRL football leagues respectively; all of which are available on most of the main mobile platforms like iOS and Android.

Most of these apps are free or advertiser-funded and are written in conjunction with companies and other interests associated with the particular leagues or codes that these apps work with  As well, they work via whatever Internet connection your device is using at the moment, whether it’s the Wi-Fi home network, the Wi-Fi hotspot at your favourite bar or the wireless broadband service that you device is associated with. But are they a useful download for your phone or tablet?

I would say that they provide a useful role for any sports followers, whether they watch the game on TV at home or their favourite bar or cafe; or go to the stadium to watch the game.

Footy Now AFL scoreboard app

Footy Now AFL scoreboard app

One key use for people who watch the game in a public place such as the stadium, a large outdoor screen in a square or a packed-out bar, is to have a “handheld scoreboard” that they can glance at  Here, they may not see the scoreboard easily due to them being in the wrong seating position or being further back from the venue’s TV screen.

At home, you could be outside listening to the radio commentary on that small portable radio yet be able to check the scores at a glance. This may then be useful for knowing whether to head inside to see the action on TV and can be a boon when there is confusion in the commentary which can happen with some plays. Two best examples of such a confusing situation is a batsman hitting a run but being caught or run out in cricket or a scoring event (try, goal or touchdown) in a game of rugby, Australian Rules or American football which can be escalated to a higher scoring play.

For Australian readers, this could extend to you having a tablet computer showing the scores for the AFL or NRL Grand Final near the barbecue while you are cooking the meat for the Grand Final lunch.

Another benefit that these apps provide when it comes to upcoming sport fixtures is the way the time for that fixture is conveyed. These apps show the time that the game or race is expected to actually start with it represented in your local time zone. It can be important when you watch the event on TV so that you are sure you have switched over to the right channel especially if you are avoiding the preliminary events or commentary before that fixture. Or it could be to make sure you are at the location you want to watch it at in time for the start if you are visiting the venue, a favourite “watering-hole” or your friend’s place where they have the big TV.

These apps would also appeal to travellers and expats who like to follow their favourite matches while they are travelling. An example of this was a friend I know who had used one of these apps on his iPhone to follow a baseball game that was taking place in the US while he was over here in Australia. Similarly a Manchester United fan could follow that soccer team’s performance anywhere around the world even if there isn’t a TV broadcast of the games where they are.

League Now NRL scoreboard app

League Now NRL scoreboard app

For these apps to work properly, they need to have proper support for push notification but without placing too much strain on the device’s battery runtime. As well, these apps need to be able to work in a manner that doesn’t take over the processor power of these devices when they are just showing scores. As well, the data backend has to be synchronous to the scoreboard at the actual game in the same manner as what is expected for the TV scoreboard – a football goal appears on the mobile scoreboard app as soon as the pitch umpire declares that goal.

So whether you are an avid sports follower or just casually watch some sporting events like football finals or Grand-Prix car races, the mobile scoreboard apps do have a place on the smartphone and tablet devices.