The NBA is rolling out a new fantasy sports app called InPlay, which will let fans have a second-screen experience during nationally televised games. It’s a slightly different concept than services like Yahoo Fantasy: InPlay syncs stats by recognizing audio from any NBA match being broadcasted on pay-TV, using your iOS or Android device. Once you pick the player you think is going to do well, the application will show you how many points he’s earning you in real time. And if you end up outperforming everyone else playing the game, the league says you could win official NBA swag.
You can download it now from the App Store or Google Play, but you won’t be able to play it until tonight’s games. After that, the app should work with broadcasts on ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and TNT.
Facebook’s video push has been well documented, but the effort has primarily relied on content produced by others thus far. Now the company says it’s in talks with television studios and other producers about licensing shows to give that video initiative a boost. According to Recode, Facebook’s plans include scripted shows, game shows and sports coverage as part of an effort to explore different video formats.
The social network has already opened its wallet to boost live video content on the site, offering a range of media companies millions to stream there. College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen, who joined Facebook this year to work on video, says the idea here is to “kickstart an ecosystem of partner content” for that dedicated Video hub that has begun rolling out on the site.
Van Veen explains that the the current talks include funding for original content and licensing rights to scripted, unscripted and sports video from other producers. Of course, the company is interested most in video that leverages “the social interaction unique to Facebook.”
Though Facebook has insisted it’s not a media company, this video push could signal a change in that mindset. Now that Facebook is already paying for more live videos indicates the change has already started. Recent reports say that the company could use curated articles to help it combat fake news, adding another layer to its relationships with media outlets.
It will be interesting to see how this video effort develops and what kinds of shows will surface in that tab. With Twitter already having a deal in place with the NFL to stream live games and talks with other leagues reportedly in progress, Facebook will need to have some attractive viewing options if it wants users to do more than offer a passing glance at videos in their News Feed.
Not to be outdone by Nike, Adidas has also opened up a new flagship store in New York City. And, just like its rival, the German company packed the space with loads of technology. Inside the four-story, 45,000-square-foot space, located on the corner of 5th Avenue and 46th Street, you’ll find a virtual reality experience and a wearable system designed to help you find the best running shoe. Let’s take a look at what other tech Adidas is featuring at its biggest retail store yet.
The NFL’s current rules social media posts have been rather draconian, even after a recent rethink. Football teams couldn’t post any video during the game window until the NFL made a sanctioned clip available on its servers, and they couldn’t create any GIFs during game time. They couldn’t post more than 8 clips on game day, either. However, the league appears to be changing its mind. Yahoo Finance has obtained a memo revealing that the NFL has once again loosened its policies. Teams can now post non-highlight GIFs and videos (that is, no on-the-field action) on their own, right up to a newly expanded 16-video cap. If they want to celebrate fans or the halftime show, they don’t have to wait for the NFL to act first.
That’s just the start. Teams can post five clips to Snapchat during a game, and stream three non-game day press conferences on Facebook Live. The memo also reveals a “test agreement” that will have Giphy serve as a source of “ancillary game and historical/iconic” GIFs. You won’t visit Giphy to relive an epic touchdown from the weekend, but you won’t have to search the whole web just to find a classic moment. The dry run lasts until June 2017.
A spokesperson confirmed the move to Yahoo and noted that it was a response to “feedback” from teams.
As you’ve probably gathered, the NFL isn’t exactly flinging the doors wide open. It’s still barring anything that might give you a reason to skip those oh-so-lucrative TV broadcasts and official live streams. All the same, it’s clear that the league is acknowledging reality — it can’t pretend that it’s always as quick to react as the teams themselves, or that it can downplay services like Snapchat in the modern era. If it’s going to drive interest in football, it has to capture the moment-to-moment thrills wherever viewers happen to be.
Source: Yahoo Finance
During this weekend’s Big Ten football championship game, Fox Sports will offer fans a different kind of on-field views during its coverage of the match-up. When Wisconsin and Penn State take the field Saturday, December 3rd, referees will be wearing hats equipped with GoPros to give fans another perspective of the action on the gridiron. The network says it worked alongside GoPro and Big Ten officials on a hat that would capture footage it could use immediately during its broadcast.
Fox Sports Lab successfully tested the system during last week’s Wisconsin vs. Minnesota game and plans to share clips via social media this weekend. That means if you can’t watch live, you should still be able to find some snippets of the action afterwards. What’s more, there will be a dedicated stream of Hat Cam footage on Fox Sports Go which could make for a rather interesting multi-screen setup if you can wrangle more than one display. Of course, you’ll need a cable subscription to take advantage of what that streaming app offers.
These referee cameras join drones and VR as tools in Fox’s arsenal to bring viewers different perspectives on sporting events throughout the year. For a look at what you can expect this weekend, you can watch a clip from the referee camera test run right here.
Source: Fox Sports
Starting Sunday, December 4th, CBS All Access subscribers will be able to stream weekend and Thursday night NFL action through the service. The network announced today that it agreed to terms with the league on a multi-year deal for live access via its $6 monthly option (or the pricier commercial-free tier). The slate of games not only includes the Sunday schedule, but Thursday night action that CBS broadcasts as well as preseason and postseason slates.
In addition to live and on-demand streaming from CBS’ catalog of shows and events, All Access will also be the exclusive home of the upcoming Star Trek series and a spin-off of The Good Wife. If all of that seems too good to pass up for a few dollars a month, the service is available through the CBS app for Android, iOS and Windows 10 in addition to Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Roku, Xbox One and Xbox 360. If none of those work for you, watch All Access via the web at CBS.com.
Amazon already offers a robust library of movies and television for streaming, but the online retailer could be looking to tackle one of the last remaining strongholds of pay television. The Wall Street Journal reports the company has held talks over the last few months with the NBA, MLB, NFL and MLS. Amazon has reportedly also met with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which has it’s own network with a hand from ESPN, in addition to Campus Insiders and 120 Sports for college athletics coverage.
Details are scarce at this point, but WSJ’s sources say a new premium sports package would be tied to Amazon’s Prime. In talks with some leagues, including the NBA, the company is said to have proposed an exclusive sports tier that would be available alongside its annual subscription. It wouldn’t be a surprise if you have to pay a few dollars more to add live games to Amazon’s current Prime lineup similar to how DirecTV customers can add on NFL Sunday Ticket. In addition to the big-name US sports, the company has also reportedly spoken with the National Lacrosse League, Major League Lacrosse and World Surf League.
WSJ also reports that Amazon has reached out to networks about rights to games that they aren’t using. For example, Univision has a deal for Mexican soccer league matches (Liga MX), but it doesn’t air all of them so perhaps Amazon might be able to pick up the unused events for its own service. The company also spoke with ESPN and One World Sports about leftovers and is considering Indian Premier League cricket and international NBA coverage for viewers outside of the States.
As far as live sports on the internet go, Amazon would have a lot of competition if it’s able to secure rights. Twitter already has deals in place for NFL games and college sporting events while Yahoo streamed daily MLB matchups this season and currently offers an NHL game of the week. Facebook tried its hand at live sports as well and is reportedly considering more eSports coverage in the future. There’s also Sling TV that not only streams live network coverage, but offers add-ons like NFL Redzone and NHL Network.
“My sense is they are interested in anything that might be out there,” said ACC vice president of digital Chad Swofford told The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon may have to be content with sports like gymnastics, lacrosse and surfing as many of the major sports leagues and college conferences have television deals in place through the middle of the next decade. Of course, the company could still use those events as a means of promoting its selection of sports gear even if it can’t negotiate deals for action from the more popular leagues. We reached out to Amazon for a comment on the matter and we’ll update if we hear back.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
It was speculated back in June and reports last month indicated that a deal was close. Today, daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel made their merger official. The two sides announced a “strategic merger” that’s expected to close in the second half of 2017, but financial details weren’t disclosed.
The two companies say that the merger will allow them to focus more on building new features and products thanks to “operational efficiencies and cost savings.” Those features include more variety in contests, loyalty programs, better social tools and more sports-related content. Of course, DraftKings and FanDuel also say that merging the two entities will “accelerate its path to profitability.”
Perhaps more importantly, with one company at the forefront of daily fantasy, the two sides say they’ll be able to work better with government officials on regulations. It’s no secret that both sides have had their issues with lawmakers in the states where they operate. The tipping point of the argument is that daily fantasy differs from gambling because it requires skill rather than being left to chance or good luck. Previous legal troubles include a $12 million settlement with New York for false advertising that involved both DraftKings and FanDuel.
In terms of logistics, the new company with have offices in both Boston and New York, the current homes of DraftKings and FanDuel, respectively. When the merger is completed, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins will serve in the same position for the new company while FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will become chairman of the board. That board will have three directors from each company and one independent director. Of course, the merger agreement is subject to regulatory approval.
Until now, Halo Neuroscience’s signature brain-bending headphones were only available to very specific groups: college-level athletes, pro athletes and the military. They helped build up hype for the eventual public release. That all changes today, however: you can buy your own set of Halo Sport headphones for $699. As before, that high price stems from the Sports’ “neuropriming.” The over-ears send electrical currents to your brain that, at least in theory, make it extra-receptive to training. You won’t be inherently faster or stronger, but you might hit your goals sooner than you would otherwise.
How well do they work, though? It’s hard to quantify, since there are other factors that go into an athlete’s success beyond their receptiveness to training: the quality of that training, the athlete’s other traits and, of course, the competition. Oakland Raiders cornerback TJ Carrie is having a good year so far after wearing the Halo Sport, but the Olympians who used them? Their results are… mixed. Natasha Hastings helped win gold in the Rio Olympics’ 400m women’s relay. Mike Rodgers’ sprint relay team was disqualified in its final race, though, and Michael Tinsley was knocked out in the first round of the 400m hurdles.
This doesn’t mean that the brain-altering technology is ineffective. However, it does suggest that you should temper your expectations. No matter how well the Halo Sport works, you aren’t guaranteed fame and glory — you may perform better than you would otherwise, but you probably won’t win championships or smash records unless you’re already talented.
Source: Halo Neuroscience
Today on In Case You Missed It: The National Basketball Association signed a seven-year agreement to use a computer-vision, artificial intelligence system that analyzes on-court action in ways average viewers couldn’t spot as they watch.
Meanwhile, you may have caught our story last week on the brain implant helping paralyzed monkeys walk; but the latest in brain implants is even more incredible. A “locked-in” ALS patient who is only able to control the movement of her eyes received a brain implant and can now use the power of thought to spell out words on a screen, communicating with her caretakers.
If you’re interested in backing the Kickstarter project for Food For All, you can find that here. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.