TV on the PC: Convenient for NHL Fans

April 21, 2009

hanzal-me-smallWhat’s the solution to generating more local media coverage of your favorite sports team if your hometown paper won’t? If you’re Travis Hair, then it’s starting a dedicated sports blog.

Naturally, Travis’s love for his favorite team, the Phoenix Coyotes, is extended on FiveForHowling.com. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but like anyone else, he does have his opinions on certain topics, such as the trend of watching TV on your PC. Check out our Q&A with Travis below:

How come you chose to write about the Phoenix Coyotes?
Well, I’ve grown up here in Phoenix. Before the Coyotes moved here I was a fan of the Phoenix Roadrunners a minor league team here in town. Back in the day it was in the IHL but it’s still here, just in a different form. The Coyotes came here in 1996 I was instantly a fan, even if they had a funky looking logo. It’s been great for hockey in general as now local high schools have hockey teams, there are a lot more rinks around town and people see it as a sport. I started writing about them just last year because there just wasn’t any coverage of my team. The local paper would report on games here in town, but just little stories. Then when they were on the road the paper would just syndicate AP stories instead of sending a reporter with the team. I just wanted to get more information out there.
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Living the Dream as an L.A. Clippers Fan

April 7, 2009

steve-perrin1What’s a dream job for someone who’s worked in the corporate world most of their life? Perhaps it’s following one of your favorite NBA basketball teams and blogging about them for a living. Steve Perrin, a witty family man and an avid supporter of the L.A. Clippers (often  overshadowed by the well-known L.A. Lakers) values the ability to share his thoughts and rally sports fans from all over to support his “underdog” home team. He also recently had the opportunity to attend our on-campus focus group session and blog about his personal experience with the Sports Channel and other aspects of Windows Media Center.

Prior to joining SB Nation’s ranks in September 2006, Steve was a CTO for Tickets.com and still takes on various consulting opportunities. Read on to hear more about his natural transition into sports blogging, how the DVR has changed his family life, and the three little words that would make his TV on the PC experience a slam dunk…

What compelled you to start Clips Nation and what do you enjoy most about sports blogging?
There are at least four factors that are significant in the creation of Clips Nation.  (1) For some strange reason, I have an unhealthy interest in the Clippers. (2) I have strong opinions and a need to make those opinions known.  (3) I like to write.  (4) I have time to write.  Let’s face it, blogs live at the intersection of those four things.  For several years, I just wrote unsolicited and unwelcome emails about the Clippers to my friends.  Little did I know that the blogosphere would suddenly appear just to satisfy my personal need for attention.
What I really enjoy about it is the community.  I have active members of my community from all over the world – the UK, Argentina, Peru, Australia, Italy, Germany – the only known Clippers fan in all of Sweden is a Citizen of Clips Nation.  How cool is that?

You mentioned becoming a die-hard Clips fan in the early 90s. What has been your most memorable TV moment for the team?
The Clippers are on TV?  Whoa, I’ll have to check that out.
Sadly, given that we’re talking about the Clippers here, the most memorable moments tend to be sad memories.  Even when they made the playoffs, I tend to remember the elimination losses to the Jazz and the Rockets back in the day, or the Raja Bell three that tied game 5 in Phoenix in 2006, or Shaun Livingston’s knee injury (there’s something I’ll never forget no matter how much I wish I could).  I suppose this all says something about the psychology of Clipper fans.

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Sports Bloggers weigh in: TV on your PC, Windows Media Center and What’s Next

April 3, 2009

3382057793_9f3fd86e1311As we mentioned a few weeks ago, we invited a group of sports bloggers to Microsoft for a Windows Media Center focus group to talk about their sports viewing habits and to hear their feedback on the sports viewing experiences in Windows Media Center.

A few of the participants this week shared their thoughts on their visit, Windows Media Center and the future of TV:

Pacific Northwest blogger and Portland Trailblazer enthusiast, Ian Thackaberry, posted on his blog, Thacknet, that when he originally thought of  Windows Media Center, he assumed it to be just a hub to store music and photos, but now, through content details and new features, it is “working to bridge the gap between the Internet and the Television.”

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably seen that the TV/PC convergence topic Ian mentioned is hot and buzz-worthy. As we -content enthusiasts- look for different and innovative ways to watch our favorite shows, games and movies, we’re interested in see what’s next for TV on the PC enthusiasts.

Steve Perrin, aka Clipper Steve, also wrote about his “Trip to Seattle to watch TV” on his SB Nation blog, Clips Nation. Steve talked about his first encounter with the TV/PC phenomenon and questioned whether it was necessary to rely on both as they ideally had the same functions.  He also noted his reliance on his DVR and the “harrowing” experience that followed after the DVR broke and he was forced to watch everything in real time.  He noted that one of the good things about Windows Media Center is that “in theory I could rewind and record and do all those cool DVR things to my heart’s content.”

 What are your thoughts on the buzz around the convergence of the TV and the PC? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on what’s next.


Talkin’ Sports with a Baseball Enthusiast

March 26, 2009

paulgreco

Paul Greco loves baseball and sports. He loves it so much that not only does he own Gotham Sports Media, he is the Associate Editor at Baseball Digest and recently created FantasyPros911. Paul uses these sites to write and chat about Baseball (both real and fantasy). Knowing the popularity of multimedia, Paul uses YouTube and BlogTalkRadio to provide videos and audio clips on his site to give his viewers the ultimate baseball experience.

Tell us a bit about your background in sports blogging.

In May of 2006 I become a partner of Gotham Sports Media, which covers the Mets and Yankees. After discussing what my role might be with the company, I brought up to my partners the fact that Fantasy Baseball was a big part of the baseball community and was a niche I’d be good at with my 15 years of experience. With that “The Fantasy Baseball Guy” was born.  I started posting to my blog two to three times a day and working the social media scene to get my name out there within the fantasy community.  After the first six months I saw my traffic increase from 200 readers a day to over 750 readers.

Then in 2008 I joined up with Fantasy Baseball legend Lenny Melnick and we started up MelnickandGrecoFantasySports.com.  Finally, in January of this year, Lenny and I joined up with Patrick DiCaprio, owner of FantasyBaseballGenerals.com, and Tony Cincotta to form FantasyPros911.com. Now, we have a staff of sixteen writers that produce anywhere from five to 10 articles a day for both our free side and premium content and have grown our customer base to 1,200 unique visitor’s a day. 

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Keeping it Real with Jon Woods – Co-Creator of The Ralphie Report

March 25, 2009

savoUpon moving to Denver, Jon Woods recognized a lack of online support for the University of Colorado Buffaloes. He suited up for the challenge and eventually launched The Ralphie Report, where he covers all things related to the local collegiate football team and has even had the opportunity to break a highly-anticipated recruitment story. His ongoing involvement in the fan community helped spread awareness of the blog in its infancy last summer, and quickly led to a thriving forum for Buffalo fanatics everywhere to discuss top prospects, share memorable videos, size up the competition and more.

It’s this passion for building a community that compelled Jon to the sports blogging arena, where he found a niche as a valuable driving force to excite the local Denver sports community and generate a digital groundswell. Check out his thoughts on the TV on Your PC movement and hopes for the upcoming season…

Tell us a bit about your favorite aspects of sports blogging and how The Ralphie Report was born.
It gives fans a previously non-existent forum to interact with like-minded sports fans all over the world.  People are passionate about sports and many fans have very insightful, interesting and just plain funny opinions and ideas about sports and these blogs give people a place to share and receive feedback that they otherwise wouldn’t get.

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What does a Sports Blogger think about the Sports Channel?

March 20, 2009

One of our bloggers participating in the TV on your PC sports club program, Joel Hollingsworth of Rocky Top Talk, provided his thoughts on the Sports Channel for Windows Media Center.

In his post, Joel also inserted a self-created YouTube video which walks readers through the main features of the Sports Channel, including the interactive brackets. Something people who haven’t used the Sports Channel might find useful.

One suggestion Joel made in his post was adding more content to Windows Media Center from sites such as Hulu, ESPN, etc. We’re on the same page.

When it comes to content, Microsoft is always looking include more of it into Windows Media Center, with recent additions like the Sports Channel and the MSNBC News application being just the tip of the iceberg, the story only gets better with Windows 7. I

Additionally, if you have the Windows 7 beta you can check out Windows Media Center and the integrated broadband/broadcast Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) that aggregates both broadband and broadcast content. This will give you a good idea of where we’re headed.

If you’ve used the Sports Channel application, what are your thoughts? If you haven’t, then we encourage you to check it out. Just click on the green button in Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate.


You Want Brackets? Now You Got ‘Em in the Sports Channel

March 17, 2009

sports-channel-bracket-2A couple weeks ago, Windows Media Center announced the launch of the Sports Channel, an application that offers a wide range of sports content from CBSSports.com, Fox Sports and MSNBC.com and more.

Today we launched interactive brackets in the Sports Channel, which  serves as the portal for accessing game coverage, including the option to turn off scores if you can’t catch the games live and don’t want the outcomes to be spoiled. Just open your PC, click on the green button and launch the Sports Channel (under the Sports menu) to check it out for yourself.

If you are unable to watch the game live- due to work, school family obligations- etc.,  you can interact with the  brackets and even turn off the scores, allowing you to enjoy the game without spoiling the outcome. No more rushing from work to the TV hoping to catch glimpses of your favorite teams highlights and  spoiler soaked experiences.

For more information on the Sports Channel, College Hoops and interactive brackets, click here.