Talkin’ Sports with a Baseball Enthusiast

March 26, 2009

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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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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.


Learning, Sharing and Collaborating at “The Pitch”

March 19, 2009

esp1601Windows Media Center once again hosted “The Pitch”- a local event that brings about bloggers, reporters and news enthusiasts to talk about a common topic: the media!

The event was hosted by Jason Preston of Eat Sleep Publish and created a discussion around new business models for news and new media. The recent restructure of the Seattle PI, definetely makes this a very hot topic among.  Our very own Ben Reed, Senior Product Manager for Windows Media Center at Microsoft, participated in a panel with Hanson Hosein, Director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media at the University of Washington and local tech blogger and radio host, Brian Westbrook. The three led a discussion around new business models for journalism. Although it wasn’t directly related to the newspapers,  Ben’s statistics on the increase in online video usage  showcased the rapid changes in changes of TV viewing habits.  As newspapers become digital and they beef up their video capabilities, online video will be part of the mix and we foresee that they will face the same monetization questions with vide3367604341_dcbe3f420711o than with print.

Several attendees of The Pitch emphasized the importance and success businesses have when focusing on “customization” and “experience” for the consumer. The discussion often times switched between personalization within devices and then different applications that give consumers the best technology experience they are looking for, these platforms maybe provide the solution to new busienss models to sustain journalism. Hanson reinforced that for any business model, one must incorporate multi-media strategy as statistics and studies prove that we are engaging and living more digitally.

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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.


Shootin’ some hoops with teammate- Ian Thackaberry

March 9, 2009

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Ian Thackaberry may be the youngest teammate on the TV on your PC sports club, but don’t let the size and age fool you. At only 22, Ian is one of the most avid loyalists to the Portland Trailblazers and has taking his love and passion for the sport, the players and the team strategy onto the blogosphere. He now manages Thack’s Blazer Blog, where he provides game and player insight, all from the mind of a baseball and Generation-Y enthusiast.

Ian chatted with us about how he became fascinated with social media, how he and his friends watch and enjoy their sports content and now that he’s hooked, what he is looking to do to improve his sports blog and add a level of value for all sports enthusiasts.

How did you begin blogging and why did you decide to blogs specifically about the Portland Trailblazers?

It all starts with a passion for the game of Basketball.  I love to play, watch, and learn about it whenever I can.  Every fan has a favorite team and mine is the Portland Trailblazers.  I watch almost every play of every Blazer game because I want to know more than whether we won or lost; I want to know how we won or lost.

At the beginning of the season (October, 2008), a fellow Blazer fanatic showed me all the good blogs to go to for news on the team.  I was always aware that blogs existed, but I really had no idea of their capabilities.  As I spent more time exploring the sports realm of the Blogosphere, I began to understand how the general subject of Social Media was developing.  It fascinated me, so I started writing my thoughts on each game in my own blog and contributing posts to others.  It wasn’t long before I was totally addicted.

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The Sports Channel buzz!

March 5, 2009

sports-channel-4As you know, today Microsoft launched the “Sports Channel” application for Windows Media Center. It’s a great feature as you can watch coverage and get information and stats for all your favorite players. It’s fun, interactive and another way Microsoft is gearing toward providing the content we want!

From our launch today, we’ve received some extremely positive coverage from  Greg Sandoval of CNET News , Jason Chen of Gizmodo, Ian Dixon of The Digital Lifestyle, Arlen Schweiger of Electronic House and Dave Freeman of Crunch Gear.

From these articles, we have received great feedback from bloggers saying things such as:

God I love Media Center. It has seriously improved over the last couple of years. If this is anywhere near as cool as the Olympics app they have a winner here

and…

“I never really used media center until recently. It’s kind of cool, I’m glad there are new add ons coming.”

We hope you enjoy the sports channel and find it a helpful and intriguing way to access and enjoy your sports content. And what better way to personalize your content than right around March Madness? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the channel. Any feedback is welcome post here, tweet us or you can use  plain-old email us at tvonyourpc@webershandwick.com


Get in the Game with the Sports Channel for Windows Media Center!

March 5, 2009

sports-channel-finalBy now you’ve probably seen that we’re working with various sports bloggers who’ve weighed in on their TV-viewing preferences and the TV on Your PC movement. You may have also been wondering what we’ve got up our sleeves.

Well, have we got news for you…Going live today in time for the Men’s College Basketball Tournament later this month, the new Sports Channel for Windows Media Center offers a wide range of sports coverage from CBSSports.com, Fox Sports, MSNBC.com and more – all in one place. The Sports Channel features breaking sports news, interviews of your favorite players, the option to track your fantasy sports teams, and more, with CBSSports.com joining the ranks as a fresh content addition to Windows Media Center.

If you’re connected to the internet, simply launch Windows Media Center on a PC or laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate, scroll down to Sports, and click on the Sports Channel tile to start tapping into programming from all of the aforementioned sites. Easy as pie 🙂

As you’re gearing up for the upcoming Men’s College Basketball Tournament, make sure to check out the Sports Channel’s “College Hoops” feature to get everything you need for your tournament games in March and April using Windows Media Center. Here’s what you’ll get:

Watch complete games in condensed form shortly after the games are completed. (Condensed  form means you get all the game action without timeouts, half time, ball retrieval, etc.)
– Watch marquee games in the first two rounds, then view all the games after that through to the championship game

Game Highlights (1-2 min)
– Highlights from every tournament game (63 games total)
Post Game Interviews (1-2 min)
– Post game interviews as available

Buzzer Beaters (2-10 min)
– Last few minutes plus of select games with great finishes

Best of all, this particular effort is just the latest in a line of content investments and applications in Windows Media Center aimed at providing new and easier ways for people (you!) to find and access compelling content. The Sports Channel joins the NBC Olympics on the Go service and the MSNBC News beta (now out of beta) which both went live last year.

Boot up your PC, click on the green button to explore the Sports Channel and tell us what you think!