Sports

NBA Playoffs Time Means Sling TV and PS Vue Time

If you are a cord cutter you may have noticed that the NBA Playoffs are very much a cable only affair. That can be frustrating for those who would like to watch the NBA more than once a week. But the good news is that thanks to Sling Television and Playstation Vue you don’t have to have a cable contract in order to watch them. read on to learn more options for How to Stream the NBA Playoffs.

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Last month we took a look at the possibility of the NFL partnering with Facebook to bring live games to the platform on Thursday Nights. Our conclusion was that the entities would not make good partners for a number of reasons. Facebook eventually walked away from discussions with the NFL for the official reason of differences in how ads would work, but more likely as a face-saving measure to avoid headlines like NFL Denies Facebook in Favor of Twitter. The announcement today that Twitter would be the streaming home of NFL Football games on Thursday night marks a very important time in streaming. This is not a cord cutting story as some would have it. It is a streaming story and just importantly an example of how the NFL is better integrating itself into social media. The partnership which will allow users to access the games live through, what is becoming the busy intellectuals news feed,  is a fantastic match for all of the reasons that Facebook was not.

Younger user base
Twitter unlike Facebook has not gotten mowed down by older baby boomers crowding newsfeeds with irrelevant political and personal spam nor is it a hotbed for time wasting IQ tests and the like. Instead, it has become a point of contact for the latest breaking information from multiple sources with instant access  and insight from thought leaders and newsmakers alike. Its audience is both professional and corporate as well as being mobile both in the sense of mobile apps and lifestyle.

People already Live tweet Sports
Find a major event and you will find its hashtag #debate #superbowl etc. If Twitter does this right it will undoubtedly be able to count on regular buzz at least once a week. In fact, it will likely dominate social media platforms during the prime time hours on Thursday. If the company is able to integrate its live stream with access to Twitter feeds on the same screens it could make for an amazing matchup. And if it is an actively developed platform just imagine the possibilities. Think of a game feed with hashtags in place for #Bad calls #what a play #Fire coach ______. It could create instant stories as people clammer for a new angle in the blogosphere. You could see stories like #Dab quintuples traffic during Panthers appearance on Twitter. The media loves to use Twitter for story ideas and now it will be easier than ever.

Fans will be able to watch with Celebrities
When Twitter is at its best as far as live content goes people “Live Tweet” while they watch an event on TV. You never know who else is watching. There is a certain thrill when a regular Joe is watching an event and say Emmit Smith retweets it. Players in the game may well be tweeting. It could create a communal experience like nothing seen before.

Twitter is already available on Multiple Platforms
Twitter has apps for IOS and Android, as well as an easy to access website that is mobile friendly. This should allow users to be able to get to the content quickly and easily from where ever they happen to be. At the moment, the company does not have major apps across set-top platforms and game consoles but as things ramp up for 2016-17 season you can be sure that there will be Twitter video apps for Roku, PS4 Fire TV, Apple TV and more in place. The strongest thing about twitter is accessing it does not require multiple apps as does Facebook with one app for browsing a news feed and an additional app for messaging and such. Twitter and the NFL have a real opportunity to integrate live sports, social media, communal viewing and if it works out right controversy all in one package.

As streaming platforms continue to grow the NFL is likely in a place to be the market leader in a whole new category that frankly didn’t exist before this partnership went into place. Other professional sports leagues best figure out an integrated social media strategy or risk being left in the “20 teens”  Since the league first embraced Sunday afternoons it has masterfully broken new ground to keep its brand not only relevant but dominant. This move could ensure that far into the future.

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NCAA Finals Will Serve As The Final Exam For Sling TV and Vue

Tonight will either be the culmination of Sling TV and Playstation Vue’s cord-cutting push or a major black eye for live sports streaming. Sling was hit with problems during the 2015 NCAA Tournament but has since improved their streaming infrastructure. Sony on the other hand, is experimenting with national distribution for the first time after it recently allowed users outside a select few cities access the service as a cable replacement without local channels. The timing was perfect as the NCAA Tournament launched only days later with many of its games played across Turner Sports and Tru TV. But it all comes down to tonight. The game will be playing on TBS. This means that everyone who wants to see it will have to access it via the cable network.

The audience could be very Eastern Will that be a problem?
Major sports leagues seem to take great pains to position prime events at a time when the entire country can tune in without watching at work, but it could backfire this year. The National Championship features UNC and Villanova.  Both are east coast schools from North Carolina and Pensylvania respectively and even worse, Nova is a small private school of fewer than 10,000 students. Will the game even attract heavy viewership from the west coast without a regional team in the fold? If the game is uninteresting it could lose its audience quickly as the east coast viewers decide to rest for work.

How to Sign up for Playstation Vue or Sling TV New users can Watch The NCAA Tournament Final On TBS For Free
Sling TV includes TBS in its Best of Live TV default offering. To get set up click here

PlayStation Vue Includes TBS on its “Core Slim” package. Important note. Users will have to create a Playstation network account before they can sign up for Vue. This will take a bit of time so do not wait until right before the game starts to address this. You can sign up for PlayStation Vue here.

The good news is that both services offer free previews for first-time subscribers. If you have not tried one of the services it is the perfect time to check one of them out.

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How to Watch the Dodgers without Time Warner Cable

Can you watch the Dodgers online without Time Warner Cable? Yes. The first pitch of the Major League Baseball season was this weekend but cord cutting fans across the country missed out on seeing their local MLB team play. Why? Because many teams play their games on regional television networks instead of local TV. And despite great online services like MLB.TV  fans can be left in the dark due to blackouts which happen because of agreements between the MLB and local teams/regional networks. This causes a lot of trouble for fans in places like Los Angeles where TWC has the monopoly on the Dodgers through its own Dodgers network. But fans are finding their way around that issue with VPN services. VPN’s allow users to basically disguise their modem’s IP Address in order to make it appear that they are accessing online services from somewhere other than where they live. This means that even users outside of the US could tune into Major League games or access Hulu.  One such service that we are familiar with is IP Vanish . IP Vanish has proven popular with people who use their computers and even Kodi to access baseball games and other content online. By changing a few settings in your router you can actually see pretty much everything you want. This sort of package greatly improves the value of multiple sports packages including NFL Sunday Ticket and more and could prove popular during the Olympics as well when viewers from across the world will want to tune in to see their countrymen play.

For more info on IP Vanish Click here

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If you have not tried out PlayStationVue or Sling TV yet and would like to watch the opening week of the NCAA tournament this is your lucky day. Both services offer free trial periods that will coincide with thetip off of the NCAA

Users must set up a Playstation account in order get started with PlayStation Vue.
Users must set up a Playstation account in order get started with PlayStation Vue.

tournament. Each service offers a 7-day free trial. The NCAA Tournament is an exciting time for sports fans andunfortunately a lot of the content has moved to pay TV. So the easiest way to see the action may be to take a plunge with one of the pay TV alternatives for cord cutters. If you like it then you can keep your chosen package through the rest of the tournament and just think of it as a way to save money you would spend going out

Sling TV features TBS and TNT, Tru TV is available via an upgrade.
Sling TV features TBS and TNT, Tru TV is available via an upgrade.

somewhere to watch the games. Then you can drop at the end of the month. That’s the beauty of the cord-cutting revolution. If you pay attention to the dates you can even try out both of the services and use them one after the other to see the first two weeks of action. Just so you understand Sling TV does not offer CBS. PlayStation Vue does but only in a handful of markets. What you will get instead is access to the cable channels that are part of the NCAA Tournament package.

Sling free Trial Info here

Playstation Vue Free Trial here

Sling TV gets another chance with the NCAA Tournament

If you have been on the fence about looking in the sling TV March may be a good time to take a look. Sling TV will be featuring most of the major college basketball tournaments that will determine the NCAA field as well as a majority of the NCAA tournament action including the national championship game.

Sling TV is an app/service available across a number of streaming platforms including IOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV and Android TV. Its starter service consists of a $20.00 basic package that includes ESPN as well a number of othe channels. The availability is broken down by packages.

NCAA Conference Tournaments
· Sling TV subscribers will be able to watch NCAA Conference Tournament events starting this week from conferences like the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and more.

· Games airing on ESPN or ESPN2 are available to all “Best of Live TV” subscribers
· To see basketball coverage on ESPNU, SEC Network and ESPNEWS requires a subscription to “Sports Extra” ($5 more per month with a Best of Live TV subscription).

March Madness
· Starting with the First Four and continuing through the National Championship, you’ll be able to watch approximately 70 percent of the March Madness matchups with Sling TV on TBS, truTV and TNT.
· Check out our March Madness bracket takeover at sling.com when the tournament begins.

Free Preview – truTV
· Best of Live TV subscribers will have access to a free preview of truTV, throughout the tournament (March 13-April 12).
· In addition to carrying the first four tournament games, truTV and TNT will also show “Teamcast” feeds during the Final Four round, so you can experience alternate game views from different perspectives.

For more information, check out the Sling TV blog. Thanks, and please let me know if you have any questions!

 

It’s never too early to figure out your NCAA March Madness Plans. With the Super Bowl out of the way it is the next major upcoming sporting event. CBS All Access Members will be able to access a number of games as part of their live streaming packages through their local CBS affiliate. For an early look at the game schedule before the brackets fill out check it out below. Looking for more info on CBS All Access check Here

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may see the Internet as the next big NFL branding opportunity and Yahoo, the first non-TV related platform to host a game, may be the beneficiary. Pro Football Talk reported that Goodell is looking into bringing Thursday Night Football onto the platform to allow fans to stream the games live. The web based viewing option would be the first time the Thursday Night Football game was available for free online on a weekly basis. NBC Sports streams its Sunday Night matchup via NBC Sports Extra but other networks decline to allow fans to access regular season content for free online. Luckily for fans CBS has been streaming the NFL Playoffs for free for the last two years and even Fox has allowed the Superbowl to be streamed for free without pay TV authentication. So while the idea of free NFL NFL streaming is not new the significance of a weekly NFL game on Thursday being available can not be overlooked.

NFL Following Old Blueprint
If you think streaming Thursday Night Football on Yahoo is an odd pairing then you don’t understand how the NFL became the institution it is today. Did you know that when the NFL started broadcasting on Sunday afternoons that it was because nobody else put high profile programming in that slot? That time was just filled with old movies and filler. The NFL claimed Sunday afternoons from nobody and since then nobody has ever been able to make a dent from 1pm-7pm. The NFL owns a day. It later claimed Monday nights in much the same fashion. It took college football decades to make it onto a non Saturday broadcast time (with the exception of major bowl games) and that was only due to ESPN. I believe that one day the NBA, and Major League Baseball will be trying everything they can to find their way onto a major website so that their content can be available for the masses. Yahoo too is treading down a familiar path. While people may look at the website/search engine as past its prime having been surpassed as a search engine by Google the company is very much in the same position as Fox was when it grabbed the NFC broadcast rights from CBS in the 1990’s. At the time Fox was home to the Simpsons and Beverly Hills 90210 and not much else. Overnight it became the home of John Maddon and even revolutionized sports broadcasting by integrating what at the time was nicknamed the “Fox Box” the upper left hand corner score keeper that is now the industry standard. Being the home of the NFL could completely transform Yahoo.

NFL Future Proofing
The Internet will one day be the medium for all TV whether it is delivered by companies like Comcast or Google. In time the term cable company will not even exist. Within the next five years I would expect to see companies like Time Warner Cable simply refer to themselves as communications companies and drop Cable from their name faster than Kentucky (formally fried) Chicken did with its KFC rebranding. If Thursday Night Streaming works out for Yahoo do you think CBS will sit idly by and let a major revenue stream slip right through its fingers? Fox might as the company has stubbornly ignored the cord cutting and free streaming trend sticking instead with full authentication. Either way you can bet the NFL is going to factor streaming into future TV negotiations and I believe it will favor networks that put its product on the most screens possible over those that put up walls. By the time the rest of the sports industry and television industry catches up the NFL will be the king of Internet sports streaming and fans will be the winners.

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Well we finally get Duke v Kentucky. To bad it’s two games too late. Anytime two blueblood programs like Duke and Kentucky matchup it’s worth checking out. If you are going to be out and about during the contest don’t miss the big game. Use Watch ESPN’s mobile app via IOS and Android or even check it out on a laptop via the website here .

Users will have to log in with a valid TV provider ID.