As March Madness reaches its peak, the wallets of those in-office betting pools are thinning, while the waistlines of fans jamming flatscreen-ensconced bars are fattening. Either way, with 68 teams in the tournament, it can be a challenge just to keep up. However, a number of new digital media innovations are giving fans of all sports new ways to interact with, and/or filter, can’t-miss games and events.
: There are sporting events so climactic that fans would miss the birth of their child to watch, and then there are those so interminable that fans can’t believe they went to the trouble to make nachos for the occasion. Catering to those fans for whom time is of the essence, new web-based service
Thuuz uses computer algorithms to separate the thrillers from the snoozers. Subscribers to the free service select which sports and/or teams they want to receive alerts on, upon which they receive emails or text messages about games deemed to be “exciting” as they happen, using a meter that measures user reactions and play-by-play stats. Perhaps they should call it a “DVR efficiency meter.”
: During the NFL season, fantasy league competitors can hone their projections by using Pre Play Sports
, an iPhone app
that delivers instant updates, scores and play-by-play data in real time. Now, soccer fans have a similar hub through which to engage in amateur statistical analysis. Scoreboard
is a new Facebook app where users can predict scores of upcoming English Premier League
games, converse with other users, and use in-game currency to bet on their predictions. Every Friday, an hour-long show, hosted by former pro soccer players, dissects upcoming games, incorporating content both from Facebook users and BBC Radio personalities. The only thing missing is a virtual pint to clink.