Lifecasting’s New Killer Apps: Sports and Live TV

With the introduction of Meerkat and Periscope, pundits and journalists wondered what people will do now that broadcasting one’s life is made easy. Drives home from work were popular, as were walks around town. For reasons no one could figure out, the contents of total strangers’ refrigerators was a thing. A very big thing.

But a funny thing happened in the time since both of the streaming on demand apps came on the scene: the so-called fight of the century, the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

Mashable’s Christina Warren wrote that she noticed streams from around the world were showing the fight. The staff at Meerkat tried to shut down the streams, with hearts from the viewers apparently being the giveaway. In reversal from the way things usually work on Periscope, people watching streams would admonish anyone from hearting a stream.

I noticed the same thing while I was on Periscope the other night. Though the pictures were shaky and of questionable quality (it was a smartphone shooting video of a TV after all), it was something anyone who wanted to save $100 in pay per view charges could live with. Like Warren, I didn’t take a look on Meerkat, but I’d assume streaming the fight was also a big deal there as well.

A day after noticing all that live sports activity on Periscope, I’ve noticed a stream of tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones was playing. It’s an outlier now, but it very well could be part of a growing trend.

It was as if the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight gave everyone the bright idea that the flipside to sharing one’s life was sharing what you were watching, right then and there, especially if you were watching wan’t readily available on the usual suspects of Netflix, Hulu or Bittorrent.

The fight may have been critical mass for something that’s been building for awhile. Baseball games this season have been popping up on both lifecasting apps, particularly with the New York Yankees/Boston Red Socks game that ran 19 innings in April 11.

Officially, Major League Baseball, won’t stop fans from Meerkating or Periscoping the game. The connections are prone to go down and there’s isn’t any way the picture from an iPhone is going to compete with a broadcast-quality TV camera. This also goes for a smartphone camera pointed at a television, even an HDTV.

However, for diehard cordcutters and sports fans, Meerkat and Periscope may be their new favorite apps.

Via Mashable. Photo by Mauro Sartori (topastrodfogna)/flickr.

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