While watching Tottenham Hotspur against Blackburn Rovers in glorious HD this past Saturday, my mind began to think about how the soccer TV watching experience could be improved. Yes, we’ve come so far in the past couple of decades in terms of all of the technology that has brought the beautiful game into our living rooms, but soccer fans like myself still want more.
The popularity of the Premier League has skyrocketed worldwide because of the accessibility of the games on television. It has helped that the league is English speaking and entertaining to watch. And although Premier League executives may not admit it, the icing on the cake for the most popular sports league in the world has been the proliferation of the Internet, which has made the Premier League even more popular and even more accessible.
But you’ve seen nothing yet. Even with more games and TV networks transmitting in HD, there is a next wave of TV watching experience which will transform the way you watch the sport. Imagine a completely interactive experience while watching your favorite team play on television. What if you could interact with the TV set, if you wanted to, and pull up the latest statistics without ruining the pleasure of watching the game?
It’s possible and the technology is here. And it could soon be available for the Premier League. Here’s how:
The year twenty ten is going to be massive for interactive television as tech companies and TV manufacturers find new and useful ways to marry the best of the Internet with the latest advances in TV hardware.
One of the big advances in twenty ten will be the adoption of widgets which can be downloaded and integrated into your TV watching experience. Imagine being able to move your remote control to the bottom of the screen to have a menu appear. But the menu doesn’t interrupt the game that’s on screen.
The question is what type of information would you pull up while the game was going on? Here are my ideas for the different types of TV widgets or features of the TV widget:
- Being able to select a widget to show who’s playing in which positions as the game progresses; the widget would be intuitive enough to update throughout the game if positions are changed mid-game,
- Historical statistics for each player,
- Current number of fantasy points each player has during the game,
- Real-time league table based on all of the live scores,
- Live scores from around the leagues,
- Attendance number for the game as well as average attendance season-to-date,
- Number of trophies each team has won,
- Fixture list for each team for next few matches,
- Current formation each team is playing,
- Latest betting odds for the game,
- Bonus: In game stats such as shots on goal, number of completed passes, etc.
While the above features don’t currently exist in widget form, not that I’m aware of anyway, they can be programmed by anyone and made available through several different TV sets as well as Yahoo Connected TV.
All you need to play widgets is a compatible television, an Internet connection and a remote control to bring the web to your TV set.
The only major obstacles I see are who will create and maintain the information that the widgets pull from. And how involved would the Premier League be in protecting its licensed information. Unfortunately if we wait for the Premier League to launch their own branded TV widgets, it’ll be time for the 2014 World Cup. But luckily there are a lot of smart people out there who will undoubtedly look at ways of programming these widgets and making them available to the public.
In the video introduction at the top of the post, you can already see that BetFair has its own TV widget. It’s only a matter of time before more soccer widgets are built to revolutionize the Premier League TV viewing experience.
The technology is already here. We just need the widgets to be built and people like us to adopt the technology.
What do you think of TV widgets, would you use them and which TV widgets are missing from the above list that you would love to see?