How We Now Watch Sport
I posted this image online during this week’s SuperBowl. This is how I watched the game, on a computer, in my home office. It might well be indicative of a bigger trend in the way many of us enjoy sports and television these days.
My Brief SuperBowl History
Since childhood I’ve had a fascination with American Football. Actually, my childhood involved a fascination with pretty much every sport, so watching NFL was nothing special. But, I did enjoy the SuperBowl and managed to watch every final from my first year of High School until 2011.
In fact, for several years I made a real effort to invite friends around, cook up some food, explain the game and have some fun. The last time I had a SuperBowl party was in 2003, in London. After that I watched the game at home alone.
On Not Having TV
But, here in Singapore I don’t have Cable TV, or any kind of TV reception. Because of this I missed last year’s big match (I have a TV, but its hooked up to a Blue-Ray player and AppleTV).
I do watch English Premier League matches sometimes, on my computer, via a subscription service with SingTel. The picture quality varies from poor to terrible, but at least I get to see some games. This got me thinking, as the SuperBowl approached, if there was a way to watch it live on the computer.
Well, it turns out you can buy a match pass, for U$9.99 to watch the SuperBowl in HD (including pre and post game shows, the half time special uninterrupted and the US SuperBowl ads). And, it really was HD, not the pseudo-HD SingTel offer on their football package.
I pulled the game up fullscreen on my 27inch Apple Cinema Display and it was stunning, glitch free and quite frankly, better than anything I had seen on a regular TV broadcast.
What you’ll notice in the picture, apart from the coffee cup and Picasso print, is my laptop open to Hootsuite, my Twitter client of choice. Yes, I was engaging in a little dual-screening, which is the habit of watching something on TV while talking about it (or doing something else) online.
I’m not normally into dual-screening (or multi-tasking or any other excuse for being distracted and unfocussed). But, I do admit that watching sport for me, makes the most sense as a social experience. In the absence of a few friends to share the game with (and maybe some beers and hot dogs) dual-screening is the next best thing.
And, watching the SuperBowl this way, on a computer while exchanging real time comments with people from all around the world is so very different to the way I watched the game as a kid.