I’m not a cord-cutter, but I hope to be in the near future.
We’re still hooked up to FIOS up here in Fishtown, so if I’m not watching the Sixers or Flyers or Phillies on TV, the routine has been to log in to NBC Sports Philadelphia via our cable provider and stream the games on my laptop. Then my wife watches Below Deck or The Real Housewives or whatever is on Bravo.
It’s been possible to stream games on the NBC Sports app since 2014, and a new service also allows you to stream local non-game footage from out of market locations.
Now NBC Sports is running out another app for Philly fans.
Dubbed the MYTeams app, NBC Sports’ new mobile and tablet app wraps up coverage from NBC’s 11 regional sports networks, including NBC Sports Philadelphia, into an interface that focuses on team verticals. There’s not even a home screen — just a slider at the bottom that lets fans scan for live video, highlights, and stories across all the teams they decide to follow.
“There’s a difference between how we cover sports in Philadelphia, especially as it relates to the voice and tone of our coverage versus NBC Sports,” David Preschlack, president of NBC Sports Regional Networks, said. “I mean, we’re communicating to Philly fans in a really different way that Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison are on Sunday night, so there’s a different value to viewers.”
Fans will still need a cable subscription to view live game coverage, and the app is only available on smartphones and tablets, meaning viewers will still use the NBC Sports app to stream games on their television. Still, Preschlack said, the app is the largest non-game investment in the regional sports network’s history. The network hopes the app will counter a narrative in Philadelphia that NBC Sports is cutting back.
My first thought is that I’d rather have fewer apps than more apps. I remember when Facebook rolled out their messenger app, which was totally separate from the main app and took up a lot of space on your device. That was sort of a head-scratcher. In that regard, I’d prefer NBC just roll these two apps together.
The MYteams interface is a little funky, with no real menu and a slider that allows you to switch between your chosen teams, as Kyle demonstrates:
NBC Sports My Teams app introduces the most pointless UI element I have ever seen pic.twitter.com/uxGhAPKXbh
— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) October 16, 2018
Beyond that, it’s pretty clean. There are no options for Villanova, Temple, the Union, or anything beyond the “four major sports,” of course, but there are toggles for push notifications and breaking news, which can be filtered by team. Maybe I can try out the live streaming tonight.
I don’t know if I’m the target consumer for something like this, since I spend all day glued to a computer anyway, but I’m not sure if two apps makes sense when everything could just be wrapped into one, i.e. the local element becomes part of the NBC Sports app where you go to stream the games on your device via your cable provider.
Anyway, I’ll mess around with this thing and see how it is.