Welcome to the inaugural edition of 1st and Tech. (Get it? Like 1st and Ten? Let's keep the applause to a minimum.) This is going to be my column about sports in the tech and media world. Let's face it, we all like sports, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say if you're under the age of 60, you like technology too. So I'm going to cover everything from TV to apps, and hopefully everyone enjoys it. I'm a bit of a tech nerd myself, so seeing how sports and tech intertwine is right up my alley. I'll even post some reviews from time to time.
Disclaimer: I obviously don't work for a major company who gets products sent to me. That hampers my ability to give an opinion on EVERYTHING. I own a Macbook Pro, iPad mini, iPhone 5S, and XBox One, along with some other gadgets. I don't currently own any Android devices but I do understand that they make up a major portion of the market. If you want to give an opinion or even review a sports related product for your Droid or other device, I'll certainly be open to posting guest opinions/reviews in the column. Tweet me @Eric_TJRSports if you have an idea. So here we go, let's boot it up.
No Baseball for XBox This Year (Video Games)
Were you someone who just picked up a shiny new XBox One when they launched in November? Well, hopefully you didn't buy it because you wanted to play MLB2K in 2014 (which I think is highly unlikely, but still). 2K Sports recently announced that they let their MLB license expire and will no longer be producing the MLB2K franchise. In terms of quality baseball games, this isn't a major blow since Sony's 'The Show' has always been the class of baseball simulations. This does however, pose a major problem: no baseball for XBox owners! What happens now? Well no one knows exactly. My hope is that EA jumps back onto the baseball field and revitalizes their MVP series that everyone knew and loved. If anyone can give Sony some competition, it would seem the makers of Madden could be up to the task.
Thursday Night Football...coming to another cable network near you? (TV)
It is being reported that the NFL is actively seeking bids from various cable networks for co-rights to Thursday Night Football broadcasts. These broadcasts would be alongside the NFL Network's own presentation of the game. Some reported networks expected to bid are ESPN and Turner networks, however the amount each is willing to bid is unclear. This is clearly a move by the NFL to generate some more revenue for their Thursday night games, which haven't been as successful as they had hoped. It makes sense to me since the major thing that hurts the Thursday night game is that not everyone has the NFL Network in their cable lineup. (Or have to pay for it at a premium).
Give the Gift of Baseball (App)
MLB At Bat, the most successful sports app of all time is now allowing people to gift subscriptions of their app to others. The subscription ($19.99) includes access for one season to real-time scores, video highlights, MLB.TV (with a separate subscription), and blackout-free radio broadcasts (home or away) for every game. There are plenty of other features also, but these are the major ones. Previously, if someone wanted to gift a subscription they would have to buy a gift card to an app store, and then that person would need to redeem the gift card, and buy the app. Obviously, this is a much cleaner setup. Makes sense all around.
Improve Your Game (Tech)
Earlier this month, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Las Vegas. This is typically a place where companies introduce new tech such as TV's and such for the coming year. Well, in a random bit of news, a company called Zepp stopped by to talk about a sports sensor that is for use in golf, tennis or baseball. The sensor attaches to your club, racket or bat and analyzes your swing. It syncs up to an iOS or Android app to record all your data. This actually seems like it could be very useful as a training tool. The sensors retail for $149. Here's a video of it's use for tennis.
That's all for the inaugural edition. Like I said earlier, if there's something you'd like me to discuss or even something YOU would like to review, let me know at @Eric_TJRSports.
Eric Cooper is a writer for TJRSports. His main focuses are on MLB, NFL, and now Tech. When not focusing on sports he likes to spend time with his wife, son and dog. He is also still somewhat in shock that Brooklyn Nine-Nine won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy. I mean, really? You can follow him on Twitter @Eric_TJRSports.