New Social Turf Lets Fans Talk Sports and Bash Rivals

During this year’s NFL playoff season, SportStream, a San Francisco-based startup, will sift through the Twitter and Facebook noise that typically clogs social streams to create a single web destination that provides everything a plugged-in fan could need: team news, conversation, real-time player stats, Fantasy football updates — even a play-by-play ball marker showing the game in progress.

“Eighty-three percent of sports fans check social media sites during games,” SportStream CEO Bob Morgan told Wired. So, he figured, why not create a web app that provided a virtual hangout for those watching the playoffs on their sofas or local bars.

According to a 2012 report from Google, we are now “a nation of multi-screeners“(pdf), flipping from one device to another as we simultaneously watch television, browse the internet and connect with friends on social media. By partnering with the Seattle Seahawks, SportStream is conducting a pilot program for a site that takes a team website, with its typical player bios and schedules, and overlays the social media chatter and real-time data that surrounds the game at hand. So whether fans are on social media to support their team or talk trash, the web app allows those on both sides of the ball to connect in one place.

Through their deal with the Seahawks, the company hopes to connect fans to former players, local media personalities, as well as each other. Instead of relying on particular hashtags to group content together, the SportStream platform has enough smarts to look for context. For instance, the program will scour through Twitter and Facebook streams looking for team players names, their nicknames, or any associated mention of the game you’re following.

Aside from the deal with the Seahawks, SportStream’s web app allows fans to connect with basic functions within most NFL, NBA and NCAA College Football games. The app still filters relevant tweets and Facebook posts, and allows users to log in to leave real-time comments.

Assuming the pilot program with the Seahawks is successful, soon NCAA men’s basketball will use SportStream’s social aggregator, providing a much needed reboot to their teams’ websites.

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