Just as social media turned everyone into a publisher (of sorts), new streaming platforms allow ordinary people to become their own TV station – for viewing and broadcasting. The current focus of these new platforms is sports, but we expect expansion to other media types in the not-too-distant future.
NBC Sports Live Extra (Apple TV and Roku) and TV Everywhere (iOS, Android, and a variety of web browsers) deliver about 3,000 live streaming events to TVs, laptops, and mobile devices per year. This number includes special events like the Triple Crown and NBC sports programs like “Sunday Night Football.” Sports fans watch the events they want, when they want to watch them, on the device of their choice—in essence, becoming the producer of their own sports channel.
Alison Moore, GM and EVP of TV Everywhere, calls real-time sports programming with a cross-device reach a “crown jewel” in the TV Everywhere initiative.
Rabble.TV takes things a step further, giving users a way to create their own audio broadcasts. Co-founder Ryan Tyrell says many sports fans are tired of national sportscasters. “They spout clichés as they emotionlessly call games that matter to us,” he says. Rabble’s open broadcast platform allows users to hear games broadcast by other fans or produce their own – creating what Tyrell calls an “audio democracy”.
“Rabble allows fans to take charge of their game experience by giving them the ability to create or listen to live broadcasts from fans just as passionate as they are,” says Tyrell.
In a sense, Rabble.TV is a natural extension of what sports fans already do when they use social media to engage during games. It is also the beginning of a new era in which TV has more in common with an app platform than a broadcast medium.
Indeed, the Rabble platform lets users create broadcasts about any TV show or movie, opening up a world of possibilities, especially for passionate fans of shows (think “The Walking Dead”), as well as one-night events like music awards shows and political debates.