Twitter changes how we watch sports !

Last night as I sat down to watch the live coverage of the Amgen Tour of California on Eurosport I also switched on the twitter application tweetdeck on the laptop . I noticed @carltonreid ( all usernames on twitter begin with @ )  had ‘tweeted’ that both Eurosport commentators Brian Smith ( @cyclevox) and David Harmon ( @spokesmen ) were on twitter and I decided to check them out .

Everything on Twitter is fast and user friendly so within 3o seconds I was now following the tweets of both commentators . Just as the live coverage was due to begin and ski jumping was all that was to be seen @cyclevox posted that the coverage would be running late and would not begin until 11.00 pm . There  was no mention on the TV itself but Twitter was keeping us up to date .

Then I noticed that tweets were coming from some of the journalists and team cars on the race itself . ( look up #atoc on twitter ) . @lancearmstrong ‘s manager @johanbruyneel was giving great info from the Astana team car . @bikeradar and @fredcast were giving fantastic live detailed coverage through out and @socalcycling was there towards the end of the stage .

When the TV coverage began weather conditions in California were too bad for the helicoptors to fly and both Brian Smith @cyclevox and David Harmon @spokesmen,did a great job to keep us entertained without any live shots to comment on . Then I noticed that some of their comments were being delivered shortly after similar tweets were being posted . They too were on twitter and using it to keep them informed .

Race radio ( a special broadcast to all team cars to keep them informed as to what is happening up front ) then commented that Armstrong had punctured but was back on the bike quickly . This was relayed by the journalists until @lizkreutz , who was travelling in the back of the Astana team car , posted a picture via twitter of the actual wheel with 2 broken spokes which can be seen here :

Then with tv shots still unavailable @fredcast began to stream live video from a car in the cavalcade , which displayed just how bad the conditions at the time were .

Both commentators were doing a fantastic job under the circumstances , as the tv shots that they were receiving were pretty bad but they still managed to convey the excitement of the final part of the stage . The twitterati in the cavalcade were also in full flow and I really felt as if I was there in the rain with Francesco Mancebo as he crossed the line to take the stage win .

Twitter really has surpassed other forms of live coverage such as ‘s live updates which are good , but come from just one journalist and require constant refreshing of your browser .

Yesterday also , @lancearmstrong ‘s bike was stolen along with 3 others and the first place he contacted was Twitter where he even offered a reward for it’s safe return . He has over 100,000 followers on twitter so that’s a lot of people immediatly on the case .

I have also been enjoying @willcarling , the former England rugby captain’s live tweet’s as he commented on England’s last two six nations games . How long before Keith Wood does the same for us ?

Twitter gets you straight to the heart of the action , or directly in contact with people you could never dream of communicating with before . I have facebook and bebo profiles but find them too time consuming , and just haven’t gotten into them , although they probably are worthwhile . @daraghdoyle put it well on today’s morning Ireland radio programme ‘ Bebo and Facebook connect you with those you used to know , Twitter connects you with those you want to get to know ‘

We are on there too . Follow @worldwidecycles to see what we are up to !


4 thoughts on “Twitter changes how we watch sports !

  • February 16, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Great post, Barry. Serious problems with the video feed today, you’d think it was from the back end of Mayo rather than Cupertino!

    Do us a favour and link all the @names to their profile pages so readers can easily follow them.

    Alastair (@AMcDermott)

  • February 18, 2009 at 7:00 am

    amazing – I’ve been trying to find a good article giving a use for Twitter in the ‘real world’ and this just might help non-techies see the benefits! And ironically, I found this article through Twitter 🙂
    great writing all!

  • February 18, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Alastair – good thinking I’ve just done that

    Neal – Thanks , I guess you being over in New Zealand shows just how small twitter makes the world

  • February 19, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    tell me about it – I can easily keep up with news cause of the ‘net. Although Twitter in different timezones isn’t as easy 🙂


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