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Sports Applications Technology

Commercial Break Expands Focus to Cover Sports with Live Events Feature

September 09, 2013


It wasn't so long ago that we got a look at Commercial Break, the app that was going to change the way people watch television by alerting users when a commercial break was about to happen, and when it was about to end so that users could more effectively change channels so as to always be watching something. But now, Commercial Break is about to expand its functionality and make for some very happy sports fans with its newly-minted “Live Events” feature.

The Live Events feature of Commercial Break works much the same way that the rest of Commercial Break works, offering up the ability for iOS and Android (News - Alert) users alike to follow an event and get reminders about not only its start time, but about incoming commercial breaks and a warning about when said breaks are likely to finish. With Live Events, however, Commercial Break will be able to support most of the MLB (News - Alert), NFL, and NCAA Football games in the 2013-2014 season, conforming to the standard array of blackout rules.

The regular Commercial Break works much the same way, offering notifications when a commercial block arrives and a second notification when it's about to end, so those who have switched to another program while waiting out the commercial break can return to the first program without losing any time. Haim Kairy, Commercial Break's co-founder and CEO, offered a bit of explanation on just what kind of value Commercial Break can offer, particularly for sports fans: “Ideally, every fan would have a wall of TVs tuned in to every game. But since that is not a reality for most people, Commercial Break helps sports fans get the most out of their cable package by allowing them to spend less time watching commercials and more time watching premium live action.”

This is exactly the kind of thing that has to have cable and satellite providers quaking in their collective boots. Granted, the practice of channel hopping has been around since the remote control first arrived and even before then—jokes about being “my dad's remote control” by standing by the television set to rapidly change channels have been around for some time—it's always come with a level of risk for those involved. After all, it was likely that the practitioner would miss in one direction or another, leaving said user watching the tail end of a commercial block just to be sure the show was picked up, or leaving the user just a little late, missing part of a program in the process. Many likely figured themselves to be better off just watching the commercials so as to be sure to get back with the full program. But with a service like this, the chance of missing in either direction falls through the floor, leaving the viewer in the catbird seat regarding cutting out commercials.

Of course, this has been available since the days of the VCR on one level or another, so to suggest that it may have dire consequences for television may be overstating things. But one thing's for sure: if this kind of thing keeps up television may have to find a new way to bring in revenue.

Edited by Alisen Downey