Homer Couch

Lives sports are increasingly enjoyed by viewers watching not only their TVs, but also simultaneously surfing the web and following the online conversation via a second screen device. SportStream has long been one of the best apps for this purpose, delivering a personalized Twitter feed of relevant analysts, athletes, and fans engaging with the same content. Today, the company is releasing an updated version of its iOS and desktop Web apps which applies the same personalized filtration technology to Facebook.

Not only does the SportStream Uberstream include a similar collection of relevant public commentary around the sporting event, but given the more personal nature of facebook, it pulls in the relevant newsfeed posts of a user’s friends who are also watching and engaging with the same game. Two users watching different football games simultaneously will see dramatically different SportStream feeds, with each containing content specific to their game of choice and to their own Facebook friends list.

“Sports fans are increasingly relying on Facebook for team news, injury reports, special content and interviews,” says SportStream CEO Bob Morgan. ““We feel like this is the modern approach to following the game. We’ve done our best to harness interesting voices and get a 360 degree view of the conversation.”

The Facebook integration was not just an off the shelf implementation of its public API, morgan tells me. The CEO and his team worked closely with members of the Facebook developer team to customize the API to meet their unique personalization needs in this case.

The new Facebook integration gives SportStream users the ability to identify, engage with, and even share this content from across the social network, directly within the app, and amid the rest of the ongoing game-related digital conversation. While Twitter might rule for immediacy, but facebook still dominates both in breadth and depth of engagement. There are some impressive stats in the world of sports on Facebook that illustrate just how critical of a role the social network plays in this specific vertical.

The Los Angeles Lakers have more than 11 million Facebook fans compared to 2.8 million Twitter followers. Their star player, Kobe Bryant, has 14.4 million of his own fans. The New York Yankees, on a similar note, have 3.5 million Facebook fans compared to 350,000 plus Twitter followers. Lastly, the San Francisco 49ers have 1.5 million Facebook fans versus just 270,000 Twitter Followers. With these numbers, and the level of in-game engagement that SportStream captures via the platform, the app is a far richer experience for having the added integration.

No longer are sports fans who enjoy watching the game from the comfort of their own homes forced to do so in isolation. Rather, they are able to do so surrounded by thousands of the most informed, engaged, and personally relevant fans on Twitter and now Facebook. The app brings the television newsroom, the stadium, the local pub, the watercooler, and the team marketing department into the users’ living rooms and allows them to share in the discussion. If flatscreen HD TVs were already cannibalizing sporting event ticket sales, the ongoing advancement of second screen technologies like SportStream stands to make the live event a truly second class experience.