Comcast Spruces Up X1 Sports App for Football

Comcast said it has tweaked and enhanced its set-top-based X1 Sports app for the  NFL and NCAA football seasons, promising it will feature more real-time data and visuals that sync up with the on-field action while also providing key pre- and post-game info.

Update: Some Comcast customers expected the new app to be ready for NCAA football action on Saturday, Sept. 5, but the operator confirmed that the X1 Sports app for College Football will live by next weekend's games (September 12).  Comcast noted that the update for the Extras app required a massive upgrade of stats and, given that there is no-preseason for NCAA, that it needed a full slate of games to complete its final testing. But Comcast acknowledged that it did get questions on social media about it over the weekend and said most subs were happy to hear it's on the way and excited about the upgrade.

Comcast and Philadelphia-based tech partner OneTwoSee launched the capability in July with “Baseball Extras,” a feature that illustrates info such as pitcher-hitter and team-to-team matchup info, tracks fantasy points and computes win probabilities. Comcast and OneTwoSee also did some similar work on some NFL games from last season, including post-season games. OneTwoSee’s platform, which can also work on mobile devices, takes data from sporting events and converts them into easy-to-understand visuals.

For football, the app will do that sort of thing, and more, Preston Smalley, executive director, product at Comcast Silicon Valley, explained in this blog post. The football-focused app will present pre-game player and team comparisons, injury reports, fantasy stats, win/loss probabilities, and post-game analysis, including a drive chart summary.

He said customers will also be able to keep the X1 Sports app on the TV screen and track their favorite teams regardless of what channel is tuned to.

While X1 Sports Extras is currently offered on the TV via X1, Smalley told Multichannel News earlier this year that Comcast also has interest to extend the same functionality to apps for tablets, smartphones and PCs.

Comcast is also working on revamped versions of the X1 Sports app for NASCAR and soccer, a spokesman noted.

Comcast is also testing a DVR In-Game Highlights feature that lets viewers jump to big plays in recorded football games and soccer matches, and recently added an option that extends live sporting event recordings in 30-minute increments when it’s detected that the game is running longer than its scheduled airtime.

X1 Sports Extras is “native” to the X1 guide, meaning it comes in over Comcast’s managed IP network, not via a public Internet connection.

Comcast has not announced how many customers are on X1, but the MSO has been deploying about 30,000 X1 boxes per day.