ESPN intros a Twitter-like stream for sports news

The feed allows sports fans to view breaking sports news at it develops and create lists of the user’s preferences.
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ESPN has introduced SportsCenter Feed, a Twitter-like stream of all sports news, all the time. It releases more than a 1,000 items each day with updates at least once a minute.

The feed, launched last week in beta, allows sports fans to view breaking sports news at it develops and create lists of the user’s favorite athletes, reporters and other content—including articles, highlights, blog posts, scores, stats, videos and audio content from all of ESPN.com and many of its affiliates.

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Users customize their feed to show all stories, top stories, most popular stories or to browse only videos. The content contains of the information available on ESPN’s network of sports sites—all in a single stream.

Users can log into their ESPN.com account and it automatically loads any previously saved favorite sports. So users of the feed can stream stories from a select view areas, which might include NCAA football, NFL, NCAA basketball or golf.

According to the website, GigaOM, the stream will not feature long pieces or content from related sites like Grantland, due to the difficulty of covering materials for such a wide base of fans.

SportsCenter Feed, said Ryan Spoon, senior vice president of product development at ESPN, provides the company with a way to help fans find better content more frequently and help them discover stories they might have missed. “We produce so much content over time it becomes difficult to uncover it all for fans,” Spoon told GigaOM. “Our goal is to create another presentation layer that is real time and is streaming.”

The feed was born of an internal “hackathon” using ESPN’s own APIs, which the network opened up in March, GigaOM reported. The product is a good example of what developers can do with ESPN’s API program, Spoon noted.

The feed has begun as a URL (http://espn.go.com/espn/sportscenter/feed/), but will eventually get its own mobile and tablet apps and be integrated with other ESPN properties.