Social Media

Know the Score: Get Real-Time Sports Updates Using Twitter or RSS

Justin Pot 16-10-2013

Get the scores – and only the scores – of your favorite teams on Twitter. is accurately named, and is a solid service that does this. Unfortunately, only the “Big Four” North American leagues are covered here – MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL.


Wish there were more teams, or that you could get scores outside Twitter? Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to set up an RSS feed providing you with the scores from a few more leagues, then show you a variety of tools for round-the-clock updates.

End-Of-Game Scores On Twitter

Head to Really Simple Scores and you’ll see a quick explanation of the concept.simple-scores-home From here you can pick a league from the top bar. Once you do, you’ll see a list of teams.simple-scores-nhl Clicking a team will bring you to a Twitter feed. All this Twitter feed does is tell you the final score of any games this team is involved in.simple-scores-leafs Follow all of the teams you’re interested in. Alternatively, if you want every score in the league to show up in your timeline, you can find a page for entire leagues at the top of the league page.simple-scores-league Want notifications on your mobile device? Be sure to enable mobile notifications for tweets on your device, then allow them on the mobile app you’re using.simple-scores-notifications This lets you get score updates on your mobile device without the need for a dedicated app.

Live Scores RSS Feeds

“Why Twitter?”, you might be asking. “Why can’t I just use an RSS feed? I could use that to show live scores almost anywhere…” It’s a great point, but none of the major leagues offer anything like this for obvious reasons: they don’t want to give every site on the web an easy way to offer live scores.

There is an unofficial solution, however, that scrapes data from ESPN and puts it into an RSS feed. This post at XDA-Developers used to offer links to RSS feeds that did just that, but don’t try to use them – they don’t work anymore as of this writing. What does work is the link to a .zip full of PHP files you can put on your own server.

Please note that this will only work if you have access to a web server.  Sorry, there’s no way around this – and we can’t host the service ourselves for legal reasons.



If you have a website of your own, and FTP access to it, setting this up isn’t hard. Copy the file for the league(s) you’re interested in to any folder on your web server. Copy the link to the file – it’s now the link to your  RSS feed, which will constantly sync with ESPN for scoring updates. Note that your server must be PHP compatible for this to work (if your site runs WordPress, your server is PHP compatible).

Do you not have your own website, or access to a web server? The best I can do is tell you to ask a site-owning friend for help. It’s not a huge file, and installation is easy, so they’ll probably be willing to help if you ask nicely/provide beer.

What can you do with this feed? You could use it with your RSS reader, though that might be annoying. You could combine it with a variety of other apps, though. I used this to add live NHL scores to the bottom of XBMC’s home screen.



(I outline how to change XBMC’s default RSS feed in the MakeUseOf XBMC manual How to Set Up Your XBMC Media Center XBMC may have evolved into Kodi, but if you have an old version installed this guide will help you set it up and get started. Read More , if you’re not sure how).

Of course, you can use an RSS feed to show information just about anywhere. You could use Feedrolller to add an RSS ticker to your Windows desktop FeedRoller - One Of The Most Interesting Ways To Read Your RSS Feeds [Windows] The grave has been dug for Google Reader. It's almost dead and gone, and I'll surely miss it. It definitely surprised me to hear that they were putting an end to this beloved service, but... Read More , or you could try using a Mac menu bar app for RSS feeds 3 Great Menu Bar Apps to Stay on Top of Your RSS Feeds [Mac] For me, RSS feeds are the ideal way to keep up to date with all the websites I'm interested in - a centralised news-pool, so you don't have to check your browser every five minutes... Read More . It’s entirely up to you.

Other Alternatives

Twitter and RSS are cool, but where else can you get the latest scores automatically? Just about anywhere, thanks to IFTTT‘s ESPN channel, which can send scores to your email, SMS or anything else Turn Your Email, SMS Inbox, Or Anything Into A Scoreboard With IFTTT And ESPN Keep up with your favorites sports team, however you like. The new ESPN channel for If This Then That (ifttt) means you can easily set up SMS, email and even phone notifications for your favorite... Read More . Pick from a variety of triggers, then send up-to-the-moment updates wherever you want.Know the Score: Get Real-Time Sports Updates Using Twitter or RSS epsn ifttt trigger Or, if you’re more of a smartphone user, you could get detailed sports scores and stats Get Detailed Sports Scores And Stats With ESPN Scorecenter [Android & iOS] Whether you'd like to admit it or not, everyone has a favorite team in at least one sport. I follow multiple teams myself across different sports and always want to be able to follow their... Read More from the ESPN app for iOS and Android. It does real-time updates and a lot more. I had a hard time finding dedicated desktop apps, sadly. I want to know what tools you use, though. Is getting scores on Twitter or RSS enough, or do you prefer dedicated apps for the job? Let me know below, okay?


Image credit: Peter Bond

Related topics: Sports, Twitter.

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  1. Sebastien
    January 4, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Are the files still working? I can't seem to be getting any information on the NHL file...

  2. Nick
    December 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    But how can you get ESPN's feed into an RSS feed for use on a website? IFTTT does't offer that after you select ESPN, and you can't seem to get an ESPN feed with JUST SCORES.

    • Justin Pot
      March 4, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      I missed this comment, but I answer the question in the article. Download the script, put it on a web server, and you've got yourself an RSS feed that scrapes sports scores. It works great.