Know the Score: Get Real-Time Sports Updates Using Twitter or RSS
Get the scores – and only the scores – of your favorite teams on Twitter. ReallySimpleScores.com 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. From here you can pick a league from the top bar. Once you do, you’ll see a list of teams. 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. 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. 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. 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 , 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 , or you could try using a Mac menu bar app for RSS feeds . It’s entirely up to you.
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 . Pick from a variety of triggers, then send up-to-the-moment updates wherever you want. Or, if you’re more of a smartphone user, you could get detailed sports scores and stats 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
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