Al Bsharah Business Minded, Technically Inclined

Doing it Right: Video Stream


For the 2009 series, the USOpen has launched an on-line video stream for all of their broadcasts that is magnitudes better than any other I’ve seen to date.  I’m sure there are some good ones I may have missed, but this one has fantastic features that can’t be overlooked.

This is a game-changing way to watch tennis.  First, I’m not the type of person who will go out of my way to watch the game, but have found myself doing so.  If I could do this with football or hockey?  Trouble in the making!  I hope to see other stations and organizations following this fantastic business lead.  Read on for the features…

USOpen Live Broadcast Features
USOpen Live Broadcast Features

The stream is crisp, clear, and snappy to load up.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Once loaded, you’re presented with a number of options right on the screen:

  • View other courts (top left):  This displays video from all 5 courts that have feeds as well as scores, clicking on one will take you to that broadcast.
  • Game statistics (bottom left):  Aces, 1st Server %, Double Faults, Win % on 1st/2nd serves, Winners, Unforced Errors, Receiving Points Won, Break Pt. conversions, Total Points Won, Net Approaches.  Real time, ON SCREEN!
  • Fanbook (top right):  Sign up for an account, and you can comment on the match along the way…or just sit their and read if you don’t want to interact.
  • Picture in Picture (bottom right):  Yep, pick one of the other stadiums and you can watch a smaller stream of that!  Click the “swap” button, and voila…PIP is swapped.  Awesome.

Click on the image in this article to see a full-screen version of the stream with all four options expanded.  clicking them again nicely hides them out of they way.

Better yet, head over to and watch for yourself!

What additional features can I imagine?  The ability to view your own camera angles instead of leaving that up to the event producer, ability to tie into your Facebook or Twitter account so whatever you type in the “Fanbook” section shows up on other social media sites, an alert for an amazing play you may have missed on another court (with the ability to quickly catch a replay), the list goes on…  I’m looking forward to the 2010 version!

What additional features can YOU imagine?  Have you seen a better player out there?  Let me know in the comments…

About the author

Al Bsharah

Al is the Managing Partner at Interlock Capital, a community-driven startup fund that allows seasoned or aspiring angel investors to get into amazing companies within their own budget. Al’s been involved in multiple San Diego startups since 1999 after leaving the Detroit auto industry as an electrical engineer. He's started two of his own companies where he's raised capital from both VCs and angels, and sold one of them to both Seismic and Return Path. He's graduated both Techstars and Founder Institute accelerator programs where he now mentors. In his free time he manages to play a little beach volleyball, invest in startups, trade stocks, and camp with his wife, son, dog, and friends.

By Al Bsharah
Al Bsharah Business Minded, Technically Inclined