Tag Archives: football

Sportsbeat agency puts content online

National press agency Sportsbeat, which provides more than 20,000 stories a year to over 150 newspaper clients in Great Britain, has made its sports news available online for the first time.

New website www.morethanthegames.com will provide articles and blogs covering over 40 sports, excluding football, cricket and rugby union.

“The prospect of the 2012 Olympics has already seen an increase in appetite for content from the editors we supply,” said managing editor James Toney, in a press release.

“We are dedicated to providing coverage of these Olympics sports all year round – and not just the big international events but competitions at national, regional and local level.”

@FootyTweets saga: The ‘cease and desist’ emails in full

For a full explanation of the following emails, see ‘FootyTweets’ use of fixtures info breached copyright, says firm representing UK professional football leagues,’ on the Journalism.co.uk main site, which reports how the sport fansite FootyTweets and its Twitter feed will no longer use club logos or include live match updates, after receiving a cease and desist letter on behalf of the company which handles match report licences for the four professional UK football leagues.

Here are the emails from NetResult, on behalf of Football DataCo, sent to FootyTweets’ Ollie Parsley, asking him to change the way he used information and images for his site and Twitter feed:

Dear Sirs,


We write on behalf of the Football Data Co Limited which is the appointed licensee of the FA Premier League, the Football League, the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League (“the Leagues”) in respect of the licensing of certain intellectual property rights of the Leagues, including UK Club Crests, for use by third parties. We have noticed that your website http://footytweets.com/ is displaying UK Club Crests without permission.

We wish to make you aware that we have a good faith belief that your present use is an infringement of the Leagues’ legal rights and that all such unauthorised use must cease immediately. Please confirm by return your agreement to this and give your undertaking to cease all such infringements on any and all of your web sites. Pending your response the Leagues’ rights are fully reserved. We thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,
Philip Stubbs
NetResult A Division of Projector NetResult Ltd Broadway House,
2-6 Fulham Broadway,

Another email:

Hi Ollie,

Thanks for your reply. You can find our website at the following address


and we are also mentioned on the football dataco website at the following addresses (Football dataco license live data, fixtures and work on behalf of the UK leagues to protect their rights, NetResult helps protect these rights)

What We Do


I did send formal cease and desist emails to the addresses supplied on your footytweet site and the address in your DNS lookup, i can reforward these on to you tomorrow if you wish.

The logo and league crest content covers all UK domestic leagues. In order to use these you will need to contact the League and each club in question and ask for their permission to use the logos. All content will need to be removed until permission is granted.

Your site was actually bought to our attention by several clubs who are not happy their rights are being used unorthorised and have asked us to contact you to get this content removed.

Also, if you had planned to update scores during matches or add fixtures to your tweets you will need to purchase a license from Football DataCo that allows you to use this content.

If you have any further questions please do ask.

Kind Regards

Philip Stubbs

How to publish Twitter streams on news sites?

socialplumeAs covered earlier on this blog, there are various tools for tracking and engaging in conversations on Twitter, especially where hashtags are used. But how do you publish a themed Twitter stream on your news site or blog, and what other issues are there to consider?

We have experimented with various tools on this blog in order to stream hashtag-themed Tweets (a post on Twitter) into a blog post. The last attempt used a heavily modified WordPress plugin from Monittor. None have been completely satisfactory.

But why would journalists want to do this? Well, imagine if there is an event on your local beat like a football match or other sports game. People are already Twittering from these events. If they could be persuaded to use the same hashtag, then you have the potential of creating a live Twitter stream on your website – a live commentary but from the point of view of several fans, not just one reporter.

Similarly, it could be used to cover breaking news events, basing the Twitter stream on keywords, rather than a hashtag.

For this to work really well though, we decided several functions needed to be in place:

1. The ability to place a stream of Tweets, based on keyword(s) and/or hashtag(s), onto a web page and for that stream to dynamically update (ie not require a page refresh). Ideally the output to be called by <div> tags, rather than a Javascript insert, to cope with content management systems that reject JS in article bodies.

2. Access to legacy Tweets using pagination. The current tools we use only display the last 10 or so Tweets, with no access on our pages to what has been Tweeted before.

3. The ability for administrators to tag certain Tweets within a themed stream and create a new output on another page. The purpose of this is to allow an editor to easily create a summary of the best Tweets for archive purposes.

4. The ability for moderators to manually exclude certain Tweets from a Twitter stream (for moderation purposes).

5. The ability for users to login and post directly to a Twitter stream, from the page on which that Twitter stream is published.

6. Threading based on @replies (probably the most complex proposition in this list).

There did not seem to be any existing tools that covered even half these bases, so we put out a call on a local developer’s email list. Amazingly, it transpired that a local company in Brighton, Inuda, is currently working on a tool that will eventually tick almost all of the above boxes.

Called SocialPlume, the product aims eventually to become a modestly priced subscription service. Jonathan Markwell of Inuda was keen to stress that they are still some way off a public launch, but in the meantime they are keen to hear from publishers and journalists who might be keen to trial the service alongside ourselves. DM @journalismnews or @johncthompson if you are interested.

We would also love to hear other ideas and applications for this service that you might have (please leave a comment).

Guardian releases football data; BBC creates gossip widget

New releases from the Guardian and BBC for fans of football and online innovations alike.

First up, the Guardian’s new Chalkboards, which give users access to player and match data as soon as the final whistle goes. There’s a competitive edge to creating your data mashups too, as the best chalkboards will be awarded prizes.

(Here’s my first attempt below from one of my favourite football matches of recent times. And yes, I do live on past glories.)

Screenshot of Guardian's interactive football 'chalkboards'

Users will be able to embed the boards on their own sites, as the Guardian hopes to encourage discussion both off and on-site.

According to a release from the title, the feature is part of Guardian News & Media’s new product development programme.

Meanwhile (and a hat tip to Paul Bradshaw’s blog), the BBC has created a widget of football transfer gossip – most significantly, it aggregates rumour links from other news sites, which is part of the Beeb’s remit to make better use of external links.

Ole Ole expands football blogs network

Ole Ole – the network of user-generated football sites – has acquired six independent football blogs, paidContent:UK reports.

Team blogs The Lord of the Wing, Chelseablog, Harry Hotspur, Fans del Real Madrid, Real Madrid Talk and Boca Juniors Fans will all feature on the oleole.com site.

The new additions follow the recent acquisition of Arseblog by the network last month.

Guardian seeks independent producer for football podcast

The Guardian is searching for a new independent producer for its Football Weekly podcast.

According to an announcement via the Radio Academy, the application process for producing Football Weekly and Football Weekly Extra for the 2008/9 season is now open.

“After two really successful seasons working with production companies that shared the Guardian.co.uk vision and helped establish the programmes as the UK’s leading football podcast brand, we’re looking to build on the great work already done. We want to increase the reach and profile of the shows, and continue to be the net’s number one destination for football podcasts,” said Matt Wells, the Guardian’s head of audio, in the statement.

In January Wells told an industry gathering that the podcast was downloaded 80-100,000 times a week.

Mail & Guardian launches latest in blog series

South African newspaper the Mail & Guardian has added a third blog to its website – Sports Leader.

The sports blog will mix opinion and insight from 30 professionals, academics and ‘armchair commentators’, a release from the paper said.

The English Premier League will be covered alongside news from the Springboks rugby team and Bafana – the country’s national football team.

“There is a need for a space where people interested in a diverse range of sports can discuss and debate their sporting passion. What the Mail & Guardian brings through its editorial policy is quality debate and critique and what Sports Leader offers even further is interaction between the fans and their heroes,” Vincent Maher, online strategist at Mail & Guardian Online, said in the release.

Audio: Regional newspapers compete with football clubs online

lep image

Leading English football clubs are in competition as web publishers with local and regional newspapers.

Footballing giants, like Manchester United or Liverpool Football Club, have huge online and TV publishing arms which they use as revenue streams and to control the flow of news coming from the club.

But it’s not just the big clubs that have got in on the act.

Journalism.co.uk spoke to William Watt, digital sports reporter with the Lancashire Evening Post, about how he sees the changing landscape of online news now that smaller football clubs, like his local club Preston North End, are publishing their own stories on the web.


For the club hitting a good balance with the local media is the key.

“It’s a tricky job trying to be both press officer and web publisher,” Matt Morris, Preston North End’s media manager, told Journalism.co.uk.

“It throws up a conflict of interest at times as there are elements of competition between the club and the press.”

While there is an onus to feed good stories to the clubs website, he added, the club still needed to be promoted locally as it was in competition with several other local clubs for revenue, that necessitated having a good working relationship with the media and striking a balance between the needs of the club as an online publisher and feeding the local media.