DirecTV Stream creates personalized hub for teams, live sports

DirecTV Stream is building up its sports streaming arsenal by making it easier for viewers to search team-specific content.

The service last week rolled out what it’s calling the My Teams carousel, a personalized hub that lets users keep track of the sports teams they want to follow.

Viewers can search for teams with DirecTV Stream’s Team Selector. From there, they can access a dedicated home page containing a team’s live and upcoming games in one place, as well as set a recording for a particular team.

DirectTV Stream has also added pages showcasing team matchups. The pages will display the scores and status of live games and provide information for future matches between the teams.

These user enhancements are now available on DirecTV Stream devices – including the Osprey set top box. DirecTV Stream plans to roll out the features to smart TV operating systems like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV and other platforms.

The service also unveiled a safeguard against sports blackouts, which can occur if a scheduled sporting event isn’t aired in a specific market – usually due to contract disputes between sports leagues and programming providers. Should viewers encounter an interruption, DirecTV Stream’s Blackout Playback will redirect them to that same game on an alternate channel, if available.

According to a DirecTV Stream spokesperson, these new features make it “easier for users to keep up with their favorite team and ensure they don’t miss a moment of action.”

The service upgrades come a few months after DirecTV Stream launched its first set of enhancements for sports streaming, including an automatic extension feature for overtime games.

Livestreamed events are a huge draw for people interested in sports content, as recent data from Parks Associates suggests. Streaming services are trying to reel in sports fans by scooping up distribution agreements for certain sporting events.

Apple, Disney and Amazon are currently vying for the rights of the NFL Sunday Ticket package, with YouTube also reportedly in the mix.

Amazon, which will stream the NFL’s Thursday Night Football on Prime Video starting next month, has tapped Nielsen to measure the broadcasted games.

In other distribution-related news, Apple in June secured a 10-year deal to stream Major League Soccer games, and Disney’s ESPN retained its Formula 1 racing rights for another three years.

While streamers are seeking distribution agreements, other companies are launching their own direct-to-consumer sports streaming services. Last month, the NFL launched NFL+ – marking the first time the league is providing broad access to NFL games via streaming.

Sinclair’s Bally Sports+ regional sports network, which had a soft launch in June, is geared to fully launch on September 26.