Monday, September 15, 2008


Watching Tennis using Linux

Watching sports online is harder than it should be especially if you are a Linux user. One can definitely get the sense that Linux users are being locked out. In previous years I was able to listen to tennis radio for the US Open and Australian Open using mplayer:

mplayer -nocache -playlist

One of the main ways to see tennis is ATP Master Series TV. Unfortunately one must be able to use at least Windows Media Player 9. It is possible (in theory) to overcome the this limitation and create a wmv file without DRM with lots of effort. Another stumbling block is the appearance of RTMP or Real Time Messaging Protocol which Linux doesn't seem to be able to handle. As a result I wasn't able to listen to US Open radio this year.

I was able to see the US Open final on my computer by watching channel 4 which is the CBS affiliate in Buffalo New York. They didn't show all the matches and CBS seemed to only show tennis on Friday or the weekend. Another method is to scan file sharing services like rapidshare or megaupload and checking newsgroups like Generally speaking it's best to avoid wmv files as it's becoming more and more likely that wmv files will contain DRM.

Another couple of possibilities for viewing tennis may be Betfair and MyP2P. I haven't had the chance to view tennis on these sites but there is a ATP challenger event "Szczecin" scheduled for tomorrow. I'll report later on this with regards to Linux compatibility.

UPDATE: Yes, it is possible to see sports on betfair and other betting sites like Bwin under Linux. The video size is very small but the frame rate wasn't bad. I had to update to Shockwave Flash 9.0 r124 by downloading the newest file. I watched some of the Pekao Open in Poland which is an ATP challenger event. Rafal Gozdur of Poland was playing Juan Pablo Brzezicki of Argentina, two guys I may never see on tv. It seems that MyP2P is merely links to other sites like Betfair and Bwin.


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