However... NO SCORE DATA in the free API?! That's the only useful information. Just limit free API usage so I can at least toy with it without having to completely sell my soul.
So basically, all I can do through the public API is pull news headlines. Without paying ESPN, all I can build is a free app (no ads either!) and use it to add headlines to direct traffic to your site. There is no incentive for any developer to use this.
Here's a hint ESPN: you already have free "Headlines API." They're called RSS feeds.
There, every headline you could want from ESPN.
Oh, you want something more specific? Here, I just created my own feed for LSU Baseball: http://search.espn.go.com/rss/lsu-baseball/
Disclaimer, I work for CBS Interactive, the parent company of CBS Sports.
I can tell you that this wasn't a hasty response from ESPN - we've been fighting for this in some shape or form for years now internally. Chris and his boss deserve a lot of credit for making space internally to make this happen.
There's a lot more behind this than meets the eye. Internally, these APIs essentially power all of ESPN's mobile alerts, fantasy products, etc. That's not a response to CBS.
Give these guys time. It takes longer to get a big company to move, especially when the potential market opportunity seems like a rounding error on the cable TV profits (at least to said TV execs). You've got a good person on the inside trying to open up more data. Don't give up on them, give them feedback - they're listening.
Pretty much everything in the TOS is some variant of "you must comply with this" and "we are not responsible for notifying you when we change it." This seems like a raw deal to me.
Updating for bugs is hard enough. But, this API forces developers to comply with UI guidelines (which are impossible to even write tests for) without anything back.
The API even requires that all financial transactions go through CBSi. Wow.
The following default rules apply to all Apps:
- Branding. All Apps must include an approved ESPN trademark, logo or other
intellectual property (each, an "ESPN Mark").
- Advertising. No advertising or sponsorship of any kind may appear on or be
associated with any App (unless included in the Content made available by
- No Charge. All Apps must be offered free of charge to download or
otherwise access and may not contain any in-App purchase features.
If you are interested in creating a for-profit App, please
contact us at email@example.com to discuss a
potential partnership opportunity. All for-profit Apps
must be pre-approved in writing by ESPN (such approval to
be granted or withheld in ESPN’s sole discretion). To the
extent any for-profit Apps are approved in writing by ESPN
(in its sole discretion), you will be solely responsible
for any and all taxes due in connection with the
distribution of such App in any territory.
And I highly recommend you consult with a lawyer before scraping for data if you plan to do anything public with it.
In 2009 Fox Sports Net along with ESPN were the only two cable channels with subscriber fees of over $1. Full list: http://allthingsd.com/20100308/hate-paying-for-cable-heres-t...
We're using them at StarStreet.com and have been really happy with them.
Let me know if you'd like an intro to them, we just split a booth with them at the sloan sports conference and their new stuff is really exciting.
But it'll look great in your portfolio!
"Branding. All Apps must include an approved ESPN trademark, logo or other intellectual property (each, an "ESPN Mark").
Advertising. No advertising or sponsorship of any kind may appear on or be associated with any App (unless included in the Content made available by ESPN).
No Charge. All Apps must be offered free of charge to download or otherwise access and may not contain any in-App purchase features."
Correct me if I'm wrong - but they've made it impossible to monetize my effort, correct? I don't see how this will go anywhere if that is the case. It seems like they just want developers to build extra ESPN apps for them, and then give them all away for free. Ugh.
The data is there. The tech is here. It's the lawyers holding this back. And the CEOs who think they'll still be able to rake in huge profits from selling TV rights 5 years from now.
ESPN, you know cableTV is what made you, you should be smart enough to realize that cableTV has started its decline.
Would love to see ESPN/Disney/ABC partner with Apple to build a real interactive TV platform.
With Iger being on the Apple board of directors and recently purchasing a chunk of AAPL stock for himself, it's quite possible that he'll do whatever he can to help Apple get access to ESPN/Disney/ABC content.
Probably not going to happen but to entertain a wild speculative guess, he could finesse an AAPL buyout of Disney/ESPN/ABC too if the partnership is successful from their business viewpoints.
Lots of family-friendly products too, which is something that is always key for both companies.
The time is now. Consumers are increasingly not seeing the value in cable TV any more, where is that $100+/month going to go? Apple, Amazon, Netflix? Apple has the closest thing to a real TV app platform, and lots of developers behind it too. The content is the missing piece.
Possibly an indicator of how this will go: watch what the newspaper/mag/book publishers do with a new retina iPad. Do they finally embrace? Do they stop putting out glorified PDFs of their print products and calling them digital magazines? Was Apple able to partner with anyone for the iPad3 launch? 5 years from now it's going to be an expensive luxury to get a printed newspaper or magazine delivered to your house. Everyone is ready for this EXCEPT the content producers!
Nice try though.
The only problem is that I'm not sure how many play fantasy basketball.
For those curious, the API limits for basic users:
>1 Calls per second
>2,500 Calls per day
However, it doesn't sound like the same protection is afforded in the UK with regards to the English and Scottish Premier Leagues based on the link you provided.
Perhaps an expert can say whether it is legal to make money via advertisements if you use this data.
It sounds to me to be clearly a tool for fans, not "Entepreneurs". I know tons of people who would love to analyze sports data for enjoyment, not profit. Since the data is so hard to get access to anyway, this API is a way to let those who are interested play around with things without being a potential competitor. ESPN wins, fans win. "Sort of like Zynga for sports-focused Foursquare groups" gets no dice, apparently.
We used services like Superfeedr to grab a variety of RSS feeds, including ESPN's, to grab headlines.
ESPN, CBS Sports, the Yahoo Fantasy Football API are all middlemen when it comes to sports. The only thing they own is original video content (talking heads, not highlights) and their headlines & articles. Don't look to them for the solution. Its a big step forward for an organization like ESPN to do this, but its going to be much slower than the speed of tech-focused companies that are the usual on HN.
From my experience, better to build around ESPN and others than to try to work with them to push innovation forward.
Disclaimer: I'm one of the founders of Fanvibe, and also used to work at ESPN.
if(ESPN_API.CommercialApplications == NOT_ALLOWED)
// Work for free to further ESPN brand
// Can't make any money
// Now they are being realistic
// We can all make some money
Or you can try OddsMiner.com, I don't know what their pricing is like but if it's a small project it sounds like they're flexible.
My first reaction was to scrape data, but as it's for a fantasy league, which runs for at least an entire season, there is a good chance the scraper will break a few times during the season, potentially requiring a re-write. This isn't ideal if on the week it breaks I don't have time to update the code.
Generates recaps/box-scores that are used by....yup, ESPN TrueHoop bloggers.
It'll cost you some money, but depending on how much you value your time, it could still be a bargain.
ESPN: "Hey guys we are cool, right? We opened up our API so that anyone at ESPN can use. Let's tell the world!!"