Saturday night, an email from RUWTbot landed at 7 p.m.: The Marlins had a 3-0 lead on the Padres in the sixth inning. And there was a no-hitter going on. Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco held the Padres hitless until Scott Hairston led off the sixth with a homer to left.
On Wednesday night, two emails told me about two “hot” games – at 6:50 p.m., the Marlins and Giants going into the 10th inning tied at 9 on the MLB pay-per-view package channel 734, and at 7:24 p.m., the Cardinals and Mets tied at 7 going into the 10th inning (available on ESPN3.com website).
On Thursday, two more “hot” games — at 6:44 p.m., the Diamondbacks and Phillies were tied 2-2 going into the 10th (MLB Extra Innings Channel 732), and at 8:03 p.m., the Orioles and Phillies were tied at 5 going into bonus panels (MLB Extra innings and Fox Sports Maryland 672).
Friday, at 9:57 p.m., it was an alert to the Pirates-Cardinals scoreless game heading into extra innings. “Hot” again.
With each, there was a link to an Associated Press story to read about what happened after it ended, on the site.
Did we mention enough that the website “Are You Watching This?” (linked here) is pretty bitchin’?
Within 48 hours, we were alerted to the dual no-hitter going on in Tampa between the Rays and Tigers on Monday night.
Wow. That was easy.
For those who remain Twitter loyalists, the site also has a Twitter account – RUWT – with only 140 followers to date. On Monday, it sent out a tweet at 5:34 p.m. about the Rays-Tigers no-hitter in the top of the sixth.
At 6:53 p.m., someone named jjackel tweeted: “Just watched my first no-hitter thanks to areyouwatchingthis.com. I never would have watched Rays vs. Tigers otherwise.”
(By the way, the RUWTbot also has its own Twitter account, with 530 followers. His bio reads: “Listen up, human. Don’t be stupid. I can make sure you never miss an Instant Classic. Robot Power.”)
The additional benefit of checking out the website: It has TV listings of all the games your provider has for the next two weeks, as well as a list of the stations that you are actually able to receive.
Creator Mark Phillip (pictured right), says when he started this journey in September, 2006, he was “coding my brains out,” and finally launched it a couple months later. Then the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma played right into the concept.
“That’s when I knew it would work,” said Phillip. “And since then, the site has grown and changed in so many ways. I recalibrated the number of roots it takes to make a game ‘epic,’ and making sure it all stays on the same level.”
From Phillip’s data, there are 6,720 different TV channels that broadcast sporting events in the U.S. and Canada. And there are more than 2 million combinations of zip codes and cable and dish systems.
Crunch it all together, and Phillip has his service up and running – without any outside funding. All bootstrap, as they say.
“I’m trying to resist funding for absolutely as long as I can,” he said. “Looking back, if I got a big injection of money to accelerate things, I don’t think the engine would have gotten as good as it is. I would’ve been worried about users and visitor numbers, and wouldn’t have had time to tinker as much as I have. Now if DirecTV or Google come knocking, that’d be a great fit, but I’m hoping all the conversations I’ve had because of the great pub this month will start leading to licensing deals that’ll finally bring in some revenue.”
And he hasn’t stopped tinkering with it.
“I’d love someday to just have a magical button on the remote control – take me to the most exciting thing on TV right now, whether it’s sports, or ‘Oceans 13′ on TNT.”
We’ll take sports, thanks. It makes too much sense.