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Google Search helps users find live sport games, linear TV shows


Google announced it has added a feature to Google Search to help searchers find live sports games and live TV shows. Google has had TV listing schedules since 2013 and made numerous improvements to that search feature over the years.

Watch it live. But now, Google is bolstering how users can find and quickly watch live sports games. Right now it just works with MLB and NBA games but Google said they will be expanding it to other leagues soon.

Users can search for [where to watch the Clippers game] or [how to watch the A’s game] on their mobile device and Google Search will list how they can watch the game live either on TV networks or other internet based networks.

Here is a GIF of it in action:

If they just search for specific teams, like [Dodgers game], Google will show live scores, top stories, and standings, and now Google will also display a new “Live on” button which shows the live TV options in the searcher’s area:

Not just sports. Google will also show what TV shows are live, not just sports games. Google said searchers can look for [what to watch] or [good shows to watch] on Google mobile search. The Google “On TV now” search carousel shows programming across multiple channels that’s currently airing, while “On TV later” shows recommendations for future programming.

Here is what that interface looked like a year ago.

Why we care. With a lot of live sports being held without audiences (if not cancelled altogether) due to the pandemic, the idea is to help sports fans watch from home. If you are in the business of reviewing TV shows, reporting on sports games, etc., these new Google Search features may impact you. If you are a TV network, you may get more exposure for the shows and games you are airing live.

About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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