Hands-on review: USA Today, Yahoo bring box scores to your TV

Both Yahoo and USA Today have a sports widget for Yahoo TV Widgets, eats with its own unique features.

The Yahoo Sports widget offers informative and visually appealing headlines, among other features.
The Yahoo Sports widget offers informative and visually appealing headlines, among other features. Sarah Tew/CNET

It's not just called the crawl because it's low on the screen; if ESPN's news ticker isn't fast enough for you, then both Yahoo and USA Today have the solution. Both have sports widgets for Yahoo TV Widgets . While each has its own unique features, the Yahoo one is just flat-out better and great on its own as well.

Both widgets open up to a window with a number of quick links, including headlines. Selecting one of these on both widgets brings up the first paragraph of the article. The Yahoo widget draws its content from the AP, and so these snippets of text tend to be pretty informative as the AP consistently puts their ledes at the top of their articles. The other widget, of course, uses USA Today for its content, which tends to have more literary or anecdotal starts. This means that, at times, the USA Today headlines are just a tease without providing the information that you're really looking for.

Each widget has its own unique features, as well. The USA Today one has a thumbnail at the top of the main window that features "Snapshots," small sports-themed infographics. The best looking and most unique feature is the integration of USA Today's famous Coaches Polls. This list charts the changes in college football and basketball rankings, but is only useful during college sports seasons, leaving it useless for the summer months.

The Yahoo Sports widget doesn't have either of these features, but it does have a menu for different leagues with the ability to add each as a favorite, making it quickly accessible from its "snippet" form on the dock. Unfortunately, you can't view scores from the snippet or log in with your Yahoo ID to track your favorite teams, even though Yahoo offers similar functionality with its Finance widget. The widget does offer video content, which you can read about in our review of the Yahoo Video widget .

Where the two widgets really diverge is in the scoreboard. Since it's baseball season, we compared how the two choose to cover baseball scores. USA Today opted for a quick and simple scoreboard that is limited to the score and inning of the game. Tabs across the top of the score window separate the board by different leagues. The Yahoo Sports widget doesn't have this same organizational feature, but it does have a far more comprehensive scoreboard. At a glance, each game gives the score, inning, runners on base and, if the game hasn't started yet, the start time and each team's record. This view also lets you know what station each team will be broadcasting on, a particularly useful feature on a TV. If you can't actually watch these games, then you can select them in the scoreboard and give you a pitch-by-pitch visual representation of the game, complete with photos and other information for the current pitcher and batter.

Next up: Yahoo TV Widget games

Other recent Yahoo widgets reviews: Twitter , YouTube and Yahoo Video .

 

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