MLB, NFL and a debate all at once? There's an app for that

Tonight's perfect storm of events -- the third presidential debate, game 7 of the NLCS, and Monday Night Football -- means many will be torn about what to tune into. Thuuz is here to help.

Sree Sreenivasan
Sree, who teaches digital media at Columbia, is the university's first chief digital officer.
Sree Sreenivasan
3 min read
Thuuz is an application that alerts you, on a scale of 0 to 100, when a televised game is particularly exciting so that you can tune in.

Ever since I heard the third debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney was going to be on a Monday night, I've been complaining about the overlap to anyone who'd listen.

Why would you go head-to-head with "Monday Night Football," the sports juggernaut on ESPN? Why remove 10-14 million potential viewers (that's been the range of MNF viewers this season) from the equation?

At least there wasn't going to be a baseball playoff game at the same time, I thought. Well, I was wrong. And so tonight, you have the perfect TV viewing storm: Cardinals and Giants play game 7 of the National League Championship Series at 5 p.m. PDT; Lions and Bears play MNF at 5:30 p.m. PDT; and the debate starts at 6 p.m.

So I was pleased today to get the following alert via email about Thuuz, an app that rates the excitement level of games and alerts you when there's a must-watch moment:

Tonight is shaping up to be an epic night in America, with Monday Night Football, Game 7 of the NLCS and the third presidential debate all taking place at the same time and fighting for our attention. Warren Packard, a well-known VC turned entrepreneur, has created a technology to help sports fans in situations just like these. Warren created an app that uses a mathematical algorithm to predict the excitement level of a live sporting event, which adjusts in real-time as the game progresses.
Thuuz, based in Mountain View, alerts your smartphone to the most exciting, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, etc. games on a scale of 0-100. With the free app, you can watch the debate this evening but know you'll be alerted when the football game or Game 7 of the NLCS is at a point where you can't miss what's happening and should flip stations immediately. Warren just secured over $4 million in funding for this technology.
DISH Network also recently launched its new GameFinder app based on the Thuuz Sports Discovery Platform. DISH subscribers on legacy set-top-boxes can pair with Thuuz for Google TV, enabling automated recordings based on personalized sports preferences, ensuring that sports fans never miss a moment of the best sports events. Thuuz also surfaces live streaming sports content offered by Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile, creating opportunities to tune in to exciting games via content sources that are typically more challenging to find.

I've downloaded Thuuz (it has iPhone, Android and, interestingly, Google TV versions) and look forward to seeing how this might help with tonight's dilemma.

Before the Giants forced an unlikely game 7 yesterday, Brian Stelter (@BrianStelter) wrote a New York Times item about the football vs. debates dilemma. From "Debate? Football? Why Not Both?":

The third and final presidential debate coincides with ESPN's "Monday Night Football" game between the Chicago Bears, from President Obama's adopted hometown, and the Detroit Lions, hailing from Mitt Romney's birthplace.
What's a patriotic American to do?
ESPN is subtly advertising a solution: watch both. Not with a picture-in-picture display on the TV screen -- that's so 1990s -- but with two screens, like a TV set and an iPad.
A pair of ads that started appearing on ESPN on Saturday promote the WatchESPN app, which allows subscribers of certain cable companies to watch ESPN on phones and computers at no additional charge.
"This debate will be settled on the gridiron," one of the ads says, after referencing the verbal battle that will be taking place on a stage in Boca Raton, Fla. The ad concludes, "Don't miss a minute of Monday Night Football on ESPN, the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com."

Have your tried Thuuz or WatchESPN? What is your strategy for dealing with tonight's viewing options? Tell us in the comments.