Top 10 most watched of the week (sports): NBA shines but Pro Bowl tops all

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Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched live sports:

1. SportsCenter
2. 2015 Pro Bowl
3. Liga MX soccer
4. Copa del Rey soccer
5. 2015 Australian Open tennis
6. La Liga soccer
7. NBA: Thunder vs. Cavaliers
8. NBA: Heat vs. Bulls
9. NBA: Spurs vs. Bulls
10. NBA: Rockets vs. Warriors

The NFL’s all-star game, the Pro Bowl, is often ridiculed — the players don’t play hard (if they show up at all), the rules are different, and it’s resorted to gimmicks like the new “unconferenced” format to try to drum up interest. All that can obscure the fact that, given how ridiculously popular the NFL is, a lot of people still watch it. That was apparent from our data this week, which showed the game shooting up to the highest non-SportsCenter spot on the top 10.

The trio of soccer leagues that we’ve seen showing up for the past month or so — Liga MX, Copa del Rey and La Liga — were all there again, as was the 2015 Australian Open, which just kicked off in Melbourne. And basketball is starting to make a real dent in the list as well: The Cavaliers have once again shown themselves to be a Slingbox favorite this week, as have the Bulls, who were featured in not one but two games on the top 10. And the Warriors, who have the best record in the NBA, crept onto the list for the first time in a while.

We’ll be back next week with another set of top 10s.

Top 10 most watched of the week (entertainment): the State of the Union shall, from time to time, be at the top of our list

Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, non-sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched home entertainment:

1. Today
2. State of the Union 2015
3. The Big Bang Theory
4. Good Morning America
5. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
6. Criminal Minds
7. Family Guy
8. Pawn Stars
9. Family Feud
10. Modern Family

Is it fair to call the annual State of the Union address “entertainment”? It might be if you’re a fan of Obama who enjoyed the comedian-in-chief’s comeback to Republicans after they cheered a mention of his future departure from office:

But if you’re on the other side of the aisle, it might have felt more chore-like than entertaining. Either way, Slingbox users seemed plenty interested in watching the speech.

Other than that, our weekly top 10 was pretty familiar. The number of Slingbox users who watch Pawn Stars on laptops, tablets or phones seems to vacillate from week to week, but there was enough this week to place the Harrison family (and Chumlee) at No. 8 on our list. And of course, the two big morning shows and The Big Bang Theory had very strong showings, as always.

It’s also worth pointing out that three separate shows with “family” in the title — Family Guy, Family Feud and Modern Family – showed up in our top 10. If next week we also see reruns of Family Ties, Family Matters and The Addams Family, we’ll know something mysterious is afoot.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our sports top 10.

7 Weird-But-True Super Bowl Halftime Performers (That You Wouldn’t Have Missed with a Slingbox)

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The Super Bowl is the biggest event on the American sports calendar. It’s the country’s most-watched TV broadcast of the year, every year. And we at Slingbox — the only product that lets you watch 100 percent of your home TV on a mobile device anywhere in the world — are happy we can enable our customers to catch all of it, even if they have to duck out for a food run in the middle.

The big game has become as much (if not moreso) about the TV broadcast than the game itself, what with the commercials, the pregame analysis and the halftime show, which has evolved into an enormous spectacle showcasing titans of current pop culture. But it wasn’t always so — in years past, the big game has had some halftime performers that raise some eyebrows in retrospect:

Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill

Super Bowl XXVI in Minneapolis was the second to take place in a cold-weather city. And even though the game unfolded under the climate-controlled roof of the Metrodome, the halftime show took on the theme of “Winter Magic,” tying in with the 1992 Winter Olympics, which would start a month later in France.

The show included wintry musical numbers like “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” giant blow-up snowmen, and gold medal-winning figure skaters Boitano and Hamill welcoming viewers to “Minnesota, where winter is the hottest time of year.”

Carol Channing

Channing, who made a name for herself as a stand-up comedian and Broadway musical star, might not be the type of figure you’d expect to headline a Super Bowl halftime today. But back in 1970 — when NFL championship games’ idea of halftime entertainment hadn’t yet progressed beyond marching bands — she became the first celebrity to appear at one when she performed at Super Bowl IV in New Orleans.

She was such a hit that she returned for Super Bowl VI, which was also in NOLA, and even reprised her performance, at age 93, for a Pepsi ad last year. Maybe there’s still hope for a third go-round?

88 grand pianos

The theme for the halftime show of 1988’s Super Bowl XXII in San Diego was “Something Grand,” and boy was it ever. Literally — 88 baby grand pianos (44 black and 44 white) took the field, arranged in a giant outline of — you guessed it — two huge grand pianos.

The pianoception stunt was accompanied by the Rockettes, Chubby Checker and a giant jukebox. The pianos, which were specially made for the show by Kimball and all bear plaques indicating as such — occasionally pop up on eBay today.

Ella Fitzgerald

Jazz isn’t a musical genre you’d expect to be emphasized at a Super Bowl today, but the cultural landscape was different in 1972. Super Bowl VI took place in New Orleans and the halftime festivities were billed “a Salute to Louis Armstrong,” who had died the previous year.

To honor Armstrong, the game’s organizers centered the halftime show around Fitzgerald, trumpeter Al Hirt, and Channing, who was the first and so far only celebrity to make a return appearance for the halftime spectacle.

George Burns and Mickey Rooney

On February 1, 1887, a man named Harvey Wilcox officially registered the city of Hollywood with the Los Angeles County recorder’s office. Little did he know that this mundane bit of paperwork would one day inspire the halftime show of one of the world’s biggest sporting events. The theme at 1987’s Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena was “Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary.”

That salute involved appearances from Burns and Rooney, who were 91 and 66 years old at the time, respectively. But the real stars of the show were Disney’s Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale in cowboy outfits, along with a phalanx of dancing bipedal horses.

Up With People

Up With People were (actually, still are) a quasi-cultlike troupe of brightly-attired singing youths, created in the ’60s with the intent of providing an alternative to the era’s musical counterculture. UWP “casts” feature hundreds of singers and are required to smile unceasingly throughout the entirety of their performances.

They’re also, as a group, the most frequent Super Bowl halftime performer — they participated in 1971, ’76, ’80, ’82 and ’86. Their fourth appearance, at Super Bowl XVI in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac, may have been the most curious — Up With People would probably not be your first choice for a show themed around a “Salute to the 1960s and Motown.”

Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood

In 1995, Disneyland unveiled its “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye” ride, and Super Bowl XXIX in Miami seemed like a good venue to promote it. But a commercial wasn’t enough for Disney — they essentially bought the entire halftime show. Actors (who were definitely not Harrison Ford and Karen Allen) playing Indy and Marion appeared to “save” the Lombardi Trophy in a confounding adventure involving Patti Labelle, Tony Bennett, drummers wearing snake costumes, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King.

After finally reclaiming the trophy, did Professor Jones say that “it belongs in a museum”? No — he declared, quite generously, “I’m giving it to the winner of Super Bowl XXIX!” As far as we know, he did not actually appear at the postgame ceremony.

Top 10 most watched of the week (sports): As football winds down, UFC and NBA enter the list

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Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched live sports:

1. NFC Championship Game: Packers vs. Seahawks
2. AFC Championship Game: Colts vs. Patriots
3. SportsCenter
4. Liga MX soccer
5. Copa del Rey soccer
6. Cricket
7. UFC Fight Night: Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver
8. NBA: Cavaliers vs. Lakers
9. La Liga soccer
10. NBA: Bulls vs. Cavaliers

With the NFL postseason driving toward its conclusion and college football over for the year, we’re starting to see some real diversity of sports on this list. Of course we know massive number of Slingbox users were watching the NFL playoffs on their laptops, tablets and phones, as the two conference championship games came in at 1-2 as expected. The situation farther down the list was more varied than we’ve seen in a while, though.

Like last week, we also got three separate entries for soccer: Liga MX, La Liga, and Copa de Rey, which is a tournament encompassing several tiers of the Spanish soccer pyramid. It was also the first time in a long time that we saw UFC on the list. Plenty of Slingbox users were watching UFC online as they saw Conor McGregor defeat Dennis Siver by TKO in two rounds in Boston. We also saw two NBA games on the list, which proved that while the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season may have been rocky thus far, the ongoing saga of LeBron, Love and Irving is certainly holding Slingbox viewers’ interest.

We’ll be back next week with another set of top 10s.

Top 10 most watched of the week (entertainment): Slingbox users say “get over here” to Scorpion

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Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, non-sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched home entertainment:

1. Today
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. Good Morning America
4. Scorpion
5. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
6. NCIS
7. Family Guy
8. Criminal Minds
9. Modern Family
10. Teen Titans Go!

The biggest surprise this week was definitely Scorpion, the CBS thriller that has been on the air since September but hadn’t made a dent on our list until it suddenly appeared at No. 4 this week. Scorpion is loosely based on the life of Irish computer security analyst Walter O’Brien and his company, Scorpion Computer Services. Actually, it was a big week for Slingbox users who wanted to watch CBS dramas online in general, as NCIS and Criminal Minds also appeared on our list.

Other than that, it was mostly business as usual on the top 10: The two big morning shows and The Big Bang Theory again formed the top three, and Teen Titans Go!, the surprise from last week, made a return trip to the list at No. 10.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our sports top 10.

Top 10 most watched of the week (sports): pro football, college football, and international futbol take over

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Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched live sports:

1. NFL Playoffs Divisional Round: Cowboys vs. Packers
2. NFL Playoffs Divisional Round: Ravens vs. Patriots
3. NFL Playoffs Divisional Round: Colts vs. Broncos
4. CFB National Championship Game: Ohio State vs. Oregon
5. NFL Playoffs Divisional Round: Panthers vs. Seahawks
6. SportsCenter
7. Copa del Rey soccer
8. Liga MX soccer
9. La Liga soccer
10. Cricket

Football games remain as strong as always as playoff time continues, with all four of the NFL’s divisional playoff games making our top 5 this week. Slingbox users were watching football online at both the professional and college levels, as the first-ever College Football Playoff Championship Game also had an impressive showing. Plenty of people watching on their phones, tablets and laptops saw Ohio State defeat Oregon at AT&T Stadium in North Texas.

With the NFL winding down (or charging toward the climax of the Super Bowl, depending on how you look at it), there are more spots open on the list without a full slate of games every week. That means we saw an impressive amount of the other kind of football on our list, as lots of Slingbox users were watching soccer online. Making the list was the Copa del Rey (an annual tournament that spans several levels of Spain’s soccer pyramid), as well as the top Mexican and Spanish leagues. We even got some cricket in there — it will be interesting to see if the Cricket World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand during February and March, makes a big impact on our list.

We’ll be back next week with another set of top 10s.

Top 10 most watched of the week (entertainment): Teen Titans Go! … onto our list!

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Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, non-sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched home entertainment:

1. Today
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. Dateline NBC
4. Good Morning America
5. 72nd Golden Globes
6. Teen Titans Go!
7. Family Guy
8. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9. NCIS
10. Austin & Ally

January is bringing some unexpected titles into our list — this is the first time that we’ve seen Teen Titans Go! in the list. The Cartoon Network show, which focuses on an all-teen team of superheroes based on DC Comics characters that first appeared in the ’60s, debuted at No. 6. This week certainly saw plenty of Slingbox users watch their kids’ shows online on phones, tablets or laptops, as we also saw Austin & Ally enter the list at No. 10. Austin & Ally, which is a Disney Channel show about two teen musicians in Miami, has been going strong for three seasons and counting by now.

We also saw the Golden Globes, which aired Sunday night, show up — awards shows, being that kind of event that you have to watch live if you’re going to watch at all, are always a popular choice for Slingbox watchers.

We’ll be back tomorrow with our sports top 10.