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Leverage AI for Better Sports Content and Interactivity
Whether getting fans more involved in the action, super-serving viewers the content they crave, or better targeting advertising, artificial intelligence is the future of sports video

With fans consuming an ever-increasing amount of content through various platforms, it’s unsurprising that sports rights holders are seeing an opportunity to capitalize on the time fans are spending interacting with their screens. However, with this comes plenty of competition; content providers can’t rely on traditional methods and expect high insights and engagement. Providing exciting and interactive content that consumers want to see can be challenging, especially during live matches/races where providing real-time analysis and playback features is technically challenging and costly. Unsurprisingly, sports entities are turning to technology to support them with content production and management. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being adopted within sports for a variety of use-cases

What Can AI Offer for Live TV?

With today’s consumer wanting more interactivity than ever, sports platforms are developing features to ensure that their fans can engage with their favourite teams. With second-screen culture becoming the new normal, sports entities know they must produce engaging content both on and off the big screen. However, the live nature of sports creates a challenge; offering interactive content for something unpredictable has always been difficult. AI is now becoming the logical solution to this conundrum. With the correct data and machine learning, AI can be manipulated to collect and analyse live footage and deliver it to sports rights holders in ready-to-post packages within seconds. This allows diverse and interactive content to be available within seconds on social media.

As AI technology becomes ever-more intelligent, sports rights holders are leveraging it to deliver another level of interactivity during the game itself. With its near-to-live feedback from footage, AI is capable of tagging relevant metadata to content during live matches/races. This opens up opportunities for fans to manipulate what they see on the screen during live transmissions, for instance replaying your team’s goal from a camera angle of your choice. AI produces endless opportunities for personalization when watching live sport, with player tracking and biometrics stats being possible through fast analysis and categorization of data. With user experience being the fundamental way of ensuring fans remain engaged with what is on the screen in front of them, it is unsurprising that sports rights holders are investing heavily in the technology that can offer their fans the ultimate personalised viewing experience. 

AI has a Role in Behind the Scenes, Too

Sports service providers are now beginning to see the opportunities AI can open up in relation to archive footage. Although popular among fans, archive footage has been a difficult service to deliver due to the sheer volume of content. Manually categorizing footage and getting it ‘ready-to-publish’ is time consuming and expensive. AI offers a quick and cost-effective solution for categorizing, aggregating and processing archive content for service providers to distribute and monetise.

Understanding Your Fans

Many content providers are using AI to understand consumer viewing habits, their demographics, and how to improve user experience. AI can recognise patterns in engagement in order to place content in front of the relevant people and maximise insights. Not only does this benefit the sports provider by providing them with solid data to provide to sponsors, but it ensures that fans see content relevant to them. Keeping fans engaged increases loyalty and potentially brings more fans on board. For instance, if you know that your fan enjoys watching a certain athlete run their 200-meter races, AI can help create a curated playlist of archived footage of the athlete in the run up to World Athletics Championships. This tailored approach to content is far more likely to see a high engagement—AI provides this service cost effectively, quickly, and intelligently.

AI’s Role in Sponsorship and Advertising

With organizations placing more emphasis on addressable advertising, it is in the interest of sport entities to understand their demographics and quantify their value. Understanding fan preferences creates quality sponsorship opportunities, increasing revenue from the interactivity. Sports right holders are turning to AI to make sense of viewing habits and to differentiate fan types and demographics. The in-depth information that AI can provide is becoming expected by sponsors when negotiating and recognising the value of opportunities. Monetising fan engagement is an important part of the sports world. By placing relevant content in front of your fans, not only will the post rank highly in terms of engagement and insights, but your fans will be happy with the content and the interactivity they have with their favourite teams. In-depth data analysis is becoming far more attainable than it ever has been before, with AI offering a time and cost-efficient method of understanding data.

AI is Here to Stay

Unsurprisingly, sports providers are investing heavily in AI technology. AI’s ability to quickly collect and analyze data provides sports entities with technology that can produce and place content, understand content’s impact on user experience and collate data for sponsorship opportunities. AI is a giant opportunity for sports entities; its efficient analysis and production provides huge monetization opportunities. 

[Editor's Note: This is a vendor-contributed article from Accedo. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

[Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash]

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