With hundreds of delegates, including top executives, innovators and game changers in the sports industry, Eurovision Media Services (EMS) joined this year’s SportsPro LIVE Conference in London, 11-12 April to discuss how technology continues to shape the business of sport today.
As audience viewing behaviour continues to change with new technologies, fan engagement requires more effort than ever before. To attract and retain viewers, sports federations are developing new event formats, tools and technologies to tailor to new tastes and expectations.
Moderated by Angela Ruggiero, Chief Executive of Sports Innovation Lab, this year's panel discussion at SportsPro LIVE focused on how rightsholders adapt and tailor the action on the field to new tastes and technologies to keep ahead of the curve. It is clear that with the multitude of events available on television and online as well as the dominance of football on TV screens in Europe, audiences are oversaturated. Panellists discussed how the creation of new event formats could help to increase fan engagement in the future.
"Sports federations need to look for new ways to attract and engage viewers by ensuring that their content is adapted and accessible on a range of platforms. In the long run, creating new competition formats will be necessary, although it can be challenging," said Franck Choquard, Head of Products & Marketing at EMS, in reference to the upcoming inaugural European Championships which will combine seven sports into one major multisport event for the first time in Glasgow and Berlin from 02-12 August 2018.
The ambition of this event is to not only gather all the competitions at the same time in the same locations, but also to enhance the spectator experience by creating a 10-day celebration of sport, national heroes, European values and culture. "As the host broadcaster and distributor for this event, we feel the push to ensure that rightsholding media organisations have access to much more and better content than ever before for all platforms," he continued.
The panel emphasized that in an era when publishing content is no longer reserved for media organisations, rights owners are looking to engage directly with their fans by transmitting live or near-live footage on their web platforms and social media channels and expand their reach by allowing athletes, influencers and sponsors to do the same.
"At EMS we strongly believe in having content-centric platforms that help sports federations to manage media rights and give access to content to various stakeholders to ensure consistent, exciting coverage for audiences around the world. All authorised parties should be able to easily search, create, enhance and publish clips to the channels of their choice. These tools should also help to enforce contractual agreements such as embargos, content availability, branding and watermarking and could turn into a content marketplace with subscriptions and online payments in the future," said Franck Choquard.
Other panellists included: George Ciz, SVP of Marketing and Business Development at ATP and Joe Edwards, Head of Digital Marketing at FIBA.