Hey Sports Tech Fans,
Techstars SportsTech Melbourne applications close on December 8th! Apply now!
To follow up on the Spanish SuperCopa fiasco, Movistar have picked the rights for a rumoured $4 million.
The move to bring the SuperCopa to Saudi Arabia has drawn heavy criticism from La Liga and BeIN ( one of Spanish footballs biggest partners). It remains to be seen how successful it will be in the long term. The Spanish FA will be collecting a 40 million dollar cheque for bringing the games to the Middle Eastern state, but the backlash might cost them far more in the long run.
In eSports, we have another move, this time ZeRo to Facebook gaming along with two other Spanish based streamers.
This trends will continue into 2020 as competitors to Twitch are looking to take some of their most promising stars to add legitimacy to their own offerings.
Again, it is likely mainly for the guaranteed money that the likes of Facebook, Youtube and Mixer are offering these streamers for exclusive streaming rights, but the additional benefits that these competitors can add is not to be underestimated.
Facebook gaming has massive scale on their platform and will be able to push new viewers to their gaming platform at near zero acquisition costs.
Offering streamers bonuses like help with growing their Instagram brand will be something that will be a huge bonus streamers who are looking to grow their brand beyond just Twitch and become more main stream. This also allows them to leave behind the 12+ hours a day of streaming that is often the norm to maintain your Twitch status.
Amazon had a successful launch of streaming the Premier League in the UK, despite some hiccups. They brought some innovations to the space in the form of on hand stats and lineup views, being able to turn off the commentary and just listen to the stadium atmosphere. The BBC have a great piece below.
These innovations are major benefits of what OTT can bring to the future of eSports. While I was at the IBC conference in Amsterdam in September one of the things I was fascinated by was this exact technology, Object Based Streaming.
Essentially it breaks down all the components of a a video feed and allows the end user to pick and choose what they want to see, instead of everyone receiving the same broadcast.
The examples I saw was being able to change the audio feed to get different commentators on the game (different languages, different presenters and pundits etc), moving the scoreboard and time clock to a position of your choosing, increasing the size of graphics to make them more easily readable, adding sign language to the feed to allow the deaf to enjoy the content in real time and not have to wait for prerecorded shows to air at 2am in the morning.
The list goes on and on as the level of interactivity and personalisation is really limited by what developers can create and what end users want to use.
This is the future of live sports broadcast in my opinion.
When you combine this with the two stories below in the eCommerce/Retail space about shopable video then you can get a clear insight into what is coming around the corner. Manchester United will have their own eCommerce stores in China that will promote products while watching the game. Imagine Marcus Rashford scoring a goal in the final to win the trophy and seeing a one click prompt to buy a Marcus Rashford replica kit.
Siernna Williams will create shoppable content for the launch of her fashion brand, which again will prompt users to purchase what they are seeing during the fashion show.
These innovations are what makes the streaming wars so fascinating to me. The industry has largely remained the same since the advent of TV. Yes we have moved from mono sound to stereo to Dolby Atmos and from black and white to colour to High Def, to 4k to 8k, but the format has remained the same.
The medium is still a passive experience. Sure, you can shout at the TV at a bad referee decision or you can cheer in celebration when you team scores but whats coming through the screen is still the same.
The future will bring a much more interactive and personal experience but its not without its pitfalls.
Which so much customisation and interactivity available it will need to be a gradual experience and done in a way that makes the user experience more enjoyable and not a nightmare of flashing notifications and a complicated UI that can cause more problems than it solves.
Amazon are placed extremely well in this regard as they are going for an OTT platform but having learned from the many years of Twitch being the world leader in interactive streaming platforms, their ability to move those learnings from gaming and eSports to the world of sports is not to be underestimated.
Have a great sporting weekend,