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Sports Tech Live - Issue #50

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Issue #50  •  December 6  •  view online
Sports Tech Live
Sports Tech Live
All your Sports Tech news in one place, covering topics like AR/VR, Data Analytics, eSports, Live Streaming, Sports Betting, Wearables, etc.
Hey Sports Tech Fans,
Techstars SportsTech Melbourne applications close on December 8th! Apply now!
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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.
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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,
Will

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Techstars SportsTech Melbourne
Techstars SportsTech Melbourne

Streaming Wars
Movistar picks up domestic Spanish Super Cup rights - SportsPro Media

Premier League streaming on Amazon Prime - was broadcaster's debut a success? - BBC Sport

Streaming of 10 top-flight matches increases prospects of firm entering rights auction

Amazon Suffers Scattered Issues On First Night Of Premier League Coverage In The UK

Will Amazon change the way we watch the Premier League, or the other way round? - At Large - SportsPro Media

‘Cable model broken’, says NBA’s Silver amid ratings slump - SportsPro Media

Yankees teaming up with Amazon to stream games

Teams that have current broadcasting deals with regional sports networks will need to honor those contracts before auctioning off livestreaming rights, according to Sports Business Journal. “The biggest single change was the return of certain in-market digital rights—the rights that have essentially become substitutional with broadcast rights—those rights will return to the clubs,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, according to Yahoo Sports.

Gambling
Intrade Founder Takes Another Shot at a Sports-Betting Exchange - Bloomberg

theScore’s Winning Formula: Integrating Mobile Betting Platforms Into Sports Media

Adam Sandler Is Betting the N.B.A. (and Knicks) Can Take a Joke - The New York Times

eSports
Facebook's latest big Twitch steal is 'Smash Bros.' streamer ZeRo | Engadget
Why Smash Legend ZeRo Left Twitch for Facebook Gaming
Why Smash Legend ZeRo Left Twitch for Facebook Gaming
How Twitch became huge ... but still misses Ninja | VentureBeat

StreamElements wants to be every Twitch streamer's digital producer | VentureBeat

Report: China’s Bilibili bags US$113m League of Legends rights deal - SportsPro Media

Jarno Opmeer will race at a shopping centre in Fulham before taking to Renault’s F1 simulator to help fine-tune the real thing

'I don't want this to happen again in eSports' - Galatasary allegedly not paying pros - eGamingDesk

4 Out of the 10 Most Watched Games on YouTube in 2019 are Mobile Esport Titles | AFK Gaming

The most popular tournaments of November | Esports Charts

Content
430 Million MAUs: Reddit Grows Monthly Active Users by 30 Percent – Variety

Image Hosting Platform Imgur Launches Dedicated Gaming Vertical

How the PGA TOUR Is Planning to Share 32,000 Highlight Clips During THE PLAYERS Championship – Engage by Hashtag Sports

NHL, Disney Streaming Services Debut New ‘GameFlow’ Momentum-Tracker in NHL Mobile App

Hardware/Wearables
Surface Changes: Glass Floors Are Making Playing Courts Adaptive and Interactive

Investment Deals
David Stern And Harris Blitzer Are Latest Investors In This Intelligent Training Startup

Marketing
Nascar finds its identity as it rebrands and moves to a new sponsorship model | The Drum

Partnerships
Verizon and AWS announce 5G Edge computing partnership – TechCrunch

McLaren Racing and Automation Anywhere Announce Formula 1 Partnership to Drive Performance With Intelligent Automation

Inter Milan partner with Dugout for digital content - SportsPro Media

Manchester City to sign ‘eight-figure’ training kit deal, says report - SportsPro Media

Women in Sports
Women's Champions League: Group stage to be introduced from 2021-22 season - BBC Sport

'Still a long way to go,' but women are gaining ground with new roles in the NHL

eCommerce/Retail
Serena Williams Launches Shoppable Video Series for Fashion Line

Manchester United get own Youku and Tmall portals in Alibaba deal - SportsPro Media

Streetwear design fans get a new podcast series with the Bleacher Report’s ‘Friends and Family’

Brandon Steiner launches new sports memorabilia website

Long Reads
Meet the Magician of NFL Broadcasts - The Ringer

A Conversation With the Man Behind @nbaleave - The Ringer

Best of the Rest
Report: Fifa and Real Madrid hold CVC talks over rival soccer tournaments - SportsPro Media

Saudi Arabia Embraces Western Sports to Rehabilitate Global Image - The New York Times

Madison Square Garden Co. Sets Plan To Divide Entertainment And Sports Assets – Deadline

Techstars Startup Digest Sports Tech Live is curated by:
Will Martin Will Martin
will.martin@startupdigestmail.com
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