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Increasing value of sports

16 September 2014

How do sports right owners and broadcasters reap the benefits of multi-screen delivery, now that an increasing number of people watch sports on their TV screens, while also viewing related content on their smartphones or their iPads? And perhaps more importantly, how do they engage the viewer?

Speaking at ‘TV sport: from big screen to multiscreen – harnessing the value of sport everywhere’, a conference session chaired by Caru Ventures CEO Mike Grant,

Tim Orme, head of digital product development at Sky Sports, described his current strategy: “We think hard about which second screen app is better for which sport. For instance the Champions League viewer likes to have a choice of games to watch from at the same time so we have an app that is basically a channel chooser but for golf coverage the app will offer subplots, and an idea of what is going on elsewhere on the pitch.”

For Trevor Doerksen, the CEO of Mobovivo, a company which develops second screen applications for a number of sportscasters, the key question is how to engage the wider audience watching sport, not only the fan base. “All sorts of people watch the World Cup, not only sport aficionados. There is more work to be done in that area, for instance by providing gossip and behind the scenes coverage, not only sports stats.”

Tapping into the gambling community is also a path that is being explored, for it could generate a lot of extra revenue, even though it remains controversial.

“We have conducted a survey which shows that there is tremendous potential in that area, but we are cautious about linking both worlds together. We have to be mindful of our other relationships. Some sport federations are very reticent towards that idea.”
The executive vice president and CTO of Major League Baseball, Joe Inzerillo, concurred. “ We will not get into gambling, even if it goes hand in hand with sport.”

This session is available to view on demand at www.ibc.org/vod.

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