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“Creating a digital culture at the heart of BBC Sport”

BBC exec takes to the MediaTech 360 stage to explain how it is redefining free-to-air sports coverage for the digital age

BBC executive product manager Oliver Thompson has told MediaTech 360 how the broadcaster is redefining free-to-air sports coverage for the digital age.

Thompson began the session by highlighting how crucial younger audiences are for the BBC, and how sport is the key to focusing on and engaging with them.

Reaching younger audiences has always been a challenge however, as Thompson explained: “The 16-24 demographic is generally less loyal to content providers, simply because they have so much more choice.

“We’ve done a lot of work over the last three to four years to work out the true purpose of the BBC’s digital offering,” said Thompson. “The key thing is making sure everyone throughout the organisation is thinking the same way, trying to understand the same problems and how to solve them.”

He went on to mention how big sporting events like the current FIFA World Cup provide a map of how and where technology in sports is going, and provides BBC Sport with a big opportunity providing it focuses on the distribution of content.

“The BBC has standardised its proposition for live events,” added Thompson. “We’re looking at cloud-based live video and using existing metadata. We expect it to take a lot of the cost out, enable wider coverage and convenience for consumers.”

Thompson also mentioned the ways in which BBC Sport is looking to maximise its USPs during these big live sporting events with tools like the Player Rater, along with newly-introduced video push notifications within the BBC Sport app.

“We’re creating a digital culture at the heart of BBC Sport, and we’re in a much better place than we were,” Thompson concluded. “Now, TV, radio and digital are equal partners, and we’re aiming to provide the same experience across all platforms.”