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Rules of engagement

Eurosport and Sky are paying millions of pounds for sports rights while golf broadcasterand journalist Stephanie Wei, has worked with the European Tour to live stream golf over Periscope as a one-person broadcaster.

“For someone of my generation it’s second nature to use these apps,” Wei said as the session ‘Sports Broadcasting: Playing away from broadcasting’s home’ was streamed on Periscope. “It’s a great platform to get behind the scenes, engage with viewers and respond by asking their direct questions to players using the credentialed access I have.”

However, Periscope is no immediate threat to traditional broadcast. “Periscope is better when you’re holding it, used in a shorter time space and when you’re interacting with it,” said Wei. “It’s not great quality video but it is authentic. It’s a secondary medium to enhance the coverage.”

Cautioned Arnaud Maillard, VP digital media, Discovery Networks International: “Periscope is a breakthrough technology that helps tell first person stories but the world sports ecosystem is attached to the value of the footage which could be undermined by piracy.”

For Richard Ayers, CEO, Seven League, the ‘shiny bauble’ approach of shooting with 360-degree cameras or Periscope “was a waste of time and energy” without a strategy. “If you don’t have reach and engagement then monetisation will be impossible,” he said.

The largest football fan network on YouTube – bigger than all English Premier League teams combined – is Copa90. It uses Periscope as one way to reach fans. “It’s the stories outside the 90 minutes that make the 90 minutes matter more,” said Phil Mitchelson, Head of Marketing at Copa90 owner BigBalls.

“We think people go to Sky Sports to see what happened and fans come to Copa90 to find out how people feel about it,” he said. “We take every single piece of content that may be seen as wastage in a normal sports production, create a story around it then explode it into component parts across our network so that we have engaged fans weeks before the main content has even happened.”

Questioned whether this approach was reaching grass roots soccer fans better than Sky, Dave Gibbs, director of digital media at Sky Sports, said: “A traditional broadcaster says ‘I am going to talk at you and expect you to watch what I want you watch’. Copa90’s approach is about building a community and bringing them into the conversation. There’s a lot we can take from what they are doing.”