Panelists at IBC’s ‘My Own Private Stadium’ session told delegates that it isn’t enough to simply supply sports-related data to users, but to use the resources intelligently and “tell the story” with the data.
“Sports audiences are the most critical in the world,” said IBM’s Dominic Stone. “They look for nuances and subtleties in action that frankly West End theatre audiences aren’t even aware of. They look for complex subtleties in play but also alongside the often huge background knowledge that they have.”
Stone explained that this huge mix of inherited knowledge of the game, or player, or key element in the season all come together for broadcasters in commentary on the first screen, but must also translate to the second. “There is an insatiable demand for accurate and timely data and information as to what’s going on. The role of data and sport is fundamental.”
BSkyB’s Tim Orme (head of mobile platform, Sky Sports Digital Media) demonstrated how Sky addressed the hugely complex demands of users. “It can mean many different things to different people. At Sky Sports we deliberately try to remember this fact. Usage used to be match or game focused, but that’s changing and we are seeing a huge amount of second screen activity where there’s interaction between other users, comments, reacting and just getting closer to their favourite sport. From our point of view we are also striving to add value to our subscribers.”
However, Johann Schreurs, general manager, new media broadcast at EVS, cautioned broadcasters against having two separate divisions, one handling video, the other multimedia, within the sports department. “There should not be a hard wall between the two. We try to advise clients to try and bring images to the device that hasn’t been shown on the first screen, and as fast as possible. This is real ‘added value’. The video producer is well able to tell his story with his pictures. The technology is now ready to add this story-telling layer to second screens, and we see this having a huge impact next year with the Brazil World Cup.”