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Fox Sports to incorporate AI into World Cup coverage

IBM's technology will be used to launch "The Highlight Machine"

Fox Sports has partnered with IBM Watson Media to incorporate artificial intelligence into its coverage of this month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

It will include automated metadata tagging for match footage, allowing for quick editing and viewer access to match highlights in near real-time, and marks the first time Fox Sports has integrated AI features into its production and distribution systems.

The broadcaster will use IBM’s technology to launch “The Highlight Machine,” a dedicated web portal that lets users browse through FIFA’s archive of matches (approximately 300 matches from 1958-2014) and create their own custom highlight reels of teams and players. The interactive site also allows users to customise highlights by year and play type and share clips via social media.

The service will also be available in the FIFA World Cup section of the Fox Sports app for both iOS and Android.

“We are delighted to be working with IBM, a leader in the technology space, to help enhance fan experiences and engagement,” said Sarah Tourville, SVP of sports brand activations for Fox Sports. “Our collaboration affords us an opportunity to utilise their technology across multiple properties, helping to drive engagement for our tentpole events in non-traditional ways.”

“To maximise fan engagement, sports broadcasters are driven to showcase relevant gameplay as quickly as possible,” added Kristen Lauria, GM of Watson media and content at IBM. “This drive is even more critical during tentpole sporting moments like the World Cup. Our project with Fox Sports emphasises IBM’s focus on aligning its technology to simplify how media brands can efficiently deliver winning fan experiences.”

IBM Watson Media has already provided AI services for coverage of The Masters, Wimbledon, and the US Open.