As we stated in our blog summation of the 2021 SVG Summit, the broadcasting industry is rushing to meet the demand of increased content. Now, after spending the last year working remotely and learning what works and what doesn’t, the industry is striking a balance. At Videon, we always look to the future. If the industry buzzword is low latency, you better believe we’ve already been talking about it for years–and are already focused on topics that will be evolving in ‘22 and beyond. With that said, here are our predictions for trends in sports broadcasting in 2022.
Starting in 2020, the pandemic forced the industry to move to remote production. Going forward, we anticipate fewer and fewer OB trucks rolling out to create live events. We saw content pushed into the market in 2021–like The Peyton and Eli Show–that performed well without the quality thought to be standard in years previous. This is a new evolution in infrastructure to support the next generation of content coming out, meaning that these workflows will be polished and refined in the coming year.
As our President and Founder Todd Erdley so aptly stated, “In 2022, people will realize that movement of cloud computing to the edge of video origination can create workflows that will transform what is possible.” Moving from an encoder box to a multi-purpose edge compute-based device like EdgeCaster opens a world of all-new capabilities in lower latency and lower-cost video production. The industry impact will be enormous.
What exactly is DTC? In the e-commerce world, it’s been around for a while. Basically, direct-to-consumer means that content doesn’t need to go through a third party. It can finally broadcast from the edge of video origination to the screen. We see continued advances in DTC offerings, especially in over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Flosports, Disney+, or ESPN+. These platforms will continue to grow and build offerings that drive consumer engagement through the roof. This means major advances in the monetization of content and more platforms running the production of their content all the way to video origination.
Sports like hockey and baseball have suffered decreases in customer demand. In the coming year, a focus of the individual sports franchises will be to drive fan engagement. To heighten the drama of the unfolding stories, the lives of the players will be brought to the DTC apps. Uncomfortable moments between quarters– like conversations in the locker-room and during team workouts–will be captured and monetized. We will see fascinating enhancements in community building and storytelling for the franchises.
In the next year alone, there are upwards of 30,000 events scheduled. With all this content available, we do not (and will not) have enough industry professionals to man all of them. Add in all the companion content needed for storytelling and gamification, and we have a dilemma. With a drop in hands on deck and talent to fill positions, our industry must move in the direction of increased automation. This automation will allow the industry to produce more content even with a decrease in available talent.
In Europe especially, in-stadium second-screen experiences are transforming live sporting events. What we’ve seen with Sky Deutschland shows that our smart devices can make any seat in a stadium an immersive experience. Attendees can experience live events with low latency stats, replays, angles, and more through their mobile devices. These experiences are beneficial to stadiums and fans alike, creating new ways to enjoy events while adding monetization to ticket sales even in substandard seating. The biggest transformation making this possible could be the application of private high speed 5G applications for in-stadium experiences. We will speak to this more in a future blog post.
Our job as industry professionals in sports broadcasting is not to sell software with jargon, but to come up with innovative solutions for clients. In 2022, we must parse through the technological babble and start defining our buzz words. AI/ML, blockchain, low latency, etc. are all words that we believe in and throw around in conversation, but they mean nothing without standardization of definition. As experts in this system, we would love to have conversations about what these terms really mean to our clients and the industry at large. It’s our hope to drive conversation and provide useful end-to-end examples to show how different technologies can work together to result in better end products.
In 2022, we have a lot to look forward to at Videon. Our partnerships and plans set us apart to change workflow from the point of video origination. We see a lot of growth potential in machine learning and ultra-low latency and can’t wait to talk more about our work with Theoplayer, Amazon IVS, Mux, Phenix and other great companies.
Happy New Year from Videon.
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