Live sports streaming gets interactive on social media

2 December 2016

Technology & Convergence

South African video on-demand specialist, Discover Digital, has broken traditional moulds for sports event coverage, with a simultaneous live stream of the SuperGP Championship to the SuperGP website and the organisation’s Facebook page.

The DEOD (Digital Entertainment On Demand) SuperGP Champions Trophy races recently staged at Red Star Raceway at the end of October were streamed live throughout the day to both the site and Facebook, where sports fans were able to comment on the event and encourage racers in real time.

“Our platforms open any number of video on demand (VOD) possibilities for sports organisers and fans,” says Discover Digital Managing Director, Stephen Watson. “Now, sports bodies can stream live coverage to their sites as well as track exactly who is watching and commenting on Facebook. This gives them new opportunities to engage with fans on a more personal level, as well as allows them to report back to sponsors in real time on the level of interest and engagement. Once the event is over, the content is automatically archived on the sports body’s site, where it can be monetised.”

Watson believes on-demand video is set to change the face of traditional sportscasting, offering organisations, sports stars and fans any number of new ways to engage and alternative ways to generate revenues. “Organisations might opt for an ad-funded VOD model or a subscription model,” says Watson.

Discover Digital is also working on a new VOD solution for an international sports federation based in Asia. While the federation has millions of fans around the world, it is not considered a mainstream sport in regions such as the US, so no broadcasters have bought the rights to cover the organisation’s major events. “Their sport is hugely popular in Asia, but because it is not mainstream in many other countries, they have so-called ‘dark territories’,” says Dale Rosenberg, Executive Head Commercial at Discover Digital. “We are building a customised platform that will allow them to live stream matches in territories that don’t have broadcast deals, and because we can geolock the territories where broadcast deals are in place, there is no commercial conflict and no reduction in existing revenues. We will also archive their file content, and the organisation will then be in a position to switch on its VOD service worldwide and decide what commercial model they want to apply to it. Discover Digital will enable this and manage the entire billing process.”

“If we can do this for a worldwide sports body, we can do it for anyone, including corporates and educational institutions,” concludes Rosenberg.

Source: Screen Africa 25 November 2016