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How to raise the quality of sport broadcasts

The fight for sports content rights is reaching a fever pitch as we enter 2024. Now more than ever, broadcasters are focused on using the enduring popularity of sports content to retain and grow their audiences. Altman Solon’s 2023 Global Sports Media Survey found that 56% of sports fans would watch more sports content if it were available.

Sports content rights represent enormous global business; according to Ampere Analysis, in major Western markets, the total annual media rights spend in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Australia grew from $20.8 billion (£16.42bn) to $34.9 billion (£27.55bn) between 2014 and 2022. Meanwhile, the English Premier League’s recent live UK TV rights auction saw over £6.7 billion’s worth of content split between Sky Sports and TNT Sports over the four years between 2025 and 2029.

But to retain and grow audience engagement, the leading sports broadcasters not only have to invest in the sports rights; they also have to comply with the latest standards, such as ST2110 while finding more cost-effective and efficient methods to deliver these experiences back to viewers who will settle for nothing less than best-in-class coverage.

It is, therefore, crucial to offer them sports content that is interactive, compelling, and can present different perspectives on the action. The complex process of pulling together a live broadcast from multiple cameras and other sources involves sending video feeds to live editing pipelines for a quick turnaround before delivering resolutions scaled for TV screens, social media, or in-stadium LED and ribbon boards. Managing these multiple media feeds can be difficult, and complications can arise when sports broadcasts are produced using multiple cameras, audio devices, and storage systems.

To help with this process, sports broadcasters need a comprehensive suite of solutions that work seamlessly together and support a wide variety of formats, including ST2110, NDI, SRT, and RTMP. With on-premise and cloud-based solutions for precision test and measurement, advanced sync pulse generators (SPGs) to synchronize media and maintain timing for smoother editing, ST2110 quality monitoring, and multi-channel live capture, ingest, and processing, sports broadcasters can ensure seamless content acquisition workflows.

Sports broadcasters, such as MLB Networks, have looked to prioritize automating post-production workflows to help deliver content to viewers on time during a live broadcast. With over 600 hours of live content daily and over seven petabytes of annual data, finding the right platform to optimize all areas, from media processing to asset management, was crucial for MLB to preserve its live, high-definition baseball-related video content. Having a centralized content management solution that streamlines media discovery, metadata tagging, and retrieval allows MLB to digitize countless hours of baseball content. Overall, the MLB’s approach enables its post-production team to be more efficient and have more control over its archive storage.

The cloud has undoubtedly had a massive impact in helping broadcasters reduce costs and scale production capabilities as needed. Cloud-native solutions offer flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness and are particularly helpful for quality control, media inspection, and encoding processes. Large global sporting events spotlight the cloud’s critical role in remote production. The 2019 Women’s World Cup in France required Fox Sports to deliver captivating and high-quality programs without leaving its base in California. Fox Sports embraced the implementation of cloud-native solutions to address its concerns of large media ingest and transfer, archiving, and live sub-clipping workflows. The result? Fox Sports was able to cut down latency, avoid staff relocation, automate manual processes, and store large amounts of metadata for future use.

The development of artificial intelligence and machine learning  also has a lot to offer for sports broadcasting, and it is already being used to automate repetitive tasks and improve data analysis. AI-powered video analytics software can analyse real-time audience engagement statistics to provide broadcasters with valuable insights, creating informed, revenue-generating content strategies. AIML can also be harnessed to enhance audience interactivity and engagement. With visual cues such as live game statistics or closed captions, fans across different platforms can expect to be fully engrossed in the action.

As audiences continue to grow, the imperative to deliver superior-quality sports broadcasts becomes more pronounced. Sports broadcasters are pushing to find new ways to deliver more exciting and engaging content while streamlining workflows and reducing costs. Automated workflows are increasingly critical to this process and provide innovative new solutions that can be leveraged to build improved efficiencies, which allows editors and content creators more time to focus on their creative work. BroadcastNow

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