Sports broadcasting Wildmoka

Member Insights: Sport Broadcasters And The End Of Coronavirus Lockdowns – “And Now What?”

May 28, 2020

Jakob Hummes, Head of Sales EMEA for Wildmoka, evaluates how the sports broadcasting model will change thanks to Covid-19.

At the time of writing (May 2020), the Covid-19 crisis has led to an unprecedented pause of sport events and leagues around the world. As a consequence, many viewers of pay-TV cancelled their subscriptions as sports were their main reason for membership. Meanwhile, free-to-air channels have seen advertising rates collapse while the economy has been in lockdown.

At present, several top football leagues (including the German Bundesliga and the Turkish Super League) have already announced they plan to finish their seasons. The German Bundesliga have had their first matchdays since the shutdown and Sky Germany scored an amazing, combined five million viewers on opening weekend. Big sporting events are still planned to go ahead during August and September too (e.g. Tour de France, Roland Garros) and will coincide with the start of new football seasons. Advertisers will come back as the economy restarts and brands try to make up for lost sales.

How should sports broadcasters prepare?

Given the fast-changing situation, trying to predict the future would be foolish but we can learn from broadcasters who successfully adapted their digital strategies.

Increase the number of contents, maximize the return

Not only after the lockdown, but now, even more, customers are desperate for content.

More content brings more audiences which brings more revenue.

Our analysis of the sports broadcasting strategy at France TV for Roland Garros and  Tour de France in 2019 demonstrates this fact clearly. By drastically increasing the amount of live coverage on digital pop-up channels and by creating highlights from sports as diverse as cycling and tennis, France TV benefited enormously:

  • Advertising income from digital channels increased beyond original expectations
  • The digital channels did not cannibalize the linear channels – the tennis and cycling events selected for the linear channel attracted even larger audiences.

The biggest take-away of those analyses is more content brings more audiences which brings more revenue.

More personal, less churn

Another key finding is personalization is increasingly important and can help capture audiences which drifted away during the lockdown.

For example, French pay-TV giant Canal+, whose digital strategy offers viewers a highly personalized experience when following football matches. The expert mode of the Canal+ app puts the viewer in the director’s seat. Our analysis suggests personalization strengthens loyalty and decreases churn.

Widen the net

With customer churn for sports broadcasters likely to be higher during and after lockdown, it will be more important than ever to use every tactic available to capture and bring audiences back.

One strategy we see being very successful for football broadcasters is to capture actions that were happening moments before and publishing them in record time to social media. – This generates much needed awareness and helps boost subscription numbers.

Choice is more important than ever

Another trend we see as crucial for winning audiences in uncertain times is to give viewers maximum choice.

One technique is to give audiences the kind of highlight summaries they want. You can maximize the number of summaries and give your subscribers the choice of different length summaries for each and every football match. – Cater to their tastes if they prefer a short, a medium, or a long match summary, or just the highlights of the matchday. We are seeing global and national sports broadcasters adopting more digital means to keep their subscribers loyal.

Important: To be most relevant, you need to publish the individual highlights and the highlight packages, as soon as possible. Speed is paramount.

The Wildmoka Advantage: Need for Speed – Wildmoka is used by tier-1 broadcasters and pay-TV providers around the world.

Demand for sports content is higher than ever and there is no doubt audiences will return once lockdowns are lifted.

The need for speed

One main motivation of our customers behind their choice for Wildmoka is their need for speed. Wildmoka’s intuitive and easy-to-use user interface makes clipping content from a live stream incredibly easy. Combined with the highlight automation for various sports, the character recognition on the videos to make them searchable, the templating of destination settings, the ability to search on close captions or subtitles and more generally on the metadata – all of those features contribute to the fact Wildmoka can offer an extremely fast turn-around from the creation to the publishing or distribution of clips.

Automation for sports

One of the Wildmoka’s differentiators for sport broadcasters is to offer automatic generation of in-game highlights with distribution in seconds instead of minutes (e.g. “goal alert” to mobile apps). We also offer the generation of automatic highlight summaries at the end of the game. Different summaries for different sets of consumers can be generated automatically and thus increase the value of sport rights.

Reliability and experience

For football matches, Wildmoka’s customers today use our artificial intelligence for the most prestigious European leagues and competitions:

  • English Premier League (EPL)
  • Italian Series A
  • French League 1
  • Champions League
  • Europe League
  • Nations League.

Scalable, cloud-native and remote-working ready

Wildmoka is cloud native. The platform is fully scalable to any number of concurrent ingest streams, any number of editors, and any number of videos produced and distributed. Editors access Wildmoka through a browser from anywhere. The user may be in the offices, in the events venues or even working from home. Remote production becomes the norm rather than the exception.

Highly flexible

Wildmoka supports the quick creation of pop-up channels to offer more live streams to your subscribers via OTT streams. This means you are no longer limited by the number of TV channels, and do not need to invest a large set of OTT encoders that are idle most of the time. What previously was a technical decision now becomes an editorial decision.

Are you prepared for sports broadcasting after the lockdown?

The coronavirus lockdown has caused havoc with sports schedules and created huge amounts of uncertainty. However, demand for sports content is higher than ever and there is no doubt  audiences will return once lockdowns are lifted.

To learn how Wildmoka can help with your post-coronavirus sports broadcasting strategy, contact us today.

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