Saturday, 27th May, 2017

SportsProLive 2017 finds Golf ideal for OTT Development

Story published at 22:45, Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Page last updated at 10:45 am, Wednesday, April 5th, 2017


(from left) Tom Middleditch, Head of Digital, Eleven Sports Network; Mark Parkman, General Manager, Olympic Channel; Ralph Rivera, MD, Eurosport Digital, Eurosport (speaking into the microphone); Carlo de Marchis, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, deltatre Media, moderator

(from left) Tom Middleditch, Head of Digital, Eleven Sports Network; Mark Parkman, General Manager, Olympic Channel; Ralph Rivera, MD, Eurosport Digital, Eurosport (speaking into the microphone); Carlo de Marchis, Chief Product & Marketing Officer, deltatre Media, moderator

The sport of golf is in a good position to take advantage of the future developments in over the top (OTT) video streaming, a broadcast option that may soon produce a “Netflix for sports”, according to key delegates at SportsPro Live 2017 in London last week, writes Ross Biddiscombe, TV sports journalist and author, reporting exclusively for GBN.com

Although the OTT trends will almost certainly be driven by sports like football, golf tournaments contain plenty of data and lots of opportunity for personalised viewing which are perfect for the new generation of digital broadcasting channels and services, said Carlo de Marchis, chief product & marketing officer at deltatre Media.

“Golf will not be left behind in OTT developments,” said de Marchis, “because fans want to see things like shots from various angles and also move around to see different players at the tournaments. So golf is a perfect candidate for OTT streaming because this kind of personalisation is what will drive the new kinds of digital viewing.”

Mark Parkman, general manager of the Olympic Channel, said that golf was helped a lot by returning to the Games at Rio last year. “We’re speaking to both the PGA Tour and the European Tour and they’re doing a lot to engage young people and those are just who will watch the sport online on mobiles and tablets.”

Parkman added that the Netflix style of broadcasting has transformed the way sports are being presented. “We need to use content in a different way,” he said.

Ralph Rivera, managing director of Eurosport Digital said the ‘Netflix of sport’ idea is yet to be delivered, but it is about providing as an OTT product that is something not available normal TV channels.

Rivera says there also needs to be a change in the thinking of sports broadcasters, which will include sports such as golf. “In a sport where most spectators are also players, watching a tournament on TV or any screen cannot be the centre of the telecast any more. We know a lot about online viewers because digital viewing provides the data, so what OTT needs to do – and it’s the hardest thing – is to give the audience an experience that also reflects their participation.”

The SportsPro Live 2017 conference aimed to deliver sports industry insights about improving business performance. This year’s focus was on the technological revolution overtaking sports and the event consisted of over 70 speakers discussing this and other topics with 700 attendees across the two days.

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