Responding to the changing landscape of sports broadcasting

by | Jul 5, 2021 | Blog Post

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire sports broadcasting industry. The sports sector has been particularly hard hit, with the cancellation and postponement of matches and events worldwide. Although live sport has begun to welcome spectators back into stadiums, there is still a long road to recovery.

With many changes on the horizon for sports organisations, let’s take a look at 3 commonly asked questions and explore how sports federations can overcome the unprecedented effects of the last 16 months. 

1. How can I adapt to changing circumstances in sports broadcasting?

The world of sports can be unpredictable at the best of times. Outside of the challenges of Covid, some sporting events require last minute schedule changes and extended broadcasting time. The pandemic introduced additional hurdles, with social distancing, lockdowns and new virus strains impacting on the likelihood of live events happening.

Federations have been faced with the challenge of keeping momentum going during a period of little or no new sports content. The task of planning ahead requires complex and difficult consideration. With fans wanting live sports to return to normal but uncertainty of what the upcoming months may have in store, federations must be prepared and able to quickly respond to any last-minute changes. 

With innovations in cloud-based technology and the growing awareness around IP’s capabilities, sports organisations can now take advantage of alternative content delivery methods to reach and engage audiences. In uncertain times, sports organisations need a combination of flexibility and control. Adaptable infrastructure allows rights holders to tailor their broadcasting environment to each event’s specific requirements.

By combining the reliability of IP circuits with the flexibility of a cloud platform, our Livelink IaaS solution allows users to set-up infrastructure in minutes. This cloud-based broadcasting environment can then be maximised when needed or put into a stasis mode between events. By removing the need for physical infrastructure such as satellite trucks and the restrictions of expensive pre-booked capacity, sports organisations can become agile in the face of uncertainty.

2. How can I increase reach for my sport?

Clubs and federations have been forced to adapt to consumer’s new viewing habits by diversifying their content offerings. The demand for sports content is still prevalent, but consumers are now seeking alternative types of content, such as bite-sized videos and documentaries. To grow an audience, you must provide the content formats that consumers are engaging with. 

Live sporting events require the flexibility to deploy resources and broadcast globally. Additionally, providers shouldn’t be limited by the inability to respond to changing situations. In the event of schedule changes and overruns, broadcasters must be confident that they can continue with the live feed to keep viewer’s attention. 

Uninterrupted, high-quality delivery is a must for broadcasters, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Organisations, particularly those delivering niche sports content, need to maximise the potential of additional content in the run-up to the main event. With IP broadcasting offering a cost-effective solution, clubs and federations can now start to share more of their live content and grow the community of fans interacting with it.

With its adaptable infrastructure, our Livelink platform responds quickly, making scaling up and down a seamless task. It offers maximum live events coverage opportunities while keeping distribution costs low, making it more affordable for operators looking to distribute their content to wider audiences. Furthermore, with Livelink able to deliver flexible and high-quality live feeds worldwide, fans don’t need to leave their houses to immerse themselves in the action – which is just as well, since Covid related bans have restricted non-essential travel. By leveraging a global community of fans with exciting content formats and social media engagement, clubs and federations can continue to grow despite the restrictions. 

3. How can I deliver content cost-effectively? 

Recouping lost revenues is going to be a priority for both mainstream and niche sports organisations as they recover from the pandemic. IP provides an affordable alternative to traditional broadcasting methods, and the high costs associated with satellite OB trucks, dedicated fibre lines, and additional staffing.

Through a self-serve IP approach, the cost of broadcasting can be kept to a minimum. Reducing the need for physical infrastructure and associated obsolescence, as well as streamlining the delivery route to takers by decoupling provision and switching requirements. Likewise, using a pay-as-you-go model means the content provider only pays for the infrastructure they need rather than over-booking capacity or having infrastructure sitting idle. 

As broadcasters continue to look for cost-efficient contribution and distribution workflows, Livelink provides a truly competitive alternative to traditional broadcasting methods. With the road to Covid recovery underway, IP offers the potential for maximum content delivery and reach, reduce outgoing costs and enabling sports organisations to reinvest the savings into growing their sport.