Sport is one language that is spoken all across the world. With a global drive towards a healthier lifestyle that is directed more towards physical activity, sports in general and outdoor sports in particular are gaining a lot of traction.

The Sports Broadcast Industry and SaaS – A Winning Combo

One more reason behind the increasing popularity of sports is that most of them have now become a science in themselves. Further, today’s sport followers are also very well informed about their favorite game.

A defining trend in the way most modern sports are played is the introduction of technology in its every aspect. Even before a player has stepped into the arena, a plethora of historical stats are instantly available to viewers as well as fans.

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Then, there is the psychological affinity with a particular game, team or player that may be based on nationality, technique or one’s personal liking. All the above cited factors and some others have made many sports a multi-billion-dollar industry.

How Technology has Proliferated Sports?

The ground breaking progress in information and communication technologies over the past few years has paid rich dividends in the sporting industry as well. It has become much more feasible to broadcast a sporting event live across the globe.

How Technology has Proliferated Sports?

Another aspect that has really helped this industry is the wide range of delivery channels. Few of us would remember the days of past when you would get the update about your favorite game’s outcome in the next day’s morning newspaper.

The rapid bandwidth growth in internet has converted it into yet another effective and economical means of transmitting sporting events to billions of viewers at a time. A relatively new addition to this wide range of delivery vehicles is social media.

While it may sound odd to some of you, there is a healthy ratio of around 22% people who use various social media platforms just so they can follow the latest updates about their favorite game.

Limiting Factors of Sports Industry

Now that we have highlighted the bright side, let’s also discuss some key factors that are inhibiting the growth of the sports industry, especially when it comes to ones that are yet to achieve mainstream status.

The case of a few mainstream sports such as football, tennis and cricket is different. These sports and their respective fans have almost fully matured by now and little to no effort is required to retain and increase audience or fan base.

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Before any sporting event can be presented to a global audience, broadcasting rights have to be purchased, which are prohibitively expensive. Most involve a competitive bidding process which promotes the culture of “survival of the fittest”.

Purchasing broadcasting rights is just one segment of the distribution chain of the sports industry. To support the effective transmission of a sporting event over any channel, the broadcaster has to maintain an elaborate and expensive hardware.

Like most on premise hardware requirements, sports broadcasters also have to plan for the worst case or max usage scenarios. This means investing heavily in hardware, most of which will remain under or unutilized for majority of the time.

How SaaS Can Save the Day for Sports?

as tremendous potential to alleviate the problems of sports broadcasters by reducing costs as well as increasing outreach and fan base. Here’s how:-

Scalable Architecture

The sporting industry in general is highly seasonal in nature and fan engagement fluctuates as the hype around sporting events builds and ends. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model is highly suited for variable demand scenarios.

If a broadcaster avails SaaS, the content delivery service can instantly be scaled up or down to meet the changes in viewership demand. The other great aspect of this solution is that a broadcaster will pay on a usage basis instead of idle capacity.

Flexibility

The other challenge for distributors is the time and effort it takes to properly package sporting content when such major events are in progress. If we rely purely on traditional means, those are both time and resource intensive.

A SaaS model, on the other hand, affords the flexibility of preparing, packaging and distributing sporting content virtually in real-time with minimal resources as compared to traditional delivery channels such as television.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

In order to retain the existing viewership and attract new fans, today’s sports broadcasters have to break the barriers of offering their content in the traditional or predictable way. Instead, the present day user wants interactive and engaging content.

The ultimate manifestation of this engagement level is to make the viewing experience so immersive that a viewer considers itself as part of the sporting event. AI, coupled with well orchestrated ML algorithms can make this happen virtually in real time.

ML can make short work of years of historical data related to a particular sport, team or player and AI can extract valuable insights from that data to anticipate the results of the event in progress. This makes for a fun and engaging experience.

Conclusion

It is no wonder that within the multibillion dollar cloud computing industry, SaaS reigns supreme as the largest segment. The SaaS model has ample to offer in the sporting industry, especially when it comes to sports that are not yet mainstream.