Blog: Generating New, Compelling and Affordable Sports Streaming Content

Capture and stream more compelling sports content, engage and expand audiences, AND do it for a fraction of the traditional cost? AI-automated live sports streaming systems make it all possible.

For many years, linear TV platforms have been the unchallenged source for live sports content, pulling in viewers to collectively watch must-see contests that exploit the human and tribal impulse to support our sporting heroes.

IQ Sports Producer MulitiCamera Production image web

Streaming platforms are now looking to capture a share of that compelling content — and their associated revenue streams. One of the ways such platforms are seeking to accomplish this is to use the latest technological advances available to the broadcast and media industries to produce sports content affordably.

Live sports viewers have become accustomed to high quality productions featuring multi-camera capture of the on-field action accompanied by continual expert commentary, sideline reporting with half-time and full-time pundit discussions. We have all seen the fleets of outside broadcast trucks that roll to these events to provide such comprehensive coverage. Traditionally, the costs required to make such productions happen have been considerable.

The growing interest in consuming sub-tier 1 sports content has presented an interesting opportunity for broadcasters and other content rights holders. With more sporting rights becoming available for lower tier content, and with a fan base eager to consume such content, a question that is increasingly being posed is how to capture and produce new content for a cost that matches the scale of this sub-tier 1 content — while still fulfilling viewer expectations.

Vislink, through its Mobile Viewpoint line of solutions, believes it has found a way to deliver high quality productions that can satisfy the cost base requirements of streaming platforms.

Mobile Viewpoint has been a pioneer in leveraging artificial intelligence techniques and high-quality panoramic cameras to create a video capture and production system that can deliver high-grade sporting productions.

With an AI engine that can identify players, differentiate between separate teams, track balls, pucks and other objects and their trajectories — even if temporarily obscured behind players — Mobile Viewpoint’s IQ Sports Producer can track the sporting action as the game moves around the field of play and deliver a compelling multi-camera, multi-view production across many different types of sports, including football, basketball, ice hockey and soccer.

To deliver the live commentary on the onsite action, Mobile Viewpoint complements the video production with an app which allows audio commentary to be overlayed and synchronized with the live video. The commentator can even work remotely and still deliver co-timed discussion on the excitement of the match. The app also incorporates tools to allow live updates of the production scoreboard and clip video content for action replays. This satisfies another important aspect required to deliver a premium, total sports production experience for the viewer.

In addition to the inherent cost advantages that realizable from an AI-automated system, many organizations that have trialled and deployed the Mobile Viewpoint multi-camera AI sports production system have commented on how IQ Sports Producer delivers a more dynamic and engaging production than the single-camera, human operated productions that have been more prevalent in use to date. It has also opened up creative opportunities for hybrid AI-automated/human-operated deployment options. One example is retaining a human camera operator’s services, but relocating the camera not to cover the match, but to capture and deliver additional content from the sidelines of the sports event. This allows the opportunity to include interviews with players and the team coach or to cut-in reactions from players on the bench.

To deliver engaging studio-based discussion productions that would suit half-time and full-time sports conversational programming, Mobile Viewpoint also offers vPilot — an AI-driven studio content production system that creates professional, multicamera productions easily and affordably without the need for a camera operator or director team. The system controls studio pan-tilt-zoom cameras to focus on the presenters, track them if they move and dynamically select wide or close-up shot, choosing to frame individual presenters or multiple presenters reacting to 2-way discussions or longer monologues as the conversation and to direct the program output in a way that engages the viewer with a pace that reflects the excitement of the discussions taking place.

Productions can include easy-to-add features like graphics, dynamic ticker tape, overlays and video insertions. vPilot also allows engagement-building elements such as statistics, expert commentary and match analysis to be added to the program segments.

While some organizations may be looking to take a produced video feed and ingest it into their online streaming platforms, others may be seeking a consumer delivery solution that is separate from global content platforms such as YouTube. This approach would allow access to new monetization options in addition to providing more control.

For those seeking to deploy their own streaming platforms, Mobile Viewpoint can deliver that capability as well. The MyTeamStream platform allows content owners such as individual clubs or leagues to brand, stream and monetize content in their own way and build out their online fan base with content-rich programming that engages fans and grows audiences.

With the ability to deliver professional-grade, broadcast-quality streams while incorporating premium production attributes while supporting distribution to social media, OTT and other platforms — and all at a fraction of the traditional cost, IQ Sports Producer represents the “new face” of live sports streaming solutions.

Vislink and Mobile Viewpoint will be a featured exhibitor and participant in key topical presentations at this year’s NAB New York October 19-20. We’ll be demonstrating our latest all-IP innovations for AI-driven news and sports, bonded cellular and 5G live streaming solutions for major events and wireless camera technology. Our team will be onsite in Booth #1219.  Visit the Vislink NAB New York Event Page to find out more.