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CES Report: Let Sports Inspire Online Entertainment, Says NeuLion

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Who's doing the most interesting things in online entertainment? Sports leagues, says Chris Wagner, executive vice president of marketplace strategy for NeuLion. Speaking on an International CES 2015 panel on hybrid TV, Wagner related how exciting hockey is to Rogers Communications streaming customers in Canada, who can choose to watch the home feed, away feed, or various other cameras placed in the nets, on the referees, or in other locations.

Fans can decide how they want to watch the game, creating their own personal experience. Those kinds of lessons could be applied to entertainment, Wagner said. Using Game of Thrones as an example, he suggested interactive elements could let viewers catch up on something they might have missed, or go back to a key scene to re-discover its importance.

"The young people watch everything very differently," Wagner said, preferring a personal iPad to a big-screen TV. Young viewers might also prefer a more interactive, personal experience with scripted content. "It's not a passive experience anymore…There's a demo that would prefer to watch it that way."

NeuLion made news yesterday with its acquisition of DivX, and Wagner touched on that, as well.

"DivX is our push into 4K," Wagner said, noting that the acquisition will allow NeuLion to offer higher streaming quality to its sports rights-holder customers. Later this month, NeuLion will test a 4K 60fps stream at a major sporting event. The quality is impressive, he said.

"For sports, its off the charts: it's phenomenal," Wagner said.

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