Sports Streaming Organizations Step Up Their Game

Two recent announcements indicate just how crucial streaming video has become to the media strategies of virtually all sports organizations around the world.

First, UK-based Servecast, a company focused on what it terms "sportscasting," is gearing up for its New Media Sportscasting Summit. After confirming that Sky Sports commercial manager David Gibbs would keynote the event, to be held March 1 in the Emirates Stadium in London, Servecast has also announced that seven of the final sixteen clubs in the UEFA Champions League will be represented, including Chelsea, Manchester, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Glasgow.

"The diversity of clubs, organizations, and broadcasters represented at our summit demonstrates the appetite across all sports to investigate and research new media solutionsm" says Darach Deehan, chief executive of Servecast.

Summing up the sentiment of the sports industry as it embraces streaming technologies in a big way, Servecast’s Deehan noted that the event isn’t just about the technology, but rather about how to best craft mutually beneficial business models.

"The event promises to be a tremendous research and networking opportunity to bring together clubs, governing bodies and broadcasters," said Dehaan, "to debate and provide new media solutions to our mutual advantage."According to Servecast’s recent announcement, the conference "brings together the most experienced and successful practitioners in New Media Sportscasting to share their experiences in growing successful broadband video services." The summit targets three screens—computer, television, and broadband mobile—and covers several topic areas such as promotion strategies, recruiting and retaining subscribers, and the implications of rights negotiations. New to this year’s summit is a look into the use of video search engines to complement online TV services.

Servecast’s move to establish itself as a leader in sports video broadcasting events is akin to several other moves throughout the sports entertainment industries. One other announcement last week is of particular interest to those in the U.S. mobile video market. The Sports Video Group (SVG) just celebrated its first joint partnership at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and will partner with the National Association of Broadcasters for the upcoming NAB 2007 show to be held in Las Vegas in mid April.

"Very few areas of video production are as demanding as sports production," said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr. "With sports content continuing to play a key role in consumer adoption of digital TV, our partnership with SVG focuses on the unique interests of sports broadcasters, professional and college sports teams, major sports venues, and sports leagues."

Like Servecast, SVG promises attendees of its NAB-sanctioned event access to key sports network, league, and technology leaders, with the express intent of informing those who wish to create broadband broadcast content with specific tips and tricks to make informed buying decisions at the larger NAB show.

"This one-day conference will emphasize the latest tools and techniques that will make a difference in the quality of sports productions and on the bottom line," says Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG Editorial Director. "Given the exciting array of new technologies and delivery mediums that are literally reshaping sports production as we know it, we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring traditional and new media communities together at NAB."

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