The final instalment of my series aiming to explore the historical, current and future symbiosis between sport and media by analysing the media and digital transformations that have developed within the sport industry and sport media ecology.
So here we are… The final blog post within the series!
If anything, this blog has highlighted the impact technological innovations have made and are still making within sport and society. This certainly makes trying to predict the future of sport and media extremely difficult due to the pace of change and the digital transformations occurring, affecting all stakeholders within this ecosystem. However, I felt it would be appropriate to conclude this series by exploring some key trends and insights that have already started to appear and may continue to gain momentum within the future of the Sport Media Ecology.
Tech Players, Gen-Z and Esports
As I have explored in previous posts within my series, the way fans are consuming live sport both at and away from the stadium has significantly transformed. With the increased interactivity, convenience of access and other affordances provided by by the proliferation of online streaming platforms, for example, I believe other tech companies will follow suit to invest in sports rights in order to capitalise on the new digital consumer who continues to seek even more technologically advanced and personalised solutions for consuming high-quality sports content. However, with the rise of the Gen-Z population becoming a hot topic especially in the world of sports, perhaps we will see a greater variety in the type of sports content broadcast or new format types be introduced as a result of this demographics lower attention span and desire for shorter formats. In particular, eSports will no doubt continue to grow and see further acceleration towards its acceptance through the backdrop provided by COVID-19 pandemic.
Personalisation and Immersive Experiences
On the other hand, the eSports market has things to learn from the traditional sports industry. The way you can create a thrilling show to impress your fans, and create memorable experiences for them. For example, eSports physical events can be frustrating as everything happens virtually and the fans only see the giant screens, missing some important information and the in-game atmosphere. In this area, the use of AR/VR and the traditional vision and experience of sports events will allow to create outstanding immersive experiences for eSports fans. As the personalisation trend continues across all parts of the fan experience, and as other broadcast and streaming entertainment options continue to grow more personalised and customisable, the bar for the great sports experience will likely only rise. AR, and to another extent, VR, could permit the creation of immersive media, allowing every user to display stats, social media feeds, betting crowds or other screens around their TV, revolutionising the way to watch sports at home, or out of the stadium, by personalising their feed depending on interests.
Alongside current AR and VR developments, new technology such as drones and artificial Intelligence will likely have a big impact on the way content is generated through the angles produced while cloud based video delivery allow high-quality video content to be produced at a relatively low price and delivered immediately in real time. This could mean that smaller events and sports become more prominent as they can now also benefit from lower production costs.
The possibilities are endless and with technology continuing to pioneer these changes the sport media landscape will continue to be disrupted, whether it is the way of delivery, the content, alternative players, production or advertising.
Let’s just hope we don’t end up living in the matrix…
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