Tag Archives: Broadcast

How technology has changed on the UK sports media industry forever

Recently I was invited to write an article on the Vodafone small business blog “Your Better Business”, which I was delighted to accept. The objective of the article was to give an overview of how the sports media industry has been transformed by changes in technology and what the future holds for the industry. Below is my summary and you can see the original here, love to hear if you agree…

Widely available internet access has enabled anyone’s voice to be heard, and on a scale never imaginable of before. I’ve been blogging on sport and the impact of digital media on it for the last five years and it’s only the ready availability of free websites like WordPress, cheap hosting and social media to promote articles and research new ones that has really made it possible.

The impact that technology has had on sport and how it is reported, whether it’s on certain niches such as digital and sport or more general discussions around teams and leagues around the world, has been huge. Previously you could say that sport needed the media, almost on an unconditional basis. But the boot is now firmly on the other foot so to speak.

Marc Cooper, until recently the Head of Audience and Content at The Football League, gave some insight into how the relationship between fans, the media and football teams has changed;

“Football clubs have always been able to give fans certain things that other media can’t, which is information and confirmation. Fans may have read about their team being linked with certain players, and they’ll look to their club website to confirm it. But fans want more than that. They want to be entertained too, and they want to know more about the players at their club. That’s another area that clubs can serve the fans well.”

It’s not only the major sports that have reaped the benefits of being in a more connected world. The so-­‐called ‘lesser known sports’ can now act as their own media company, not having to rely on the scraps available within mainstream publications. This really is a game changer for them and will help raise awareness for their sport and get people interested in playing and/or watching it.

So where does that leave the journalist? The truth is that this has been the most radical shift in the media business in generations. And as with all periods of change there will be a time of adjustment as the old slowly learns how to work with and make use of the new.

The journalist is now the independent trusted resource, the one who has used his/her contacts and found out what is actually happening, not just the rumours (most of the time). They can spend time putting together great analysis and speak directly to the players involved. They are now the authentication, the experts we turn to when in doubt.

The relationship between fans and the media will continue to evolve as technology provides even greater access and insight. Fans will undoubtedly be the winners as the media they consume revolves more around when and where they want to do so.

Geo targeting of information is becoming more refined, helping to merge the online and offline worlds. We will see teams and leagues take back more control of their media, relying less on media rights as they produce their own income from subscriptions, sponsorship and advertising. Until those rights packages that are sold now become unsustainable, or Apple or Google bid for them, then this will take more time to see any radical shifts in live sports especially.

We are still in the early days of this explosion in media and technology, the tip of the iceberg in fact. But what it safe to say is that for media companies to stay relevant there needs to be a change in the mind sets of those involved. To become more fan-centric and deliver the types of content when they want it and how they want it.

The speed of change we are seeing now is frightening at times but this also means that new opportunities are opening up everyday. These gaps in the market are there to be seized upon by whoever is brave and forward thinking enough to spot them. There’s never been a more exciting time to be working in this industry than now!

– See more at: http://yourbetterbusiness.co.uk/the-symbiosis-of-media-and-sport/#sthash.VpXEOHMg.dpuf

ITV to share near-live video highlights of the World Cup

ITV will be sharing near-live highlights of the FIFA World Cup to ITV.com and social platforms following a deal with Grabyo, the real-time video company. ITV will be using the Grabyo platform to share match highlights and post-match commentary clips from its live TV coverage across ITV.com, Facebook and Twitter within seconds.

There has been a rapid acceleration of social media usage as well as mainstream adoption of smartphones and tablets since the last FIFA World Cup. There are now 30 million mobile social media users in the UK[1] while smartphone penetration is expected to reach 75 per cent of the UK population this year[2].  Furthermore, UK consumers now spend an average of 96 minutes a day on social media.[3]

ITV recently launched its new mobile first web experience, ITV.com. The site adopts a clean and simple design offering users a rolling timeline of news around its portfolio of programmes, allowing for content to be shared seamlessly on social media platforms.

Using this new design and working with Grabyo, the broadcaster aims to deliver an exceptional multiscreen World Cup experience to viewers this summer. Live coverage will be complemented with real-time video highlights, which can be discovered on Twitter and Facebook and viewed immediately in a real-time video gallery on ITV.com. The video highlights will cover key moments from 34 matches as well as post-match commentary, culminating with the World Cup final. Brands will have the opportunity to sponsor the clips and extend distribution through promotional and campaign tools.

Ollie Irish, Executive Producer for ITV Sport, said:

“We are very excited to be working with Grabyo to deliver real-time video highlights of ITV games across social media channels and itv.com. The partnership will allow us to enhance the viewer experience and drive conversation around this major TV event as well as offer compelling opportunities for our clients to connect with consumers as all the action unfolds.”

“We’ve been working with sports formats for the last six months but we always knew that the World Cup would be the ultimate real-time format,” comments Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon. “As a real-time, bite-size format that is optimised for viewing on mobile devices, short-form live video is highly appealing to social media users. We see huge and immediate spikes in traffic as premium sports content is shared on social media – and not just the obvious clips such as goals but from all kinds of irreverent clips too. We’re expecting World Cup clips to drive very significant organic reach on their own but it will be fascinating to see how this is extended using promotional tools such as Twitter Amplify.”

Grabyo recently revealed that 72% of its video traffic is mobile, illustrating how effective real-time social video is at reaching mobile social media users, and its platform regularly scales to hundreds of thousands of users within seconds as clips are shared.


[2] IAB – http://www.iabuk.net/blog/2014-the-end-of-the-beginning

The Shift of TV to Social Media Brings Lucrative Deals For Sports Rights Holders

By Gareth Capon (CEO, Grabyo)

The 2014 Fifa World Cup kicks off in Brazil next month with more than a billion fans expected to tune in live for the final. The competition will be a huge draw for brands. In the UK alone, ITV is anticipating a 13 per cent hike in advertising revenues during the second quarter and increasingly, what’s big for TV is big for Twitter.  During primetime there are few days when at least one TV show or TV event is not trending on Twitter. This is particularly true for coverage of sports – which comprise somewhere between 2-3% of TV programming in any given month, but generate close to 50% of Twitter activity. Sport accounted for eight of the top ten most-Tweeted-about topics in the UK last year.

Even the “warm-up” Confederations Cup garnered 36 million Tweets globally. With TV content now shifting to social media, sports rights holders are able to reach vast global audiences and create new value from existing content and strike lucrative deals with brand sponsors.

Consumers are now spending more time using their smartphones than the web and 13 minutes of every hour spent online is on social media platforms. The growth of mobile and social media usage does not show any signs of stopping and it is clear that mobile will soon be the dominant platform for all internet experiences across the globe. Brands must find ways to connect with consumers across multiple media channels and devices.

Twitter’s TV ad-targeting product is one opportunity to address the multi-platform challenge. It gives the opportunity for a brand to send out promotional tweets as their TV ads are airing to any Twitter users that are watching the relevant show and discussing it on the platform.

The challenge however is ensuring that advertising content is interesting enough to drive viral engagement – this is where the real leverage lies for the brand by capturing additional earned (viral) media value and providing social validation of their brand message as users share this with their own (micro) audience on Twitter.

The second opportunity for brands on the platform is linked to Twitter’s recent acquisition of MoPub, which will allow brands to use Twitter data to target people on mobile (using display adverts and banners) via third party mobile websites and apps. TV conversations serve as the mechanism for understanding user preferences and creating segments for targeting.

By far the most interesting development, however, is Twitter Amplify…


Twitter Amplify

With the launch of Twitter Amplify, rights holders are now able to share live TV clips and video content into Twitter in real-time, giving users the opportunity to watch the videos without leaving Twitter. It also allows advertisers and sponsors to directly associate their brand and campaign message with premium TV content using a range of digital media assets, including pre-roll and post-roll videos, display banners and branded galleries, combined with real-time video clips.

Brands can extend TV advertising and sponsorship into social media in order to engage their target audiences in a positive and relevant way. Crucially, brands can use Twitter Amplify to leverage their sponsorship or advertising message at scale – by extending social reach, ensuring the discovery of the video content (and their brand message) and targeting a much larger community of active and relevant social media users.


The Mechanics of Twitter Amplify

One of the challenges when distributing (and consuming) video on Twitter is that many consumers have ‘fast’ feeds – active users follow lots of other Twitter users and see hundreds of posts moving through their feed every time they open the Twitter app. With tweets passing rapidly through the feed, it’s easy to miss a video tweet from a broadcaster or one posted against a hashtag. Twitter Amplify makes it possible to ‘pin’ the video tweet to the visible part of the feed so the user is more likely to see it and engage with it.

Moreover, if a broadcaster sends a tweet from its own Twitter account, it can target only the people that are following that account (i.e. its ‘organic reach’). However, when a sponsor runs a paid campaign with Twitter Amplify, it can target anyone tweeting about that topic or content at that time, or any other user who may be interested in the content.

Therefore, rights holders can ensure their video tweets are seen and use paid media distribution (Twitter Amplify) to extend this reach to a much wider and relevant demographic that may be many times the size of their existing (organic) reach on the platform.

Furthermore, paid media Amplify campaigns encourage extended viral distribution as Twitter users discover these new video tweets in their feed and go on to share the video tweets to their own followers, driving a second wave of viral distribution and greater earned media value for the rights holder and brand.


And The World Cup is Approaching

It’s clearly a compelling proposition for brands that can now scale social engagement for major formats and events; an example of this in 2014 would be sponsoring the live clips of goals scored in the World Cup. The World Cup promises to be a significant revenue driver for Twitter; it is understood that Twitter UK has several brands spending in the region of £500,000 each around the event, with the largest campaigns pushing £1 million.

Enhancing these campaigns using video tweets and Twitter Amplify would enable a brand to become a key part of the social conversation around the tournament and drive that conversation through the viral distribution of content and paid-media campaigns that take the brand message to a broad and highly engaged user group (football fans).

As well as providing a more compelling ad format than a sponsor message or text-based advert alone (e.g. a standard promoted tweet, #hashtag or trend), the brand would be able to ensure active Twitter users see the sponsor idents before the video content is played: so every time a goal is viewed the user would see a message from the sponsor – this isn’t even possible on TV (where sponsor credits only appear at half time during the ad breaks and on the advertising hoardings in the stadium).

As a result, momentum behind Twitter Amplify is now accelerating and the impact from a content rights perspective is particularly interesting as rights holders carve out real-time video as a separate package to maximise its commercial and distribution value. In one of the first and most significant Twitter Amplify deals in 2013, NFL took control of its real-time video assets and struck lucrative sponsorship deals for clips of live content.

A study from GlobalWeb-Index found that 87 per cent of the UK’s 15 million Twitter users intend to watch the World Cup live, with the vast majority (79 per cent) doing so with others and almost half of users (43 per cent) planning to use Twitter to keep up with results.

With brands hungry to scale engagement efforts and connect with consumers around live sporting events, the shift of TV to social media will create an enormous new advertising channel and therefore enormous additional value for sports rights holders – and all from existing content. As the market accelerates in the coming weeks, it’s going to be a fascinating space to watch and rich pickings for those that take part.


Gareth Capon is CEO at Grabyo, the real-time social video company. You can follow him@garethcapon where he tweets about TV and mobile.

This article is taken from a new report – ‘Real-time: The Video Format For a Mobile Generation.’




The Rise of Smart TV, Brings New Innovations For MLB Fans

Guest Post: Charlotte Males is the Founder of Sports Intern UK. She is a firm believer that Digital and Sport have a lot to learn from each other and is excited to see where this partnership can lead. A big fan of US sport, you can contact her at @charliemales.

With the rise of smart TVs, comes the rise of new innovations to enhance the TV viewing experience for the sports fan. This is great news for Major League Baseball fans, as a new application is set to expand and enhance the broadcast viewing experience for fans.

A new partnership between Bloomberg Sports, OneTwoSee and LG Electronics has been announced, and is set to bring real time interactive statistics and advanced analytics to fans TV Screens alongside MLB games. The three companies announced the partnership at CES in January, and the application is free and included on all new LG smart TVs. With Bloomberg Sports supplying the analytics, LG Electronics supplies the hard ware and OneTwoSee being the creative middle man.

The application will allow fans to see engaging data and graphics during the live game. For example, LA Dodger fans watching Clayton Kershaw pitch will be able to see statistics surrounding him, such as; the probability of him throwing a curveball vs. a fastball, or other stats including ball to strike ratio. All stats in the application would update in real-time through-out the game. Stats and analytics will be available for all positions on pitch including batters.

“Smart TV apps can provide highly personalized and targeted ad experiences that are configured to work in lockstep with the broadcast flow… Because the platforms are largely web based, the media delivery options and calls to action are fairly extensive.  In addition, the ad delivery can be tied directly to contextually relevant events and triggered based on those events.  For example, by leveraging our Action Trigger ad platform brands can deliver ads around certain types of plays, such as a steal or a home run, and tie the creative in a campaign to the event.  Imagine a home security company tying delivery of a message whenever there is a stolen base, or a pain medication company delivering ads tied to big hits in an NHL game.” Chris Reynolds, CEO of OneTwoSee.

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MLB viewers can forget second screen apps while watching baseball games- the TV can do all the work for you. These advanced analytics and stats work seamlessly with each game and give fans a more in-depth understanding of the game. This is truly a step forward in innovative fan engagment which can benefit all partners involved. The amount of information available to marketers through these applications makes it incredibly easy for marketers to connect with fans in a variety of creative ways.

The possibilities of this type of application are endless and can be used for all sports. So watch this space as I expect more innovations to becoming to the sports fan through this medium.




Could Chromecast be the Perfect Partner for UK Sport?

Guest Post: Ben Warren is a 1st class honours graduate in Sports Marketing from the University of Northampton with a keen interest in digital innovation within UK and US sport.

Having experienced excellent figures at launch in the UK last month, Google’s latest offering has formed a partnership with the BT Sport platform. If other companies followed suit, could this promote more freedom in the way fans consume sport?

The Google Chromecast is small device that slots into any UK television set via a HDMI port, and allows users to ‘beam’ content from any device, such as a tablet or PC, to their set-top box. According to Gigaom.com, U.K. electronics retailer Currys sold a Chromecast every 4.5 seconds on launch day, leading to comparisons with the launch of the iPad.

BT Sport have clearly shown faith in the product, and believe that this could open up new sectors in the marketplace. Pete Oliver, managing director of BT’s Consumer Commercial and Marketing, said,

“Chromecast has been a tremendous success in the US and we feel it could take off in the UK as well. We are already delivering BT Sport via our App and we are seeing some impressive viewing figures, which demonstrates that customers appreciate this option.

“Customers with Chromecast will be able to enjoy the BT Sport App, which is free with broadband from BT, on a large screen, allowing customers to cast a Barclays Premier League match to their TV, rather than watching on a smaller screen. This helps us to deliver on our aim to bring the best quality sport to BT customers at affordable prices across a wide number of platforms and devices.”

That is clearly a crucial factor here, and with an RRP of £30, it is clear Google are doing everything to make this a tool in everyone’s household.

The main excitement from the consumer perspective should come from increased freedom and accessibility. With Sport being such a lucrative package for television companies, tight restrictions are often in place with services such as Sky Go and Virgin Anywhere. These companies limit the number of devices you can watch on, and often only allow device changes at specified intervals.

If these companies were to get on board with Chromecast, they would have to find a balance. Imagine having a mobile phone, for example, and beaming live Premier League action to any TV in proximity of the phone. Whether it be a friend’s house or a hotel room, one could replicate the traditional entertainment set-up at the touch of a button.

If the past is anything to go by, BT Sport may be the only company willing to take a plunge into the Chromecast pool. Although the user would need a subscription to the service, they could argue it would be taken advantage of. If they decide to use the technology, however, the avenues to consume sport may just become that little bit wider.


bt sport

ESPN: Celebrating March Madness on both sides of the Atlantic

Guest Post: Ash Read is a social media community manager, planner and strategist focusing on the world of sports. Follow him on Twitter at @AshRead14.

“Basketball is one of the biggest participation sports in the UK, and university basketball on both sides of the Atlantic is full of passion, competition and excitement,” explains Charly Classen, Vice President and GM, ESPN EMEA.

All this passion and excitement comes to a head in March: probably the biggest month for basketball in the US and the UK, with the NCAA Tournament and the BUCS Championship both taking place.

With both competitions on both sides of the Atlantic approaching full swing, we decided to catch up with ESPN to see how the game of basketball has grown online in the UK.


UK’s Digital Fan Base Growth

ESPN player shows live and on-demand NCAA college basketball games throughout the year, including all of March Madness. The total amount of college basketball games shown per week in the regular season on ESPN Player averages about 40 games

This amount of coverage is in high-demand. This year, ESPN have seen subscriptions to their College Pass increase 16%, and total minutes of viewing has also increased more than 40% in the same period. So in short:  more people are watching, and they are watching more.


Web Growth

It’s not just ESPN Player subscriptions that are on the rise. ESPN.co.uk recorded a record year in 2013, with more users spending more time than ever. ESPN.co.uk averaged nearly 2 million unduplicated Online and Mobile unique users – a 9 percent year-on-year increase, as Total Page Views grew by an impressive 38 percent

Web video has also been a huge growth area for the company. ESPN.co.uk logged more than 7.6 million video views in 2013 – up 138 percent compared to 2012. The majority of that came in the second half of the year as ESPN ramped up digital video creation and integration.

In terms of basketball, specifically, ESPN cover an enormous amount of basketball news and information (pro and college) on ESPN.com.

In terms of UK-specific traffic to that, between NBA and NCAA college basketball content on ESPN.com, there are about 3.3 million UK visits and a little over 20 million minutes of time spent from Sep ’13 through Feb ’14. This breaks down to a bit more than half a million visits and approx. 3.3 million minutes of time from UK fans each month


What does this mean for the game of basketball in the UK?

 “It seems to me the basketball experience in the UK will be circular, in the sense that as the players get better and the coaching improves and the product becomes better, it creates more interest.” explains Fran Fraschilla, ESPN basketball analyst and former U.S. college basketball coach during an ESPN conference call.

“And more interest means media coverage. And more media coverage means that more young players want to participate in basketball, and the product continues to improve. I think it becomes a circular proposition that each aspect of the improvement of basketball will lead to the next aspect.”

Over recent years, awareness of British Basketball has also grown over in the US, according to Fraschilla; “Those of us who are actively involved in basketball are certainly aware of the continued growth of British basketball.”

There is now more UK born players in the US college system than ever before, pointing to growth of the sport in the UK and also improved standards amongst players from our shores.

Mark Jaram, Head Coach of the Loughborough Student Riders and Assistant Coach of the BBL’s Leicester Riders was also on the conference call and pointed out “there are 55 British players currently playing at the Division I level in the U.S., which is tremendous.  That’s really positive.”

Increased media coverage is certainly a key factor for the growth of basketball in the UK. The more people that are exposed to the game, the better and I certainly agree with Fraschilla when he says: “More interest means media coverage. And more media coverage means that more young players want to participate in basketball, and the product continues to improve.”

Increased interest in both NBA and NCAA coverage in the UK is a positive start and looks to point to a prosperous future for basketball in the UK. Though there are many more hurdles in the way before basketball becomes a mainstream sport in the UK, but that’s a different story…


Celebrate March Madness with ESPN

ESPN Player is hosting a charity basketball game on Friday, March 21 to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and collaborating with British Universities & Colleges Sport to celebrate university basketball on both sides of the Atlantic.

ESPN Player Hoops Madness will take place at the University of East London (UEL) SportsDock. The game will tip off at 4pm and continue for six hours, ensuring that as many people as possible can take part.

For details on the event or to make a donation participants can visit http://www.justgiving.com/ESPNPlayerHoopsMadness. All players who donate will automatically be entered into a draw to win prizes including NCAA team merchandise, ESPN Player subscriptions and more.

More on EPSN Player Hoops Madness can be found here.

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Deal allows La Liga highlights to be shown on Twitter

In a new deal, similar to one Twitter struck with the NFL last year, the platform yesterday announced a deal with Mediapro Agency and Liga de Fútbol Profesional.

This will, with immediate affect, allow highlights from La Liga games to be shown on the platform.  Giving the game in the country access to a much larger audience across the globe.  Not only will there be game highlights but also pre and post game interviews and content.

This will all take place through the @LaLiga account, which was formerly @LFPNews, and will be utilising Twitter Amplify which allows videos to be attached to tweets in real-time.

As insidespanishfootball.com states, “This will make the highlights of every game available to users around the world almost simultaneously as they occur. Starting today, @Laliga becomes the first football competition in Europe to benefit from these tools which will put as the most advanced in terms of online communication. @Laliga with Amplify, is at the level of the great American leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB).”

It’s certainly a deal that takes Spanish football into the realms previously occupied only by the big US sports.  One of the big problems for rights holders has been the use of Vine and YouTube to show goals and content, rights that have been sold to broadcast companies.  This bypasses that  issue and gives fans what they want, when they want it.

“The agreement will allow us to more effectively achieve one of the priorities that we have set for La Liga: the globalization of the Liga BBVA. Now the best league in the world will be on the best social network in the world.”  –  Javier Tebas, LFP President

The CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, stated that this is “a fantastic deal” and that they will continue “working to provide users with the content they are looking for while maintaining the global spirit that has come to define Twitter”.

Could this be the first of many sports federations/rights holders to go down this route?  And it will be interesting to see how it works out financially for LFP through advertising within it and how this compares to previous models they have used for their video rights.  In the UK we can only get delayed goal highlights through Sun+ Goals (paywalled), then highlights at even later stages on TV and official websites.  Hard to see it changing anytime soon with these recent deals in place.


In a separate announcement, 123on, the mobile video platform for the world’s most widely and passionately shared interests will be delivering the highlights straight to fans’ mobile devices in a partnership with MediaPro. 

The 123on platform enables Android phone users to view and share their favorite La Liga BBVA plays simply by downloading the 123on application from Google Play (bit.ly/Nx95hv). Incoming calls, alerts and other prompts then come with a quick video highlight right from the pitch.  Fans can even create their own user-generated mobile content – and share it all with family, friends and other dedicated football lovers.

Twitter La Liga

(From left to right: Javier Tebas, Dick Costolo, Adam Bain and Jaume Roures)



Real-time football clips kick off in UK with Sky Sports and NOW TV using Grabyo

Grabyo, the real-time TV clip-sharing platform, is today announcing it will be helping Sky Sports to promote its coverage of the UEFA Champions League by sharing clips of live games – as well as other clips from Sky Sports News – to social and digital channels.   The clips will be promoted by NOW TV who will be using Grabyo Studio combined with Twitter’s Promoted Tweets to share spectacular real-time video from Sky Sports. This is aimed at increasing awareness and engagement of live Champions League coverage on Sky Sports and NOW TV.

NOW TV is an internet TV service powered by Sky. It offers anyone with a broadband connection the opportunity to enjoy Sky Sports through a day pass. For just £9.99 customers can enjoy all 6 Sky Sports channels for 24-hours.

Grabyo Studio is a cloud-based service that enables broadcasters to instantly grab, edit and share clips in real-time via an easy-to-use browser-based interface.  Broadcasters can use the clip-sharing platform to drive social engagement as well as generate additional advertising and sponsorship revenues by offering brands an integrated cross-platform tool to own the conversation on social media.  Thanks to its integration with Twitter, users can view TV clips as Twitter cards without leaving Twitter, as well as directly within Facebook’s newsfeed on web and mobile.

NOW TV will be using Grabyo Studio to drive engagement and TV tune-in by instantly amplifying clips from Sky Sports live UEFA Champions League coverage. This will include in-game clips, the best goals, build-up and post-match interviews which will be shared in real-time and promoted to football fans that have joined the conversation on Twitter.

The decision by Sky Sports, and NOW TV, to partner with Grabyo follows a successful trial using the Grabyo platform on Transfer Deadline Day in September.  This pilot generated over 570,000 clip views within twelve hours and saw over 6,000 clips being re-shared across social networks with a total reach of over 7 million users

Gidon Katz, Director of NOW TV comments: “We know that lots of people want access to great Sky Sports content but would rather dip in and out rather than having a full subscription. Sharing UEFA Champions League clips in real-time on social platforms helps us to highlight the benefits of instant, pay-as-you-go access to Sky Sports via NOW TV.”

Dave Gibbs, Director of Sky Sports Digital Media, adds: “Grabyo Studio brings simplicity and speed to clip-sharing, making sure that we are first and own the social conversation around TV highlights as well as maximising the impact and reach of the promo clips we share.”

“It’s great to be working with the most innovative pay-TV broadcaster in the UK and Ireland as well as showcasing the Grabyo Studio capability for such a high profile format in the UK,” comments Grabyo founder Will Neale.  “This is an exciting time for broadcasting and we’re delighted to be right at the epicentre of industry innovation.  We’re confident that by focusing on building an end-to-end service focused on speed and simplicity, Grabyo will become the platform of choice for TV clip-sharing.”

The project will commence on Sky Sports’ live coverage of the UEFA Champions League on October 22nd.  Sky will also be using Grabyo Studio to instantly share ad-supported clips of Sky Sports News.



Digital Sport London – Event Review

This week saw us run the first ever UKSN ‘Digital Sport London’, a move into looking beyond just social media but the greater impact that digital innovation has had (as continues to do so) on the Sports Industry.

We’re very proud of the events we put on and are always looking at new ways in which to educate and inspire those who come along.  This is just the start as there are many new innovations and ideas that we’re looking to implement over the coming months, not just in London but elsewhere in the UK.

If you’re interested in what UKSN events there are coming up, then make sure you keep and eye on our events page.  On there now you will find the booking forms for the next Digital Sport London event (13th Nov) and also our first venture into Leeds (20th Nov).  Venues and speakers for both will be revealed shortly.

Back to our most recent event.  We were very lucky to find a great host in The Bakery London, an accelerator fund in Old Street with a great events space and also a thank you to Stream UK who sponsored the drinks on the day.

During the event we heard from a set of amazing speakers who have ‘been there done that’ in a mix of case study presentations and panel sessions, all of which had one theme running through them – live sports events and how digital innovation has impacted the industry.

In future we hope to Live Stream our major events, when this happens we’ll make the announcement and make sure that you are aware of how you can tune in to them.  The aim is to run the first of these at the next Digital Sport London event in November (fingers crossed).

As well as the presentations you can see below, there were two brilliant panel sessions that discussed the topic from very different points of view.  The ‘Sports’ panel consisted of Richard Clarke (Arsenal), Robert Hodges (Sky Sports), Alexandra Willis (AELTC) and Andrew Humphries (The Bakery).  The ‘Tech’ panel had industry luminaries including Simon Banoub (Opta), Sanjit Atwal (Squawka), Duncan Burbidge (Stream UK) and Andy McKenzie (LiveWire Sport).

You can also check out another recap of the day by the guys at Lexis PR with their ‘Digital Sport London: digital channels should focus on the fan experience and brand‘ article.

Below are the presentations from the day.  The first one coming from Alexandra Willis, Editorial Content Manager at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), who looked at this years Wimbledon Championships and how they used digital media to take the message of the championships to fans around the world.


Next up was David Strachan who is Creative Director at Pulse Innovations, a company I know well from working for the earlier in the year.  They are a technology company who work closely with Twitter and have clients such as the Indian Premier League, BBC, International Cricket Council and ESPN.  David gave us a look at the work they’ve been doing with both the IPL and BBC, showcasing how Twitter can be integrated into live broadcast.

In the second half of our programme we took an interesting look at one event from two different perspectives.  The event was the August Transfer Deadline Day, something that’s become a ‘must watch’ for most football fans as we look out for who our teams are going to sign right at the death.

Ball Street are a new company who work with the likes of Ian Wright to deliver football in a different way to fans.  They worked on a live production that involved Wrighty, football bloggers and fans as their production took place with a live studio audience and Google hangouts.  But what did they do and what did they learn from it?  Co-founder Matt Wilson gave us some insights…


Finally, we had the pleasure of welcoming David Gibbs (Director of Digital Media) and Robert Hodges (Social Media & Community Editor) from Sky Sports.  They gave us a multi-platform look at how they covered one of the biggest days in their calendar, one which in-essence they have invented and turned from a plain day in football to an international event.


Thank you to everyone who came along.  Don’t forget to book your place on the next one where we’ll be welcoming some of sports top bloggers as well as speaking to a ‘mystery’ international guest.  For more info go to our events page.




Are Sports Rights-Holders Holding Back Growth of Digital Sports Consumption?

Next week sees our latest event, the newly branded Digital Sports London, which will become a regular feature on the meet-ups scene over the coming months.  This month we’ll be talking about the impact of digital media on live sports events and it’s proving to be a hot topic at the moment.

This week News Corp and Perform have come out saying that rights-holders are holding back growth of sports content consumption on mobile and the internet.  The claim is that they are in effect shooting themselves in the foot by not getting the maximum value for their rights because of their traditional stance on the packaging of deals.

This opinion is one that’s been highlighted at the recent TV Sports Marketing webinar by Sport Business.  Simon Greenberg (Global Head of Right at News Corp) and Oliver Slipper (joint-Chief Executive of Perform) were very frank with what they thought was happening.  Greenberg said;

“I’ve read rights-holders talking about how they are embracing digital. Well, I’m not sure they really are, I don’t think that they fully understand it. You are never going to embrace digital properly if you keep linking it to live rights. It’s a completely separate package of rights on its own.”

The argument is that if digital rights are sold separately then specialist digital operators would be able to bid for them without having to rely on the whim on the live broadcaster and what they wanted to do with their rights.  This would lead to a rise in the value of the mobile and internet rights, whilst the main TV rights would at least hold their value.  Slipper stated;

“The split that needs to happen if a sport wants to ensure that its content is consumed and its rights are monetised to the absolute maximum is splitting the clips away from the live – you just do not want your live rights-holder warehousing clip rights and not expanding the maximum reach of those products.”

This is from two companies who have a want and need to get hold of these rights to help grow their own audiences, thus have a vested interest.  News Corp have, from this season, started showing game highlights on their pay-wall sites for the Sun and Times newspapers, whilst Perform have long worked with the likes of Football League Interactive and numerous betting sites to provide live content.

The point though is a valid one.  We have seen the use of video clips in almost-real-time being used by the NBA, NFL and Sky Sports to create excitement around live events (driving to TV) and also monetised through sponsorship using platforms such as Grabyo and SnappyTV.  It is only a matter of time before it becomes the norm here in the UK and elsewhere but with the main sports still prioritising the tying up multi-year deals with media companies, the question is when would it even be possible?

For the full talk you can download the webinar at http://www.sportbusiness.com/webinar-digital-sport-new-platforms-new-behaviours-new-models?src=1310WT26DXX08

This is certainly an area that will come up next week when we speak to the likes of Wimbledon, Sky Sports and Arsenal.  It will be fascinating to hear which side of the fence they sit on this one.

You can book your place at Digital Sport London (9th Oct) here: https://digitalsportlive.eventbrite.co.uk