Twitter Continues its Push to Become Live-Streaming Service

Twitter is looking to strengthen its status as a social destination for sports fans by striking deals with Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League to host live video of games for users who are in out-of-market regions. The move follows a similar agreement with the National Football League that will bring “Thursday Night Football” to Twitter this fall, a partnership with the National Basketball Association to live-stream original programming (but not games), and deals with Pac-12 Networks and Campus Insiders to stream college sports during the 2016-2017 season. Continue reading Twitter Continues its Push to Become Live-Streaming Service

VR Companies Learn the Ropes in Broadcasting Live Sports

Sports coverage in virtual reality is gaining momentum. Jaunt VR, NextVR and IM360 have all shown virtual reality applications for professional baseball, basketball, football, soccer and Daytona 500 auto racing. But sports coverage in VR creates new and unique challenges for producers. For example, VR cameras can’t zoom — a common practice in typical sports coverage — meaning the camera has to be as close to the players as possible, easy for boxing but a tougher proposition for, say, football. Continue reading VR Companies Learn the Ropes in Broadcasting Live Sports

Twitter Tests Live-Streaming Sports with Wimbledon Coverage

Twitter is live-streaming tennis tournament Wimbledon, finally giving viewers the chance to see what live-streamed sports look like on the platform. The company earlier this year paid NFL $10 million for the rights to stream some Thursday Night Football games but, up until now, no one had any idea what that would actually look like. Beginning on Wednesday, Wimbledon’s official Twitter account began tweeting the live feed, with the video stream at the top of a “Live” page, with scrollable tweets listed below. Continue reading Twitter Tests Live-Streaming Sports with Wimbledon Coverage

What Twitter’s NFL Deal Means For Live Sports on TV, Online

Twitter’s acquisition of the rights for “Thursday Night Football” shows that a social media platform can compete with traditional broadcasters for the highest value of all TV rights deals. Although it’s not clear whether the deal indicates that more non-traditional deals are in the offing, one thing is certain: because sports organizations want viewers to be able access their events on any device at any time, they lead other content owners in figuring out what the new viewing ecosystem might look like. Continue reading What Twitter’s NFL Deal Means For Live Sports on TV, Online

Twitter Hopes to Prove Live-Streaming Value with NFL Games

Twitter reported revenue of $595 million for Q1 2016, below Wall Street expectations, adding to its growing list of woes. User growth, an area of concern since its 2013 IPO, remains modest, with an average 310 million monthly users in Q1 2016, up from 305 in Q4 2015. But most of the growth came from outside the U.S., where markets are less mature and therefore less lucrative. One ray of hope is Twitter’s deal with the NFL to live-stream Thursday Night Football games, which has drawn interest from other sports leagues. Continue reading Twitter Hopes to Prove Live-Streaming Value with NFL Games

DirecTV Set to Deliver First-Ever 4K UHD MLB Game April 15

Although Super Bowl 50 was broadcast only in HD, now media outlets are beginning to deliver live sports in 4K Ultra HD. AT&T’s DirecTV says it plans to deliver as many as 25 MLB Network games live in the new format this year, although its 4K Ultra HD will not feature high dynamic range (HDR). Sony reports it just accomplished a 4K Ultra HD (with HDR) test broadcast on a February 10 soccer match between Mexico and Senegal, in Miami’s Marlin Park. Last year, about 6.3 million UHD TV sets shipped in North America. Continue reading DirecTV Set to Deliver First-Ever 4K UHD MLB Game April 15

Super Bowl 50 Sets New Streaming Record, According to CBS

Although CBS has yet to release official figures, the network claims yesterday’s Super Bowl matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers drew a record number of viewers who streamed the game. NBC broke streaming records last year with 800,000 viewers per minute on average and about 1.3 million concurrent users. Eclipsing the previous year’s numbers should come as no surprise since today’s consumers are more comfortable with streaming, and CBS made the game easy to access for free via OTT devices including Apple TV, Roku and Xbox One. Continue reading Super Bowl 50 Sets New Streaming Record, According to CBS

Apple, Google, Amazon, Verizon Vie for NFL Streaming Rights

After determining that the broadcast rights to “Thursday Night Football” would be split between CBS and NBC, the National Football League is now deciding who will win the games’ digital streaming rights. Although the NFL has been mum on which companies it’s negotiating with, sources say that Apple, Amazon, Google and Verizon are vying for the rights, which could be sold to more than one distributor. Even if one outlet gets the digital rights, they won’t be exclusive, since CBS, NBC and NFL already plan to stream the games. Continue reading Apple, Google, Amazon, Verizon Vie for NFL Streaming Rights

Data Analytics: AI Could Assist Coaches in Professional Sports

Football coaches are already using artificial intelligence to help them on the sidelines. Students at North Carolina State University built an AI that could predict whether an NFL team would pass or run the ball. The AI called the plays correctly 91.6 percent of the time during an NFL game. The technology may not yet be ready for a real-time game situation, but with more data and research into machine learning and game theory, AI could become a big league contender. Continue reading Data Analytics: AI Could Assist Coaches in Professional Sports

YouTube Adds Real-Time Spots to Super Bowl AdBlitz Platform

For the eighth year in a row, YouTube launched its AdBlitz platform, a channel and separate website that displays Super Bowl television spots online before game day and allows viewers to vote for their favorite ads. This year, YouTube has unveiled a new feature: a real-time advertising tool, which enables advertisers to run ads across Google’s platforms, timed to big moments during live events, such as a game-winning field goal. Currently in beta, the feature was already tested by a Marco Rubio Super PAC on debate night. Continue reading YouTube Adds Real-Time Spots to Super Bowl AdBlitz Platform

Facebook Sports Stadium Hosts Live Game Stats, Commentary

Facebook launched a new section of its website devoted to live updates from big sports events. The Facebook Sports Stadium is a combination of live game data from Sportradar, play-by-play updates, and commentary from both verified experts and regular Facebook friends. This new sports hub is designed for sports fans to use while they are watching games on television. Currently, many of the social conversations surrounding live TV events are taking place on Twitter. Continue reading Facebook Sports Stadium Hosts Live Game Stats, Commentary

In Strategy Reversal, Yahoo Shutters its Online Video Portal

Yahoo has shut down Yahoo Screen, the company’s four-year-old video portal that had been a major component of chief exec Marissa Mayer’s turnaround strategy. Yahoo took a $42 million write-off on original video content in October, and while Yahoo Screen had yet to compete with video giant YouTube, comScore notes that the portal had about 15 million U.S. visitors in November. The portal had provided easy access to Yahoo’s video content — from digital magazines, concerts and football games to licensed reruns of “Saturday Night Live” and original series such as “Community.” Continue reading In Strategy Reversal, Yahoo Shutters its Online Video Portal

Live-Streaming NFL Game Could Be Big First Step for Yahoo

Yahoo plans to live-stream Sunday’s game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills. The matchup, being played at London’s Wembley Stadium and produced by CBS, will be streamed globally for free via Yahoo’s platforms including Screen and Tumblr. Streaming the game could be a possible first step for Yahoo and the NFL in developing online offerings alongside broadcast and cable TV deals. The NFL has been pushing for new revenue opportunities and has considered partnerships with Silicon Valley in the past. Continue reading Live-Streaming NFL Game Could Be Big First Step for Yahoo

Live Streaming Takes Center Stage on New NBC Sports Website

NBC Sports Digital launched a redesigned site that emphasizes live sports broadcasting, including “Sunday Night Football” games. The site, which is live this week, highlights a total of 2,700 streamed-live events this year and 4,000 next year with the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. This year’s live streaming events include NFL games, the Stanley Cup, NASCAR, English Premiere League soccer and Golf Channel content. Although advertising revenue from the website is small relative to linear TV, executives are excited about its prospects. Continue reading Live Streaming Takes Center Stage on New NBC Sports Website

NFL and Twitter Expand Partnership With More Video and Ads

The National Football League and Twitter already have a relationship, but in a new deal, Twitter users will be able to enjoy an increased amount of footage beginning with the start of pre-season football. The NFL has just signed a multi-year deal with the social network to add more game highlights from pre-season games through the 2016 Super Bowl, breaking news, analysis, game recaps, behind-the-scenes video and other footage of interest to football fans. The relationship between the two companies began in 2013. Continue reading NFL and Twitter Expand Partnership With More Video and Ads

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