The average sports fan probably doesn’t spend much time thinking about the technology responsible for delivering live games to their smartphone while they’re out. They simply expect instant access to high quality live and on-demand video anywhere, on any device, and a seamless transition between devices when they get home and switch to their Roku or Xbox.
In a world with unprecedented competition for a viewer’s attention and limitless entertainment choices, consumers increasingly expect that media companies will go above and beyond to engage them individually, making it easy to find the content that matters most to them and delivering that content in an interactive experience.
On the flip side, sports content providers are focused on producing compelling content and face many challenges trying to meet fans’ viewing ever increasing expectations in the digital age.
This is why the leading sports content owners turn to digital solutions that help them create engaging, one-to-one experiences for their fans. For example, the NeuLion® Digital Platform. NeuLion was built on the promise that digital content delivery provides fans a superior viewing experience to traditional TV. We are dedicated to pushing the envelope to deliver higher quality video and making the live streaming experience fun and engaging through interactive video features.
With this in mind, let’s review some of the NeuLion Digital Platform’s key tech developments and new features helping content providers to engage sports fans in new and innovative ways.
Advanced personalization services enable viewers to easily find their favorite content. UFC Fight Pass subscribers have found it easy to navigate the world’s largest MMA content library with the ability to search by the type of fight, weight class, result, fight length and more. Fight Pass responds with a custom playlist. All Fight Pass content can be curated based on each subscriber’s preferences.
Personalization services can also create custom app interfaces that automatically curate favorite news, video, social content and more based on each user’s unique preferences.
Fans can now interact directly with live video through interactive on-screen graphics. Responsive images are overlaid “on top” of live and on-demand games, allowing fans to interact with scores, statistics, player profiles and more with a single touch. There is no need to leave the game or exit full screen mode to find information.
The NBA introduced interactive graphics as part of their enhanced Mobile View, allowing fans to touch to scroll through players, view statistics or check live scores around the league during games.
This interactive and innovative experience clearly can’t be replicated via traditional TV, and there are exciting possibilities to do more in this space by including fantasy sports data, interactive sponsor content and more.
The Virtual Announcer lets anybody with an internet connection provide commentary for live sports events in real-time. NeuLion’s cloud-based infrastructure replaces the broadcast studio and opens a new world of possibilities for sports content providers to create new fan experiences. It is now easy to deliver commentary in multiple languages, create additional feeds from celebrities or sports legends, allow fan commentary, and more.
The English Football League leverages Virtual Announcer to enable dozens of clubs each week to add local commentary to their games.
Advanced Video Features
NeuLion built a variety of interactive features into the video player to further engage sports fans. The event timeline is populated with highlight markers as the game occurs - allowing fans to skip back to the exact moment of a big play. A slow-motion controller lets you analyze key moments in painstaking detail. Live statistics and a full game play-by-play are available with one click. Fans will find it easy to switch between multiple video or audio feeds and much, much more.
High Quality Video
Video quality is of the utmost importance to sports fans who demand to see all the action in full detail. NeuLion was an early leader in 4K/Ultra HD sports streaming, which delivers a picture quality that is 4x clearer than standard HD.
The NeuLion Digital Platform can now support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video, which increases the spectrum of colors that can be observed by the viewer, making everything brighter, sharper and better.
Whether it’s live-streamed 4K events with the UFC or adventure sports from Insight TV in HDR, NeuLion continues to push the envelope in delivering the highest quality video.
Ultimately, sports content providers are finding that fans are more engaged when content is easier to find and more fun to watch. Fans will continue to demand new and rich experiences, especially when it comes to streaming, and NeuLion will be there to help forward-thinking content owners anticipate and meet their expectations.