First EVS Connected Sports Summit

On 26 January Muriel de Lathouwer, Managing Director and CEO of EVS welcomed more than 100 guests at the EVS Connected Sports Summit at the new EVS headquarter in Liege.

Muriel set the scene by asking the question how to enrich Live Sports further. EVS technology is the backbone at international flagship events and has helped to bring emotions, analysis and excitement to TV screens. But what is next?

Muriel de Lathouwer at the new EVS HQ in Liege

The concept of a connected sports fan may be relatively new but there is little doubt that the ever-increasing power of smartphones and tablets mean that being connected is going to become the norm. There are a number of questions facing those involved in sports production and distribution: How will it change the way content is created? How can it be monetised? And what, ultimately, does it mean to the relationship with fans and viewers? Those questions and more are highlighted in the EVS case study "Return on Emotion".

The sessions looked at the new connected sports fan, the latest trends in mobile content and proven strategies that engage fans and create new revenue opportunities for clubs, leagues and content providers. The sessions were opened by James Stellpflug, VP of Product Maketing presenting the findings of the EVS Global Fan Survey "Return on Emotion". The survey, conducted in 2015, provides key insights into what fans want out of an in-venue and mobile sports experience.

Gareth Capon, CEO of Grabyo explained how social video is moving from engagement to monetisation. Grabyo, a global leader in real time social video is based in London and partners with broadcasters and rightsholders including the La Liga, Sky, Wimbledon and Universal Music to maximise reach, engagement and content monetisation across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other digital platforms.

Then Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director at SVG invited Logan Meier, Senior Director, facilities presentation at Barclays Center, Mike Ruddell, Head of Technology at Sky Sports  François-Charles Bideaux, Director of Sports Production at Canal Plus, Stephane Hourcq, Head of Sales at Netco Sports, Edwin Madou, VP of Sales for Europe at NGData and Tarif Sayed, Director of Broadcast Services at Dobly Laboratories onto the stage. The panel confirmed that advances in technology and a shift in media consumption are empowering sports fans and raising their expectations. Innovation is enabling fans already driven by their passion and fanatical enthusiasm to further satisfy their need for more – more information, more stats and more footage – no matter where or when. And most importantly, fans’ desire to get closer to their favorite team, player or sport is driving the use of technology, from devices to social media platforms, now available to them.

After a networking break two workshops were on the program: One on "Return on Emotion" and another one on "Live Sports Anywhere" where Andy Beal, Chief Engineer at BT Sport highlighted how BT Sport was winning the UEFA Champions League rights and their first experiences with BT's first sports Ultra HD services.

The sessions were finished by Carlo de Marchis, Chief Product Officer at Deltatre and Olivier  with a brief introduction to the UEFA Digital Host Services (DHS). DHS transforms, enhances and creates content which is made available in digital-ready formats B2B (components) or used directly to create B2C user experiences (services). Right-holders have the choice to use the B2B components to create or enhance their digital offer or directly subscribe to B2B2C services which provide turnkey solutions for their audience.