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FutureSPORT 2023: AI and Sustainability Top the Agenda at Packed SVG Europe Event

27/11/2023

FutureSPORT 2023: AI and sustainability top the agenda at packed SVG Europe event By George Bevir

Friday, November 24, 2023 - 11:47

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Panasonic's Josh Milligan welcomes attendees at FutureSPORT 2023

Artificial intelligence and sustainability topped the agenda at yesterday's FutureSPORT event, with speakers from F1, the Premier League, the BBC, Sky, DAZN and more sharing their insights with the capacity crowd.

Sponsored by Panasonic Connect, some 280 people attended the event at the Oval in south London for a day of panels, presentations, networking and exhibits plus the inaugural Sports Broadcasting Achievements.

We need to be bold and push the boundaries, otherwise we won't engage those younger audiences

After networking and a tour of the famous international cricket ground, Panasonic Connect field marketing manager Josh Milligan delivered some welcome remarks before Caretta Research's Rebecca Jackson spoke about the shift to online viewing and its impact on sports production, and the growing opportunity for the distribution of niche sports.

Left to right: SVG Europe's Will Strauss, Louise Lawler, DAZN, Cliona O'Leary, Sport Ireland, Wendy Hendrickx, F1, Rachael Nightingale, Premier League, Victoria Cotton, BBC Sport.

The first panel of the day featured Wendy Hendrickx, F1, head of live production, Victoria Cotton, BBC Sport, executive producer, live streaming, Louise Lawler, DAZN, VP of production and editorial operations, Cliona O'Leary, Sport Ireland, director of corporate affairs, communications and marketing and Rachael Nightingale, Premier League, head of media operations and innovation who were tasked with identifying - and solving sports broadcasting's future challenges.

Having shared some insights into the Premier League's recent gamification' trials, Nightingale sounded a note of caution: We don't have Game Mode as the main feed, because we know it will alienate traditional viewers. We need to be careful about how we change our products. But, at the same time, we need to be bold and push the boundaries, otherwise we won't engage those younger audiences.

Lawler then spoke about the role of influencers in helping to attract new - and often younger - viewers to boxing.

The reach of social media influencers is insane, she said. And there isn't a sport in the world that wouldn't want to embrace that they are proper fights, and from a commercial perspective I cant's stress how successful this has been. It's been really positive to embrace these fans who might not otherwise be fans. They're now engaging with the sport, and it's bringing entertainment into the ring.

MRMC was technology partner for FutureSPORT 2023, providing robotic cameras and a slider to capture video of the event.

Up next was a case study from Tata on the subject of embracing the future of media, with Carolina Santos, ATP Media, head of broadcast operations and engineering in conversation with Brijesh Yadav, Tata Communications, global head of media business: sales, business development and innovations.

After more networking and lunch, former BT Sport Mobile & Immersive Director Matt Stagg took to the stage to explain the latest developments with generative AI.

He provided delegate with three takeaways: that generative AI will allow production teams to do more for less, particularly in the area of monetisation. Also, that AI tools will help the ongoing democratisation of production, allowing lower tier and grassroots sports to capture and share their content. And finally, that generative AI doesn't moan, so is a perfect tool for completing the kind of tasks that can be considered a burden, thus freeing up time for creatives and those in editorial to be more creative.

Networking at FutureSPORT 2023

The focus on AI continued with a thought leader perspectives panel on the subject of AI for Good', with Ross Munro, WSC Sports, head of commercial UK & Ireland, Alireza Shahrestani, Sponix Tech, marketing director, Imogen Kimberley, Newsbridge, regional sales manager, Alain Polgar, Chyron, SVP of sales, EMEA & APAC discussing why AI will be a positive force for the wider sports broadcasting and production sector.

Kimberley commented: Smart vendors recognise there is an AI bias and will work with you to address that.

Sustainability was a theme that cropped up in most discussions, and was the focus of the next panel: Green Goals: Can we build a more sustainable sports production industry?

Alex Redfern, EVS, CTO, Brian Leonard, IMG Studios, Head of Engineering, Post & Workflows, Rohan Mitchell, EMG Group, ESG Director and Steve Knee, Cloudbass, Managing Director discussed sustainability in live sports production, with a particular focus on the role played by outside broadcast companies.

Following a vigorous discussion that included a debate about the merits of the cloud and the prospects of remote production, Redfern said: As manufacturers, a stumbling block we face as an industry is that we build things for the worst case scenario and over-engineer just in case'. That's understandably driven by production, but at what point will that balance tip, because we need to reduce consumption?

Read more FutureSPORT 2023 picture gallery

There was further debate on the topic of the cloud, with the second thought leader panel of the day, on cloud TX, contribution and distribution, with Greg Burns, Arqiva, interim director of product, Jonathan Smith, NetInsight. solution area expert, Chris Fellows, Zixi, Solutions engineering manager and Sri Hari Thirunavukkarasu, Amagi, SVP sales, EMEA.

Next, attendees heard from key creatives at Sky Sports, BBC Sport and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports on the subject of presentation studios.

The discussion among Ben Wickham, Sky Sports, director of creative o
LINK: https://www.svgeurope.org/blog/headlines/futuresport-2023-ai-and-susta...
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