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Opinion: overcoming Olympic hurdles with technology

07/06/2024

As Paris counts down to the 2024 Olympics, Stephane Guez, co-founder and principal, Dalet, explains how technological innovation will deliver an engaging experience

By Contributor

Published: June 7, 2024 Updated: June 10, 2024

As Paris counts down to the 2024 Olympics, Stephane Guez, co-founder and principal, Dalet, explains how technological innovation will deliver an engaging experience

target=_blank title=Share on LinkedIn class=share-linkedin> As Paris counts down to the 2024 Olympics, Stephane Guez, co-founder and principal, Dalet, explains how technological innovation will deliver an engaging experience

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The global spectacle of the 2024 Olympics in Paris will break new ground in several ways. Sure it features the debut of breakdancing as an Olympic event, but it will also be the first Games to showcase an identical number of female and male athletes. The Paris games will also have advancements off the field, with unprecedented coverage, including round-the-clock streaming, the trial of an AI-powered end-to-end 8K live-streaming system, and daytime broadcasts of swimming, gymnastics, and track and field finals.

Stephane Guez, co-founder and principal, Dalet Speaking of firsts, Peacock, NBCUniversal's American OTT streaming service, will livestream all 329 medal events, a noteworthy evolution in sports broadcasting. This pivotal move to streaming platforms highlights a major shift in how audiences engage with sports content. With over 5,000 hours of live coverage, complete event replays, and new multiview features, viewers can watch what they want on their chosen device.

Fan engagement is the key to winning in today's competitive world of global sports. With an explosion of content to manage, distributed and often freelance teams to coordinate, multiple locations, and myriad distribution platforms to feed, technology will be key to helping journalists overcome the many hurdles required to produce winning coverage.

Producing Olympic Gold: A data-focused model Media outlets have an opportunity to reshape their coverage and diversify the agenda, diving into stories and covering athletes often overlooked during regular sports seasons. A more explanatory, data-driven approach will help audiences understand non-mainstream disciplines. Expanded coverage will inform about what happens on the ground beyond results, with post-event interviews with athletes.

To engage Olympic audiences, media organisations must navigate an overwhelming flood of information with seamless management and collaboration strategies. The challenge is producing a constant stream of diverse, fact-checked, and compelling content for various platforms while managing the exponential increase in both input and output.

French broadcasters will cover the games and the impact on Parisian life around the clock, not just from a sports perspective, but from a news perspective, from pre-game setup to closing ceremonies. France T l visions has exclusive free-to-air rights to show the Games, with dedicated streams covering every sport across all screens. Other channels that do not have broadcast rights, such as regional channels and 24-hour television news channels, will focus on highlights and urban impacts as well as background stories and athlete profiles. Seamless collaboration will be required when sharing packages for affiliates to localise and rebrand.

Historically, broadcasters operated around a singular data model focused on linear television with fixed schedules driving the process. However, the dynamic nature of today's sports and news cycles-exemplified by events like the Olympics-demands a more versatile approach. Content is now distributed across multiple platforms, including apps, radio, websites, social media, and podcasts. The once-clear division of labour between editors, videographers and producers has blurred, replaced by the need for real-time updates and instant accessibility. Adapting to this fast-paced environment necessitates a fundamental shift in organisational dynamics and information flow.

Broadcasters now need to efficiently produce platform-optimised versions of content. Tasks such as ingesting, scripting, editing, localisation, digital versioning, and graphics creation all revolve around the event. So most media outlets will leverage news workflow concepts for sports broadcasting. This streamlined process not only reduces costs but also enhances collaboration, visibility, and access to media assets. Consequently, producing platform-tailored versions of sporting events becomes significantly more efficient and cost-effective. This workflow is underpinned by an AI-driven data model that aggregates content types, enriches them with metadata, and provides the structure necessary for workflow automation. Task assignments and notifications ensure smooth operations. As linear and digital media continue to converge, this robust data model bridges the gap between editorial decision-making and automated technical processes, crucially impacting media production.

Olympic feats in the cloud: Transforming sports with technology Increasing reliance on cloud infrastructure for content sourcing, processing, and distribution has prompted a reassessment of system designs and the associated infrastructure costs and scalability requirements. The cloud provides geographical flexibility and complements physical on-premise infrastructure. More fundamentally, a media workflow in the cloud is a software-defined infrastructure, enabling unprecedented agility and operational efficiency.

This means news and sports coverage is no longer constrained by physical infrastructure, nor limited to a single geographical location. Virtual media operations can
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