BroadcastPro Middle East and Avid hosted a roundtable on May 19, 2016, to discuss the changing face of sports entertainment in the region.
BroadcastPro Middle East and Avid hosted a roundtable on May 19, 2016, to discuss the changing face of sports entertainment in the region. Featuring leading names from the Middle East sports broadcast industry, the discussion focused on the needs and challenges of creating engaging and compelling content to optimise the value of media assets today and the technology used to present content for TV screens at home or the big screen in a stadium.
The roundtable attendees included: Saad Al Jizawi from Afkart.com; Hamad Abdelrazaq from Live HD; Mario Bayarri from MediaPro; Ammar Hina from PFL; Tony Jabbour from 7 Production; Duncan Walkinshaw from beIN Sports; Karim Saade from Dawri Plus, Intigral; Abdul Khaleq Al Khamis and Meshal Alkahtani from Dubai Sports Channels; Samuel Westberg from Live Lake; and Guillaume Godet from Avid.
The discussion was moderated by Avids Paul Thompson.
Thompson began by asking the participants to comment on the changing landscape of sports broadcasting in view of the fast-changing viewing habits of consumers and whether producers and broadcasters were able to meet the audiences demand.
The discussion also touched upon the technology readiness of sports production companies in the region. The participants raised their concerns and common issues faced by producers in setting up OB gear on site. Also discussed were the key shortcomings in technology in local stadiums. While connectivity was cited as a major issue, the participants pointed out cultural factors and a reluctance to change were key issues that posed a hindrance to adopting new technology in sports production.
The importance of weaving social media into broadcast of sports was discussed. The speakers also shared their views on sports going over the second screen and whether linear still dominated or mobile devices and apps were taking over.
There was a roaring discussion on the need to create a holistic sports ecosystem with personalisation and social media for home as well as the stadium. Virtual reality and augmented reality in sports were touched upon.
While the participants agreed that upgrading technology and adding more cameras to cover a live sporting event were a must, they also pointed out that creatives played a crucial role in creating quality programmes. There was a general consensus on the importance of storytelling around an event and making sports programmes interesting with a sprinkling of optimum graphics and statistics.
The roundtable concluded with a discussion about the future of sports production and whether producers in the region were gaining from technological advancements taking place in the field.