In the space of nine months, or thereabouts, the face of sports broadcasting has rapidly shifted to blend with the harsh reality. First came sport’s coronavirus-enforced postponements in mid-March, and then the prolonged period of “classic repeats”.
By late May, rights holders had adapted their setup to produce sports programming remotely as live events returned behind closed doors. By the end of the summer, the innovators who helped put sport back onto screens sat down to discuss what ideas were worth keeping.
Ahead of English soccer’s resumption in June, domestic Premier League rights holder BT Sport was among several linear subscription TV networks to introduce “shared viewing” to its digital offering, catering to fans forced to watch from home as stadia echoed in their absence.
Since then, as mixed reality technologies and virtual conferencing have enhanced the way sports properties can engage with online audiences, the UK broadcaster has introduced new innovations that could change the dynamic of sports entertainment forevermore.
Among the network's innovations, BT Sport has launched its new Match Day Experience, delivered in collaboration with EE’s new 5G network, which has thus far provided new augmented reality (AR) features during the network’s live Premier League coverage, including real-time and augmented match statistics. In addition, fans also have access to a 360-degree viewing experience – built and deployed in collaboration with Tiled Media and Deltatre – that gives them control of in-stadium cameras.