To say my March Madness bracket is busted would be an understatement – how did you fare? Even if my (and most prognosticators) top picks are out, it has never been a better time to be a sports fan. From real time stats to live streaming, you can bring the game with you wherever you go. Need proof? There were over 80 million live streams for March Madness in 2015 and that number is only going one direction – up.
We can watch the games anywhere, view replays from different angles, nerd out on advanced metrics, channel our inner GM for our fantasy teams, and engage with other avid fans – social and apps have advanced the narrative of premium sports and not to be forgotten, shifted the model of TV and movie watching as well.
In this virtual sensory overload ecosystem – how do you keep up with all this interactivity? Sports viewing stalwarts like ESPN and Fox Sports have created a bevy of overlays, advanced stats, and interactive scores to make the broadcast more informative, digestible and most importantly – immersive. Some Pay TV providers are extending their traditional settop box infrastructure to include specialized apps that bring a new level interactivity to that glowing box in the living room. Not to be left out, premium sports networks are introducing their own apps as a second or even primary screen experience in an effort to keep fans engaged with who and what they care about – anywhere.
These new market entrants might be more nimble, but the opportunity is there for Pay-TV providers to continually evolve their distribution infrastructure beyond the settop box to leverage their huge broadband speeds, in home Wi-Fi and mobile networks extending the experience to new platforms and modes of fan engagement. The app is not only the experience of the future, it is the experience of now – especially when it comes to personalized interactivity. This rapid transformation should not be seen as a hurdle; seize the opportunity to keep pace and give the consumer what they crave – control of their fandom experience.
Do your multiscreen strategies need a tune-up to keep pace with the always-on sports fan? Read more about how CSG Ascendon can help you create powerful consumer experiences that turn digital services into revenue.