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The vast majority of fans consume sport through a screen and in an increasingly connected world, teams, leagues and broadcasters face multiple challenges and many opportunities to deliver content in sophisticated, fresh and interesting ways. The On Screen Experience category was predictably competitive, with our judges ultimately deciding that these six were worth of the shortlist; their choice of winner will be announced at the Leaders Sports Awards on Tuesday 9th October.
For PyeongChang 2018, Discovery and Eurosport committed to be the first broadcaster to deliver the Olympic Games in 48 markets – and 21 languages – across Europe, posing a uniquely complex challenge. To mark its first Olympics, Discovery’s ambition was to engage more people on more screens than ever before, achieved, in part, through partnerships with national broadcasters to share free-to-air hours. It was vital for Eurosport to stand out from the crowd to engage audiences and thanks to an innovative approach and use of technology, it succeeded in achieving record viewership and engagement.
Intel and LaLiga partnered to bring fans of Spain’s top-tier football league new and innovative ways to watch their favourite teams through immersive media. LaLiga was the first European sports league to permanently install Intel® True View in any of its stadiums, enabling broadcast partners and social followers to view a game highlight from every angle. Intel True View capabilities enable several unique experiences. The ‘be the player’ feature enables fans to see the play through the eyes of the athlete and creates a virtual, 3D vertical plane on the pitch to show offside players. The process involves the installation of 38 cameras around the inside perimeter of a stadium, allowing for replays to be rendered in multi-perspective 3D.
The NBA selected NeuLion, a digital video technology provider specialiSing in digital video broadcasting, distribution and monetiSation, to power NBA League Pass International, the league’s OTT subscription service. League Pass delivers live and on-demand games to fans in over 180 countries and on 15 different devices. Ahead of the 2017-18 season, the companies collaborated to create new interactive touchpoints to further engage with fans, including a new mobile app with innovative features and content enhancements. New features including NBA Mobile View, interactive graphics and Rapid Replay resulted in increased fan engagement and satisfaction this season.
The League of Legends World Championship is described by organisers as the Super Bowl of esports and a global streaming event, held annually to identify the best team in the world. In November 2017, 24 teams competed over 60 days in 4 cities, culminating at the Beijing National Stadium – the ‘Bird’s Nest’. The majority of viewers watch the live show via streaming services. Riot Games created a stream-first spectacle involving an AR dragon, as featured in the game, flying into the stadium and landing on the stage. The dragon took six months to create, with the team developing the technology required to make an AR dragon appear as if it was flying into a real stadium on a live broadcast. The ‘Elder Dragon’ drive nearly 400,000 conversations on Facebook on the day of the event, along with millions of views across multiple YouTube videos.
ATP Media is the official broadcast arm of the ATP World Tour and Tennis TV is the ATP World Tour’s official streaming service, delivering over 2,000 live matches a year and more than 1000 hours of classic ATP World Tour matches to subscribers globally. Owned and managed by ATP Media, the service was reimagined and relaunched for the 2017 season, targeting streaming devices, smartphones and tablets as well as desktop and laptop users. A bold new design now delivers a consistent user experience across devices – whatever the size of the screen. For the first time, ATP Media was able to deliver every singles and doubles match from ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, plus increased coverage of the tour’s 500 and 250 events.
The Wimbledon Channel is the official live digital video broadcast of The Championships. Live from 9am to close of play each day of the tournament, the channel’s aim is to be a complement to the linear coverage, for any Wimbledon fan in any territory around the world. With a unique package of reserved rights, the team presents from various locations around the grounds, bringing its viewers live look-ins on the action, behind the scenes interviews with players and fans and match analysis. Available via the Wimbledon website, official mobile apps and the official app for Apple TV, the channel achieved 154 million views in 2017, living up to Wimbledon’s aim for it to be ‘the next best thing to being here’.