Meet an expert

Meet an expert

Alexey Zaberezhniy — Video Solutions System Analyst at Oxagile

Having 15 years in business and solution analysis, Alexey has been driving media streaming projects with a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of video innovations. Serving as a leading solution consultant on projects, Alexey has made significant contributions to the identification of the solutions that maximize the value delivered to the stakeholders.

Sports content continues to present a significant opportunity for over-the-top (OTT) providers, as a whopping 63% of sports enthusiasts have expressed a keen interest in subscribing to all-sports content streams. To maintain the audience’s unwavering attention, a fan-centric approach becomes paramount, ensuring that every facet of the streaming platform is meticulously designed to engage fans and cultivate a sense of community when viewing sports events.

When contemplating the integration of interactivity into the user interface and experience of an OTT platform, it becomes crucial to truly comprehend their needs, as well as the appropriate stream timing for introducing interactive features. Careful consideration must be given to whether these features should be incorporated during or after a live stream, striking a delicate balance that enhances the viewing experience without detracting from it.

By drawing insights from successful examples and gaining a profound understanding of the unique requirements of the fans, it becomes possible to develop a truly captivating sports streaming platform that enthralls its audience.

#1 Broaden a live game coverage with a post-viewing experience

The consumption of sports content is closely tied to its specifics: avid fans eagerly anticipate match results while engrossed in live streams. However, if one happens to miss a game and already knows the outcome, the likelihood of sitting through the entire recorded match diminishes significantly. Instead, the preference shifts towards indulging in the most exhilarating moments, such as top goals and game-winning passes.

According to Statista’s survey, an impressive 90.5% of leaders in the sports industry firmly believe that sports highlights will witness the most substantial surge in media consumption in the forthcoming years. The provision of top-moment content not only serves to further captivate live match viewers but also entices those who missed the game to actively engage with the content. This emerging trend proves to be highly advantageous for sports clubs and content streamers alike, as it effectively keeps fans deeply immersed in the action.

The concept itself is not groundbreaking in the sports industry. However, the way it is implemented has been revolutionized with the advancements in artificial intelligence. Let me illustrate this concept by sharing an example from our experience working with a media logistics company, where I had the opportunity to explore a soccer highlights compilation solution. This particular system transcends the mere identification of goals, as it harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to recognize and categorize various game aspects, including fouls and red cards. Moreover, through the implementation of facial recognition technology, the system can accurately identify teams and players, enabling us to compile hyper-specialized moments, such as a specific player’s remarkable corner kicks. This level of precision in recognition elevates automated sports highlights to an entirely new echelon, revolutionizing the way these compilations are curated and experienced.

Case in point

Case in point: ML-based sports video highlights generator

Find out about the challenges our team tackled while delivering the solution.

Soccer hightlights compilation solution

#2 Let fans feel that their voices matter

It’s no surprise that fans appreciate relevance and a sense of value in their sports experiences. To truly engage and immerse these enthusiasts, give them a chance to express themselves through:

  • Real-time polls that allow fans to choose the best players and have their voices heard.
  • Score prediction competitions for fans to compete with one another and put their sports intuition to the test.
  • Virtual quizzes whose winners will meet their favorite sports teams, get autographs, and forge a personal connection.

However, by carefully considering when to introduce these interactive UI elements, you ensure they don’t interrupt live streams or distract viewers from the captivating action unfolding before them. The key is to implement them accurately, for instance, by encouraging fans to use a companion device or participate during match breaks, not to divert their attention from the thrilling live stream.

Imagine the scenario of watching a live match and suddenly noticing an intriguing icon accompanied by the text, “Want to know more?”. It doesn’t distract you from the intense action on the screen, but it piques your curiosity. With just a single click, you can interact if you feel like you want it. This seamless integration of interactive elements keeps you fully engaged without taking away from the excitement of the live game.

Interactive elements

Now, let’s delve into another compelling use case for live streams on big screens. Picture yourself before the match commences, where you encounter a preview block providing insights about the competing teams. In this scenario, we have the opportunity to seamlessly integrate an interactive poll or activity that entices fans to actively participate and share their valuable thoughts and opinions. As a token of appreciation, fans can be rewarded with a special gift from your esteemed organization. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that such engaging features must be strategically positioned to avoid interfering with the main action on the screen during the match itself. We understand that fans would be rightfully displeased if they were distracted from the exhilarating gameplay. By thoughtfully placing these interactive elements, we can elevate the fan experience while ensuring uninterrupted enjoyment of the game.

#3 Encourage the usage of companion devices for your advantage

Recent research shows that sports fans, especially Gen Z, are highly active smartphone users during live matches. They engage in various activities like texting, networking on social media, and even ordering food delivery.

Activities while watching sports

Source: Choicely

So why not leverage the widespread smartphone usage to actively involve them in the on-field action? Let’s explore some engaging second-screen scenarios:

  • Imagine viewers being able to watch multi-cam and alternate-view footage in real time on their smartphones, providing them with a unique perspective of the game that complements the main broadcast.
  • Engage fans with sponsored second-screen experiences that combine exclusive live video with dynamic chat rooms, fan polls, Twitter feeds, and even player profiles. This immersive and interactive environment creates a space where fans can seamlessly connect and share their valuable thoughts and opinions.
  • Introduce social media platforms on companion devices to amplify the fan experience. Fans can join live discussions, participate in real-time challenges, and share their excitement with fellow supporters.

Here’s an example of how we advised a sports streamer on captivating those who joined in the middle of the match stream. Real-time score information is tracked and updated throughout the game. Viewers can access this information during the live stream by simply clicking on a ball icon on the big screen. So in one click, they can instantly view the video of the score when it happens on a companion device, ensuring they never miss a crucial moment. By embracing smartphones as second screens, we can create an engaging and interactive experience that keeps sports fans immersed in the action on and off the field.

#4 Build deeper community connections to boost fan loyalty

Sports fans make a passionate community, and understanding what truly resonates may contribute to building strong viewer loyalty. AI technology helps sports clubs and content distributors capture and deliver those heartfelt scenes. Here are some engaging examples:

  • Let fans closely follow their favorite player during a match. With a dynamic graphic focus, viewers can witness every action and never miss the performance of their favorites, including the finest scores and moves.
  • Foster a sense of community by enabling private chats during live streams. This allows fans to engage in real-time conversations, share their thoughts, and connect with fellow supporters, creating a more inclusive viewing experience.
  • Enhance the fan experience by showcasing player stats. By simply clicking on a player, fans can access detailed statistics on their favorite’s performance.

Player stats

By incorporating these elements, you can truly capture the hearts of your fans and cultivate a loyal and dedicated viewer base.

In a nutshell

In the dynamic and fiercely competitive realm of sports streaming, it is of utmost importance to craft a viewing experience that not only captivates the interest of sports enthusiasts but also nurtures a feeling of communal involvement. By incorporating pertinent UX scenarios, one can guarantee the steadfast loyalty of fans and their unwavering commitment to your platform. Nevertheless, it is imperative to strike a harmonious balance and refrain from inundating viewers with superfluous diversions that may detract from the overall experience.