How betting is changing the broadcasting of sports events

Betting has long been a big part of professional sports. Betting is changing the way we perceive sports and consume sports content, and forcing sports organizations and media to adapt to new innovations, including the help of advanced modern technologies.

The future of sports broadcasting

One of those who saw the potential benefit for themselves in the legalization of betting in the United States was television companies. We are talking not only about advertising agreements but also about raising the ratings of sports broadcasts. The struggle for a potential audience consisting of betting enthusiasts (according to research, bettors watch an average of 19 NFL matches, more than ordinary consumers), and TV channel managers attempt to increase the involvement of viewers by adding new technology to broadcasting.

For example, one of the largest American television networks, NBC, in early January 2019, tested a new system of interactive sports broadcasts, for an audience which was invited to guess the outcome of certain gaming events.

The system was tested during the NBA match between the «Washington Wizards» and «Milwaukee Bucks», and according to NBC, 20% of viewers opted for live streaming over conventional. The winner of the mini-contest received a prize of $500. The broadcasters after a lot of flattering reviews made several more similar broadcasts and got a big profit out of it.

Amazon is also working in a similar direction, which broadcasts NFL matches on its Twitch streaming service. Users registered on the platform can make predictions on the outcome of various events during the game. The most successful players get into the rating, which is displayed on the screen as a widget and is updated right in the course of the streaming. Leadership «standings» does not bring players profit, but, according to Amazon, it can increase the involvement of viewers in the broadcast.

How sports leagues and teams adapt to new innovations

Technology comes to the sports leagues themselves. For example, the official partner of the NHL, BetGenius, a company that collects the necessary statistics for bookmakers, introduced a prototype of its new project. The presentation took place at the NHL match between the «Vegas Golden Knights» and the «San Jose Sharks» on January 10, 2019.

BetGenius development allows you to track a large number of different statistics in real-time, including virtual reality mode from the position of any of the hockey players on the ice. Also, this prototype includes the ability to place bets «without leaving the cash desk».

Individual sports teams are also trying to become part of a new growing market. The «Los Angeles Clippers» basketball franchise, owned by Steve Ballmer, who has been Microsoft’s chief executive officer for 14 years, has shown the greatest efforts in this field.

Before the start of the 2019 season, «Clippers» together with Second Spectrum presented a development called Clippers CourtVision, which uses augmented reality. Artificial intelligence analyzes what is happening on the field and demonstrates the data obtained in the form of various graphic elements. Viewers, for example, can see the percentage of the probability of a throw by a player, or the ball and basketball players on the floor.

The developers say that the only drawback of the program is the speed of information processing, which leads to the fact that the broadcast is with a noticeable delay. However, in the future, Second Spectrum plans to solve this problem.