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Will this be the last Olympics to be broadcast on television?

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As the Rio Olympics get underway, many are expecting digital technology to reshape how users watch the games – especially across Europe and Asia as they struggle with time differences.

Many analysts are predicting that this Olympics will see many more catch up services and packages highlight reels, as well as apps and more that keep viewers up to date with the medals in non-linear time.

It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine how the Olympics will be watched in the coming weeks. In the past the rights for huge sport events were held exclusively by broadcasters such as the BBC, whereas now we’re gradually seeing this exclusivity diminish – most recently with the announcement that Twitter will be broadcasting Premier League highlights.

According to Dror Ginzberg, CEO Wochit : “I certainly expect bitesize highlight reels to emerge in the coming weeks – I imagine these will be for the specific events and will either show each contestant perform or the final dash of a race. Twitter has already secured rights to broadcast highlights from the Premier league so I can’t see it being much of a stretch that some users will contribute their own video highlights from the Olympics. Equally so I would expect to see Snapchat with an Olympics-style newsfeed featuring videos from users at the games.”

Although there’s certainly space for live-streaming and long and short form video on the likes of Youtube, Facebook and Twitter it’s important to look at how users interact with video itself.

At the end of 2015 46% of all video plays were on mobile devices – and from this 69% of all videos watched on smartphones were under 10 minutes long. To this degree, although some will relish live-streaming functionality on their devices, shorter form videos will certainly engage much larger audiences.

“Twitter really is a natural fit for these sports, as 50% of all the platform’s TV conversations are focused on sports, meaning there’s already a captive audience and live broadcasts will only add to a deeper involvement for sports fans,” says Ginzberg. “Consumers also almost exclusively watch sports live, with 95% of total sports programme viewing happening in real time, Twitter will become a natural extension of this experience for fans.”

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Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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