Sportradar SVP of audiovisual, Patrick Mostboeck, gives his 2024 predictions for augmented streaming

Sportradar Computer Vision table tennis (2)

In the race to grow sports and compete for eyeballs in 2024, the innovation of live streaming will be key for rightsholders, betting operators and media owners. Fans have more ways to access their favourite sports than ever, so establishing new means to create value and monetise content is essential to both appeal to wider audiences and at the same time achieve commercial growth. With data now an inescapable part of the fan experience, the effective application of AI and other technology to create new value-adding products will be critical in shaping sport streaming’s evolution this year and beyond.

Augmented streaming is the latest innovation designed to engage fans and grow sport’s wider fanbase. It transforms raw data coordinates into dynamic visual overlays on live streamed content, including real-time betting statistics, performance insights and 3D animations, which create valuable commercial opportunities for rightsholders and sportsbooks. Viewers can also choose the streams and overlays that are most relevant to their content preferences, such as betting, and we are only scratching the surface of its potential.

The ability to transform regular live streams with visually appealing graphics and overlays provides much greater context for specific game moments. This technology can educate fans on what certain data points and terminology means, as well as what’s happening, what’s likely to happen and why. For example, in tennis or table tennis, algorithms can display contextual game information and visualisations they otherwise may not have fully understood or even seen. This could be the change in speed of a particular player’s serve or their shot tendencies in certain game situations, providing a more immersive and informative viewing experience.

This can encourage new fans to tune into the action by providing novel viewing experiences, and a deeper understanding and appreciation of what they’re watching. By bringing the sport to life and adding this interactive layer of storytelling, a more visually appealing and immersive end-user experience can be created, increasing fandom and attracting larger, more engaged audiences.

At Sportradar, we’re using augmented streaming through our partnership with ATP, as well as in table tennis. As studies suggest that sports fans and bettors actively want data incorporated within streams to enhance their viewing experience, and are more likely to watch if real-time statistics are included during live action, the technology is a particularly effective way to entice audiences and grow the sport.

Augmented streaming also provides the rightsholder with value-adding and monetisable fan engagement opportunities and opens new opportunities for sports betting clients. With the increase in popularity of in-play betting, particularly in markets like the US, augmented streaming can supply faster data points which then inform and enhance fans’ in-play betting experience.

For example, historically 80-90% of tennis bets have been on just three markets: game, set and match. Equally, the additional context and narratives provided through deeper data and graphic overlays can educate bettors on the new insights and betting markets available to them, allowing them to make more knowledgeable decisions.

Another reason I believe augmented streaming will see significant growth in 2024 is because the technology can be applied more widely, to even more sports. The eventual application of augmented streaming to sports like basketball and football means even more rightsholders and fans can look forward to this new era of engagement and growth potential.

The use of deeper data to power technologies like augmented streaming is a major step in the shift towards fully data-driven virtualised content. As even faster and deeper data is captured, processed by increasingly sophisticated AI and incorporated into streaming, we are likely to see 100% data-driven content. This not only provides viewers with more ways to watch and engage but offers rightsholders and operators more ways to monetise their content, including creating new fully virtualised rights packages. This is especially beneficial where rights are tied up in broadcast deals, as it provides new entertainment and monetisation options for rightsholder content and ensures they can own and control this.

As fans demand more entertainment, new ways to bet and more data, and as rightsholders and operators continue striving for growth, these transformative augmented streams will form a key part of how we consume live sports in 2024 and beyond.

Patrick Mostboeck - Sportradar

Patrick Mostboeck is SVP of audiovisual at Sportradar