Delegates assessed the strategic choices for sports bodies as they seek to maximise exposure and revenue generation, and audience reach in the sale of broadcast and media rights. Delegates looked ahead to how sports governing bodies can adapt to attract new audiences, considering the long-term impact of paid-for versus free-to-air coverage models on the financial sustainability, public profile, and grassroots participation rates of a range of sports.
There was also discussion on the way forward for achieving greater diversity in free-to-air sports coverage, examining the role of policy in safeguarding nationally significant sporting events to enable them to reach as wide an audience as possible. Debate centered around the recent House of Lords report on public service broadcasting in the age of video on demand, addressing the barriers created by the growing cost of sports rights for the broadcasting of many sporting events by PSBs.
Further sessions showcased the latest developments in how content owners, producers, broadcasters and online platforms are innovating in sports coverage and delivery, and in the business models that support services. Delegates highlighted the potential offered by a range of emerging technologies - such as augmented, mixed, and virtual reality - to enable the development of new products, services, and viewer experiences in the sports broadcasting sector.
Finally, delegates discussed potential applications for artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, and the way forward for taking advantage of enhanced connectivity - including the potential of 5G to improve cost efficiencies in live sports production and broadcast.
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