White Paper: Five Benefits of Live Streaming Sports

by Chris Knowlton, VP and Streaming Video Evangelist, Wowza Media Systems

Sports fans from little leagues to the majors all have one thing in common: supporting their team is imperative. Watching their favorite team regardless of location is crucial, and shouldn’t be restricted because they can’t attend live or aren’t near a TV. With university athletics, for example, this is often a hurdle that fans face because they can be spread far and wide.

Chris Knowlton, Wowza Media Systems

Chris Knowlton, Wowza Media Systems

This is where streaming can bridge the gap, allowing fans to never miss a goal, race, or ace. Here are the top five reasons why you should live stream your sporting events:

  1. Increased Revenue For Your Organization
    Allowing access from across the globe will build out a fan base that fosters the love of the game or the organization for multiple generations. Harnessing that loyalty for a team is crucial because it creates an engaged/loyal audience for the sport or the school. Most school sports are not shown at all, let alone live. Alumni, parents, fans, prospective students, and possible recruits can become engaged audiences. This also creates the ability to include sponsorships or short ads within your broadcasts that will bring in money for your team and organization. Pay per view is another way to bring in extra revenue.
  2. Streaming to Any Device
    Having the ability to reach fans on any screen is valuable because it doesn’t restrict fans’ viewing habits. Implementing sports broadcasting software that is compatible with virtually every format or device is something that will reduce frustration and encourage people to come back and watch live-streamed events again and again.
  3. Reach Audiences of Any Size
    Most games or tournaments have a lot of unknowns as far as viewership goes. It’s often hard to estimate how many people will tune into each broadcast, or even for how long. Deploying streaming in the cloud provides a highly reliable datacenter infrastructure with the flexibility to scale to any size audience. Cloud delivery is also useful if your organization has limited streaming experience, and it often saves both time and money.
  4. Engage With Your Fan Base
    Second screen-enhanced features enrich games, and give people resources that they wouldn’t normally have, right at their fingertips. Providing real-time stats or trivia during the broadcast makes games interactive, and allows the audience to feel more connected to the team. Also, providing supplemental links for player bios or even to purchase tickets to the next game will entice people to take the next steps to support their team, and can help bring in more revenue.
  5. Gain Social Media Exposure
    Spreading news through social channels is one of the most popular ways to gain exposure. Giving viewers the ability to share streams or highlights directly from their game-watching experience provides a team with free social advertising and viral effects that can boost popularity.

Chris Knowlton develops technologies that make live and VOD media delivery accessible for companies of all sizes. A recognized industry authority, Knowlton was honored in 2011 as a “Streaming Media All-Star” by Streaming Media Magazine, and he holds three patents for streaming software technologies. He came to Wowza Media Systems from Microsoft, where he spent 10 years orchestrating the company’s on-premises and cloud media server roadmaps, leading cross-divisional and partner efforts to develop the core Microsoft Media Platform. Knowlton has also worked in alliance management at NetApp and with several Tier 1 automotive suppliers. He earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University.

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