IBM Watson Supplies Fox Sports With AI Analysis, Live Streaming Solutions During the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
The eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France is well underway. While millions of soccer fans stay tuned to the excitement, IBM is teaming up with Fox Sports to help transform production of the event by infusing AI analysis and live-streaming into its coverage of “The Beautiful Game.”
This year, Fox Sports is upleveling the viewer experience with a new broadcast segment called Player Spotlight Built with IBM Watson, an AI-backed tool to help generate stat analysis for match commentary using a natural language interface. Watson offers the power to reason, understand, categorize and analyze game footage, further enabling Fox Sports to enhance viewer engagement. With Watson, Fox Sports’ commentators like Alexi Lalas can pull trends and statistics comparing individual and team performance. To produce these tournament trends and game statistics, Player Spotlight ingests detailed tournament data from Opta, a leading data provider that collects and analyses every pass, goal and penalty kick, all in near real-time. Fox Sports commentators then interact directly with the tool by entering queries into the navigation function, which in turn surfaces highlights, data and analytics that the broadcasters can reference on-air.
“IBM’s AI and live-streaming technology has helped transform our production of key events like the Women’s World Cup,” said Zac Fields, Fox Sports SVP Graphic Tech/Integration. “We look forward to leveraging the advancements in IBM technology to offer fans a comprehensive World Cup experience.”
Building upon the successful remote production of last year’s men’s tournament, Fox Sports is using IBM Aspera’s live-streaming technology for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France. By offering editors in Los Angeles access to HD camera feeds from France within 10 seconds of live play, Fox Sports can avoid deploying equipment overseas. In 2019, Fox is using new real-time auto archiving functionality that helps allow raw, high-resolution footage to be stored offsite within seconds of match completion. In total, it’s estimated that roughly four to six petabytes of content will be streamed over the course of the tournament, more than double that of the 2018 Men’s World Cup.