“Are you ready for some football?” Football season is finally here. And whether you’re a Raiders or 49ers fan, a viewer or a player, there’s no doubt that we’re all happy to get back into the game!
While you’re sitting in your TV room, or in the stadium cheering on your favorite team, take a moment and think about how technology has changed the game. It’s pretty interesting when you do a little research. Technology has changed both how we watch and participate in sports today.
1. More Options For Viewing
I remember the days when my grandfather watched a football game on TV and listened to two others with transistor radios at each ear. (Now that’s a real sports fan for you!)
You’re probably too young to remember this but until cable television arrived, there was only one channel that aired one game at a time.
Today we have so many options for viewing, plus we have televisions that can project four games on the screen at once. And now, a number of broadcasters have launched new streaming services so we’ll have even more viewing options.
No longer are you tied to the traditional cable TV channels. You can subscribe to any number of services to view the sports you love. As a matter of fact, it appears that there will be so many options to choose from that we’ll have to pick and choose where to spend our money! I don’t know about you, but this is a problem I will gladly “tackle!”
2. The Competition Has Changed
Traditional broadcasters are meeting up with the Amazons and Facebooks of the world. With the growing competition from internet companies that are grabbing more sports rights, TV broadcasters must revisit their “game strategies.”
Facebook has already acquired rights for some Major League Baseball games and Champions League soccer matches. They also put up a bid to stream the Indian Premier League professional cricket tour but it appears that $610 million just wasn’t enough money.
And with Amazon streaming Thursday Night Football, Prime members will be just a click away from enjoying prime-time football. The “playing field is leveling” and competition for streaming will continue to increase. This is good news us fans as we’ll have many more choices, and hopefully, as with increased competition, lower pricing.
3. Keeping An Eye On The Ball – Wearables
Interactive statistics based off player data from wearable technology devices is apparently on uneven footing. It’s still uncertain whether this is “fair game” or not.
Both the NBA and NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) banned the collection of biometric data for use in player contract negotiations. And they’ve now limited the types of wearables that players use.
Right now they ban wearables during games but will experiment with them in the NBA G League to find ways to enhance viewing experiences for fans. They hope to track and visualize game-day statistics to enhance audio-visual game feeds and broadcasts to increase revenue from viewers.
The NFL wants to do the same. They’ve placed RFID chips from Zebra Technologies in players’ shoulder pads and game balls. You’ll be able to access stats on social media and apps like Twitch where you can comment and share your thoughts about the game with other fans. This will provide an interactive experience that many will enjoy.
4. Is Fantasy Gaming Your Thing?
With player-performance data, you’ll have access to the info you need to make informed decisions for your fantasy game playing. This will give you the edge you need to call real-time shots in your mobile game playing experiences.
Predictive gaming is a way for teams to increase their advertising revenue and encourage fans to purchase advertisers’ products. When fans purchase these products they’ll receive bonus points for their fantasy games. This is a “win-win” proposition for both the teams and fans.
5. “Get Into The Game” With Virtual Reality!
My grandfather would have loved this. Instead of watching one game and listening to two others via transistor radios, he could now wear a virtual reality headset to not only watch multiple games at once but feel like he’s actually there! Plus, he’d be thrilled with the ongoing streamed interactive statistics and a leaderboard.
ThirdEye Gen Inc. plans to launch an augmented reality device that provides multiple screen viewing and data overlays. The NBA has already partnered with NextVR to provide this same type of virtual reality content.
Virtual reality not only takes sports viewing to another “dimension,” it plays an increasing role in the way athletes train. Several NFL teams have adopted STRIVR virtual reality technology, and this is expected to continue with other types of sports teams.
The End Goal
Technology is going to play an even bigger part in sports viewing and participation in the future. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you informed so you can virtually get into the game!