Sunday, June 7, 2009

Technology and Televised Sports

I posted something about technological applications in sports refereeing. I believe that the role and responsibility of sports officials will change in the coming years owing to the implementation of advanced (mostly sensor) technology to more precisely measure what these men and women currently have to eye-ball and make snap decisions about. The technology is available; the impediments are economic and cultural. The latter is a question of whether owners, players, coaches, fans and officials themselves are willing to try them. For more, see:

The technology is also available for a vastly different experience for the home spectator of professional sports. With the marriage of television and the Internet, the possibilities of customized broadcasts in sports could create a new generation of sports programming.

For example, in addition to watching the action on the field or court, viewers are also shown a variety of statistics and other graphics (including the current score of the game) which the broadcasters feel are timely or somehow relevant. But soon it will be possible to move those decisions from the producer to the consumer. We at home watching a baseball or basketball game will be given a menu of choices regarding which statistics to display and when. We could view on demand the game's leaders in scoring or hits or yards rushing, for example. We could even change the size and font of the display of the numbers or graphs including moving the score display to the upper or lower left corner. Those with small television screens or with poor eyesight could change the size of the display.

In addition to score or statistical displays-on-demand, there will be other options for television-based sports viewing. Most broadcast sporting events today are covered by several cameras and the number is likely to grow. It is not unreasonable to expect that one day soon certain games--particularly championships--will be covered by a dozen or more cameras. There are overhead cameras, end-zone, side-line and a host of other camera placements at sporting events.

Soon the sports fan at home will be able to choose through which camera they prefer to view the game and when. Replays, currently possible using a digital video recorder, will be expanded to be used in every camera in the arena or stadium. I can see the development of a broadcast feature, something like, "The AT&T Sideline Monitor".

Because professional sports today is like every industry facing a diminishing marginal return on it's investment, it will have to devise new innovations, products or services which tempt the consumer to stay loyal. The interactive nature of viewing sports events is one way in which I believe this will happen.

1 comment:

Jed Davis said...

The evolution you refer to is coming to fruition with the plethora of new stats, particularly in baseball. I feel old now, because I have to google what a slash line is, WAR, DRS, strand rate, etc.