When COVID-19 restrictions started being introduced, the cancellation of sports fixtures was greeted with respect from fans who fully understood that the health of the community was the priority.
But sports broadcasting hasn’t been easy to replace. How can sports broadcasters recreate the feel-good vibes of watching a live international rugby match? What options do broadcasters have to raise morale?
Turn to the archives
The one thing sports broadcasters have a lot of is footage – decades’ worth of live sports content is now showing its true value.
Delivering re-runs of some of the closest and memorable matches and races to fans is a great opportunity for sports broadcasters to raise spirits among sports fans and utilise their archives.
Additionally, Facebook Watch parties, group chats in WhatsApp and Twitter can all help replicate the sporting community and help fans of all ages reconnect when watching repeats of some of the best games in history.
Can tech improve how archived footage is delivered?
Delivering this archived coverage to fans brings its own challenges. Knowing what you have in your archives isn’t easy, even at the best of times, if you’re having to manually search the tapes warehouse for it.
The very nature of archived footage tends to mean that much of it is stored on physical copies, and although this has its benefits, it doesn’t suit the fast turnaround of content needed in today’s broadcast landscape. We are hearing numerous stories from the community about how archive content retrieval rates are slowing down to a crawl as access to buildings and towns is restricted.
LTO archives often need manual input which can be challenging when remote working; enabling self-serve needs automation and integration with asset management and modern storage stacks.
Transferring your content onto an online system means that creative teams can access content from anywhere in the world. Even better, thanks to metadata and clever media asset management tech, you can simply search for content in certain years or featuring certain athletes and teams and have the footage handed to you within seconds.
Could archived sports footage finally reach its full potential?
It’s no doubt that fans are appreciating the value of archived content within the current circumstances. Looking ahead to the future I feel this will have demonstrated that there is a huge role for archived content within sports broadcasting, even when live events are back up and running.
Showing the full matches of top 5 comebacks of a certain rugby team or the top 10 fastest 100 metres in history will be a huge hit with fans. Technology is out there to help sports broadcasters utilise their archives and deliver high-quality footage without having to spend hours hunting and editing the content.