The future of sportscasting. It’s an interesting thought. In the last 50 years we’ve seen such amazing advances in media and the coverage of sports…particularly on television. Colour pictures, satellite transmission, high definition and now in the last 5 years the prevalence and increasing access of live streaming. Even as little as five years ago, live streaming wasn’t nearly as accessible as it was today. Periscope was in its infancy, YouTube allowed some of its major creators to broadcast live but didn’t have it opened to the masses and if you wanted to get your message out unfiltered, it was difficult to do on the run.
Now everything takes place in the palm of your hand.
To predict the future of sportscasting is like predicting next week’s lotto numbers…next to impossible. To pinpoint how we will consume and broadcast sport five, ten, twenty years down the road is incredibly difficult, however you’d have to think it will revolve around our cell phones and live streaming on the internet.
We’re already seeing it. Last season, the NFL began broadcasting games exclusively on Twitter, opening the league up to an increased international audience and extending the reach of one of the world’s biggest brands and sports. In November, the Melbourne Cup horse race became the first sporting event live streamed on Twitter from outside the United States and surely that trend will only continue to grow.
At the lower levels, high school and college, live broadcasts are the norm. But what’s becoming more and more common is the use of video. Platforms like Facebook have opened up live streaming to users through their phones. YouTube allows professional-level live streams using free software and of course Twitter continues to push the envelope.
So the question is, how can sportscasters take advantage of these new trends?
Understanding the technology is a start. If you learn from others or teach yourself how to produce live content, you’ll have a step up on the competition. Imagine going to a job interview and telling them you can not only do play-by-play, but you can produce a pro-level live video stream of their games. Imagine telling a prospective employer that you can increase their sales reach by including live streaming in broadcast packages.
Mastering of live streaming is something that sportscasters must achieve to get ahead of the “next big thing”, which also happens to be the current big thing. From what I see on social media, these tools like Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitter are out there but they’re not currently being used to their fullest potential by sportscasters to not only promote the teams they work for, but to promote themselves in the process by showing off a new skill they’ve acquired.
What do you think? Where does the future of sportscasting lie?