Just back from Sportel 2015, it’s time for a recap and sum up what I have seen, heard and done in the 3 days in Monaco.
Market mood (up)
Vibe is good!
I hope it’s not only my impression but the market as a whole seems to have quite an upswing mood. It is clear to all that Sport and Media is in a great place: growing relevance, interesting developments and increasing number of players who need broadcast and digital services.
Sport is more and more content no.1 for many reasons (we said this already in the past) as demonstrated by the global sport rights market predicted growth.
Consolidation maybe one of the words of 2015, apart what happened in the US (MLBAM and NHL, Turner Interactive and iStreamPlanet, Stats) a lot of partnerships have been announced around Sportel this year (some including deltatre as well).
What were the most talked about matters this year? Quite subjective but this is what I have experienced directly.
Olympics channel and the Discovery/Eurosport take over of rights in Europe, two quite related matters of different origin. The Olympics channel was presented by IOC and OBS and it still raises some questions.
It can be a game-changer or just another sport media initiative, for sure the interaction with the Discovery/Eurosport can bring opportunities.
On the panel I did ask Vincent Chupin, who said that it is a digital-first initiative, why they called it “Channel” which really does not relate in digital…
VR and AR as near future sport production and consumption trends. We have seen various examples of VR in sport and the different user experiences that it can enable.
Judgement is still out if this will be something that replaces the current flat experience, complements it for special cases or ends up like 3D — huge investments and zero adoption by users.
OTT as a new way to approach the big screen. The new Apple TV, Roku, the new Chromecast, Amazon Fire and more.
Sooner or later the old clunky set top boxes will be replaced and that will not only be a technology advancement, it will open new business model opportunities.
Think the new Apple TV App store, that is the most disruptive news for this market in 2015. We demoed Diva Everywhere on the new Apple TV at our booth and received enthusiastic feedback. Virtual advertising from VIZRT seems promising even if still needs some work.
Innovations in production. OBS for Olympics and others are introducing more and more innovations in sport broadcast coverage that either intentionally or not, create a wealth of content that can be leveraged for digital consumption. That is also the basis for our Digital Host Services solution.
The Trade Show (=)
2015 has seen the evolution continue with no disruption, increased number of service providers and stable presence of traditional players with similar booths as last year, weird dominance of combat sport (a bit less prominent though), La Liga and FEI were the strongest presence overall.
The Conference (down)
The conference side of things at Sportel seems to miss a bit of global editorial guidance, I found some panels relevant but most not really appealing and feedback I had from people I met were often not enthusiastic.
I think the format needs some rethinking, maybe some proper Keynotes with strong messages and speakers on the strategic direction this business is taking.
Panels have their limits, as they depend a lot on the moderator and participants quality of interaction, adding some properly prepared case studies have proved in my experience to stimulate the audience engagement quite a bit.
It could be a good idea to travel to some iconic business conference for inspiration, going to Web Summit Dublin myself at the start of November, they now have a fully dedicated Sport track.
deltatre’s presence (up)
deltatre’s presence, even if based on last year’s model, has possibly been the best ever in Monaco.
We have designed a brand new booth this year but kept the core elements of last year — demo station (which was extremely successful), meeting space, core products promotion, HD video showcase.
We held our traditional Sunday dinner with clients and partners and again it proved to be a very pleasant and successful networking moment.
We participated to the Rio Games panel organised by SVG together with OBS Mark Wallace and EVS Luc Doneux. I talked about how deltatre’s enabling the digital Olympics and how digital is extremely relevant for the Games, possibly more than for any other sport events.
Rio will be great for deltatre with many clients (right-holding broadcasters) from the Americas to Asia.
We organised the second edition of the Sportel Startup Competition which saw KICKRS.NET come out as winners. Great crowd for a Wednesday morning and good feedback from many. Will need to improve the promotion side of things with Sportel next year.
We have focused our efforts on 3 main product launches this year: Diva Everywhere, SportTeller, Digital Host Services.
Diva Everywhere: We are bringing our Diva experience — beyond TV for sport — to all platforms and we were showcasing it on the only NEW Apple TV at the show, and Roku and HTML5 and more.
SportTeller: We officially launched SportTeller at Sportel, innovative storytelling for sport, mixing text, photos, video, stats, social in a new format that engages fans up to 4 times more; as demonstrated by our European Tour Golf case study.
Digital Host Services: A great solution for right owners and event organisers to provide additional value to their media right-holders. Leveraging content produced on-venue that never reach the TV screen, made available directly on the cloud, to enhance their digital experiences.