Deltatre’s CEO and Co-Founder, Giampiero Rinaudo, met Sportcal‘s Callum Murray and talked him through the accomplishments and challenges and of being the chief executive of our company. Present and future are in the spotlight, among partnerhips of excellence and prospects for the next future. Here are the highlights of what was discussed on The Callum Murray Interview.
Did a successful company ever shout less loudly about itself than Deltatre, the Bruin Sports Capital-owned international sports media services company? – wonders Sporcal’s interviewer.
Speak to the personable and affable Giampiero Rinaudo, the company’s chief executive and one of its three founders (hence its name), and he’ll tell you that it has been involved in broadcasting six of the 10 most-viewed TV sporting events of all time (matches from the Fifa World Cup and Uefa European Championships, a Uefa Champions League final, the 100 metres at the Rio Olympics, an India-Pakistan test match and an NFL Super Bowl, for the record).
Who knew? Certainly not the average TV viewer, who is unlikely to find so much as a mention of Deltatre in the closing credits of one of those milestone TV broadcasts, to acknowledge the company’s crucial role in delivering it to his or her screen.
“We’re probably the leading company in the world [in the field], but very few people know what we’re doing and at which scale,” Rinaudo himself happily agrees.
“Every year is a record year for the company, in the sense that we continue to grow the business. – Giampiero says when asked about 2018, a new year of great achievements for Deltatre – This year we had the World Cup, the Asian Games, the Olympic Channel, PyeongChang and important wins in America, including the major league win. But we’re looking forward to better in 2019.”
Deltatre’s work with the Asian Games in Indonesia this summer, at which its main role was to deliver the website, mobile apps and real-time results, represented something of a landmark. “It’s impressive how big the games are – the second biggest in the world,” Rinaudo says. “For us it was important because we’re pushing hard to develop our business in Asia, and it brought a lot of visibility. We were impressed because 90 per cent of the [digital] content consumption was on mobile. Because we are one of the few companies that are really global, we can see that the way people consume sport in various continents is different.”
In 2016, Deltatre entered into a match data collection and provision partnership with Sportcast, a subsidiary of the DFL, Germany’s professional soccer league, creating a separate company, Sportec Solutions, to handle “the collection, administration, quality management and provision of official match data on Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 encounters as well as the relegation and Supercup.”
What kind of data has Deltatre identified as having value, Murray asks?
“In football, we’re talking about stats about players, tracking of players, historical data,” Rinaudo replies. “It’s a matter of how you show this data. What do I do with this data? Live, it’s very difficult to make use of, because you need to tell a story and you can’t pause the action for five seconds to show the data during a live event.
“But you have to remember that every match has two or three hours of post-game show, where there is increasing use of this data, using augmented reality. It can be done fast, because we know the position of every player in every frame, and you can use it to explain tactical movement. We’re also working hard on what can be done with data on artificial intelligence. The nice thing is that it’s able to recognise patterns that you don’t recognise as a human being. In 1,000 matches, there are recurrent patterns that can bring out information. For example, in rugby we might be able now to predict when it’s time to replace a player. We’re accumulating a lot of data and part of the job is to understand how best to use it.”
Asked to identify the main opportunities for the company in the next five years, Rinaudo is quick to seize on over-the-top delivery of sport, which, he says, is causing “quite a disruption in the market for how rights are sold. That’s a great growth opportunity. Graphics seemed to have hit some sort of plateau, but with data, AR and VR, graphics is still a very profitable market for us. Almost all sectors are still growing.”
Deltatre’s development of OTT tools could be equally applicable to entertainment companies and programming, and Rinaudo says that some such companies have approached Deltatre, saying: “You sold us the most difficult thing, which is live. But we also have a kids’ channel, a movie channel: can you help us with those?”
“It’s something we’re considering,” Rinaudo says. “Our OTT and streaming work is only sport at the moment.” And yet, he continues, while “we are technically a very good company, there are many good technology companies. Our differentiator is that we know sport and how to apply technology to sport.”
“OTT will become the main vehicle in not too much time. Live, there is still a 30-to-40-seconds delay. What does ‘absolutely solid’ mean? When broadcasting started there were probably signal glitches, problems with the solidity of the technology. Of course, people are right to complain; when they pay for the service, they should get the service. But most of OTT is working well. In less than five years the problems will be resolved. Demand creates investment. Don’t forget that until five years ago not many households had the bandwidth to watch Netflix at home.”
Read the full interview here.