How an interactive video player timeline boosts engagement


by Simon Farrant

How DIVA's Interactive Timeline feature uses live data to provide an entirely new, genuinely interactive experience for users


by Simon Farrant

How DIVA's Interactive Timeline feature uses live data to provide an entirely new, genuinely interactive experience for users

The way we watch and interact with sport has changed immeasurably in the last 20 to 30 years. From instant social media clips of key highlights, to the ability to watch live games on phones or tablets, to YouTube fan channels and live blogging – these are all now mainstream concepts that would have seemed alien to a sports fan in the 1990s.

Another element that has changed sports coverage beyond all recognition is the proliferation of detailed data and statistics across all forms of modern coverage. Although sport has always relied on numbers to some extent (after all, you can’t have a score or league table without counting *something*), detailed sports data is now, among many other things, used to provide context to live broadcasts, preview a game in a newspaper, help teams identify new players and expose opposition weaknesses, run fantasy games and settle in-game bets.

Data displayed during a Bundesliga broadcast

Match data is now completely integral to the way we watch and consume live and on-demand sport of all disciplines, to the extent that all major broadcasters and/or sporting federations embed myriad forms of information across their various channels.

However, in this rush towards statistical insight (and/or information overload, depending on your perspective), this information is presented to every viewer in the same way, no matter their individual preferences. Until recently, the way an avid, expert fan is presented with a game is the same way as someone experiencing a game for the first time.

This is where DIVA comes in.

Through its intelligent, innovative use of live sports data to offer a unique experience to every individual viewer, DIVA changes the way sports viewers use data, both in terms of what they can see, as well as the way they watch a game. DIVA gives the user the ability to choose how they use this information, either by giving the user the option to display live data alongside the action, or using it to tag key events during an event, and giving the user the ability to jump straight to them. It is this game-changing feature that we are going to explore further below.

FINAtv using DIVA's Interactive Timeline feature


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Feature showcase – The Interactive Timeline

Use of a timeline on a streaming platform is nothing new – they have always been vital parts of the user’s ability to navigate online video and other media. However, by using live data to highlight key moments in the game and mark them on the timeline, the user is able to jump to specific moments and instantly view their own highlight reel, either live or on-demand. In football, for example, this could be a red card or, as demonstrated by the BT Sport overview below, a crucial goal.

Once a user clicks on the relevant moment, viewers can jump straight to the specific point in real-time, and watch it instantly, before jumping back to the live action.

The clickable points within the Interactive Timeline can either be automatically populated using the real-time sports data that the DIVA platform ingests as the action unfolds (this data can be ingested from a wide range of providers) or they can be ‘editorialized’ using contextual human tagging. For instance an important punch within a boxing match could be called out due to its significance within the bout, or when watching archive footage, an iconic piece of commentary or analysis can be highlighted for viewers to revisit.

Real-time data collection

How does the Interactive Timeline promote engagement?

  • At Deltatre, we know that every sports fan is different. With the Interactive Timeline, the viewer is no longer passive; instead they become their own highlights director by giving them the ability to watch the action however they like.
  • It increases the shelf-life of live content. Broadcasters can make a complete replay of a game or event available immediately after it has finished, and by using the populated timeline, users can experience the action exactly as they wish, without the involvement of a highlights producer. The same is true during breaks in play or at half-time.
  • It keeps users on your platform. Goal or key event alerts can be triggered from other, concurrent, games being shown elsewhere on your platform, and pushed to the user. They can then select these alerts to be instantly shown events happening elsewhere, before being returned to the game they were watching originally. This reduces the need for users to leave the platform to look for footage of key events on social media or elsewhere.

In the next edition of this series, we will focus on how DIVA gives users the opportunity to become their own director, and watch a game or key highlights from whatever angle they want.

To learn more about DIVA or any of Deltatre’s other areas of OTT expertize, get in touch

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