What is going on right now in sport’s video is giving us a good glimpse of what it takes to run live broadcasts today. Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) are adapting. What fans don’t see are the various processes and procedures the staff and crew must follow to abide by what seem to be continually changing requirements. What is really interesting are the different approaches and resulting production value.
Adapting and Creating New Broadcast Experiences
For example, the NBA invested $170M to secure isolation zones on the Disney Orlando Campus, inviting 22 teams to participate. They have 3 courts they broadcast from and have run hundreds of miles of fibre optic cable to create a unique experience by adding fans to virtual screens all around the court. The UFC hasn’t disclosed the cost of Fight Island, but I am sure they spent the same if not more than the NBA. As the name implies, it is located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The MLB is taking a more traditional approach by restricting fans at ballparks, but piping in canned audio and, in some instances, putting virtual fans in the stands. In addition, production staff and announcers are isolated as much as possible or broadcasting from home in some instances.
Finding Innovative Ways to Monetize Content
With all of this investment on the initial broadcast, do you think these organizations would just broadcast once and then lock this content in an inaccessible archive? No! All of these organizations have pretty innovative and lucrative on-demand services. For $59.99/year, you can watch every out-of-market MLB game live or on-demand. A UFC fight pass ranges from $8–10/month and unlocks the entire UFC library (except for the live events). The NBA offers an annual pass for all teams for around $50/year. The point is that these organizations are spending so much on broadcasts because they are masters at monetizing content (and selling broadcasting rights and advertising…but that’s a different blog).
How to Activate Your Archived Content for Monetization
You may not be able to spend $170M on developing your own “bubble,” but you can certainly make your archived content searchable and accessible for repurposing and continued monetization. You don’t even need to put everything in the cloud to achieve this. You can create your own internal cloud-like infrastructure specifically for your nearline and archived content.
In episode 9 of our Brews & Bytes webcast, Liz Davis, VP of Diversified’s Media Workflow Group, will join Ben Canter, Caringo’s VP of Sales, and me to talk about this topic. Diversified is a leading technology integrator in digital media, collaboration, security and OTT solutions. You can register here for the live broadcast or watch it on-demand.