In a study conducted recently by A. T. Kearney, the global sports industry was pegged at between $480 and $620 billion. There has always been enormous opportunity in sports; whether in merchandising, tickets or sports celebrity-led influencing; but the internet has catapulted sports into a titanic league of its own. Thanks to sports online streaming, cable and satellite supplied sports matches are no longer a novelty and navigating traffic-riddled lanes at supersonic speeds are no longer a necessity to catch a live game in time. With live streaming, a sports event can be accessed from anywhere. All you need are a device and an internet connection.
Amongst the various sorts of video programmes, sports occupy the top spot in terms of popularity, across both conventional and digital realms. And numbers are multiplying furiously. An estimate made by Adobe suggested that sports streams on its video service has jumped 640% between 2012 and 2013. Interestingly, this engagement isn’t restricted to professional leagues and teams. Even little league games, university matches and school-level tournaments are garnering interest on live streams.
If you’ve been considering cashing in on the sports live streaming trend, here are five tips that will get you going. Stream live sports online, the easy way.
Tip 1. Strive for Quality
Live sports streaming online is a unique brand of live entertainment. When you stream sports online, every millisecond counts. You don’t have many other segments of entertainment where things could change in an instant. Flashes of activity need to be captured seamlessly and in real-time in online sports streaming. There are several elements that will influence your quality: the weather, the lighting, the capability of your technology to carry your stream through. Here’s a closer look at some of the factors that will play a role in determining the quality of your live stream.
If you pick a sturdy technology, your quality will automatically be taken care of. Of late, the sports streaming niche has taken a shine to a technology called StreamNow, a superlative turnkey framework that delivers sports streams fluidly and flawlessly. Built on an excellent technology stack, StreamNow doesn’t disappoint when it comes to broadcasting in real-time.
Your hardware is your biggest asset for your online sports streaming platform, aside from technology of course. Live sports streaming online requires superior equipment and sturdy gear in order to capture minute elements in excellent clarity on the go. Remember, that you may encounter adverse weather conditions during your outdoor schedules so it’s important to carry waterproof sheets to cover your equipment. When it comes to picking your camera, pick one that works optimally in dim lighting. Many sports games are evening events and capturing them can become a challenge if you’re not equipped. Consider options with a large sensor and a broad aperture.
Resolution can impact your stream in a big way and it’s worthwhile to invest in a camera that sits above a 1920 x 1080 full high definition threshold. You’ll also find that a lot of live streamers are gravitating towards 4K-compatible technology, but there’s still time before 4K sweeps the market and becomes mainstream. If you want to invest in a technology that lasts you several years, go for a 4K camera. It’s always good to be future-fit. While we’re on clarity, let’s also talk about zoom. During a live stream, it’s likely that you’ll operate with a minimum set of cameras, especially if you’re recording an amateur game. Thus, zoom becomes incredibly important in capturing the little details. These can be big for your stream and your audience. When you decide on your zoom capability, evaluate your options in light of the sport that you will be primarily capturing. Some sports entail finer details than others and are played on more expansive grounds. Basketball, for instance, is played across an entire court whereas a ping pong match is confined to a limited space. Autofocus is another critical feature you ought to keep as a criterion.
The more the frames, the clearer your stream. Think of frame rate as an animated flipbook. When you turn the pages of a flipbook quickly, you see a fluid, crystal-clear story take form. On the other hand, if you turn them slowly, your story doesn’t make any sense. The same way, when you stream sports online, a high frame rate is a must. 60 fps is a good place to start. Make sure your camera is compatible with your frame rate.
Tip 2. Focus On Your Software
We’ve already spoken about the merits of selecting a specialised technology. But there are other factors that belong in your technology ecosystem. If you do invest in multiple cameras while live sports streaming online, purchase a camera encoder that will allow you to toggle among cameras. This is known as live switching. A mixing software should also find a place in your software suite. This can help you create instant replays, slow motion recaps, titles and transitions and on-screen score cards.
Tip 3. Marketing and Promotion
Marketing your live stream is the only way to get your word out there. Plan a marketing campaign around each of your live streams and prepare well in advance. Use marketing vehicles like newsletters, blogs and social media to promote your stream. Also, release teasers of what is to come by having players talk about the impending match. This can build excitement and energy in the lead up to your game.
Tip 4. Monetisation
There is a range of monetisation tools you could pick from when it comes to live streaming sports online. Advertising, pay-per-view, content sponsorships and dynamic subscription plans are some of these. While advertising makes sense only once you have a considerable user base, you could begin with other routes immediately.
Tip 5. Offer Extra Highlights
Everybody likes a little extra. Reserve the time before and after your game to engage with your viewers. Give them inside news on what’s going on, which players have entered the fray and any other updates you may have. You could even involve members of the audience for additional engagement. Your after-match highlights could include recaps, player interviews and a game summary.
The online sports industry has ballooned into a veritable force to reckon with. And it only seems to be growing. A compelling business model can help you become a part of it. Get creating.